Winning in the back yard of the auto makers has long been something that NASCAR has enjoyed ever since it began racing at Michigan. It is a track that has constantly been fast, wide, and for many a lot of fun. This track has so many options of how to run it that it makes for exciting racing, and has brought about some great finishes.
At the same time, being in front of many auto executives is a lot of added pressure to every team because they want to win it for their brand. In the last few years, the auto industry has began coming back strong, but sadly some have found themselves in some hot water both in years prior and even now. So a win in the back yard of Ford, Chevrolet, and some Toyota factories means that it has added meaning.
It really is "Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday" once again in NASCAR.
This year has seen some of the most intense competition in years, as each manufacturer has wins on the season. Now, with the auto executives and auto workers not far away, this weekend's race in the Irish Hills becomes that much more important.
Every writer knows this, and they are ready. Here's their picks for victory in the Quicken Loans 400:
Misan Akuya: Brad Keselowski
The last two races this guy has shown a ton of speed. But he has let wins fall through his fingers. Perhaps he can close at his home track.
Rob Blount: Tony Stewart
Smoke is starting to rise.
James Broomhead: Carl Edwards
Billy Fellin: Matt Kenseth
He has 2 wins at MIS and might as well be the place where he gets his first one this season.
Michael Hirshbein: Kyle Busch
He won at California, a similar track to Michigan.
Kara Martin: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Ryan O'Hara: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Excellent time for Junior to win a race. We are coming to a track, prior to the Daytona 500, that he scored his last two wins at.
Dustin Parks: Greg Biffle
I gotta stick with the Ford camp at this place. It has long been a "Roush House" for years, and a year ago it was Biffle getting the win at this place, a track he's always strong at. Obviously he's in a contract year, but unlike his teammate Carl Edwards, he's very vocal about wanting to stay with the No. 16 team and with Roush-Fenway Racing. He wants to have a career where he's with one team, and one team only, from his rookie season to when he retires.
It's cliche by now, but without a doubt, I will "Stick with the Biff."
Patti Rodisch: Jeff Gordon
Something tells me the Hendrick Motorsports streak stays alive and it is Jeff Gordon who gets redemption for him near win at California earlier this season. A solid run at Pocono to bounce back from a disappointing Dover. They have been fast every week and that will continue on Sunday into victory lane.
Aaron Rosser: Brad Keselowski
Gimme the loud mouth.
Sal Sigala Jr: Brad Keselowski
Rob Tiongson: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
He's having his best season yet and with Superman by his side, it could be win number three for Dale Earnhardt Jr. to get his third win at MIS!
Standings after Pocono:
Kara Martin (524) Jimmie Johnson finished 6th - 3
Ryan O'Hara (500) Jimmie Johnson finished 6th - 4
Sal Sigala Jr. (498) Jimmie Johnson finished 6th - 5
Patti Rodisch (464) Jimmie Johnson finished 6th - 2
Rob Tiongson (462) Jeff Gordon finished 8th - 2
Rob Blount (444) Kevin Harvick finished 14th - 1
Dustin Parks (444) Carl Edwards finished 41st - 2
Michael Hirshbein (443) Kyle Busch finished 12th - 1
Billy Fellin (423) Joey Logano finished 40th - 1
Misan Akuya (416) Kevin Harvick finished 14th - 1
James Broomhead (410) Denny Hamlin finished 4th - 2
Aaron Rosser (396) Joey Logano finished 40th - 1
Final Thoughts: The last few years, we have seen Toyota have recalls on many cars due to safety concerns. General Motors has gone before federal judges because of recalls that were not issued, and Ford decide against a bailout in order to revamp their company. Every manufacturer had struggles, but now with the one sport that has shown brand loyalty all through the years.
With NASCAR in town, every manufacturer is watching, and wanting a victory. Find out which driver, and which brand, gets that win on TNT beginning at Noon ET this Sunday.
Summary of Picks:
Dale Earnhardt Jr-3