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Race Preview and Fantasy Picks: LifeLock 400

By admin | June 10, 2009

By Richard Allen

Track and Location:
Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, MI

Track Layout: 2 mile D-shaped oval with 18 degrees of banking in the turns

Race Distance:
400 miles/ 200 laps

Date of Race:
Sunday(June 14, 2009)

Radio Coverage: MRN(1:15pm Eastern)

Television Coverage:
TNT(12:30pm Eastern)

Start Time: 2:15pm Eastern

Last Year’s Winner: Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

Here are some thoughts for the LifeLock 400:

This track is one that has come to symbolize the ‘new NASCAR’ that many fans have become disenchanted with. Here, the cars tend to get strung out on long green flag runs with little passing or close racing.

The track’s wide groove is often billed as a selling point by the television networks for why the racing is going to be great. Actually, the track’s width causes the strung out nature of the racing. With nothing to hold them up, drivers pass those who are slower and move on. And, because drivers can search around to find a groove their car will work well in, everyone winds up running basically the same speed which in turn means very little on-track action.

Drivers who should do well: This track has always been a favorite of Roush Fenway Racing and Ford. However, like last week in Pocono, this race has a tendency to turn into a fuel mileage contest, so anything can happen in the end.

Carl Edwards- He has lead the Roush Fenway charge over the last several races here. In particular, he scored more points than anyone on this track last year when the CoT was used.

Matt Kenseth-
He has been right on the heels of his teammate Edwards here. Although his finish in Pocono did not show it, his team has been giving him better race cars of late.

Tony Stewart-
His past performance here has been solid and needless to say, his team is on a roll right now.

Jimmie Johnson-
Can you ever count him out?

David Ragan- I am reluctant to include him among the favorites but he had solid finishes here last year. I predicted at the beginning of the season he would win this year. I’m not so sure now. If he is going to, this is the place.

Brian Vickers-
Ran well here last year and Toyota would love to win near deflated Detroit.

Elliott Sadler-
He is rarely among my list of favorites but he actually ran well here last year. If you’re in need of a low price and willing to gamble he may be worth the risk.

Drivers to avoid:
Look at those who have not done well on the 1.5-2 mile ‘cookie cutter’ tracks and that trend is likely to continue.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr.-
I know he won here last year but this team, no matter who the crew chief, is out of sorts right now. Make them have a good run before you spend money on Junior.

Kevin Harvick-
Add this RCR team to the list of teams out of sorts.

Casey Mears-
See Kevin Harvick above.

Winner of the LifeLock 400: Carl Edwards

These are only suggestions. Do your own research and enjoy the LifeLock 400.

Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.

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