One week after , the NASCAR Cup Series heads to Michigan International Speedway. Elliott will hope to go back-to-back at one of his best statistical tracks, while others look to win and join him in the Round of 16 next month.

While Elliott looks to ride momentum, “The Big 3” of Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch are also looking to bolster their playoff resumes on Sunday. In addition to those four drivers, Austin Dillon, Clint Bowyer, Erik Jones and Joey Logano have secured their position in the NASCAR Playoffs. 

How to watch the Consumers Energy 400 at Michigan

Location: Michigan International Speedway
Date: Sunday, August 12th
Time: 2:30 p.m. ET (qualifying set for Friday at 5:05 p.m. ET on NBCSN)
Length: 400 miles/200 laps
Stage 1: Ends on lap 60
Stage 2: Ends on lap 120
Final stage: Scheduled for lap 200
Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free) 

Youth movement in full swing

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While most of the talk this season has been about “The Big 3”, Elliott and Erik Jones’ wins have secured some momentum for NASCAR’s highly-anticipated youth movement. Young guns like William Byron, Alex Bowman and Daniel Suarez have all secured top-10 finishes in recent weeks and are hungry for that elusive first trip to Victory Lane.

Elliott’s first win may have come on a road course, but that doesn’t mean he can’t win elsewhere. In fact, Michigan is one of the No. 9 driver’s best tracks. In five starts at Michigan, Elliott has five top-10 finishes and an average finish of 4.6. In his first three races there, he finished runner-up. A win on Sunday would make him the first driver in 53 years to win his first two Cup Series races in back-to-back fashion. Billy Wade was the last to do it in 1964 along with Hall of Famer Ned Jarrett, who did it in 1959.

The other winner, Jones, is no stranger to the Irish Hills either. In fact, he was born in Michigan and bleeds blue and maize for the Wolverines. Jones, similarly to Elliott, is strong at his home track, having secured an average finish of 10.33 in three starts. He’ll be a contender to earn his second career win on Sunday.

Land of Larson

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series GoBowling at The Glen - Qualifying

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Kyle Larson has had a few down weeks recently, but is coming off a sixth-place finish at Watkins Glen. That momentum could propel him to his first win in 2018. Luckily for him, the timing couldn’t have worked out any better, as Michigan is the track where Larson has won three of his five career races. 

Larson’s streak of three-consecutive wins was snapped earlier this season after Clint Bowyer won the race under rainy conditions. The No. 42 team struggled, and finished 28th. However, prior to that, and in addition to the wins, Larson has led 141 laps at Michigan in his last four races there.

Home sweet home for Keselowski

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Gander Outdoors 400 - Qualifying

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Brad Keselowski, like Jones, hails from Michigan and wears his Irish Hills pride on his sleeve. However, he’s never won at his home track. Statistically, Keselowski has performed in front of the home crowd despite not winning, securing seven top-10 finishes in his last nine Michigan races. Last year, he won the pole and led a race-best 105 laps before finishing 17th.

Home cooking couldn’t come at a better time for Keselowski, who has two DNFS in his last five races. Still, his 11 top-10 finishes this season puts him in decent shape for the playoffs. Keselowski is 10th in the regular season with the Round of 16 set to begin in September.

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