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NASCAR FireKeepers Casino 400 preview in 3 minutes

Driver Joey Logano prepares for a practice session for the NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race at Michigan International Speedway, Saturday in Brooklyn, Mich.
Driver Joey Logano prepares for a practice session for the NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race at Michigan International Speedway, Saturday in Brooklyn, Mich. AP

Everything you need to know about Sunday’s FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway, in three minutes:

Three things to watch

1. A low(er) downforce package is being tested for this race. There will be plenty of speed on the straightaways, with drivers having to brake in the corners. That’s a change from the past at ultrafast Michigan, where there didn’t used to be much need for slowing the cars in the corners. Temperatures have swung dramatically over the weekend, with Saturday’s practices being held in 85-90 degrees. Sunday’s race might not get out of the 70s, so how drivers and teams adjust will be critical.

2. Pole-winner Joey Logano hasn’t won, one of the more unlikely storylines of the season.

3. Tony Stewart will start third, his highest spot on the grid this season. Will this be the race that Smoke breaks through? He hasn’t won since Dover, Del., in 2013, 83 starts ago.

Observations

▪ For a second consecutive week, a driver enters the race having won the previous week and also is the race’s defending champion. Kurt Busch won Monday at Pocono (Pa.) and at Michigan last June; Martin Truex Jr. won at Charlotte two weeks ago, then he headed to Pocono, where he won in 2015.

▪ Who will be penalized for a lug-nut violation this week? Chad Johnston, Kyle Larson’s crew chief, is suspended for not having the No. 42 Chevy’s lug nuts tightened properly at Pocono. Johnston is the fourth crew chief to be nailed.

▪ Hockey great Gordie Howe, who died Friday, will be honored during the prerace invocation. Howe spent most of his career with the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings.

Best bets

Three picks for your fantasy team:

Brad Keselowski: Consistently fast all weekend, would love to win on his home track.

Denny Hamlin: Hasn’t won since Daytona 500, had a good qualifying run and will start fourth.

Austin Dillon: If his speed during Saturday’s final practice is any indication (194.301 mph in hot temperatures), he could be on the verge of his first victory.

He said it

“The rules package is what’s on everybody’s mind.” – Keselowski.

N@SCAR

Getting there

Race facts

FireKeepers Casino 400

Where: Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, Mich.

Track type: 2-mile asphalt trioval.

Race distance: 400 miles, or 200 laps.

Green flag: 1:16 p.m.

Weather: Sunny, high of 77, zero percent chance of rain.

TV: Fox Sports 1.

Radio: Motor Racing Network.

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