Henry Ford Health System 200 (Truck Series) Predictions, Odds & Picks
- Now that Matt Crafton has made his move into Playoffs, can Johnny Sauter follow?
- Michigan is Brett Moffitt’s best chance for victory before NASCAR postseason.
- Austin Hill can move one step closer to regular-season title and the Playoff points that come with it.
NASCAR Truck Series at Michigan Odds
|John H. Nemechek||+1200|
|Any Other Driver||+1600|
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Henry Ford Health System 200 Predictions and Picks
After his string of seven-straight top-10 finishes ended with an engine failure July 18 at Texas Motor Speedway, Austin Hill returned to form with a win and a sixth-place finish in the Kansas doubleheader.
Hill is the defending winner at Michigan, and we expect him to make it two in a row on Thursday night.
Austin Hill +300
How to Watch the Michigan Truck Race
|Henry Ford Health System 200 Information|
|What||Henry Ford Health System 200 NASCAR Truck Series race|
|Where||Michigan International Speedway|
|When||Friday, August 7, 6 p.m. EST|
|How to Watch||FS1|
Friday night’s Henry Ford Health System 200 should be a fast race in a small window, likely concluding within a two-hour time frame. The NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series race is scheduled for 100 laps around the two-mile track, with stage breaks at 20 and 40 laps.
Ten drivers will qualify for the Truck Series Playoffs, but only four have done so by winning races. Series leader Austin Hill and Matt Crafton added their names to that shortlist during the July 24-25 doubleheader at Kansas.
The regular season concludes on Sept. 12 at Richmond, with races at the Daytona International Speedway Road Course and Darlington, as well as the Richmond finale, following the Michigan contest.
Dirt-racing star David Gravel, winner of last year’s Knoxville Nationals in a sprint car supported by NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon, will make his long-awaited Truck Series debut at Michigan.
Can Johnny Sauter Follow ThorSport Racing Teammate into Playoffs?
In the July 25 race at Kansas Speedway, reigning and three-time NASCAR Truck Series champion Matt Crafton escaped the Playoff bubble with a victory. The win assured the driver of the No. 88 ThorSport Racing Ford F-150 that he’ll have a chance at a record-tying fourth series championship.
Crafton’s teammate, 2016 champion Johnny Sauter, hasn’t been as fortunate. Adding insult to injury in a forgettable season, Sauter has swept away in a crash in the second Kansas race and finished 33rd. The driver of the No. 13 Ford dropped to 12th in the series standings, 53 points behind 10th-place Todd Gilliland, the last driver currently in a Playoff-eligible position.
Facing that deficit, Sauter (+1500) likely needs a victory in one of the next four events to avoid missing the postseason. Crafton’s win at Kansas should provide encouragement to Sauter, who won at Michigan in 2014 and finished second in 2018. Given his hard luck this season, however, the challenge is massive.
Brett Moffitt Could Use a Win at One of His Best Tracks
Barring absolute disasters in the next four Truck Series races, Brett Moffitt will qualify for the Playoffs. The bad news is that the 2018 series champion has accumulated a measly two Playoff points this season, thanks to two stage wins.
What Moffitt could really use is a race victory, worth five Playoff points. As it turns out, Michigan International Speedway is the perfect venue for a breakthrough win. In four starts for three different owners at the two-mile track, Moffitt (+650) has two victories (2016 and 2018), a fourth-place finish last year, and an average result of 5.8.
Moffitt’s No. 23 GMS Racing Chevrolet has shown the excellent speed of late. The Grimes, Iowa, driver followed a fifth-place run at Texas with a runner-up finish in the first Kansas race. Moffitt turns 28 on Friday. It would hard to imagine a better present than a victory.
Back on Form, Austin Hill Comes to Michigan as the Favorite
He’s the series leader by 43 points. He’s the winner of the opener of the recent Kansas doubleheader. He’s the defending winner at Michigan. He has posted top-10 finishes in nine of the 10 Truck Series races so far this season.
Small wonder that Austin Hill (+300) is favored to win Friday night’s contest at the two-mile track. Hattori Racing Enterprises has won the last two Michigan races—with Brett Moffitt in 2018 and Hill last year.
“I’d love to go back-to-back at Michigan, and I know these guys (the No. 23 team) would love to go three-in-a-row,” Hill says. “But it’s a difficult place to get and keep track position. Michigan can race like a superspeedway after restarts when everyone is packed together and there’s a lot of drafting in play.”
Hill solved the puzzle last year, and he’s our choice to repeat the feat on Friday. If he remains at the top of the standings for the next four events, he’ll also get a bonus of 15 Playoff points as the regular-season champion.
More NASCAR Predictions & Odds
Award-winning motorsports writer Reid Spencer has served as lead writer for the NASCAR Wire Service for 16 years, having also spent a four-year stint as NASCAR columnist and beat writer for Sporting News. He is currently serving as president of the National Motorsports Press Association.