After two weeks of “In This Corner,” Alex Gage and John Farrell are all knotted up with one win apiece in the ultimate battle of “guts” vs. “stats.” Although neither of their selections won, Denny Hamlin (John’s choice) finished one spot ahead of Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Alex’s choice), thus giving John the ever-so-valuable point for the week. Who will be the person to break the tie this week? Time will tell and only Michigan International Speedway holds the answer.
Below is a quick reminder of who the two competitors are.
Alex, the daughter of the late Richmond Gage, was born into and grew up around the sport. Her dad, who worked with several legendary drivers from the 1980s and 1990s, often took Alex with him to the race track on weekends where she fell in love with the sport.
John wasn’t fully introduced to NASCAR until later in life when he started working for NASCAR in 2007. In seven years with NASCAR, he worked in the Publishing, Licensing and IMC departments. He quickly fell in love with the statistics side of the sport, as well as its colorful past, and even wrote a NASCAR-licensed book in 2012, The Official NASCAR Trivia Book.
Every week, Alex (using her gut instinct) and John (relying on stats) each select a driver they think will win. Of those two drivers, the one that wins or places higher will give whoever picked him/her a point. We will keep a running tally and will crown a champion at the end of the season.
Since John is a polite, Southern gentleman, he has agreed to let Alex pick every weekend. (What a sucker!)
Tune into FOX Sports 1 this Sunday at 1 p.m. EST, to watch the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series battle each other and Michigan International Speedway.
After losing to John by one position last weekend in Pocono, my pick this week is someone very familiar with winning this season, as well as with coming in second – Kevin Harvick. Harvick has been a force to be reckoned with all season with two wins already and numerous seconds. At Michigan, he’s going to take home another win in the No. 4 Chevrolet and prove that his championship last year wasn’t a fluke, as well as extend his lead in the points standings. Hopefully, I can beat John again … by more than one position. J See you next week when we make our selections for Sonoma.
History has a way of repeating itself, and that’s what I’m banking on happening this week in the Irish Hills. Although Greg Biffle hasn’t had a stellar 2015 with only one top five and two top 10s, no one can argue that he’s not money at Michigan. He leads all active drivers with four wins in 24 races at the two-mile speedway, in addition to 15 top 10s. He’s also finished every race he’s started there in NASCAR’s premier series (22 of them on the lead lap). In terms of Loop Data, he’s first in average running position (8.9), quality passes (920), % of quality passes (64.5%), laps in the top 15 (3,265) and driver rating (107.1). That’s why the Biff is my choice this weekend.