Race #: 23 of 36
Track Size: 2-miles
NSCS Practice(s): 12:30 p.m. ET Friday on SPEED; 8:30 a.m. / 11 a.m. ET Saturday on SPEED
NSCS Qualifying: 4 p.m. ET Friday on SPEED
Race Coverage: Noon ET Sunday on ESPN
Banking/Corners: 18 degrees
Banking/Frontstretch: 5 degrees
Banking/Backstretch: 2 degrees
Race Length: 200 laps / 400 miles
2011 pole winner: Greg Biffle, Ford (190.345 mph, 37.826 sec., 08-19-11)
2011 race winner: Kyle Busch, Toyota (150.898 mph, 2:41:26, 08-21-11)
Track qualifying record: Marcos Ambrose, Ford (203.241 mph, 35.426 sec., 06-17-12
Track race record: Dale Jarrett, Ford (173.997 mph, 2:17:56, 08-13-99)
The Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan is going to be an exciting race behind the scenes as well as on track. A third-place finish at Watkins Glen International has placed Jimmie Johnson in the championship lead for the ninth consecutive season. The Pure Michigan 400 is giving four top competitors the opportunity to clinch a top-10 spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup – Jimmie Johnson, Greg Biffle, Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Greg Biffle, who trails Johnson by a single point, was the only one of the current four failing to make the Chase a year ago.
Remember Michigan is the track where Dale Earnhardt Jr. snapped a winless streak of 143 races (June). Earnhardt is one of four drivers ranked in the top 10 entering Sunday’s race with multiple victories at the 2.0-mile superspeedway. Greg Biffle, Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamlin also have two victories apiece. Michigan is one of five NASCAR tracks at which Johnson has yet to win.
Below is a look at some of the top statistical performers at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan going into the Pure Michigan 400 on August 19.
Greg Biffle (No. 16 3M Ford)
· Two wins, eight top fives, 11 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 12.4
Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 National Guard/Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet)
· Two wins, five top fives, nine top 10s; two poles
· Average finish of 15.2
Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota)
· Two wins, five top fives, seven top 10s
· Average finish of 13.8
Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet)
· Four top fives, nine top 10s
· Average finish of 14.7
Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet)
· One win, six top fives, seven top 10s; two poles
· Average finish of 16.5
Mark Martin (No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota)
· Five wins, 18 top fives, 31 top 10s
· Average finish of 13.6
Kasey Kahne (11th in points) and Ryan Newman (13th) are provisional holders of the two “wild card” spots. Kahne won Michigan’s spring race in 2006. Newman is a two-time Michigan winner. Two-time Michigan winner Ryan Newman displaced Jeff Gordon in the No. 2 “wild card” spot with four races remaining in the regular season.
Mark Martin’s five wins are the most at Michigan by an entered driver. Martin, driver of the No. 55 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota, last won in June 2009. He’s due for another win.
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES
NCWTS Practice(s): 2 p.m. ET Friday on SPEED
NCWTS Qualifying: 9:30 a.m. ET Saturday on SPEED
NCWTS Race Coverage: Noon ET Saturday on SPEED
2011 Winner: Kevin Harvick
2011 Pole: Matt Crafton
Track Layout: 2 Miles
Length: 100 Laps, 200 Miles
Joining the NSCS this weekend at Michigan is the NCWTS. As the NCWTS heads into town this weekend, all eyes are on James Buescher and his Turner Motorsports team. Buescher is the only driver that has collected more than one NCWTS win this year, with all of his three victories (Kansas, Kentucky, Chicago) coming at a 1.5-mile track. The driver has collected each of those three wins with the same chassis in which he will race this weekend at MIS. On top of three wins, Buescher has earned six top-five and seven top-10 finishes, currently sitting third in the championship point standings only 15 points out of the lead.
Only 35 points separate the top-six drivers with Red Horse Racing’s Timothy Peters leading the field over Ty Dillon, James Buescher, Justin Lofton, Matt Crafton and Parker Kligerman. Peters heads Dillon by eight points. The battle for fifth position between Crafton and Kligerman is the closest for the contenders, with only two points separating them.
After starting his season with Brad Keselowski Racing, Parker Kligerman will begin the second half of the season this weekend at Michigan with a new team, Red Horse Racing. Kligerman joins the stacked driver lineup of Timothy Peters and Todd Bodine.
Other entry notes:
No. 2-Tim George, driver of the Applebee’s Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing
No. 7-Parker Kligerman, first start in the Red Horse Racing Toyota
No. 14-Brennan Newberry, returns driving the NTS/Iron Clad Performance Chevrolet
No. 18-Kurt Busch, first start driving the Shore Lodge Toyota for Kyle Busch Motorsports
No. 29-Brad Keselowski, driver of the Cooper Standard Ram for BKR
Camping World Truck drivers Justin Lofton and Jason White participated in July 30th test (along with 27 Sprint Cup teams).
As on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tires at Michigan.