Last week at Pocono, Jeff Gordon tied with NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Allison and Hall of Fame nominee Darrell Waltrip for third on the all-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins list at 84.
For the last seven races at Michigan International Speedway’s there has been a new winner in each of those races. Many of those varied winners came from different teams. The seven different drivers who have won the last seven races have represented six different teams.
Only Hendrick Motorsports have repeated in the last seven Michigan events –Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2008 and Mark Martin in 2009. With that said, Earnhardt Jr. winless drought has reached 107 races, but Earnhardt Jr. placed his No. 88 Chevrolet in the top 10 for the third consecutive race. Will Michigan International Speedway be the track to stop his winless streak?
Heading into Michigan this weekend marks the end of a couple of stories that have been ongoing: First, the probation period between Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch has ended as of June 15th; Second, Trevor Bayne returns to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for the first time since Talladega in April.
Also, this Sunday marks Father’s Day. I would like to take this opportunity to wish all the Dad’s out there a very happy Father’s Day!!
Michigan International Speedway
Race # 15 of 36 (6-19-11)
Track Size: 2 miles
· Race Length: 400 miles
· Banking/Corners: 18 degrees
· Banking/Frontstretch: 12 degrees
· Banking/Backstretch: 5 degrees
2010 pole winner: Kurt Busch, 189.984 mph, 37.898 seconds
2010 race winner: Denny Hamlin, 156.386 mph, 7-13-10)
Track qualifying record: Ryan Newman (194.232 mph, 37.069 seconds, (6-18-05)
Track race record: Dale Jarrett (173.997 mph, 6-13-99)
Greg Biffle (No. 16 RED CROSS Ford)
· Two wins, seven top fives, 10 top 10s
Kurt Busch (No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge)
· Two wins, three top fives, eight top 10s; one pole
Kyle Busch (No. 18 Snickers Toyota)
· One top five, three top 10s
Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet)
· One win, four top fives, eight top 10s; two poles
Carl Edwards (No. 99 AFLAC Ford)
· Two wins, eight top fives, 11 top 10s
Jeff Gordon (No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet)
· Two wins, 18 top fives, 23 top 10s; five poles
Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota)
· One win, four top fives, six top 10s
Kevin Harvick (No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet)
· One win, three top fives, seven top 10s
Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe’s / KOBALT Tools Chevrolet)
· Two top fives, seven top 10s
Kasey Kahne (No. 4 Red Bull Toyota)
· One win, six top fives, six top 10s; two poles
Matt Kenseth (No. 17 Crown Royal Ford)
· Two wins, 10 top fives, 14 top 10s
Tony Stewart (No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet)
· One win, 10 top fives, 16 top 10s
Brian Vickers (No. 83 Red Bull Toyota)
· One win, two top fives, seven top 10s; three poles
The Top 10 Following Race 14 of 36
1. Carl Edwards 492
2. Jimmie Johnson 486
3. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 482
4. Kevin Harvick 481
5. Kyle Busch 461
6. Kurt Busch 457
7. Matt Kenseth 448
8. Clint Bowyer 419
9. Tony Stewart 417
10. Ryan Newman 417
· Michigan International Speedway sits on more than 1,400 acres in the “Irish Hills” of Southeastern Michigan. Ground-breaking took place on Sept. 28, 1967.
· The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan was held June 15, 1969.
· The track was known as Michigan Speedway during the time Roger Penske was the primary owner (1996-99).
· There have been 83 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Michigan International Speedway since the first race there in 1969. Other than 1973, which had just one race, there have been two races each season since 1969.
· The first race was 500 miles in length; the second was scheduled for 600. The track was re-measured to 2.04 miles for the last race in 1970 and both races in 1971 – with the race distance being 402 miles. All other races have been scheduled for 400 miles.
· Donnie Allison won the first pole.
· The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was won by Cale Yarborough.
· There have been 40 different pole winners, led by David Pearson, with 10.
· 33 different drivers have won races, led by David Pearson (nine); 18 have more than one victory there.
· The race winner has started from the pole 16 times, the most productive starting position. Brian Vickers was the last driver to win from the pole the fall race of 2009.
· 65 of 83 races have been won from a top-10 starting position, including 46 from the first four spots.
· The deepest in the field a race winner has started was 32nd, by Mark Martin in the 2009 June race.
· The Wood Brothers and Roush Fenway Racing both have 11 wins, more than any other car owners.
· Among active drivers, Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth average a top-10 finish. Edwards, who has two Michigan wins, has an average finish of 6.3. Edwards’ first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start came at Michigan. Kenseth, who also has two victories, has an average finish of 9.8.