Saturday, August 27, 2016

Michigan Sprint Cup Notes following final practices

Tony Stewart last won at Michigan in 2000 and is 30/1 to win Sunday.
IS JIMMIE JOHNSON READY TO MAKE A CHARGE IN THE CHASE?

BROOKLYN, Mich. – Jimmie Johnson was looking for a glimmer of hope, and he found it in Friday afternoon’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying session at Michigan International Speedway.

No, Johnson didn’t win the pole for Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 (2 p.m. ET on NBCSN). That distinction went to Joey Logano. But Johnson ran second in the knockout session, and what’s more important, the six-time champion and his Hendrick Motorsports teammates outshined the entries from Joe Gibbs Racing, the dominant organization in the series this year.

“I do believe we’re showing signs (of improvement),” Johnson said. “And I’m living it, so I guess I’m looking for those little signs and rays of light and maybe others don’t see it. And I really try hard not to BS you guys when you ask the questions.

“But I could say in the last couple of months, we have seen some bright spots. We just need a little more consistency with it; and then most importantly, stop making mistakes. I’m part of that as well.”

Johnson won twice in the first five events of the season, at Atlanta and Fontana, but since then he has posted only four top-five finishes. Then again, racing in the summer hasn’t been one of Johnson’s strong suits.

“I’ve been able to win championships having a slow summer, which most of my summers have been slow,” Johnson said. “And then there’s a few where we were quick through them.

“When you think of the tracks that we race on during the summer months, although they are very challenging and aerodynamics do come into play, they’re not your traditional 1.5-miles and they’re really not a lot like the tracks we race on during the Chase. And, they’re not my best tracks. My best tracks really are during those final 10 events.”

Though one qualifying session doesn’t establish a trend, it was enough to give Johnson’s confidence a significant boost.

“Past history shows when you get hot, you can stay hot,” he said. “We hope we’re heating up and on the verge of getting hot.”

SPEEDS PICK UP IN SECOND RUN WITH NEW RULES PACKAGE:

For the first time since NASCAR began testing a prospective lower-downforce competition package for 2017, the Sprint Cup Series is returning to a speedway for the second time with the new configuration.

Predictability, crew chiefs have learned quite a bit since the package debuted at Michigan International Speedway in June.

“I think everyone is running a little faster – about a half a second faster than what they did with this package last time, which tells me teams are getting smarter,” said Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin, who qualified third for Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400.

“It doesn’t take long. Once you take downforce away, these teams start to adjust, get their balance better and you see faster speeds. These are pretty quick speeds for this spoiler that’s on it. I think we’ll see how it all pans out in the race – I know it was tough to really pass in the race (in June). Hopefully, that’s a little better this time as well.”

That Hamlin claimed the third starting spot for Sunday’s race is no surprise. The driver of the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota has started from the top 12 for every race this season, with an average qualifying position of 6.2.

But Hamlin had a problem during Happy Hour on Saturday afternoon. Early in the practice session, his car broke traction in Turn 4 and spun into the infield grass on the frontstretch.

“That came out of nowhere,” said Hamlin, who had posted the fastest speed in the session to that point (197.878 mph).

SHORT STROKES:

On a cool track, Tony Stewart topped the speed chart in Saturday morning’s first NASCAR Sprint Cup practice session at 202.122 mph—faster than Joey Logano’s pole speed of 201.698 from Friday afternoon. Rookie Ryan Blaney was second fastest on Saturday morning at 201.427 mph. … A different rookie was second quickest behind Hamlin in final Sprint Cup practice. Chase Elliott, who leads the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings by 48 points over Blaney, ran 197.786 mph before nearby lightning brought a premature halt to the session.

- Reid Spencer / NASCAR Wire Service

Final Michigan Driver Ratings: 2016 Pure Michigan 400

Jimmie Johnson looks like a strong contender to win at Michigan. 
Hendrick Motorsports amassed 242 Sprint Cup victories and 11 driver championships since the team was created in 1984, but they've been in an 18 race winless drought since last winning in March at Fontana. Based on Friday's qualifying and Saturday's final practices at Michigan International Speedway, the streak might be coming to an end Sunday as Jimmie Johnson and Chase Elliott have things figured out with the new reduced downforce package.

The new package which was used on a trial basis in the June 12 Michigan race and last month at Kentucky Speedway uses a shorter splitter and spoiler with the idea of creating more passing and giving more appeal to the fans. The Team Penske Fords had things dialed in the most with wins in the those races, but the Hendrick crew looks stronger this week.

Adjusted odds at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook show just how much respect they have for the Hendrick duo following practices with Johnson being adjusted from 15-to-1 down to 8-to-1 and Elliott from 20-to-1 to 10-to-1. Both start in the top-five where 56 of the past 94 Michigan winners (60 percent) all-time have started.

Elliott had the third fastest lap (201.196 mph) in Saturday's early practice and was second fastest (197.786) during a shortened happy hour, where he also had the second-best 10-consecutive lap average. Johnson had the second best 10-consecutive lap average in the early session and the third fastest lap (197.694) in happy hour.

Read more here......LVRJ



Micah Roberts' Sprint Cup Driver Ratings
Pure Michigan 400
Michigan International Speedway
Sunday, August 28, 2016 - 11:18 am PT

RATING  DRIVER    ODDS                  PRACTICE 1          QUALIFIED          PRACTICE 2          PRACTICE 3 
 1. Jimmie Johnson 15/1            2nd                 2nd                 9th                3rd
2014 winner with 16.9 average finish in 29 starts; best 10-consecutive lap average in practice 2.
 2. Joey Logano 6/1                   3rd                  1st                16th                7th 
Two-time winner (2013, 2016), both from the pole. Four of past six Michigan races won from pole.
 3. Brad Keselowski 7/1            13th                 18th               14th                5th
2012 runner-up; the Michgan native has finished ninth or better in past five on home track.
 4. Chase Elliott 20/1                  7th                  5th                 3rd                2nd
Career-best runner-up in June race leading 35 laps; looks to have car just as good as Johnson's.
 5. Kyle Busch 8/1                     6th                 16th               12th               21st
2011 winner, but 34th-place average last six starts; best 10-consecutive lap average in practice 2.
 6. Denny Hamlin 12/1              11th                  3rd                17th               1st
Two-time winner (2009, 2010), fifth in this race last season; 4.8 average in past five 2016 races.
 7. Kevin Harvick 6/1                 12th                  4th                 7th               20th 
2010 winner, runner-up in five of last seven; using Kentucky chassis - led 128 laps finishing ninth.
 8. Carl Edwards 8/1                 10th                  9th                11th               9th
Two-time winner (2007, 2008), active leader with 9.5 average finish. Two wins in Xfinity Series.
 9. Kyle Larson 15/1                   5th                 12th                 5th                8th
Career-best third in June race using same package; best 10-consecutive lap average practice 3.
10. Tony Stewart 30/1                9th                 15th                 1st               12th
2000 winner with 12.3 average finish in 33 starts; finished fifth at Kentucky using same package.

Note: NASCAR is using a reduced downforce package (shorter spoiler and splitter) on a trial basis. It's been used this season during the first Michigan race and Kentucky -- both won by Team Penske Fords.

Odds courtesy of Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook.

Micah Roberts, a former sports book director, has been been setting NASCAR lines in Las Vegas since 1994. Follow on Twitter @MicahRoberts7

Friday, August 26, 2016

Martin Truex Jr. fastest during first Michigan practice

Martin Truex Jr. is looking for his first Michigan win.
Martin Truex Jr. posted the fastest lap during Friday's practice session at Michigan International Speedway in preparation for Sunday's Pure Michigan 400. The lap at 201.545 mph came on the fifth of his nine laps run while in qualifying trim.

Jimmie Johnson had the next fastest lap (201.134) on the fifth of his six laps turned and Joey Logano was next (200.966) on the 18th and final lap run during the session. Ryan Blaney was fourth-fastest (200.775) followed by Kyle Larson (200.730) to round out the top-five where all three manufacturers were represented.

Larson had the fastest 10-consecutive lap average, but only two drivers attempted as many laps in a row. Tony Stewart was the other driver and he also paced the way with the most laps turned (29). He ended up with the ninth fastest lap (200.189) on what will be his final Cup weekend at Michigan.

Alex Bowman had the next most laps ran with 24 as he returns to the No. 88 as Dale Earnhardt Jr. is still sidelined with concussion symptoms.

Qualifying will take place late Friday afternoon and two more practice sessions will occur Saturday morning.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Carl Edwards goes for third Michigan win

Carl Edwards is 7/1 to win Pure Micgigan 400.
Carl Edwards / No. 19 ARRIS Toyota Preview
Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway

No. 19 ARRIS Toyota News and Notes


MICHIGAN: Edwards and the No. 19 ARRIS team return to the Irish Hills of Michigan for the Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway. Edwards made his first Sprint Cup Series start there in 2004 and finished 10th on the 2-mile speedway. He has enjoyed success there, winning two Sprint Cup Series races in 2007 and 2008 and two XFINITY races there in 2008 and 2011.

EDWARDS’ STATS AT MICHIGAN: In 24 Sprint Cup Series starts at Michigan, Edwards has completed 4,645 of 4,677 laps (99.3 percent) and has led for a total of 337 laps. Edwards has earned two wins, nine top-five and 17 top-10 finishes there. His average start is 17.5 and his average finish is 9.5.

RACE INFO: Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway (2-mile) begins at 2:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 28th. The race will be broadcast live on NBCSN, Sirius XM Channel 90 and MRN Radio.

Edwards’ 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Season Stats:
StartsWinsTop 5Top 10PolesLaps LedAvg. StartAvg. Finish
23271457416.811.9
Edwards’ Career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Stats:
StartsWinsTop 5Top 10PolesLaps LedAvg. StartAvg. Finish
43227122216215,95914.313.4

From the Cockpit:
Carl Edwards:
”I am really looking forward to the Michigan race. The lower down force package should provide some great racing there, especially the second time around, there’s a little more rubber on the track, and possibly some higher temperatures to widen out the groove. We’ve been having a lot of fun. We’ve been fast, been qualifying well and racing well. Michigan is a place that really tests every part of your team. You have to have great engines, which we do from TRD. You have to have great cars and bodies, which we do. The pit crew has to be on their game. My guys have been doing great lately. You have to make good calls the whole day. Dave Rogers and I will go there and just keep doing what we’ve been doing and hopefully we get ARRIS a win. I have a couple wins in the cup car and Xfinity series. It’s always been a really cool place to go. There is a lot of pride on the line in Michigan because it’s the domestic manufacturers’ backyard. If you can win there, you know you’ve done a good job. I would be really proud to put Toyota in victory lane.”

From the Pit Box:
Dave Rogers:
“The No.19 ARRIS team fought a long hard battle at the first Michigan race. Our Toyota had a lot of speed throughout the weekend, but we had a difficult time getting the balance where Carl needed it. At one point, we found ourselves a lap down, but battled back and put ourselves in contention for a possible win at the end. These are the races that we like to return to – this team seeks the challenge of changing things up and making improvements. We look forward to building on what we started with this low downforce aero package and are optimistic we can provide Carl with a car he can run up front with. We’re ready to race Michigan.”

No. 19 ARRIS SURFboard Toyota / Joe Gibbs Racing Team:
Driver – Carl Edwards Crew Chief – Dave Rogers Car Chief – Eric Phillips
Engineer – Lee Hallman Engineer – Chris Yerges Tire Specialist – Jamie Turski
Mechanic – Zack Miller Mechanic – Jerad Hewitt Mechanic – Joe Florelli
Engine Tuner – James Dudley Spotter – Jason Hedlesky Shock Specialist – Ron Denton
Jackman – Trey Burklin Front Tire Changer – Clay Robinson Rear Tire Changer – Kip Wolfmeir
Pit Support – Matt Tyrrell Front Tire Carrier – Kevin Harris Rear Tire Carrier – Matt Ver Meer
Pit Support – Ben Surface Gasman – Kenneth Purcell Truck Drivers – Kyle Bazzell & Jeff Icenhour

ABOUT ARRIS
ARRIS International plc. (NASDAQ: ARRS) is a world leader in entertainment and communications technology. Our innovations combine hardware, software, and services across the cloud, network, and home to power TV and Internet for millions of people around the globe. The people of ARRIS collaborate with the world’s top service providers, content providers, and retailers to advance the state of our industry and pioneer tomorrow’sconnected world. For more information, visit www.arris.com.

For the latest ARRIS news:
Check out our blog: ARRIS EVERYWHERE
Follow us on Twitter: @ARRIS

- Joe Gibbs Racing

2016 Pure Michigan 400 Betting Preview

Can Brad Keselowski finally win on his home track?
LAS VEGAS -- There have been 94 previous NASCAR Sprint Cup races held at Michigan International Speedway with the backdrop of the Motor City making it kind of a manufacturer's World Series. Ford leads the all-time battle with 35 wins while Chevrolet has 23 and the new kid of the block, Toyota, has five.

The 24th race of the season takes us to back to Michigan for Sunday's Pure Michigan 400, the second and final race of the season on the wide 2-mile oval.

Historically, the track fact that glaringly stands is that qualifying matters with 56 of the races won from a top-five start position (60%) and 71 races won from a top-10 (76%). The pole winner has won 19 times, including four of the last six races. Those are facts to seriously consider heading into this weekend.

The big story coming in to this week will be the reduced downforce package being applied again just as it was in the first Michigan race June 12 and the Kentucky race on July 9.

The idea with this package that decreases the size of the splitter and spoilers is to create more opportunities for the drivers to pass and create better racing for fans. The cars will not stick as well around the turns meaning it gives the drivers more control of theirs cars, which they love. If they take it too strong into the corners, they'll slip and hit the wall. They'll have to feather the gas pedal gently in and out of turns and find the perfect mix of getting maximum speed without wrecking, making it kind of a tight-wire walk or like driving on ice. It's all on them, but they still need big horsepower.

In the June Michigan race there were 14 lead changes among eight drivers, which isn't all that exciting as intended, but the volatile nature of the package showed up as there were nine cautions. At Kentucky there was 16 lead changes among nine drivers and whopping 11 cautions. It's apparent that quite a few drivers were having some difficulties sticking. All it takes is one mishap around one of the four turns and that's it for their day, and they have to do it error-free for 200 laps.

Surprisingly, a Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota didn't win any of those races -- they've won 11 of 23 races this season. It was a Team Penske Ford winning each time with Joey Loganotaking Michigan from the pole and Brad Keselowskiwinning at Kentucky. That alone should give comfort in the idea that someone can beat the Gibbs cars this week, but the books know this too so don't expect chunky prices on the duo. They appear to be ahead of the curve a bit with this package, so let's check out their resume's.

Logano has only one win this season, and that came at Michigan with this package. He's been just a bit behind the Gibbs cars but has still managed to have nine top-five finishes, which is third-best in the series. He's a two-time winner at Michigan (won in 2013, also from the pole) and is currently on a run of seven straight finishes of ninth or better. He likes the track and he likes the package, which is why he should probably be considered the favorite over the Gibbs cars.

Keselowski hails from Michigan and wants to win at his home track more than any other. His career best finish was runner-up in 2012 and he's averaged a sixth-place finish in his last five starts, including fourth with this new package in June. He's currently the series co-leader with four wins on the year.

Read More Here.....Top-5 Finish Prediction at VegasInsider.com

Kyle Busch 31st or worse five of last six races at Michigan

Kyle Busch is 8/1 to win Pure Michigan 400.
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (Aug. 23, 2016) – During the 19th century, the Irish Hills area of Michigan – located near U.S. 12 just about halfway between Detroit and Chicago – was a well-known stopping point during the five-day stagecoach trip between the two large Midwest cities.

At the turn of the century, the Irish Hills turned into an enjoyable tourist destination with its plush, green landscape and more than 30 lakes for vacationers and residents to enjoy in peace and quiet.
For the last several decades, the Irish Hills come to life two weekends per year and become anything but peaceful and quiet when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series visits Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn for some of the state’s biggest sporting events.

Kyle Busch, driver of the driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), hopes his colorful green-and-white-striped paint scheme brings a little bit of good fortune his way during his stopover in the Irish Hills for Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400.

Busch won the Pure Michigan 400 in August 2011 for his first Sprint Cup triumph at the 2-mile oval. However, the track was repaved prior to the 2012 season and, while he scored a solid fourth-place finish on the surface in June 2013, he has had six finishes of 30th or worse in the other eight races contested on the fresh pavement. This weekend, Busch looks to overcome that recent string of bad luck at Michigan and turn his fortunes around on the blazing fast oval.

This weekend’s race will also feature something familiar with the June race, as NASCAR will bring back the even lower downforce package that was run earlier this season at MIS. Busch was unable to run the full race to see how the revision of the low downforce package would do for him, as an engine issue in the race’s first half ended his race after having run just 52 laps.

So, as Busch and the Interstate Batteries team head to the Midwest this weekend, they’ll hope to luck of the Irish is on their side and that the green-and-white-striped Camry. They look to score a fifth Sprint Cup victory of the season Sunday afternoon in the Irish Hills of Michigan and perhaps the second win for the Interstate colors this season as the longtime sponsor continues to celebrate its 25th Anniversary season with JGR.

KYLE BUSCH, Driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing:

What are your thoughts heading to Michigan after plenty of bad luck there recently?

“It was a bit different with the low downforce package sand the additional downforce taken off, but still tough to totally get a handle of. What we learned last time at Michigan – I felt like we ran well. We were running fourth to sixth or so and having a decent day early, and then we had an engine issue and not able to show what we really had, so I essentially finished, I think last. Not such a good day for us but I felt like our car was fast enough to be capable of running in the top-10, and so I look forward to going back there and trying to see if we can’t do that again. It’s a place that you learn a little bit for Kansas because they’re both fresh repaves and I think you run on the same tire at both tracks – I can’t remember. But, it’s a place that you can learn some stuff for Kansas, so we like that and hoping we can finally get the monkey off our back there with our Interstate Batteries Camry this weekend.”

Most drivers really seem to enjoy racing at Michigan International Speedway. Why is that?

“Regardless of newer pavement or not, it’s wide-open racing, and I’m looking forward to it getting back to running from the bottom all the way to the top, it will eventually happen but the track needs some time to get wore out a bit. The biggest thing used to be to find grip there. But, with the new surface, there is a ton of grip now. Before, you had grip for maybe five laps and then you’d just be out to lunch. But now, the tire wear is all out the window and the racetrack is going to be very fast. And the wide racetrack is good. That’s what makes Michigan so exciting and so fun. That’s the biggest deal about it.”

How do you think the rules package from an aero standpoint is starting to shape up as you have run the low downforce package at Michigan and Kentucky, and again this weekend for a second time at Michigan?
“I guess the quote unquote 2017 package is what we’ve run at Michigan, Charlotte All-Star race, Kentucky so you know I’m for it. I think it’s a positive. I feel as though the last couple years we’ve moved in a direction where we were adding downforce to the cars and I would say that it wasn’t necessarily putting on a better show. The cars were for a lack of a better term call it too easy to drive and it was too hard to pass. So, now you’re taking downforce away and I feel like you’re giving more opportunity to the drivers – the good drivers – to showcase their talent and put themselves farther towards the front of the field and not get trapped in or stuck behind other cars or drivers that aren’t quite as good or capable of being able to run towards the front. It does create passing given the opportunities and does levy itself more towards what the drivers have been asking for. We didn’t get to run enough at Michigan in June to learn a bunch, but hopefully we do this time around and it’s a benefit to us and our Interstate Batteries team.”

You won the last race before the Michigan track was resurfaced. How much did the track change over the winters since the first race there on the new pavement?
“I think it has aged a bit and widened out a little bit more and we were better there in June. We just had some unfortunate luck with a engine issue. We struggled on the repaved tracks the last couple of years, but we were much improved at Kansas than we were there last year, so that gives me hope that we can do the same at Michigan this week. We just have to keep working hard and chip away at it like we approached the race at Kansas. I’m hoping we can learn enough in practice that we can have a good run there this weekend. One of the biggest things on repaved tracks is track position. Adam (Stevens, crew chief) and the Interstate Batteries guys have worked really hard on our setups there and we’ve been gaining on it, just feels like we haven’t had the luck that we are hoping to have. It will have to start with a good qualifying effort and seeing what we can learn in practice Saturday and have things go our way there a bit more.”

- True Speed Communication for Interstate Batteries Racing / Joe Gibbs Racing

Westgate odds to win 2016 Pure Michigan 400

Team Penske Fords look like they're capable of beating Gibbs at Michigan.
WESTGATE LAS VEGAS SUPER BOOK
ODDS TO WIN PURE MICHIGAN 400
SUNDAY, AUGUST 28, 2016 - 2:18 PM ET


Joey LOGANO 6/1
Kevin HARVICK 6/1
Brad KESELOWSKI 7/1
Matt KENSETH 7/1
Carl EDWARDS 7/1
Martin TRUEX JR 7/1
Kyle BUSCH 8/1
Denny HAMLIN 12/1
Jimmie JOHNSON 15/1
Kyle LARSON 15/1
Kurt BUSCH 18/1
Dale EARNHARDT JR 18/1
Chase ELLIOTT 20/1
Tony STEWART 30/1
Austin DILLON 40/1
Ryan NEWMAN 80/1
Ryan BLANEY 100/1
Kasey KAHNE 100/1
Jamie McMURRAY 100/1
Paul MENARD 100/1
Greg BIFFLE 200/1
Ricky STENHOUSE JR 200/1
Chris BUESCHER 300/1
Trevor BAYNE 300/1
AJ ALLMENDINGER 300/1
Clint BOWYER 500/1
Danica PATRICK 500/1
Aric ALMIROLA 500/1
Casey MEARS 1000/1
FIELD 50/1


PURE MICHIGAN 400
DRIVER MATCH-UPS
Joey LOGANO - 110
Kevin HARVICK - 110

Joey LOGANO - 130
Brad KESELOWSKI +110

Joey LOGANO - 130
Martin TRUEX JR +110

Brad KESELOWSKI +110
Kevin HARVICK - 130

Brad KESELOWSKI - 110
Martin TRUEX JR - 110

Kevin HARVICK - 130
Martin TRUEX JR +110

Carl EDWARDS - 110
Matt KENSETH - 110

Carl EDWARDS - 130
Kyle BUSCH +110

Carl EDWARDS - 165
Denny HAMLIN +145

Matt KENSETH - 130
Kyle BUSCH +110

Martin Truex Jr. is 7/1 to win at Michigan

Martin Truex Jr. finished 12th at Michigan in June, leading 10 laps.
DENVER, Colo. (Aug. 23, 2016) –When it comes to racing at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) for Martin Truex Jr. the anticipation level takes a sudden jump. The Furniture Row Racing driver feels strongly he is overdue for a victory at the 2-mile oval located in the Irish Hills.

“Looking back at the past three races at MIS we had the speed to get a victory or two,” said Truex. “We came close twice last year with a pair of third-place finishes and back in June we were once again competitive — qualified second, led laps before spinning while passing a lapped car. That was another opportunity that we let slip away.”

Truex, who is Chase bound with a ranking of eighth in driver points and 10th in Chase playoff points, has three races remaining before NASCAR’s version of post-season competition commences.

“Performance wise I feel we’re right there to have a competitive playoff run,” said Truex, who advanced to the final four last year. “But these past five or six weeks it seemed like something went wrong every race that prevented us from having a finish that our performance deserved. To have another run in the playoffs like we had last season we need to take advantage of strong performances by closing the deal.”

Though NASCAR is instituting a lower downforce package for Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 Sprint Cup Series race at MIS, Truex feels his No. 78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Toyota will continue to be fast.

“I have all the confidence in our guys, led by crew chief Cole Pearn,” said Truex. “They keep on bringing fast cars to the track no matter what the rules package we’re running. Michigan is our type of track and I feel we’ll have a contending car on Sunday.”

Truex added, “Michigan is one of my favorite areas on the circuit and that’s one of many reasons I would like to win there. MIS is also the closest track to the hometown (London, Ontario) of our crew chief Cole Pearn and engineer Ryan Kelly. Sherry (Pollex, Truex’s girlfriend) is a Michigan native as is our mechanic Gary Frost (from Romeo).”

In 21 career Sprint Cup starts at MIS, Truex has notched five top fives and seven top 10s. He has a 14.4 starting average and a 16.3 finishing average. He scored a pair of runner-up finishes at MIS in 2007.

- DMF Communications for Furniture Row Racing

Austin Dillon using Paul Menard's Atlanta chassis at Michigan

Austin Dillon is 40/1 to win at Michigan on Sunday.
This Week’s Cheerios Chevrolet SS at Michigan International Speedway … Austin Dillon will pilot chassis No. 528 in the Pure Michigan 400. This Chevrolet SS has been utilized by both the No. 31 team (Kansas and Homestead in 2015) and the No. 27 team (Atlanta 2016).

Dillon at Michigan International Speedway … In his junior season on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series tour, Michigan International Speedway ranks as one of Dillon’s most seasoned tracks with eight starts at the two-mile facility. He finished fourth in August 2015 to earn his best finish at the track and finished eighth in his most recent start in June 2016. He also earned his best starting position, fourth, in August 2015.

#CheerThe3 … Dillon continues a long-standing Richard Childress Racing tradition this weekend by carrying General Mills’ Cheerios brand on the No. 3 Chevrolet. General Mills has been an active sponsor in motorsports for more than 15 years, working with drivers including Austin and Ty Dillon, Jeff Burton, Clint Bowyer, Bobby Labonte, Mark Martin and Johnny Benson. Both Dillon brothers made their Daytona 500 debut with General Mills, with Austin in the Honey Nut Cheerios Chevrolet in 2013 and Ty in the Cheerios Chevrolet in 2015. In 2016, Cheerios is celebrating its 75th anniversary. The cereal debuted as “Cheerioats” in 1941. Cheerios has been a family favorite of the Dillon and Childress families for years. Its wholesome goodness is perfect for toddlers to adults and everyone in between. Made from whole grain oats, and without artificial flavors or colors, they’re naturally low in fat and cholesterol free. These wholesome little “o’s” have only one gram of sugar!

Dirt Trackin’ … Prior to arriving to Michigan International Speedway, Dillon is scheduled to race his Dirt Late Model in the American Ethanol Late Model Series at Tri City Motor Speedway in Auburn, Michigan on Wednesday, August 24. The race is located just a few miles away from Dow’s Midland, Michigan-based corporate headquarters.

Playin’ Hoops for Kids … Austin and Ty Dillon are hosting a 3-on-3 Celebrity Basketball Tournament presented by The Dow Chemical Company to benefit the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma at Wake Forest University’s Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday, Aug. 31. The 16-team, double-elimination tournament will start at 4 p.m.

General admission and parking at LJVM for the event are FREE. For more information and tournament updates please visit https://saveinjuredkids.org/basketball/

AUSTIN DILLON QUOTES:

We’re going back to Michigan International Speedway with the lower low downforce air package that you ran there in June. Are you happy that the decision was made to go back to Michigan with that same package?

“I’m very excited because I enjoy Michigan International Speedway. I’m just glad to be going to Michigan. Period. I don’t care about the packages. I think RCR has done a good job of going through the motions to get our aero department right to take advantage of these changes. Hopefully we settle in soon and start winning. I just enjoy the track, more than anything.”

Michigan was freshly re-paved just a few years ago. Is it beginning to widen out at all?
“I didn’t notice a whole lot in June. The low line was pretty stout. Hopefully, as time goes on it does widen out more but I think the preferred line would be right through the middle.”

- Richard Childress Racing

Michigan International Speedway Track Facts: 2016 Pure Michigan 400

The new low downforce package will be used at Michigan this weekend.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 2016 Top 10 at Michigan International Speedway

Driver
Races
Poles
Wins
Top Fives
Top 10s
DNFs
Average Finish
Driver Rating
 
 
1
Kevin Harvick
31
1
1
9
14
1
12.9
92.7
 
2
Brad Keselowski
14
0
0
4
7
0
13
92.4
 
3
Kurt Busch
31
2
3
5
11
8
20.2
90.5
 
4
Carl Edwards
24
1
2
9
17
0
9.5
101.3
 
5
Joey Logano
15
2
2
4
10
1
12.8
96.7
 
6
Kyle Busch
23
0
1
4
6
3
20.5
86.6
 
7
Denny Hamlin
21
0
2
6
9
3
15.5
88.8
 
8
Martin Truex Jr
21
0
0
5
7
1
16.3
83.5
 
9
Jimmie Johnson
29
0
1
5
11
3
16.8
99.2
 
10
Matt Kenseth
34
1
3
14
20
1
10.3
102.7
 
* – Based on last 23 races at Michigan International Speedway (2005 – 2016).

Michigan International Speedway Data
Season Race #: 24 of 36 (08-28-16)
Track Size: 2-miles
Banking/Turn 1 & 2: 18 degrees
Banking/Turn 3 & 4: 18 degrees
Banking/Frontstretch: 5 degrees
Banking/Backstretch: 2 degrees
Frontstretch Length:  3,600 feet
Backstretch Length:  2,242 feet
Race Length: 200 laps / 400 miles

Top 10 Driver Ratings at Michigan
Chase Elliott............................. 123.8
Matt Kenseth............................ 102.7
Carl Edwards............................ 101.3
Greg Biffle................................ 100.6
Jimmie Johnson.......................... 99.2
Joey Logano............................... 96.7
Tony Stewart.............................. 93.8
Kevin Harvick.............................. 92.7
Brad Keselowski......................... 92.4
Kurt Busch.................................. 90.5
Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2016 races (23 total) among active drivers at Michigan International Speedway.

Qualifying/Race Data
2015 pole winner:
Matt Kenseth, Toyota
197.488 mph, 36.458 secs. 08-14-15

2015 race winner:
Matt Kenseth, Toyota
143.455 mph, (02:47:18), 08-16-15

Track qualifying record:
Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet
206.558 mph, 34.857 secs. 08-17-14

Track race record:
Dale Jarrett, Ford
173.997 mph, (2:17:56), 06-13-99

At Michigan International Speedway:
History
·         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 – won by Cale Yarborough at a speed of 139.254 mph.
·         The track was known as Michigan Speedway during the time Roger Penske was the primary owner (1996-99).
·         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.
·         The 2-mile speedway underwent a repave in 2012.
Starts
·         There have been 94 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 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.
·         381 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway; 280 in more than one.
·         Bill Elliott leads the series in starts at Michigan with 61. Matt Kenseth leads all active drivers with 33.
·         Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Michigan with a 9.724.
·         A total of 38 drivers have made their first series start at Michigan International Speedway.
·         Two active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers have posted their first career start at Michigan International Speedway: Carl Edwards (8/22/2004) and Landon Cassill (6/13/2010).
Poles
·         Donnie Allison won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Michigan in 1969 with a speed of 160.135 mph.  
·         47 drivers have Coors Light poles at Michigan, led by David Pearson with 10. Kasey Kahne leads all active drivers with three.
·         Six drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles at Michigan. David Pearson holds the record for most consecutive poles at Michigan with five; fall 1976 through 1978.
·         Youngest Michigan pole winner: Joey Logano (08/16/2013 – 23 years, 2 months, 23 days).
·         Oldest Michigan pole winner: Mark Martin (08/19/2012 – 53 years, 7 months, 10 days).
·         36 different NSCS drivers have won at Michigan International Speedway, led by David Pearson with nine wins;Greg Biffle leads all active drivers with four; followed by Kurt Busch and Matt Kenseth with three each.  
·         Eight drivers have posted consecutive wins at Michigan International Speedway, including four consecutive byBill Elliott (1985 sweep and 1986 sweep).
·         Greg Biffle (2004-2005 and 2012-2013) and Ryan Newman (2003-2004) are the only two active drivers to win consecutive series races at Michigan.
·         Youngest Michigan winner: Joey Logano (08/18/2013 – 23 years, 2 months, 25 days).
·         Oldest Michigan winner: Harry Gant (08/16/1992 – 52 years, 7 months, 6 days).
·         Roush Fenway Racing has the most wins at Michigan in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with 13: Mark Martin(four), Greg Biffle (four), Carl Edwards (two), Matt Kenseth (two) and Kurt Busch (one).
·         Eight different manufacturers have won in the NSCS at Michigan; led by Ford with 35 victories; followed byChevrolet with 23, Mercury (12), Dodge (nine), Toyota (five), Buick (four) Pontiac (four) and Oldsmobile (two).
·         20 of the 94 (21.3%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Michigan have been won from the Coors Light pole; the last two races have been won from the pole - Matt Kenseth (Aug. 2015) and Joey Logano (June 2016).
·         The Coors Light pole position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (20) than any other starting position at Michigan International Speedway.    
·         28 of the 94 (29.8%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Michigan have been won from the front row: 20 from the pole and eight from second-place.
·         56 of the 94 (59.6%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Michigan have been won from a top-five starting position.
·         71 of the 94 (75.5%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Michigan have been won from a top-10 starting position.
·         Seven of the 94 (7.4%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Michigan have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.

Wins

·         The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Michigan is 32nd, by Mark Martin in the spring of 2009.
·         All active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners at Michigan International Speedway participated in at least one or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Tony Stewart won at Michigan in his third appearance, the fewest previous starts among the active NSCS winners.     
·         Among the active NSCS Michigan winners Kevin Harvick (19), Kyle Busch (13) and Joey Logano (10) all made 10 or more attempts before their first win.
Additional Finishing Position Stats
·         Jeff Gordon leads the series in runner-up finishes at Michigan with eight; followed by Darrell Waltrip with seven and Kevin Harvick with six.
·         NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough leads the series in top-five finishes at Michigan with 21; Matt Kenseth leads all active drivers with 14.   
·         Mark Martin leads the series in top-10 finishes at Michigan with 31. Tony Stewart leads all active drivers with 21.
·         Carl Edwards leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Michigan with a 9.500.
·         Jamie McMurray leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Michigan without visiting Victory Lane at 27; followed by Casey Mears at 26.
Track/Event Specific Stats
·         Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory (MOV) in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Michigan International Speedway was the June 10, 2001 race won by Jeff Gordon over Ricky Rudd with a MOV of 0.085 second.
·         There have been two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races resulting with a green-white-checkered finish at Michigan International Speedway (Scheduled No. of Laps/Actual No. of Laps): fall of 2011 (200/203); and fall of 2012 (200/201).
·         Five of the 94 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Michigan International Speedway have been shortened due to weather conditions; the most recent was the event on 6/14/2015.    
·         Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Michigan International Speedway four times; most recently the spring of 2008 race.   
·         Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps led at Michigan with 650 laps led in 29 starts.

Female Competitor Stats
·         Four female drivers have competed at Michigan International Speedway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series:Janet Guthrie, Robin McCall, Shawna Robinson and Danica Patrick. Of the four female drivers to compete at Michigan, Guthrie has the best finish (10th).  
Driver
Starting Position
Finishing Position
Date
Danica Patrick
25
21
6/12/2016
Danica Patrick
23
25
8/16/2015
Danica Patrick
19
16
6/14/2015
Danica Patrick
14
18
8/17/2014
Danica Patrick
27
17
6/15/2014
Danica Patrick
28
23
8/18/2013
Danica Patrick
37
13
6/16/2013
Patrick Averages
24.7
19.0

Shawna Robinson
32
34
6/10/2001
Robinson Averages
32
34

Robin McCall
29
33
8/22/1982
Robin McCall
35
29
6/20/1982
McCall Averages
32
31

Janet Guthrie
18
27
8/20/1978
Janet Guthrie
15
10
8/22/1977
Janet Guthrie
12
26
6/19/1977
Guthrie Averages
15
21


NASCAR in Michigan
·         There have been 99 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at four different tracks in Michigan.
Track Name
City
NSCS
Michigan International Speedway
Brooklyn
94
Grand River Speedrome
Grand Rapids
2
Michigan State Fairgrounds
Detroit
2
Monroe Speedway
Monroe
1
·         The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in the state of Michigan was at Grand River Speedrome in Grand Rapids, Michigan on 7/1/1951 – won by Marshall Teague from the pole in a Hudson.
·         98 drivers in NASCAR national series history have their home state recorded as Michigan.
·         Nine of the 98 have won at least one race in NASCAR’s national series.
Driver
NSCS
NXS
NCWTS
Brad Keselowski
21
34
1
Paul Goldsmith
9
0
0
Johnny Benson
1
3
14
Erik Jones
0
5
7
Tim Fedewa
0
4
0
Butch Miller
0
2
1
Tracy Leslie
0
1
0
Jack Sprague
0
1
28
Bob Keselowski
0
0
1


NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Milestones

 
Active Full-Time and Part-Time Drivers this Season
Drivers
Has
Needs
Milestones
David Ragan
349
1
Become the 71st driver in series history to make 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career starts.
Regan Smith
199
1
Become the 131st driver in series history to make 200 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career starts.
Tony Stewart
49
1
Tie NASCAR Hall of Famers Ned Jarrett and Junior Johnson for 11th on all-time NSCS wins list
Kyle Busch
38
1
Tie NASCAR Hall of Famer Tim Flock for 18th on all-time NSCS wins list
Matt Kenseth
38
1
Tie NASCAR Hall of Famer Tim Flock for 18th on all-time NSCS wins list
Kevin Harvick
33
1
Break tie with Fireball Roberts to become solely 22nd on all-time wins list
Kurt Busch
28
1
Break the tie with Rex White and Denny Hamlin to become solely 25th on all-time NSCS wins list
Denny Hamlin
28
1
Break the tie with Rex White and Denny Hamlin to become solely 25th on all-time NSCS wins list
Carl Edwards
27
1
Tie Rex White, Kurt Busch and Denny Hamlin for 25th on all-time NSCS wins list
Jimmie Johnson
35
1
Tie Rusty Wallace and Rex White for 17th on all-time NSCS poles list
Kasey Kahne
27
1
Break the tie with Terry Labonte to become solely 25th on all-time NSCS poles list
Denny Hamlin
23
1
Tie Alan Kulwicki for 28th on all-time NSCS poles list
Kevin Harvick
47
1
Tie Lee Petty (48) for 10th on all-time NSCS second-place finishes list
Jimmie Johnson
46
1
Tie Kevin Harvick for 11th on all-time NSCS second-place finishes list
Dale Earnhardt Jr
148
1
Tie Jim Paschal for 22nd on the all-time NSCS top-five finishes list.
Kevin Harvick
147
1
Tie Dale Earnhardt Jr. for 23rd on the all-time NSCS top five finishes list.
Matt Kenseth
300
1
Tie James Hylton (301) for 18th on all-time NSCS top-10 finishes list
Kurt Busch
238
1
Tie NASCAR HOFer Ned Jarrett for 25th on the all-time NSCS top-10 finishes list
Jimmie Johnson
17,938
62
To become ninth NSCS driver all-time to lead 18,000 laps
Tony Stewart
12,818
182
To become 11th NSCS driver all-time to lead 13,000 laps
Matt Kenseth
10,851
149
To become 16th NSCS driver all-time to lead 11,000 laps
Kevin Harvick
9,821
179
To become 17th NSCS driver all-time to lead 10,000 laps
Kurt Busch
8,857
143
To become 20th NSCS driver all-time to lead 9,000 laps

Track Specific Milestones

Active Full-Time and Part-Time Drivers this Season
Drivers
Has
Needs
Milestones
Greg Biffle
4
1
Tie Mark Martin and Rusty Wallace for fourth all-time in NSCS wins at Michigan
Kurt Busch
3
1
Tie Bobby Allison, Dale Jarrett, Greg Biffle, and Richard Petty for sixth all-time in NSCS wins at Michigan
Matt Kenseth
3
1
Tie Bobby Allison, Dale Jarrett, Greg Biffle, and Richard Petty for sixth all-time in NSCS wins at Michigan
Kasey Kahne
3
1
Tie Bobby Labonte for fourth on the all-time NSCS poles list at Michigan
Roger Penske
8
1
Break tie with Joe Gibbs and Rick Hendrick to become solely third on the all-time NSCS wins list at Michigan
Joe Gibbs
8
1
Break tie with Roger Penske and Rick Hendrick to become solely third on the all-time NSCS wins list at Michigan
Rick Hendrick
8
1
Break tie with Joe Gibbs and Roger Penske to become solely third on the all-time NSCS wins list at Michigan