|Kevin Harvick led the most laps in June Michigan race.|
For the second time this season the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series travels to Michigan International Speedway’s wide 2-mile layout with only four races remaining before the Chase field is set. The one big difference from Sunday’s race and the one ran on June 14 is the set-up being used by all the teams.
In June, the teams ran a new aero package that was introduced at the beginning of the season. But after seeing some rather boring races on the 1.5-and 2-mile tracks, NASCAR changed some things up for a couple of races just to see if they could slow the cars down while also making the racing better.
At Kentucky, NASCAR mandated a new low-down force package and it turned out to be the best races of the season. At Indianapolis, they instituted a high-drag package where they raised the spoiler up three inches and the racing was ordinary -- to maybe even weak.
This week at Michigan they’ll be using that same high drag package from Indianapolis, and we‘ll just have to see if the racing will be better. The rain shortened Michigan June race won by Kurt Busch had 17 lead changes among 11 drivers, which looks competitive, but it really wasn't. Indy saw 16 lead changes among only six drivers.
Kyle Busch ended up winning at Indy with the high drag package, but it was Kevin Harvick who led a race high 75 of the 164 laps. Harvick’s domination under the regular package was part of the reason, I believe, NASCAR made changes.
But the funny thing is that despite leading so many laps this season his last win came at Phoenix in March. He’s only got two wins on the year. Four other drivers have two wins and two drivers have four wins, so as much as he's dominating the lap leader charts on these big tracks, he's not winning...on any of them since Las Vegas, the third race of the season.
However, I think that will change this week with Harvick finally getting back into victory lane. He won there in 2010 and had been runner-up in four straight races until getting shuffled to 29th in the rain delay before the race was called. Harvick led a race high 63 of the 138 laps in that race.
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