Wednesday, 17 August 2022

Weekend storylines: Michigan International Speedway

Posted On Friday, 10 June 2016 00:00 Written by
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… Kurt Busch and Matt Kenseth were the winners of last year’s NASCAR Sprint Cup races at MIS. Busch won the Quicken Loans 400 in June, while Kenseth recorded his third Sprint Cup Series victory at MIS in August.

… Jeff Gordon had a track qualifying record of 206.558 mph for the 2014 Pure Michigan 400, the seventh-fastest pole winning speed in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history and the fastest in NASCAR history on a non-restrictor plate track.

… The FireKeepers Casino 400 features seven drivers who have won multiple times at MIS. Greg Biffle has four wins, Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch each have three wins, and Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin and Ryan Newman each have two victories.

… Biffle owns four wins in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series at the track and two more in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at the track. He has one of the best driver ratings at the two-mile racetrack.

… Jeff Gordon had 1,058 laps led in 46 starts at Michigan International Speedway, the second-most laps led in track history. Only Cale Yarborough (1,308) has more laps led than Gordon. Jimmie Johnson has 646 laps led, the most by an active driver.

… Carl Edwards is the only active driver to average a top-10 finish at MIS. Edwards ranks second all-time at MIS with an average finishing position of 9.7 among drivers with at least five Sprint Cup starts since 1969. In 32 career starts at MIS (23 Cup, 7 XFINITY, 2 Truck), Edwards has 22 top-10 finishes (16 in Cup, 4 XFINITY, 2 Truck). Edwards’ first career Sprint Cup Series start came at MIS in August of 2004.

… The FireKeepers Casino 400 will be the 94th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at MIS. In the 93 previous races, there have been 44 different pole winners. David Pearson leads with 10. Kasey Kahne has three poles, the most among active drivers.

… There have been 93 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.

… The race winner has started from the pole 19 times, the most productive starting position. Matt Kenseth (August, 2015) was the last driver to win from the pole. 70 of 93 races have been won from a top 10 starting position, including 49 from the first four spots.

… 36 different drivers have won races, led by David Pearson (nine); 20 drivers have more than one victory at Michigan.

… Roush Fenway Racing has 13 wins at MIS, more than any other team. The Wood Brothers are second with 11 wins.

… Four Keselowskis have raced at MIS. Bob, and his sons, Brad and Brian, have challenged the two-mile track. Also, Ron Keselowski, Bob’s brother, has started races in the Irish Hills. They have combined for 14 starts in ARCA, three starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, nine starts in the XFINITY Series and 22 starts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Ron also started three USSC races. They have two XFINITY wins (Brad) and one ARCA victory (Bob).

… Brad Keselowski will be making his 14th career Sprint Cup Series start at MIS in the FireKeepers Casino 400. His best finish at MIS is second, achieved at the Pure Michigan 400 in August of 2012.

… Cale Yarborough leads all drivers by wheeling four different makes of cars to Gatorade Victory Lane in the backyard of the automotive capital of the world. Yarborough won in a Buick, Chevrolet, Mercury, and Oldsmobile at MIS.

… Chase Elliott’s father and NASCAR Hall of Famer, Bill Elliott, posted seven victories at Michigan International Speedway, the third most in track history, including four in a row in 1985 and 1986. He also won the pole six times, trailing only David Pearson (10) for the most in track history. In his illustrious career, Elliott started a track-record 61 races at MIS.

NXS Menards 250 presented by Valvoline Facts and Storylines
… Kyle Busch set the track qualifying record for the NASCAR XFINITY Series with a mark of 193.242 to garner the pole in 2014.

… Kyle Busch is the defending race champion of the XFINITY race.

… Byron, Michigan native Erik Jones will be making his first start in the XFINITY Series at MIS. The defending NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion finished third in the Careers for Veterans 200 truck race in 2015. He is currently in fifth in the XFINITY Series with 359 points.

… Seven drivers have won the NASCAR XFINITY Series race at MIS twice. That list includes Todd Bodine, Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, Brad Keselowski, Mark Martin and Ryan Newman.

… Daniel Suarez currently leads the NASCAR XFINITY Series point standings with 408 points. Elliott Sadler is second with 397. Ty Dillon, Brendan Gaughan and Erik Jones round out the top five.

ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards Corrigan Oil 200 Facts and Storylines
… Joey Coulter still holds the ARCA track qualifying record of 192.149 mph to garner the pole for the 2012 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards race.

… Ross Kenseth is the defending race champion of the ARCA race at Michigan International Speedway in 2015.

… The 2016 event marks the 35th appearance by the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards at MIS.

… Frank Kimmel has more wins (two) at MIS than any other driver entered in the race. Kimmel won the race in 1998 and 2005.

… Chase Briscoe currently leads the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards Point Standings with 1645 points. Josh Williams is second with 1595 while Tom Hessert (1,500), Kyle Weatherman (1,455) and Matt Kurzejewski (1,440) round out the top five.
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-- Press release courtesy of Michigan International Speedway

Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

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