Friday, 19 April 2024
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It’s hard to choose a favorite moment from the two decades-plus that I’ve watched Kurt Busch compete on the racetrack in NASCAR’s top levels.

Perhaps it's the famous battle to the checkered flag at Darlington vs. Ricky Craven.
Or Kurt being given the bird by Dale Earnhardt Sr. during the 2001 Daytona 500.
Or his running the NASCAR/Indy double and finishing 6th in the Indy 500.
Or his leadership at so many teams, from Roush and Penske to Phoenix Racing to Furniture Row to Stewart-Haas to Ganassi and finally 23XI
Or his winning the 2004 Cup series title in dramatic fashion after a close call, losing a tire as he was entering pit road during the race

I could go on, but you get the drift. The man did just about everything you could in this sport since entering the NASCAR ranks as a very young man in the late 1990s.

I say all this because we heard an emotional farewell this weekend from Kurt Busch at Daytona. He said he’s officially done with Cup racing as he continues to focus on his health after a qualifying crash at Pocono in 2022.

Posted On Sunday, 27 August 2023 22:23 Written by
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BROOKLYN, Mich. — It’s hard to imagine for fans who are new to the sport in recent years, but the team formerly known as Roush Racing (and later Roush Fenway Racing) was once among the most dominant teams in the sport.

Started by Jack Roush in the late 1980s, it rose to power with Mark Martin as its lead driver, then a stable of strong teammates were added that made it an annual championship contender — including Carl Edwards, Kurt Busch (2004 Champion), Matt Kenseth (2003 Champion), and Greg Biffle.

Michigan Speedway was unofficially known as the House of Roush, with the team almost always guaranteed to have the horsepower and driving talent to compete for the race win in Brooklyn. Heading into this weekend, they had a total of 13 wins at the two-mile oval.

And after watching Chris Buescher — driver of the No. 17 car for the newly renamed RFK Racing — win a thrilling battle against Martin Truex. Jr. Monday to claim his second straight Cup series victory (and the RFK camp’s 14th win at the track), it’s safe to say the team has definitely got its groove back and is reinvigorated by the arrival of Rochester Hills, Michigan, native Brad Keselowski as a co-owner last year.

Posted On Tuesday, 08 August 2023 00:57 Written by
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BROOKLYN, Mich. — Beyond RFK Racing stealing the show at Michigan Speedway on Monday, there were a lot of other story lines to talk about, including some that impacted the playoff battle.

Martin Truex Jr. continues hot streak

Truex was the fastest overall car at Michigan on Sunday/Monday, but in the end he fell one position short in second.

But he has no reason to hang his head. Truex has 3 wins, 9 top-5s, 13 top-10s, only 1 DNF and 5 stage wins this season. He has a dominating lead in the Cup series point standings, leading his closest competitor by 57 points. Unless he collapses or wrecks out at the upcoming road courses and Daytona, he should be our regular season Cup champion and get some extra bonus points for the playoffs.

“We are excited. Every week we feel like we have a shot to win, that is all I can ask for,” Truex said. “It’s exciting to come to the track every weekend knowing what these guys are going to bring me. Hopefully, we can keep it up.”

Posted On Tuesday, 08 August 2023 00:48 Written by
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BROOKLYN, Mich. — When this week’s race at MIS is run (could be Sunday, Monday or Tuesday, depending on how the weather cooperates), several drivers jump to the top of the list when we think about possible winners.

The Closer

First and foremost is Kevin Harvick, who has taken home 5 of the last 7 race wins at Michigan Speedway, a difficult feat to accomplish. He also has a 6th Michigan win earlier in his career, and has taken home one Xfinity Series checkered flag and a Truck Series win on top of the 6 Cup wins.

With this being Harvick’s final season before heading into the broadcast booth, it would be fitting it he continued to add to those records with a final win at Michigan. He’ll have to work for the win, as he’s starting from the 11th row, but if you’ve watched Harvick compete for the past 25 years or so, you know that showing up to take the glory at the end of a race is one of his specialties, so I wouldn’t be surprised one bit to see him fighting for the checkered flag.

Harvick talked a bit about his secrets for success at Michigan.

“I think Michigan is one of those places where car placement and just putting yourself in the right position lap after lap after lap, and not making the mistakes that cost you a half-a-second a lap, and just making a half-a-tenth-of-a-second mistake instead of making those big mistakes and losing track position, and just doing all the little things right, is what you need to do at Michigan,” he said.

Posted On Sunday, 06 August 2023 08:46 Written by
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BROOKLYN, Mich. —John Hunter Nemechek took his fifth victory of the season on Saturday, but after Stage 1 you couldn’t have predicted the eventual ending of today’s Xfinity race at Michigan Speedway.

About a dozen laps into Stage 1, a skirmish involving three Joe Gibbs Racing cars (Sammy Smith in the 18, Ty Gibbs in the 19, and Nemechek in the 20) knocked Smith out of the race and sent Gibbs and Nemechek spinning.

Luckily for Nemechek, no significant damage was incurred, and by Stage 2 he had found his way to the lead, and sailed away with a Stage 2 victory and eventually a race win at the end of 125 laps. Gibbs also recovered well and finished in 4th.

Of note, it was the 200th Xfinity race for Joe Gibbs Racing. Nemechek ended up leading 65 of the 125 laps in the race to earn his first victory in Brooklyn and the 7th of his Xfinity Series career.

Posted On Sunday, 06 August 2023 07:39 Written by
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