Michigan International Speedway Storylines
… Michigan International Speedway could become the fastest track in NASCAR. The previous qualifying speed was 194.232 set by Ryan Newman in 2005 and is expected to be broken this year due to the repave in the fall.
… During the Goodyear Tire Test in April, the drivers entered turn one at 215 MPH.
… Jeff Gordon said at the Goodyear Tire Test in April that it is the fastest he has ever gone in a stock car.
… An extra day of practice has been added to the schedule for both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and ARCA Racing Series on Thursday, June 14. The turn three grandstands will be open from 1-5 p.m. on Thursday for fans to watch the speeds.
… New in 2012 is the APEX Campground. It is a deluxe trackside campground of 20 spaces, giving camping guests the best, most exciting view of the racetrack – all from the apex of Turn 3. Each trackside campsite is 20- x 55-feet wide and has water and electric hookups, a picnic table and grill. The sites overlook turn three, so guests will be able to feel the surge of 43 NASCAR stock cars at speeds over 200 mph.
… The new Budweiser Party Porch at Michigan International Speedway is a respite area and hang-out at the track, all overlooking Turn Four. The new patio includes concession and merchandise stands, as well as a full bar. Plus, there will be umbrella-covered picnic tables for fans to sit and relax during the day. On Thursday-Saturday night there will be local bands on stage.
… Stop by the "MIS Rookie Pit Stop" to learn about NASCAR. Throughout the race weekend, first-time race fans are asked to stop by the welcome tent and ask a member of the speedway's Fan Advisory Board (FAB) and some motorsports insiders for tips and advice on how to understand the speedway and the sport of NASCAR.
NSCS Quicken Loans 400 Facts and Storylines
… The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans 400 will again take place on Father's Day for the second consecutive season.
… The National Anthem will be performed by the Army Chorus A Capella team for the sixth straight year.
… Goalie Jimmy Howard from the 11-time Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings will serve as the Grand Marshall.
… Center Dominic Raiola from the Detroit Lions will serve as the honorary starter.
… Michigan International Speedway has hosted a NASCAR race in June every year since 1969. In the one year that MIS hosted one NASCAR race – 1973 – the race took place in June. The Quicken Loans 400 will be the 86th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at MIS. In the 85 previous races, 41 different pole winners. David Pearson leads with 10. Mark Martin has five poles.
… There have been 85 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 16 times, the most productive starting position. Brian Vickers (August, 2009) was the last driver to win from the pole.66 of 85 races have been won from a top-10 starting position, including 46 from the first four spots.
… 34 different drivers have won races, led by David Pearson (nine); 19 drivers have more than one victory at Michigan
… Ford Manufacturing owns 31 wins at MIS, the most of any manufacturer. Chevrolet and Ford have each claimed 24 pole positions, tying for the most.
… The Wood Brothers and Roush Fenway Racing both have 11 wins, more than any other team.
… Driver Milestones: Jeff Gordon will make his 668th consecutive Sprint Cup start this weekend, the longest active streak in NASCAR. Aric Almirola will make his 50th NASCAR start. Joe Nemecheck will start his 600th career NASCAR race at MIS, becoming the 34th driver to accomplish that feat.
… Four Keselowski's 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, two starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, eight starts in the Nationwide series and 14 starts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Ron also started three USSC races. They have two Nationwide wins (Brad) and one ARCA victory (Bob).
… Dale Earnhardt Jr's last NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win came at MIS in the June 2008 race. Although he has not won a Cup race since, a streak of 143 races. Earnhardt Jr. is one of the favorites to win at MIS with five top-10 finishes in his last 11 Cup races in the Irish Hills. He also has a series-high 11 top-10 showings in 14 Sprint Cup races in 2011. He is the only driver to complete every lap in 2012.
… Greg Bifle and Matt Kenseth have each completed all but one lap in 2012
… Despite his recent strong showings, Jimmie Johnson has yet to win a race in the Irish Hills in 20 Cup race appearances. In fact, MIS is just one of four Sprint Cup Series tracks overall that he has not won at in his brilliant career, a list which also includes Chicagoland, Homestead-Miami and Watkins Glen. MIS is the only track left on the list that hosts two Sprint Cup race a year. His average finish at MIS is 15.2, but he has won two of the last four races in 2012.
… Denny Hamlin has won the last two June Sprint Cup races at MIS. The last driver to win the first race of the season at MIS in consecutive seasons was Davey Allison in 1991-92. Hamlin has won two races so far this year.
… Joe Gibbs Racing won both NASCAR Sprint Cup races at MIS in 2011. The last team to sweep the season series at MIS was also Joe Gibbs Racing in 1985 when Bobby Labonte won both races.
… Mark Martin has 31 career Top 10 finishes at MIS in 52 Sprint Cup starts.
… Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth are the only drivers to average a top-10 finish. Edwards ranks first all-time at MIS with an average finishing position of 8.2 among drivers with at least five Cup starts since 1969. In 24 career starts at MIS (15 Cup, 7 Nationwide, 2 Truck), Edwards has 18 top-10 finishes (12 in Cup, 4 Nationwide, 2 Truck). Edwards' first career Sprint Cup Series start came at MIS in August of 2004.
… The winner of the June event at MIS has gone on to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship seven times since the track's first NASCAR race in 1969. The list includes Richard Petty (1974), Cale Yarborough (1977, 1978), Dale Earnhardt (1987, 1990), Dale Jarrett (1999), and most recently, Jeff Gordon in 2001 when he passed Ricky Rudd on the last lap to win.
… Don't look for one car make to dominate the Quicken Loans 400. In the backyard of the automotive capital of the world, no manufacturer has swept the top-five finishing positions in the June race at MIS. Chevrolet came close in June 2007 by placing four of its drivers in the top-five with the exception of race winner Carl Edwards (Martin Truex Jr. second, Tony Stewart third, Casey Mears fourth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. fifth). Last year Toyota and Ford each had two in the top five while Chevy had one.
… Trevor Bayne's 2011 Daytona 500 winning car was donated to the Henry Ford Museum in nearby Dearborn, Mich.
NNS Alliance Truck Parts 250 Facts and Storylines
… The Alliance Truck Parts 250 marks the 21st anniversary of the Nationwide Series competing at MIS. It will be only the second time in its 21-year history that the series will compete at MIS during the June weekend. The series racing the first 19 years in August until switching with the Camping World Truck Series a year ago.
… Todd Bodine was the winner of the first ever Nationwide Series race at MIS in 1992. A new up-and-comer Jeff Gordon was the polesitter for that event.
… Rochester Hills, Mich. native Brad Keselowski is a two-time champion of the Nationwide Series race at MIS. He won the race in both 2010-10, the only driver to win consecutive races. Keselowski joins a list of multiple winners of the Nationwide race at MIS that includes Carl Edwards, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Ryan Newman, Todd Bodine and Mark Martin.
… Roush-Fenway Racing took the top two spots in the Nationwide race in 2011. Carl Edwards won the Alliance Truck Parts 250 while Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. finished second. Trevor Bayne gave Roush-Fenway racing three cars in the top five with a fifth place finish.
… Of the 20 NASCAR Nationwide Series races held at Michigan International Speedway, 12 have been won by a driver piloting a Chevrolet. Look for a bow-tie in Gatorade Victory Lane Saturday, as six of the last 10 Nationwide races at MIS have been won by the manufacturer (2009, 2007, 2006, 2004, 2003, and 2002).
… Eleven current NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers have won Nationwide Series races at MIS since the series' debut at the two-mile oval in 1992. They are: Mark Martin (1993, 1995), Bobby Labonte (1994), Jeff Burton (1998), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (1999, 2006), Ryan Newman (2001, 2005), Michael Waltrip (2002), Kevin Harvick (2003), Kyle Busch (2004), Denny Hamlin (2007), Carl Edwards (2008, 2011) and Brad Keselowski (2009, 2010).
ARCA Racing Series RainEater Wiper Blades 200 Storylines
… ARCA is celebrating its 60th anniversary of racing in 2012 with a special celebration of champions at each track.
… Former ARCA champion Bob Keselowski will serve as the grand champion. He won the 1992 ARCA race at MIS.
… The ARCA Racing Series is celebrating its 31st year of racing at MIS. Joe Ruttman won the first ARCA race at MIS in 1980.
… Ty Dillion won the 2011 RainEater Wiper Blades 200 at MIS for Richard Childress Racing after leader Cale Gale wrecked with six laps remaining.
… The pole-sitter has won six of the 29 ARCA Racing Series races at MIS, most recently Brent Sherman in 2006. Last year's winner, Ty Dillon, won the race from the second starting spot.
… In 30 ARCA Racing Series races at MIS, the pole-sitter has set a track qualifying record 14 times, including the 2011 speed of 189.623 mph by Cale Gale. His mark bested Justin Hobgood's speed of 188.210 mph, which was set in 2004.
… ARCA Racing Series veteran Frank Kimmel holds the MIS records for starts (23) and miles completed (4,126). He has two victories at Michigan in 2005 and 1998.
… The 2010 ARCA race tied the track record for least amount of caution flags (2) and least amount of lead drivers (2). Chad Goess and winner Mikey Kile were the only two drivers to lead last year's race.