Michigan International Speedway Storylines
… Goodyear hosted a tire test at Michigan International Speedway on July 30 and 28 teams took advantage of the extra practice time. The test allowed Goodyear to confirm what tire compound to use for the Pure Michigan 400.
… In June all three series that raced at MIS posted track qualifying records. Marcos Ambrose turned a lap of 203.241 MPH for the Quicken Loans 400, the top speed at a non-restrictor plate track. In the Nationwide Series, Austin Dillon won the pole for the Alliance Truck Parts 250 with a speed of 190.375 MPH. Joey Coulter had a top mark of 192.149 MPH to win the pole for the RainEater Wiper Blades 200 in the ARCA Racing Series present by Menards.
… Michigan International Speedway has taken fan appreciation to new heights and will host a driver Q&A with Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth on Friday, Aug. 17. The Q&A session will start at 5:30 p.m. In addition, 300 fans will have the opportunity to tour the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage, 200 guests will be invited into the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series garage for an autograph session and 125 fans will get hot lap rides.
... MIS is continuing a tradition of giving a fan the opportunity to present a trophy on behalf of the race fans to the Pure Michigan 400 winner. The presentation is awarded to fans through the speedway's Fan Appreciation Program. The Fan Appreciation Program also hands out other memorable race weekend experiences to various fans including access to pre- and post-race ceremonies, pace car rides, pit passes and more.
… After debuting in June, the APEX RV Park is completely sold out for the Pure Michigan 400. The Apex Campground consists of 20 spaces outside of Turn Three, so close that you can feel the rush of the race. Each trackside campsite is 20- x 55- feet wide and has water and electric hookups, a picnic table and grill. Apex is the perfect spot to receive the full effect of NASCAR.
… The new Budweiser Party Porch at Michigan International Speedway is a respite area and hang-out at the track, all overlooking Turn Four. The 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. Paragon will play on both Friday and Saturday night from 8:30 – 11:30 p.m.
… A pair of bands will headline the annual Saturday concert on Aug. 18. Detroit's own, The Romantics, will play at this year's Budweiser Acceleration Concert at Michigan International Speedway. Joining them as a headliner will be Fuel, a band that has sold more than 3.5 million albums just in the United States. The concert will begin after the checkered flag for the VFW 200. The Romantics and Fuel concert will be held in Lot 10 and is free to anyone with a VFW 200 race ticket.
… The largest fundraiser for MIS cares is back. The third annual Fish Your Bass Off will be held on Wamplers Lake off the shore of Jerry's Pub on Thursday, Aug. 16. Fish Your Bass Off raised $40,000 last year and the funds were used to help local community programs. This year, the world's No. 1 ranked bass angler, Kevin VanDam, will be competing against 30 teams for the Fish Your Bass Off Championship. NASCAR driver Ryan Newman and Mark Zona, from Zona's Awesome Fishing Show, will be joining VanDam in the competition. There will be a silent auction at 5 p.m. and a dinner at Jerry's Pub starting at 6 p.m. Following the dinner will be a live auction at 8:30 p.m.
…Stop by the "MIS Rookie Pit Stop" to learn about NASCAR. Throughout the race weekend, first-time race fans are asked to stop be 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 Pure Michigan 400 Facts and Storylines
… The National Anthem will be performed by Ride Records singer-songwriter Steve Azar.
… Kid Rock will serve as the Grand Marshal.
… WJR broadcaster Paul W. Smith will serve as the honorary starter.
… Dale Earnhardt's Jr's last two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins have come at MIS. He won the Quicken Loans 400 in June, breaking a 143-race winless streak. His previous win came in June of 2008, also at MIS in the LifeLock 400. He has a average finish of 15.2 and has led 268 laps at Michigan International Speedway. In 26 starts at MIS, Earnhardt, Jr. has nine top 10 finishes.
… Marcos Ambrose set a track qualifying record of 203.241 mph to garner the pole for the Quicken Loans 400. That speed made MIS the fastest track in NASCAR
… The Pure Michigan 400 features 10 drivers who have won multiple times at MIS. Bobby Labonte has three wins while Greg Biffle, Kurt Busch, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Carl Edwards, Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, Mark Martin and Ryan Newman each have two victories.
… The top four spots in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series are separated by 17 points. Five-time champion Jimmie Johnson leads with 777 points. Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth are each one point behind while Dale Earnhardt, Jr. trails by 17 points.
… Greg Biffle has completed a series-high 5,834 of the 5,836 laps raced this year. Kevin Harvick is second with 5,823 laps completed.
… Jeff Gordon has led 954 laps in 39 starts at Michigan International Speedway, the most laps led by an active driver. Mark Martin is second on the list with 911 laps led.
…Despite his recent strong showings, Jimmie Johnson has yet to win a race in the Irish Hills in 21 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 races a year. His average finish at MIS is 14.7.
…Mark Martin has 31 career Top 10 finishes at MIS in 53 Sprint Cup starts.
... Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth are the only active drivers to average a top-10 finish at MIS. Edwards ranks first all-time at MIS with an average finishing position of 8.4 among drivers, with at least five Sprint Cup starts since 1969. In 25 career starts at MIS (16 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.
… Michigan International Speedway has hosted a NASCAR race in August every year since 1969. The Pure Michigan 400 will be the 87th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at MIS. In the 86 previous races, there have been 42 different pole winners. David Pearson leads with 10. Mark Martin has five poles.
… There have been 86 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 86 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); 20 drivers have more than one victory at Michigan.
… The Wood Brothers and Roush Fenway Racing both have 11 wins, more than any other team. Jack Roush needs one more victory to become the all-time winningest car owner at Michigan. Roush is trying to get back into Gatorade Victory Lane at MIS since his last win here in August of 2008. Prior to that, Roush had posted a victory in the Irish Hills for seven consecutive years.
… 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, nine starts in the Nationwide series and 15 starts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Ron also started three USSC races. They have two Nationwide wins (Brad) and one ARCA victory (Bob).
… Brad Keselowski will be making his seventh career Sprint Cup Series start at MIS in the Pure Michigan 400. His best finish at MIS is third.
… 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.
… A year ago the winner of the Pure Michigan 400 held at Michigan International Speedway was Kyle Busch in August of 2011.
…The manufacturer Chevrolet has 698 NASCAR Sprint Cup wins. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. drove a Chevy to Gatorade Victory Lane in June.
…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.
NCWTS VFW 200 Facts and Storylines
… Greg Biffle won the first two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races at MIS. He posted victories in 1999 and 2000. Stacy Compton won the pole at the 1999 race.
…In the second closest finish in MIS history (all series), Johnny Benson finished second to Erik Darnell in the 2008 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. The .005 margin of victory is also the second closest finish under electronic timing (.005) and the second closest in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series history.
…Two former winners of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races at MIS are on the VFW 200 entry list. Colin Braun (2009) and Brendan Gaughan (2003) have won truck races in the Irish Hills. Braun's victory came from the 12th starting position, which is the farthest back a Camping World Truck Series driver has started and won an MIS race from.
…Travis Kvapil is the only driver in Camping World Truck Series history to win a race from the pole at MIS (2007).
… There are four previous winners from the NCWTS events at MIS racing n the Pure Michigan 400. Greg Biffle and Travis Kvapil each have two truck victories at MIS. Kevin Harvick and Aric Almirola have one win a piece.
… Brad Keselowski and Kurt Busch will be pulling double-duty this weekend. They will both race in the VFW 200 and the Pure Michigan 400.
… James Buescher finished second in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Alliance Truck Parts 250 in June.
… Joey Coulter makes a return trip to MIS in 2012. He won the pole for the ARCA Racing Series present by Menards RainEater Wiper Blades 200 in June. Coulter finished the race ninth.
The Social Lounge – Hashtags for August weekend for @MISpeedway