Driver Handicaps: Michigan

28776Jpg
This weekend the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series heads to Michigan Int'l Speedway for the 3M Performance 400. To help you make your Dale Jr. Reality Cup Racing fantasy picks, RacingOne brings you our weekly detailed look at some of the field for the 200-lap event.

Who's HOT at Michigan Int'l Speedway
  • Roush Racing
    - Greg Biffle has four finishes of sixth or better, including two consecutive wins starting with the 2004 August race.
    - Mark Martin leads all active full-time drivers with 26 top 10s.
    - Carl Edwards has a 6.3 average finish in three starts.
    - Matt Kenseth's 6.6 finishing average currently leads all drivers that have started the last 10 races.
    - Jamie McMurray will make his first Roush start at MIS - finished sixth at California.
  • Besides Biffle, Ryan Newman is the only other driver with multiple wins in the last 10 races.
  • Tony Stewart has finished ninth or better in six of the last seven races.
  • Bobby Labonte and Jeff Gordon are tied with four poles each for the lead among active full time drivers.

    Keep an Eye on at Michigan Int'l Speedway
  • Scott Riggs finished second in the last race.
  • Joe Nemechek has posted two top-10 finishes in his last two starts.
  • Jeremy Mayfield won the August race.
  • Kurt Busch will race the same chassis that won the pole at California in February.
  • Jeff Burton has the fourth-best finishing average (12.6) among all drivers that have entered every even since 1998.

    Michigan Loop Data Stat Leaders (2005 season)
  • Kurt Busch is the fastest driver early in a run during the first 25 percent of a green flag run at 182.630 mph (Must have completed 75% of scheduled laps). Kyle Busch, Greg Biffle, Matt Kenseth and Mark Martin round out the top five.
  • Kurt Busch and Matt Kenseth, respectively, hold an average running position of 5.1 and 6.1.
  • Greg Biffle is the fastest driver late in a run at 178.623 mph (Fastest speed during last 25 percent of standard green flag run. Must have completed 75% of scheduled laps). Carl Edwards (178.028), Tony Stewart (177.863), Matt Kenseth (177.623) and Mark Martin (177.334) complete the top five.
  • Carl Edwards and Jimmie, respectively, have completed 107 and 103 quality passes (Passing a car running in the Top 15 while under a green flag).
  • Greg Biffle has the best Driver Rating at 122.9.

    Michigan Raceway Rookie Report
    None of the Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidates have made a NEXTEL Cup start at Michigan Int'l Speedway. All of the rookies have made at least one Busch Series start with Martin Truex Jr. posting the best finishes of third and fourth, respectively, in 2004 and 2005. J.J. Yeley (fifth) and Denny Hamlin (eighth) are the only other drivers to post a top-10 finish. Clint Bowyer has led the most laps at MIS after leading 62 laps en route to a 30th-place finish last season. Yeley is the only driver that has made a Truck Series start at Michigan. David Stremme, who has two NBS starts at Michigan, will race in the ARCA RE/MAX Series race on Friday.

    Qualifying Tidbits
    In the last 12 events at Michigan Int'l Speedway there have been three drivers - Bobby Labonte, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon - that have won multiple poles. Labonte has won the most with three, sweeping the events in 2003 and taking the top spot for this event in 2000. Both Labonte and Gordon are tied for the lead among active full-time drivers with four poles each. Ryan Newman won the pole for this event last year after setting the new qualifying record of 194.232 mph. Joe Nemechek captured his first pole at MIS in the last event in August. Past Pole Winners

    Last Five Number of Lead Changes
    2005-19
    2005-20
    2004-25
    2004-17
    2003-14

    Last Five Number of Cautions Laps
    2005-30
    2005-23
    2004-33
    2004-33
    2003-46

    RacingOne Staff Picks
    Jeff Wackerlin: Matt Kenseth
    Pete Pistone: Greg Biffle
    Jorge Mondaca: Jeff Burton
    J.J. O'Malley: Greg Biffle
    Shawn Akers: Greg Biffle

    More Driver Notes - In order of point standings

    1. Jimmie Johnson (Points: 2145): Johnson posted his best finish (fourth) in eight races at Michigan Int'l Speedway in the June event in 2004. In the August race that same season, Johnson started from the pole - after rain washed out qualifying - but his day ended after 81 laps when the engine expired in the Lowe's Chevrolet placing him 40th, his worst finish and only DNF at MIS. Last season Johnson finished 19th and 10th, respectively. In the 2003 August race Johnson led 50 of his track total 83 laps. Johnson will be behind the wheel of a new chassis (No. 48385) this weekend at Michigan.

    2. Matt Kenseth (Points Behind: -48): Kenseth has competed in 13 races at Michigan Int'l Speedway. He has one win (June 16, 2002), nine top-10s, including six-straight, and has led 63 laps at MIS. His 6.6 finishing average currently leads all drivers that have started the last 10 races. Kenseth will be racing the same car (chassis RK-323) that led 40 laps at California en route to his first win of the season.

    3. Mark Martin (Points Behind: -238): Last June, Martin finished third at Michigan Int'l Speedway for his 15th top five at the track. His 26 top-10 finishes at MIS currently leads all active full-time drivers. Martin's last of four victories at Michigan came in the June event back in 1998. He has led 24 races at MIS for a total of 882 laps. He will return in the same car (chassis RK-315) that has raced in four races this year, finishing ninth most recently at Dover.

    4. Tony Stewart (Points Behind: -257): Last August, Stewart scored his ninth top-10 finish at Michigan Int'l Speedway when he finished fifth. In this event last year Stewart led 97 laps en route to his second runner-up finish at MIS. His lone win at Michigan came in this event in 2000. This weekend, he will race a new car (chassis No. 139) that was wind tunnel-tested last Friday.

    5. Kasey Kahne (Points Behind: -279): Kahne finished in the top-five in first two starts at Michigan Int'l Speedway. His best finish (second) came in this event in 2004. Last season Kahne posted his first top-10 starting positions, qualifying fourth and third, respectively. Last year, Kahne's best finish at MIS came in this event when he placed 18th. Kahne will looking to capture his fourth win in the same car (chassis No. 128) that has posted all three victories in 2006.

    6. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Points Behind: -295): Earnhardt Jr. has finished inside the top 10 twice at Michigan Int'l Speedway, most recently in the June event in 2003. Michigan is the only track Junior has earned multiple poles (August race in 2000, 2002). He finished 17th and 18th, respectively, in both events last year.

    7. Jeff Burton Points Behind: -387): Burton has captured eight top-10 finishes in 24 starts at Michigan Int'l Speedway, all coming with Roush Racing from 1996-2004. In his three Michigan track starts with Richard Childress Racing, Burton has finished 12th, 11th and 26th, respectively.

    8. Kevin Harvick (Points Behind: -430): Harvick's best finish at Michigan Int'l Speedway was second in the 2003 August race. The finish came after leading 46 laps. It was the second time in Harvick's career he led laps at MIS. The other time came in the summer prior when he held the lead for 42 circuits en route to a third-place finish. Harvick's only other top-10 finish came in his first start the track in 2001. He will race chassis No. 134 for the second time in 2006. This is the same car Harvick finished 34th with in the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The car will be back in the orange Reese's colors at Michigan.

    10. Kyle Busch (Points Behind: -476): Last June, Busch started 17th and finished ninth in his first career NEXTEL Cup start at Michigan Int'l Speedway. In the August race he recorded his first DNF, finishing 43rd. In 2004, he won the Busch Series event at MIS in his first series start at the track.

    11. Jeff Gordon (Points Behind: -501): Gordon has two wins, four poles, 14 top-fives and 17 top-10 finishes in 26 starts at Michigan Int'l Speedway. His four Bud Poles is currently tied with Bobby Labonte for the active full-time driver lead. Gordon is fourth in laps led, with 794, at MIS.

    12. Greg Biffle (Points Behind: -503): In six career races, Biffle has four finishes of sixth or better at Michigan Int'l Speedway, including two consecutive wins starting with the 2004 August race. He will bring back the same car (chassis No. RK-239) that led a combined 136 laps en route to his two victories at MIS. Biffle also has two wins in the Truck Series at Michigan.

    13. Carl Edwards (Points Behind: -598): Last August, Edwards finished fourth at Michigan Int'l Speedway to mark his third top 10 in three NEXTEL Cup starts. His 10th-place finish in the 2004 August race was Edwards' first career Cup start. He will race the same car (chassis: RK-270) that finished 15th at Dover two weeks ago.

    14. Jamie McMurray (Points Behind: -615): McMurray posted his only top-10 finish (fourth) at Michigan Int'l Speedway in the 2004 August race. Last season in this event, he finished 13th and led one lap. It was the second time he has held the lead at MIS. The first time came in this event last season when he led for three circuits. This will be McMurray's first Michigan start with Roush Racing. He finished sixth at California in February.

    15. Casey Mears Points Behind: -637): Last year in this event, Mears notched his best start (second) and led for the first time (seven laps) at Michigan Int'l Speedway. He finished 21st after a pit road miscue put him a lap down. In the August race, he posted his best finish (14th) in his sixth start. Mears will be racing the same car (chassis No. 401) that already has a pair of top-10 finishes at California and Las Vegas.

    17. Kurt Busch (Points Behind: -663): Busch has one win (June 15, 2003) at Michigan Int'l Speedway in 10 starts. Last year he finished 12th and seventh, respectively. In his first two starts, he got off to a rough start finishing last for two of his three DNFs at Michigan. Busch, who has led seven races at MIS for 195 laps, will race the same chassis (No. PRS-089) that won the pole at California in February. This will be his first track start in the Penske Dodge.

    18. Ryan Newman (Points Behind: -708): Newman captured his second win at Michigan Int'l Speedway in this event back in 2004. He scratched Michigan off his list of tracks he had yet to win a pole at last June after he set the new qualifying record with a lap of 194.232 mph. His average MIS career starting average of 6.6 leads all active drivers. He will drive chassis PRS-76 for the second time this season. This is the same car that finished 35th in the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

    19. Dale Jarrett (Points Behind: -734): Jarrett has four wins and 15 top-five finishes in 38 career starts at Michigan Int'l Speedway. In 2004, Jarrett finished third in both races for his 10th and 11th top-five finish in the last 18 races. The UPS Team will be bringing a brand new car (chassis No. 66) to Michigan.

    20. Elliott Sadler Points Behind: -740): Sadler scored his best finish (fifth) at Michigan Int'l Speedway in the June event in 2004. He captured his second top-10 finish in this event last year after he started 18th and finished eighth. In 2004, Sadler led in both races for a combined total of 21 laps - the last time he led at MIS.

    21. Scott Riggs (Points Behind: -753): Riggs finished a career-best second last August at Michigan Int'l Speedway in his fourth start at the track. This will be his first start at MIS in a Dodge.

    22. Brian Vickers (Points Behind: -764): Vickers equaled his best finish (ninth) at Michigan Int'l Speedway last August in his fourth start at the track. He has yet to lead a lap at MIS.

    23. Bobby Labonte (Points Behind: -770): Labonte has three wins and 15 top-10 finishes at Michigan Int'l Speedway in 27 starts. This will be his first track start in a Dodge and with Petty Enterprises. Labonte will also run the No. 4 Dodge in the Truck Series race on Saturday.

    28. Joe Nemechek (Points Behind: -914): Nemechek scored his first and second top-10 finish since 1998 after placing sixth and eighth, respectively, in 2005. Last August he captured his first pole at the 2-mile speedway, and led more than one lap in one race at MIS for the first time after leading 30.

    32. Jeremy Mayfield (Points Behind: -964): Mayfield won his first race at Michigan Int'l Speedway last August after he outlasted the field on fuel. It was his fourth top 10 in 24 starts, and only top 10 with Evernham Motorsports at the 2-mile speedway. This weekend, Mayfield will be racing the same car (chassis No. 133) that finished 25th at Las Vegas in March.
    
            
  • Photos

    • Darlington Paint Schemes
    • Darlington Paint Schemes
    • Darlington Paint Schemes
    • Darlington Paint Schemes
    • Darlington Paint Schemes
    • Darlington Paint Schemes
    • Darlington Paint Schemes
    • Darlington Paint Schemes
    • Darlington Paint Schemes
    • Darlington Paint Schemes
    • Darlington Paint Schemes
    • Darlington Paint Schemes
    • Darlington Paint Schemes
    • Darlington Paint Schemes
    • Darlington Paint Schemes
    • Darlington Paint Schemes
    • Darlington Paint Schemes
    • Darlington Paint Schemes
    • Darlington Paint Schemes
    • Darlington Paint Schemes
    • Darlington Paint Schemes
    • Darlington Paint Schemes
    • Darlington Paint Schemes
    • Darlington Paint Schemes
    • Darlington Paint Schemes
    • Darlington Paint Schemes
    • Darlington Paint Schemes
    • Darlington Paint Schemes
    • Darlington Paint Schemes
    • Darlington Paint Schemes
    • Darlington Paint Schemes
    • Darlington Paint Scheme Inspirations
    • Darlington Paint Scheme Inspirations
    • Darlington Paint Scheme Inspirations
    • Darlington Paint Scheme Inspirations
    • Darlington Paint Scheme Inspirations
    • Darlington Paint Scheme Inspirations
    • Darlington Paint Scheme Inspirations
    • Darlington Paint Scheme Inspirations
    • Darlington Paint Scheme Inspirations
    • Darlington Paint Scheme Inspirations
    • Darlington Paint Scheme Inspirations
    • Darlington Paint Scheme Inspirations
    • Darlington Paint Scheme Inspirations
    • Darlington Paint Scheme Inspirations
    • Darlington Paint Scheme Inspirations
    • Darlington Paint Scheme Inspirations
    • Darlington Paint Scheme Inspirations
    • Darlington Paint Scheme Inspirations
    • IRWIN Tools Night Race

    Advertisement

    You may unsubscribe at any time.
    Motor Racing Network
    555 MRN Drive
    Concord, NC 28027
    www.mrn.com/Footer/Contact-Us.aspx
    (704)262-6700
    feedback@mrn.com
  • © 2015 MRN. All Rights Reserved

    FacebookTwitterDiggDeliciousLinkedInGoogle BookmarksYahoo BookmarksLive (MSN)

    ISC Track Sites