“Freaky Fast” Kevin Harvick’s Michigan Recap

Kevin Harvick
Date: June 12, 2016

Event: FireKeepers Casino 400 (Round 15 of 36)

Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

Location: Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn (2-mile oval)

Start/Finish: 29th/5th (Running, completed 200 of 200 laps)

Point Standing: 1st (526 points, 30 points ahead of second)

Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)


Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Outback Steakhouse Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished fifth in Sunday’s FireKeepers Casino 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. The fifth-place finish marks Harvick’s seventh top-five of the season and 14th in 31 career Sprint Cup starts at Michigan.

The Sprint Cup Series points leader started 29th after ill-timed cautions interrupted his first two qualifying attempts on Friday at Michigan. The starting position proved to be difficult in the early going as cars struggled to pass on the 2-mile oval. Harvick fell a lap down to the leaders twice during the first half of the race after cautions immediately followed green-flag pit stops. However, the No. 4 team took the wave-around in each case to return to the lead lap.

Harvick was scored 22nd on the lap-107 restart just past the halfway point of the 200-lap event, but he immediately began working his way toward the front of the field. Harvick took right-side tires and fuel on lap 112 to restart 21st, and the two-tire strategy paid off as he raced up to 11th by lap 128.

A quick four-tire stop under caution on lap 149 allowed the 2014 Sprint Cup Series champion to gain two spots on pit road and enter the top-10 for the first time in the event. He raced his way up to the third position on the lap-155 restart and held the spot until a lap-164 caution. Harvick stayed out with the leaders but fell to fifth by the final caution of the day on lap 190.

The Bakersfield, California, native restarted fifth on lap 194 and raced his way up to fourth on the restart before losing one position and reaching the checkered flag in the fifth spot.

“Yeah, I got loose on the restart where we restarted third,” said Harvick, who won the Sprint Cup race at Michigan in August 2010. “I’ve just got to say thank you to everybody from Stewart-Haas Racing, especially on the No. 4 Outback Chevrolet, and everybody from Busch Beer, Jimmy John’s and Mobil 1 and everybody who helps this car. We fought all day and had great pit stops on pit road. We were able to overcome some mistimed cautions again. It seems like the weekend of cautions; that’s what got us in our starting spot, anyway. But all in all, everybody kept their heads up and kept digging, and we got a good finish out of it.”

Harvick led the four-car SHR contingent Sunday at Michigan.

Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished seventh. It was his second top-10 in 2016 and his 21st top-10 in 33 Sprint Cup starts at the two-mile oval.

Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 10th. It was Busch’s 13th top-10 finish this season and his 11th top-10 in 31 career Sprint Cup starts at Michigan.

Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 Nature’s Bakery Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 21st.

Joey Logano finished .889 of a second ahead of Chase Elliott, while Kyle Larson, Brad Keselowski and Harvick rounded out the top-five. Carl Edwards, Stewart, Austin Dillon, Jamie McMurray and Busch comprised the remainder of the top-10.

There were nine caution periods for 46 laps, with seven drivers failing to finish the 200-lap race.

With round 15 of 36 complete, Harvick leads SHR and the series in the championship standings. He is first with 526 points, 30 ahead of teammate Busch. This marks the fourth straight week SHR drivers have been 1-2 in the championship standings.

Patrick is 25th with 265 points, 79 ahead of 31st-place David Ragan. Stewart is 35th with 152 points, 45 out of the top-30. If Patrick or Stewart win a race and finish among the top-30 in points following the 26th race of the season Sept. 10 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway, each will earn a Chase berth. Harvick earned a Chase spot via his win March 13 at Phoenix International Raceway, and Busch secured his position via his win at Pocono.

The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Save Mart 350 on Sunday, June 26, at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway.  Can Harvick add a road course win to his impressive Sprint Cup resume?  Stay tuned for the answer to  this question!


Joey Logano Wins The FireKeepers Casino 400

Joey Logano

In the second race that featured NASCAR’s new lower-downforce package, Joey Logano lowered the boom—again. 

There was one major difference between Joey Logano’s victory in Sunday’s FireKeepers 400 at Michigan International Speedway and his win May 21 in the Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte. This one counted in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings and punched Logano’s ticket into the Chase.

But it remained abundantly clear that Team Penske already has a handle on the aerodynamic configuration the sanctioning body is considering for 2017.

Logano led 139 of 200 laps at the two-mile track and dominated a succession of restarts, except for one instance on Lap 117 when race runner-up Chase Elliott grabbed the lead from the driver of the No. 22 Ford.

Reasserting his superiority on a Lap 154 restart, Logano held the top spot the rest of the way to win for the first time this season, for the second time at Michigan and for the 15th time in his career. It was the 50th victory for Team Penske since switching to Ford equipment after the 2012 season. 

The top three finishers boasted the youngest average age for a podium in Sprint Cup Series history–23.0. Logano is 26, Chase Elliott is age 20 and Kyle Larson 23 years old. The previous youngest average age for a top three was 24.7 (three times, dating back to 1951 at Charlotte Speedway).

“Everyone did a great job of understanding what this package was going to do,” Logano said in Victory Lane. “They put together a great race car for me. It was a lot of fun racing with Chase there at the end…

“Perfect execution. We’ve been knocking on the door for a win here all season. We got that All-Star win, but it’s nice to get that win and lock ourselves into the Chase.”

Logano had a comfortable lead over Elliott, the Sunoco Rookie of the Year leader, when Denny Hamlin popped his left rear tire on the frontstretch and careened into the inside wall near the entrance to Turn 1. NASCAR called the ninth caution of the afternoon, setting up the final restart with seven laps left.

Logano chose the outside lane, and eventual third-place finisher Larson tried to push Elliott past Logano into the lead, but to no avail. Logano pulled away, maintained an advantage of nearly one second and won the race by .889 seconds over Elliott, who was chagrined despite a career-best finish in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Elliott’s waterloo actually came at Lap 154, when, as the leader, he missed a shift and allowed Logano to regain the lead.

“You can’t do dumb stuff and win these races,” Elliott said. “Completely my fault. The guys gave me a great car today. This whole NAPA group has been working so hard these past few weeks, and that one was on me.

“Like I said, you can’t do dumb stuff to win these things and I did today.”

Asked to elaborate on what he did wrong, Elliott replied, “Putting it in the correct gear would be a good start.”

Logano’s teammate, Brad Keselowski, ran fourth behind Larson, with Kevin Harvick rallying from a 29th-place starting position to finish fifth. Carl Edwards, Tony Stewart, Austin Dillon, Jamie McMurray and Kurt Busch rounded out the top 10.

The seventh-place result for Stewart was his second-best this season. Stewart missed the first nine events of the year after an offseason back injury. 

Notes: Debris on the grille of Kyle Busch’s No. 18 Toyota caused his engine to overheat and erupt in a fireball just past the 50-lap mark. Busch was the first driver out of the race (in 40th place), marking the fourth straight event in which he has finished 30th or worse.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. was the victim of a Lap 62 crash that started when Chris Buescher’s Ford got loose on the bottom of the track and clipped the left rear of Earnhardt’s Chevrolet, which in turn wiped out the No. 47 Chevy of AJ Allmendinger. Earnhardt retired from the race in 39th place…

Harvick increased his series lead over Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Kurt Busch to 30 points. Logano, the 10th driver to win a Cup race this season, jumped three spots to fifth…

Larson’s No. 42 Chevrolet failed the laser inspection station (LIS) after the race. NASCAR is taking the car to its research-and-development center in Concord, N.C., for further evaluation. If penalties are warranted, they will be announced in the coming week. 

Check out the unofficial results from the FireKeepers Casino 400.


Can Kurt Busch Go Back-To-Back?

Kurt Busch

Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), heads to Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn as both the defending winner of the FireKeepers Casino 400 and as the most recent Sprint Cup Series race winner, having claimed the checkered flag in Monday’srain-postponed Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.

Monday’s victory put Busch in a tie with NASCAR Hall of Famer Rex White for 25th on the all-time series win list, and it also secured his spot in the 16-driver Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. While there’s still plenty of racing to be done between now and Nov. 20, when the championship is decided at Homestead-Miami Speedway, there’s a bit of pressure that’s relieved for the Las Vegas native. Knowing he’s headed into the postseason, Busch and his Tony Gibson-led crew can now race aggressively for additional wins.

And that all starts this weekend, when the 28-time Sprint Cup Series race winner will look to score back-to-back victories for the second time in his career. He’ll do so at a racetrack where he’s won three times.

Busch scored his first Michigan win during the track’s June race in 2003, leading 23 laps along the way. He scored his second Michigan win with more of an exclamation point by leading a race-high 92 laps on Aug. 21, 2007. In his most recent win, Busch overcame adversity by winning the rain-shortened Michigan 400 in 2015 after starting 24th in a backup racecar.

In addition to his three victories, Busch has a pair of poles, having earned the top starting spot for the track’s June races in both 2010 and 2011.

Optimism is high for the driver of the Haas Automation/Monster Energy Chevrolet, knowing that Michigan has been a strong racetrack for SHR in recent years, as well. Teammate Kevin Harvick has claimed second-place finishes in three of the four races since joining SHR in 2014.

Busch has been among the top-10 finishers in the last eight races, a career-best streak for the Las Vegas native. He’d like nothing more than to extend that streak by scoring his second victory of the season Sunday at Michigan, as another win this weekend would greatly improve his standing in the Chase field. The 16 drivers who qualify for the Chase will have their point totals reset to 2,000 and will be seeded based on bonus points – three per win – earned prior to the start of the Chase. Busch and the Haas Automation/Monster Energy team will put all their focus and determination into finding their way to victory lane once again.

KURT BUSCH, Driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing: 
Talk about racing at Michigan.

“Michigan is a sister track to Pocono. I hope we can back up our win there that we had in last year’s race. We worked our way from the back in a back-up car all the way to the front right at the right time. We got the lead and then the rain came. A lot of luck is involved in this day and age. We’ve got to have it all if we are going to position ourselves to win. Tony Gibson (crew chief) continues to give 100 percent as well as everybody at Stewart-Haas Racing to keep plugging away. It’s good that we are second in points. It feels nice.”

What is the key to getting around Michigan?

“Michigan is a tough place because of the way the cars have that grip level on fresh tires versus old tires. What I mean by that is when you put on fresh tires, your tires are cold and they don’t grab the asphalt as well. A lot of guys try to stay out at Michigan with the hot tires on and they get better restarts. Restarts at Michigan are already pretty wild with how wide the track is and how many lanes there are for options. It comes down to just trying to put yourself in the best position with the best-percentage chance on whether it’s fresh tires, or it’s staying out, or it’s making spots up on restarts.”

What is the toughest part of the track for you?

“The toughest part I think is turn three. It seems like the cars do this weird, four-wheel, light drift getting down in there. If your car is dialed in, and I’ve won there three times, it feels like turn three is the easiest corner. Turn three to me is the challenge each time I go there.”

Haas Automation/Monster Energy Racing Team Report
Round 15 of 36 – FireKeepers Casino 400 – Michigan

Car No.: 41 – Haas Automation/Monster Energy Chevrolet


Teammates: Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Outback Steakhouse Chevrolet SS

Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 Nature’s Bakery Chevrolet SS

DRIVER, driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS

At-Track PR Contact: Rory Connellan, True Speed Communication (704-875-3388 ext. 811, Rory.Connellan@TrueSpeedCommunication.com)
Primary Team Members:
Driver: Kurt Busch
Hometown: Las Vegas
Crew Chief: Tony Gibson
Hometown: Daytona Beach, Florida
Car Chief: Chad Haney
Hometown: Fairmont, West Virginia
Engine Builder: Hendrick Motorsports
Headquarters: Concord, North Carolina
Engine Specialist: Stephen Raynor
Hometown: Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Spotter: Rick Carelli
Hometown: Denver
Over-The-Wall Crew Members:
Gas Man: Rick Pigeon
Hometown: Fairfax, Vermont
Front Tire Changer: Shane Pipala
Hometown: Frankfort Square, Illinois
Second Gas Man: Justin Wilson
Hometown: St. Paul, Minnesota
Front Tire Carrier: Jon Bernal
Hometown: Holland, Michigan
Windshield: Jay Guarneri (also serves as interior mechanic)
Hometown: Naples, Florida
Rear Tire Changer: Coleman Dollarhide
Hometown: Hickory, North Carolina
Jackman: Sean Cotten
Hometown: Mooresville, North Carolina
Rear Tire Carrier: Dwayne Moore
Hometown: Griffin, Georgia
Road Crew Members:
Truck Driver: Todd Cable and Rocky Boggs
Hometowns: Shelby, North Carolina, and Burlington, North Carolina
Tire Specialist: Jeff Zarrella
Hometown: Southington, Connecticut
Shock Specialist: Brian Holshouser
Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina
Engineers: Johnny Klausmeier and Mike Cook
Hometowns: Perry Hall, Maryland, and Annapolis, Maryland
Mechanic: Shawn Warren
Hometown: Concord, North Carolina
Mechanic: Andy Spenner
Hometown: Hoyleton, Illinois
Chassis No. 978
Kurt Busch will pilot Chassis No. 978 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn in Sunday’sFirekeepers Casino 400. Built new for 2016, Chassis No. 978 was scheduled to race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California in March, but Busch was forced to a backup car after making contact with the outside retaining wall in practice. Since then, chassis No. 978 has been updated in preparation for this weekend’s race at Michigan.


Michigan International Speedway Notes of Interest:
  • Kurt Busch has career totals of 28 wins, 21 poles, 121 top-five finishes and 234 top-10s in 554 career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts heading into Sunday’sFireKeepers Casino 400at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. His most recent Sprint Cup win came in Monday’s rain-delayed Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. With the win, Busch moved into a tie for 25th on the all-time series wins list with NASCAR Hall of Famer Rex White.
  • Previous Winner – Busch has raced his way to victory lane at Michigan on three occasions. His first win came in June 2003, when he snatched the lead from Jeff Gordon with 24 laps to go en route to claiming his seventh NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory. His second win came in August 2007. Busch took the lead at the halfway point and then dominated the second half, leading 92 of 203 laps. He held off the field in a green-white-checkered finish to claim his 17th Sprint Cup victory. Busch is the defending race winner at Michigan, having scored the victory when the Sprint Cup Series visited there last June. He overcame adversity, winning the rain-shortened Michigan 400 after starting 24th in a backup racecar. Busch led six laps en route to the win, which marked his 27th career Sprint Cup victory.
  • Sunday’s Firekeepers Casino 400will mark Busch’s 31st career Sprint Cup start at Michigan.Busch has two poles, three wins, five top-five finishes and 10 top-10s at the 2-mile oval. Additionally, the 37-year-old driver has led 448 laps, has an average starting position of 12.5, an average finish of 20.6, and has completed 87.3 percent (5,100 of 5,839) of the laps he’s contested there.
  • The Las Vegas native has two poles to his credit (June 2010, June 2011) at Michigan. Busch has 21 career Sprint Cup poles.
  • Get to the Points – With his win Monday at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, Busch enters Michigan second in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship point standings. More importantly, the win virtually guarantees his No. 41 team a spot in the 2016 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs, provided they are among the top-30 in points after the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway on Sept. 10, 2016.
  • Thus Far in 2016… Busch has accumulated two poles, one win, five top-five finishes and a series-leading 12 top-10s in 14 starts. Busch is also the only driver to have completed every lap this season.
  • Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) at Michigan – In 38 overall starts at Michigan, SHR-prepared Chevrolets have earned one pole, one win, eight top-five finishes and 14 top-10s, have been atop the leaderboard for 228 laps, and have completed 98.2 percent of the laps contested (7,231 of 7,360).
  • SHR in 2016 – 14 races into the 2016 season, SHR’s four Sprint Cup entries have recorded two wins, two poles, 11 top-five finishes and 25 top-10s. SHR Chevrolets have completed 17,569 of 17,856 laps contested, and collectively have led 935 laps.



Roush-Fenway Racing Desperately Needs To Win This Week At Michigan

Greg Biffle
Ford Performance boss Dave Pericak is convinced Roush Fenway Racing will soon return to victory lane.

The legendary Ford NASCAR team has not won a race since the June 2013 Sprint Cup event at Michigan International Speedway, slightly more than three years ago, when Greg Biffle recorded Ford’s 1,000th victory in NASCAR.

Team owner Jack Roush and his current Cup drivers Biffle, Trevor Bayne and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. are as dedicated as ever to turning things around, said Pericak, who took over as global director of Ford Performance from Jamie Allison last year.

“I’ve been in the job for over a year and I’ve said we’ve been going to fix Roush,” said Pericak, chief engineer of the Ford Mustang from 2008-2015. “The cars this year have speed in them but the team has had trouble executing on pit road. I think they’ve definitely … shown a trend of improvement.”

If points and victories matter, Roush continues to struggle coming into Sunday’s FireKeepers Casino 400 at MIS, the 15th race of 36 on the Sprint Cup calendar.

Stenhouse leads the way for Roush in 19th position in points, while Bayne is 20th and Biffle is 25th.

“As it is today, Jack Roush is not happy about the situation,” said Pericak, who will leave Tuesday for France to oversee the Ford GT40’s return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans sports car classic. “But he’s 100% committed to improving the team and his spirits are high.”

Pericak will be at MIS today to observe NASCAR’s new lower down force package for the track.

“It will be a wait and see thing,” said Pericak of the aerodynamic package which NASCAR believes will promote closer and better racing with more passing. “I think we are headed in the right direction and we’re hoping for better racing. At the end of the day, I think it allows drivers to drive the car.

“We have it pretty well figured out.”

Ford drivers have been using a state-of-the-art simulator in Charlotte, N.C., running the lower down force package for MIS.

Pericak said they had participated enthusiastically.

“We needed to win their hearts and minds (on it),” said Pericak. “They have been really fantastic, giving it all they’ve got. There’s now even a waiting list. The simulator is so realistic, it can even cast shadows across the race track, affecting track temperature.”

It is amazing just how far RFR have fallen in NASCAR’s pecking order.  Roush-Fenway Racing has not won a race in three years! This once powerhouse seems to have fallen on hard times and can not gather itself up and get back into the middle of the competition.  Even though it appears that Ford Motor Company is making RFR a priority, there is still a long road to go before RFR will be back to hoisting the hardware on Sundays!


Smoke Prepares For Michigan As Time Is Ticking Away

Tony Stewart Pit Stop #2

After qualifying a season-best sixth and running strong in the practice sessions leading up to Monday’srain-postponed Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, Tony Stewart was poised for a strong finish. Unfortunately, an accident derailed those chances, leaving Stewart a disappointing 34th.
Stewart was a stalwart among the top-10, but following a lap-93 restart, cars stacked up through turn one of the 2.5-mile triangle. As the field exited the corner, the jockeying intensified. Stewart got loose and tangled with his Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) teammate Danica Patrick, slapping the outside SAFER Barrier.
As Stewart’s No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet SS was towed back to the garage area, the three-time Sprint Cup champion was evaluated and released from the infield care center.
Stewart then stood by while crew members went to work on his battered machine. In a very short amount of time, a lot of repair work was completed. With 39 laps remaining in the 160-lap race, Stewart returned to the track in 38th position.
Through the attrition of others and the tenaciousness of Stewart and the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats team, Stewart picked up four spots to finish 34th.
Enjoying a much better result was SHR teammate Kurt Busch. The driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Chevrolet SS led the final 32 laps to earn his 28th career Sprint victory, his third at Pocono and his first of the season. The victory put Busch in a tie with NASCAR Hall of Famer Rex White for 25th on the all-time series win list, and it secured Busch’s spot in the 16-driver Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy Johns Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished ninth. It was his 11th top-10 this season and his 12th top-10 in 31 career Sprint Cup starts at Pocono.
Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 Nature’s Bakery/FOX Sports GO Chevrolet SS, finished 32nd.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 1.126 seconds behind Busch, while Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott and Joey Logano rounded out the top-five. Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards, Harvick and Ryan Blaney comprised the remainder of the top-10.
There were 10 caution periods for 40 laps, with five drivers failing to finish.
With round 14 of 36 complete, Harvick leads SHR and the series in the championship standings. He is first with 490 points, 25 ahead of teammate Busch. This marks the second straight week SHR drivers have been 1-2 in the championship standings.
Patrick is 26th with 245 points, 65 ahead of 31st-place Regan Smith. Stewart is 36th with 118 points, 71 out of the top-30. If Patrick or Stewart win a race and finish among the top-30 in points following the 26th race of the season Sept. 10 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway, each will earn a Chase berth. Harvick earned a Chase spot via his win March 13 at Phoenix International Raceway and Busch secured his position with the win at Pocono.
The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the FireKeepers Casino 400 on Sunday, June 12 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. Coverage by FS1 begins with NASCAR RaceDay at 11:30 a.m. EDT and the race broadcast begins at 1 p.m.


Ricky Stenhouse Is Ready To Mix It Up At Michigan

Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – Michigan Advance


Team:                          No. 17 Fifth Third Ford Fusion

Crew Chief:                 Nick Sandler

PR Contact:               Andrea Perry, aperry@roushfenway.com, 704-763-0373

Twitter:                     @Stenhouse17Team @Stenhousejr and @RoushFenway




Stenhouse Jr. at Michigan International Speedway

Stenhouse Jr. has six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) starts at Michigan International Speedway with an average starting position of 22.8 and average finishing position of 21.3.

The 2013 NSCS Rookie of the Year also has three XFINITY starts earning one top-five and one top-10 finish.


One Year Ago at Michigan

In the backyard of Ford Motor Company and Roush Industries, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. drove his Ford to a 25th-place finish in a rain shortened NSCS race at Michigan International Speedway.


In the Points

Stenhouse Jr. currently sits 19th in the NSCS point standings just 13 points out of 16th place with 12 races remaining until the Chase.


Fifth Third/Stand Up To Cancer

Fans can share the name of a loved one who has fought or is currently fighting cancer using #StandUpwithRicky for a chance to be one of 53 names on the No. 17 Fifth Third Ford in Kentucky. Fifth Third Bank will donate $1 to SU2C for every name submitted up to $20,000.


Stenhouse Jr. on racing at Michigan:


“Michigan is a track that Roush Fenway, Ford, and Jack (Roush) have had a lot of success. We always want to have a strong showing at Michigan since it is in the backyard of Ford and Roush Industries. I’m really looking forward to racing the new aero package. I think it will create closer racing which will make it exciting for the fans. I think our No. 17 Fifth Third Ford will have another solid performance this weekend.”


Sandler on racing at Michigan:


“We are looking forward to Michigan this weekend since it is home track for Jack and Ford.  We are excited about the new aero package that NASCAR is bringing this weekend. The low downforce should allow the cars to race closer together which should make the racing better at Michigan, a track that is usually really fast.”



Darrell Wallace, Jr. Hopes For Success At Michigan

Darrell Wallace, Jr.
Bubba Wallace – Michigan Advance


Team:              No. 6 LoudMouth Exhaust Ford Mustang

Crew Chief:     Seth Barbour

PR Contact:     Mike Campbell; mcampbell@roushfenway.com; 704-839-1115

Twitter:             @BubbaWallace, @Bubba6Team and @RoushFenway



Wallace at Michigan

Darrell Wallace, Jr. will make his second career NASCAR XFINITY Series start at Michigan International Speedway this weekend.

Wallace finished 15th in his first start at the two-mile oval in the June 2015 event.

Wallace previously made two starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) at Michigan, earning a best finish of 11th in 2014.

Recapping Pocono

Wallace improved 24 positions in the early stages of the scheduled 100-Lap event at Pocono Raceway on Saturday afternoon before rain forced NASCAR to call the race official just past the halfway point, leading to a 16th-place finish.

Seth Barbour at Michigan

Barbour will call his fourth NASCAR XFINITY Series race from atop the pit box at Michigan on Saturday. In three previous races, Barbour has recorded a best finish of seventh with 2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series Champion Chris Buescher in 2013.


Wallace on racing at Michigan:

“Michigan is a pretty cool track to race on. You can carry a lot of speed down the straightaways and really make some moves. I’m looking forward to getting there with our LoudMouth Exhaust Mustang and seeing if we can get Ford in victory lane in their backyard.”


Kenseth Dominates At The Pure Michigan 400

Matt Kenseth

(WOMR file photo)

Matt Kenseth surged to victory Sunday in the Pure Michigan 400, posting his third NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win of the season with a very dominating performance at Michigan International Speedway.  Kenseth started on the pole and led 146 of the 200 scheduled lap race.  This was his third victory of the season, his third win at Michigan, and his 34th victory of his Sprint Cup career.

Kenseth dominated early, leading 107 of the first 150 laps after starting from the pole. One of the few drivers to make inroads was Dillon, who led 19 laps — six more than he had all season — in the first three-quarters of the race.

This race marked the second running of the high drag aerodynamic package, similar to the rules setup used last month at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The unintended consequences of this high drag package included drastic spikes in heat inside the cars’ cockpits.  One of the cars equiped with a thermomter noted a cockpit teperature of 154 degrees!

Finishing second was Kevin Harvick, who ran out of fuel trying to get to the pits on 114, while he was leading.

In the post-race interview Kenseth said he couldn’t remember the last time he had a car as dominant as the one he drove Sunday.

“These guys gave me a great car,” he said of his team.

Check out the unofficial results of the Pure Michigan 400.


Kurt Busch Wins The Rain Shortened Quicken Loans 400

(WOMR file photo)

Starting 24th in a backup car, Kurt Busch fought his way to the front of the field through intermittent rain showers and won Sunday’s Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway when a deluge halted the race after 138 of a scheduled 200 laps.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. was second when NASCAR red-flagged the event for the fourth time. Martin Truex Jr. was credited with third, followed by Matt Kenseth and Penske teammates Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski.

The victory was Busch’s second of the season. He won for the third time at Michigan and for the 27th time in his career.

His victory gave the brothers Busch a Michigan sweep, younger brother Kyle won Saturday’ XFINITY Series race.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling to know what we went through, paced ourselves, and found the lead toward the latter part of the race when the rain came in,” Busch said in Victory Lane.

You know what’s more special about this? Winning in Chevrolet’s backyard. That’s what’s most important about winning in Michigan, so thanks to Chevrolet.”

Especially because his team had put in extra hours to ready a backup car after Busch hit the wall in Friday’s opening practice, the winning driver was very appreciative in Victory Lane!

“Yeah, you have to get down and dirty,” Busch said. “You have to really roll up your sleeves, get your elbows dirty, and put the work into it. And (crew chief) Tony Gibson makes these guys work a little extra hard.

“I always say thanks. I’m always there early with them. And it’s a great team chemistry feel.”

Busch grabbed the lead for the first time on Lap 133 when Kyle Larson’s gas-mileage gamble came up short and he was forced to pit road for fuel just as a storm cell was advancing toward the speedway.

Busch had pushed Larson to the lead after a restart on Lap 130, but Larson hadn’t stopped for fuel since Lap 88, and crew chief Chris Heroy was gambling that the rain would arrive before Larson ran out of gas. As it turned out, the rain came three laps too late for Heroy’s strategy to bear fruit.

The heavy thunderstorm arrived on Lap 136, forcing NASCAR to throw a caution and then to red-flag the race for the fourth time two laps later, with Busch out.

So with this victory, Kurt has been to Victory Lane twice this season and has solidly put his team into The Chase for 2015.


Has Johnson Just Now Found His Supposedly Lost Mojo?

Jimmie Johnson

(WOMR file photo)

For the first ten or so races there was a rumble throughout the garage area and it went something like this:  What is wrong with the #48 team?  Or when is Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knauss going to when a race.  Or is Johnson ever going to in a race this year?  That team went zero-for-eleven to start off 2014!

Oh, but wait race fans!  During the next four races, races 12-15, the HMS #48 Lowe’s Chevy won three out of four races!  the first win started at Charlotte, a track that Johnson “owned” for several years.  The following week, at Dover, Johnson prevailed once again as the race victor.

Following the Dover win, Johnson had an “off day”, finishing sixth to his fellow HMS team mate, Dale Earnhardt,Jr. at Pocono.  That Sunday was Dale Jr.’s second win of the season.

Meanwhile, last Sunday at Michigan, the HMS #48 Lowe’s Chevy came roaring back front and center, to secure his third victory in the last four races.

If you had been playing close attention to the Sprint Cup standings over the past fifteen weeks, you would have known that Johnson and team never really departed the top ten places each and every week.  Notwithstanding the fact that the team had not graced the winner’s circle for the first eleven weeks, they were always well within striking distance of the lead!

Additionally, with three wins in the last four races, Johnson and Knauss are now looking like they have found their “misplaced mojo” of yesteryear!

Check out some really cool pictures from Michigan of Johnson in Victory Lane.  I have received these quality shots from one of my internet associates at Bench Racing On Pit Row.