Michigan International Speedway

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12626 US Highway 12
NASCAR Track City: 
Brooklyn, MI
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Sprint Cup Series
Quicken Loans 400
Track: Michigan International Speedway
Location: Brooklyn, Mich.
When: Sunday, June 17
TV: TNT (12:00 pm EST)

Specs: 2-mile D-shaped oval; Banking/Turns: 18°; Banking/Frontstretch 12°; Banking/Backstretch: 5°

2011 Winners: Denny Hamlin (June); Kyle Busch (Aug.)

2012 Race Length: 400 miles/200 laps
Track Qualifying Record: 194.232 mph (Ryan Newman, 2005)
Race Record: 173.997 mph (Dale Jarrett, 1999)

Nationwide Series
Alliance Truck Parts 250
Track: Michigan International Speedway
When: Saturday, June 16
TV: ABC (3:30 p.m. EST)
2011 Winner: Carl Edwards

From the Spotter’s Stand
For the second straight season, Denny Hamlin took the checkers at Michigan in June. But he won those two races in decidedly different fashion. After leading a race-high 123 laps in 2010, Hamlin led only eight laps in 2011 — taking the top spot with a quick pit under caution on lap 192 and keeping runner-up Matt Kenseth in the rearview the rest of the way.

After finishing third to Hamlin and Kenseth in June, Kyle Busch broke through with a victory at the 2-mile Brooklyn oval in August. In the process, Rowdy became the first driver to officially punch his ticket to the Chase, notching his fourth win of the season with a green-white-checker finish to beat runner-up Jimmie Johnson — who remains winless at Michigan, despite eight top 10s in 20 runs at the track.

Crew Chief’s Take
“Michigan being two miles in length makes it one of the biggest intermediate tracks we race at, and is also similar to Fontana. Aerodynamics and horsepower are very important. This track allows for multiple grooves, and it is important to make your car be able to run both the high and low lines.

“The repave will shoot speeds and grip through the roof. Typically, a new surface on a track like this makes for single-file racing. It may take a couple years to “wear in” the surface.”

Classic Moments at Michigan
Mark Martin was enjoying a banner day on June 20, 1993, at Michigan International Speedway. Although he was forced to start at the back of the field due to a practice crash with Dale Earnhardt the day prior, Martin quickly worked his way to the front and sat on point for 141 laps.

Of course, as Martin’s luck has often gone, the race came down to fuel mileage, and his racecar — leading by 16 seconds — was just shy of completing the distance. Ricky Rudd’s No. 5 Tide Chevy, which was running in second place, pitted five laps earlier on the last round of green stops and finished the race.

Martin’s tank ran dry with just under 10 laps remaining, and Rudd took it from there, holding off a hard-charging Jeff Gordon to earn his lone win of the 1993 season.
It marked the 11th straight year Rudd had won at least one event on the Cup circuit. The streak would continue for five more seasons.

Athlon Sports Fantasy Stall
Looking at Checkers:
New conditions usually favor the teams with the most engineers — and Hendrick and Roush have them.
Pretty Solid Pick: Toyotas have gone to Victory Lane four of the last five visits, led by Denny Hamlin’s two wins.
Good Sleeper Pick: Could Joey Logano make it two in a row? He has three top 10s here in six Cup starts.
Runs on Seven Cylinders: AJ Allmendinger, with zero top 10s at MIS in nine starts.
Insider Tip: Watching practice will pay big dividends this week.

For complete fantasy info, visit Pennell's Picks, posted each Thursday on AthlonSports.com

by Matt Taliaferro
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