NASCAR Race Tracks: Michigan International Speedway

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Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. Week fifteen in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series takes place at the Michigan International Speedway. This D shaped two mile track is one of my favorites. Some NASCAR fans like the short tracks where the cars are getting into each other for position. I like the wide open tracks where there is room for catching, two and three wide racing and passing. And Michigan has all the race grooves anyone can want. If you like side by side racing without the need to move another car over to get by, this is the track for you.

There are few cautions at this track because there is enough room to race each other without having to get too close to pass. I remember in 1999, my favorite driver, Dale Jarrett, set the race record of 173.997 miles an hour when there were no cautions to slow down the field. The pit crews have to be good and fast to keep their drivers running up front. And they have to do it under the Green Flag.

Traditionally this has been a Ford track. Mark Martin had four wins with Jack Roush. (Although it may just be Mark, since he won last year in a Chevy!) But Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle each have two wins here. Since Detroit is near by, Chevy and Ford like to win here. Bobby Labonte has three wins. Jeff Gordon has two wins. Tony Stewart in a Pontiac and Kasey Kahne in a Dodge have a win at Michigan. And Dale Earnhardt, Jr. won two years ago in a Chevy. Brian Vickers won an upset last year in a Toyota.

Ryan Newman holds the qualifying record at 194.230 mph and 37.069 seconds, set  6/17/05. My own Dale Jarrett has four wins here. Twice on August 17! The last time he did it, in 2002, he spun out earlier in the race. Dale is now retired and is one of the announcers.

Some say the track is boring because nothing big happens. I say it is exciting because there is so much racing going on all around the track. Racing is exciting, not crashing. But that may be just my opinion. If the driver in front of you is in one lane, all you have to do is change lanes to get by. You don’t see a lot of blocking (which causes accidents) because there is so much room to race. My kind of track!

The NASCAR Nationwide Series, meanwhile, are racing at Kentucky Speedway. So, those doing double duty will have to fly back and forth between Sparta, KY and Brooklyn, MI. Only four drivers will be doing double duty. I like that.

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be in Michigan with the Cup drivers this weekend.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley

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