Everything you need to know about Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway, in three minutes:
Three things to watch
1. The focus of the race will be on the high-drag aerodynamic package. Will it make the quality of racing any better than it did at Indianapolis in July?
2. There’s a group of drivers just outside the Chase cut line who need a win over these final four pre-Chase races. Aric Almirola, Kasey Kahne, Greg Biffle and Kyle Lawson would particularly benefit from a victory.
3. Drivers should be cooler. Air ducts have been added to the aero package that weren’t there at Indianapolis, where many drivers struggled with the heat.
▪ Kyle Busch might be in the Chase now, but remember he’s got to remain in the top 30 to stay that way. He’ll start last Sunday in a backup car after he wrecked during Saturday’s practice. A misstep at Michigan – which he admits is not his favorite track – could have him back on the outside looking in. Busch ended up with the ninth fastest practice time in the backup car Saturday.
▪ Clint Bowyer has the final points spot in the Chase, 50 points ahead of Aric Almirola. Bowyer has never won at Michigan, but he’s got nine consecutive top 10s at the track. He also has nine straight top 10s at Dover (the longest active top 10 streaks at any specific track).
▪ Martin Truex Jr. (191.729 mph) had the fastest practice speed in Saturday’s final session, ahead of Joey Logano (191.214) and Carl Edwards (191.189).
Three picks for your fantasy team:
Brad Keselowski: As Penske Racing continues to surge, Keselowski would love to get a victory at his home-state track.
Kyle Busch: Until he gives us reason to think otherwise, he’s going to continue to contend most every week.
Matt Kenseth: Pole winner leads a strong Joe Gibbs Racing contingent into this race.
He said it
“I think we should have more grass and it should be taller.” – A sarcastic Busch after his car was damaged sliding through grass during practice Saturday. Busch has advocated tracks paving over grass after a bad accident at Daytona in February.
Pure Michigan 400
Where: Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, Mich.
Track type: 2.0 mile, 18-degree banked oval
Race distance: 400 miles, or 200 laps
Green flag: 2:46 p.m.
Weather: High of 85 and partly cloudy, 5 percent chance of rain
TV: NBC Sports Network
Radio: Motor Racing Network