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Statistical Advance: Analyzing the FireKeepers Casino 400

Top 10 Driver Ratings at Michigan
Chase Elliott……………………….. 104.5
Kevin Harvick……………………….. 98.1
Kyle Larson………………………….. 97.0
Joey Logano…………………………. 96.3
Brad Keselowski……………………. 96.1
Jimmie Johnson…………………….. 95.5
Ryan Blaney…………………………. 92.6
Kurt Busch…………………………… 91.0
Denny Hamlin……………………….. 90.3
Kyle Busch…………………………… 89.2
Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2018 races (28 total)
among active drivers at Michigan International Speedway.

History

  • Michigan International Speedway sits on more than 1,400 acres in the “Irish Hills” of Southeastern Michigan. Ground-breaking took place on Sept. 28, 1967.
  • The first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan was held June 15, 1969 – won by Cale Yarborough in the Wood Brothers No. 21 Mercury at a speed of 139.254 mph.
  • The track was known as Michigan Speedway during the time Roger Penske was the primary owner (1996-99).
  • The first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race was 500 miles in length; the second was scheduled for 600. The track was re-measured to 2.04 miles for the last race in 1970 and both races in 1971 – with the race distance being 402 miles. All other races have been scheduled for 400 miles.
  • The 2-mile speedway underwent a repave in 2012.
  • There have been 99 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Michigan International Speedway since the first race there in 1969. Other than 1973, which had just one race, there have been two races each season since 1969.

Starts

  • A total of 393 different drivers have competed in at least one Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway; 293 have competed in more than one.
  • NASCR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott leads the series in starts at Michigan with 61.
  • Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch lead all active series drivers in Michigan starts with 36 each.
  • A total of 39 different drivers have made their first Monster Energy Series start at Michigan International Speedway. Landon Cassill (6/13/2010) and Garrett Smithley (6/10/2018) are the only active series drivers to make their first career start at Michigan.
  • Bobby Isaac leads the series in average starting position at Michigan with a 3.125 in eight starts.
  • Erik Jones leads all active drivers in the series in average starting position at Michigan with an 8.5 five starts.

Poles

  • A total of 50 different drivers have won the Busch Pole Award at Michigan International Speedway in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series; seven of the 50 are active this weekend.
  • NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson leads the series in poles at Michigan with 10 poles (1969, 1974 sweep, 1975, 1976, 1977 sweep, 1978 sweep and 1979).
  • Kurt Busch (2010, 2011 and 2018) and Joey Logano (2013, 2016 sweep) lead all active drivers in poles at Michigan with three each.
  • Donnie Allison won the inaugural pole at Michigan in 1969 with a speed of 160.135 mph (Ford). 
  • Youngest series Michigan pole winner: Joey Logano (August 16, 2013 – 23 years, 2 months, 23 days).
  • Oldest series Michigan pole winner: Mark Martin (August 19, 2012 – 53 years, 7 months, 10 days).
  • Seven drivers have won consecutive Busch Pole Awards at Michigan: David Pearson (1974 sweep) and (1976-1978), Ron Bouchard (1981-1982), Terry Labonte (1983 sweep), Bill Elliott (1984 sweep) and (1988 sweep), Bobby Labonte (2003 sweep), Brian Vickers (2008-2009 sweep) and Joey Logano (2016 sweep). 
  • David Pearson holds the record for most consecutive poles at Michigan with five; from the Fall race of 1976 through 1978.
  • Seven drivers have posted their first career Busch Pole award in the Monster Energy Series at Michigan International Speedway; JJ Yeley (6/17/2007) is the only one currently still active.
  • Nine different manufacturers have won a pole at Michigan in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
  • Ford leads the series in poles at Michigan with 29; followed by Chevrolet (27), Mercury (10), Dodge (nine), Pontiac (eight), Toyota (six), Buick (three), Plymouth (two) and Oldsmobile (one).

Wins

  • A total of 38 different drivers have won in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Michigan International Speedway; nine are active this weekend.
  • NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson leads the series in wins at Michigan with nine victories (1969, 1972 sweep, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976 sweep, 1978).
  • Kyle Larson (2016, 2017 sweep) and Kurt Busch (2003, 2007, 2015) lead all active series drivers in wins at Michigan with three each.  
  • NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough won the inaugural Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway driving for Wood Brothers Racing in a Mercury on June 15, 1969.
  • Youngest series Michigan winner: Joey Logano (August 18, 2013 – 23 years, 2 months, 25 days).
  • Oldest Michigan winner: Harry Gant (August 16, 1992 – 52 years, 7 months, 6 days).
  • Nine drivers have posted consecutive wins at Michigan International Speedway – Bobby Allison (1971 sweep), David Pearson (1972 sweep – 1973), (1974-1975), Cale Yarborough (1983 sweep), Bill Elliott (1985 sweep – 1986 sweep), Bobby Labonte (1995 sweep), Mark Martin (1997-1998), Ryan Newman (2003-2004), Greg Biffle (2004-2005), (2012-2013) and most recently Kyle Larson who won three-straight at Michigan (2016-2017).
  • Bill Elliott (1985 sweep and 1986 sweep) holds the record for the most consecutive wins in the series at Michigan with four.
  • 20 of the 99 (20.2%) Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Michigan have been won from the Busch pole; the most recent win from the pole at Michigan was June 2017 (Kyle Larson).
  • The first starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (21) than any other starting position at Michigan International Speedway – 20 from the Busch Pole and one from the first starting position due to qualifying being cancelled – 1985 (Bill Elliott).     
  • The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Michigan is 32nd, by Mark Martin in the spring of 2009.
  • Among the nine active series Michigan winners, Clint Bowyer (24), Kevin Harvick (19), Kyle Busch (13) and Joey Logano (10) all made 10 or more attempts before their first win at Michigan.
  • Martin Truex Jr. (26), Paul Menard (25) David Ragan  (24) and Michigan native Brad Keselowski (19) lead all active drivers in the series in starts without a win at Michigan International Speedway.
  • Only two drivers in series history have recorded their first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career win at Michigan International Speedway – NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett (August 18, 1991) and Kyle Larson (August 28, 2016).  
  • A total of 21 different organizations have won in the Monster Energy Series at Michigan International Raceway; eight of the 21 are active this weekend.
  • Roush Fenway Racing leads the series in wins at Michigan with 13: Mark Martin (four), Greg Biffle (four), Carl Edwards (two), Matt Kenseth (two) and Kurt Busch (one).
  • The Wood Brothers Racing organization has the second-most series wins at Michigan with 11; including the inaugural race in 1969 – David Pearson (eight wins), Cale Yarborough (two) and Dale Jarrett (one).
  • Eight different manufacturers have won in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Michigan; led by Fordwith 37 victories; followed by Chevrolet with 26, Mercury (12), Dodge (nine), Toyota (five), Buick (four) Pontiac (four) and Oldsmobile (two).

Additional Finishing Position Stats

  • A total of 41 different drivers in Monster Energy Series have finished runner-up at Michigan International Speedway.  
  • NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon leads the series in runner-up finishes with eight.  
  • Kevin Harvick, tied with NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip for second-most all-time, leads all active drivers in runner-up finishes at Michigan with seven.
  • A total of 91 different drivers in the Monster Energy Series have posted top-five finishes at Michigan International Speedway.
  •  NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough leads the series in top-five finishes at Michigan with 21 top fives.
  • Kevin Harvick leads all active series drivers in top-five finishes at Michigan with 14.
  • A total of 145 different drivers have finished inside the top-10 at Michigan in the Monster Energy Series.
  •  NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin leads the series in top-10 finishes at Michigan with 31 top 10s.
  • Kevin Harvick leads all active drivers in top 10s at Michigan with 17.
  • Chase Elliott leads all active drivers in the MENCS in average finishing position at Michigan with a 4.6.

Track/Event Specific Stats

  • Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory (MOV) in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Michigan International Speedway was the June 10, 2001 race won by Jeff Gordon over Ricky Rudd with a margin of victory of 0.085 second.
  • There have been five Monster Energy Series races resulting with NASCAR Overtime at Michigan International Speedway.
  • Five of the 99 (5.1%) Monster Energy Series races at Michigan have been shortened due to weather:
  • Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Michigan International Speedway four times: June 1985; June 1990; August 2004 and June 2008.  

Laps Led & Lap Leaders

  • A total of 151 different drivers have led at least one lap in the Monster Energy Series at Michigan International Speedway.
  • Cale Yarborough leads the series in laps led at Michigan with 1,308 laps led in 36 starts.
  • Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in laps led at Michigan with 700 laps led in 34 starts.

Top 10 Active Lap Leaders at Michigan International Speedway

  • The most laps led in a Monster Energy Series race at Michigan International Speedway is 162 laps led by NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace on August 20, 1989 – he won the event starting from second.  
  • The most laps led in a Monster Energy Series race at Michigan International Speedway by a driver that did not win the event was 146 laps led by Jimmie Johnson who finished 22nd on June 14, 2009 – he started third.

Female Competitor Stats

  • Four female drivers have competed at Michigan International Speedway in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series: Janet Guthrie, Robin McCall, Shawna Robinson and Danica Patrick.
  • Of the four female drivers to compete at Michigan, Guthrie has the best finish (10th).  

NASCAR in Michigan

  • There has been a total of 150 NASCAR national series races among four tracks in the state of Michigan.
  • The first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race held in the state of Michigan was at Grand River Speedrome in Grand Rapids, Michigan on July 1, 1951. The race was won by Marshall Teague from the pole in a Hudson.

Michigan Drivers In NASCAR

  • A total of 99 different drivers in NASCAR national series history have their home state recorded as Michigan.
  • Nine of the 99 have won at least one race in NASCAR’s national series.
  • Brad Keselowski leads all Michigan drivers in NASCAR national series wins with 70.

 — NASCAR —