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Statistical Advance: Analyzing the doubleheader weekend at Michigan


Top 10 Michigan Driver Ratings
Chase Elliott……………………….. 100.4
Matt Kenseth………………………… 99.8
Kevin Harvick……………………….. 99.6
Joey Logano…………………………. 99.3
Brad Keselowski……………………. 97.2
Jimmie Johnson…………………….. 92.6
Ryan Blaney…………………………. 92.2
Kurt Busch…………………………… 91.5
Denny Hamlin……………………….. 91.0
Kyle Busch…………………………… 89.3
Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2019 races (30 total) among active drivers at Michigan International Speedway.

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 track was known as Michigan Speedway during the time Roger Penske was the primary owner (1996-99).
  • The first NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan was held June 15, 1969 – won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough in the Wood Brothers’ No. 21 Mercury at a speed of 139.254 mph.
  • The first 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.
  • Michigan International Speedway has hosted a total of 101 NASCAR Cup Series races. Other than 1973, which had just one race, there have been two races each season since 1969.

STARTS

  • A total of 402 different drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway; 297 have competed in more than one.
  • NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott leads the series in starts at Michigan with 61.
  • Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch lead all active series drivers in Michigan starts with 38 each.
  • A total of 40 different drivers have made their first NASCAR Cup Series start at Michigan International Speedway. The three most recent are:

    • Spencer Boyd - August 11, 2019
    • Garrett Smithley – June 10, 2018
    • Landon Cassill – June 13, 2010

  • Best finish by a driver making his first career NASCAR Cup Series start at Michigan International Speedway was a fifth-place finish by John Anderson, from Massillon, Ohio on Aug. 19, 1979; he started 20th and finished fifth driving for Russ Draime (Chevrolet).

STARTS

  • Bobby Isaac leads the series in average starting position at Michigan with a 3.125 in eight starts.
  • Ryan Blaney leads all active series drivers in average starting position at Michigan with an 9.1 in 10 starts.

Top 10 in Average Starting Position at Michigan (All-Time & Active)

Rank All-Time Drivers Avg. Start Starts Rank Active Drivers Avg. Start Starts
1 Bobby Isaac 3.125 8 1 Ryan Blaney 9.100 10
2 LeeRoy Yarbrough 4.800 5 2 Joey Logano 10.091 22
3 Davey Allison 5.385 13 3 Erik Jones 10.667 6
4 David Pearson 7.655 29 4 Jimmie Johnson 10.750 36
5 Sam Sommers 8.000 2 5 Chase Elliott 10.875 8
6 Bobby Allison 8.486 37 6 Denny Hamlin 12.071 28
7 Pete Hamilton 8.600 5 7 Kurt Busch 12.474 38
8 Alan Kulwicki 8.714 14 8 Kyle Busch 13.000 31
9 Ryan Blaney 9.100 10 9 Ryan Newman 13.784 37
10 Joe Millikan 9.250 4 10 Brad Keselowski 13.810 21

POLES

  • A total of 50 different drivers have won the Pole Award at Michigan International Speedway in the 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).
  • Joey Logano (2013, 2016 sweep, 2019) leads all active drivers in poles at Michigan with four; followed by Kurt Busch (2010, 2011 and 2018) with three.
  • Donnie Allison won the inaugural pole at Michigan in 1969 with a speed of 160.135 mph (Ford).
  • Seven drivers have won consecutive poles 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)
    • Joey Logano (2016 sweep).

POLES

  • David Pearson holds the record for most consecutive poles at Michigan with five; from the Fall race of 1976 through 1978.
  • 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 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.

NASCAR Cup Series
First-Time Pole Winners at Michigan
First-Time Pole Winners Date
Marcos Ambrose Sunday, June 17, 2012
JJ Yeley Sunday, June 17, 2007
Jeff Burton Sunday, August 18, 1996
Bobby Hamilton Sunday, June 23, 1996
Rusty Wallace Sunday, June 28, 1987
Ron Bouchard Sunday, August 16, 1981
Pete Hamilton Sunday, June 7, 1970

  • Nine different manufacturers have won a pole at Michigan in the NASCAR Cup Series.
  • Ford leads the series in poles at Michigan with 31; 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 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).
  • Kurt Busch (2003, 2007, 2015), Matt Kenseth (2002, 2006, 2015), Joey Logano (2013, 2016, 2019) and Kevin Harvick (2010, 2018, 2019) lead all active series drivers in wins at Michigan with three each.
  • NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough won the inaugural NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway driving for Wood Brothers Racing in a Mercury on June 15, 1969.

WINS

  • 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)
    • Kyle Larson won three-straight at Michigan (2016-2017).

  • Bill Elliott holds the record for the most consecutive wins in the series at Michigan with four (1985 sweep and 1986 sweep).
  • 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)
    • Kyle Larson (August 28, 2016).

  • 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. (28), and Michigan native Brad Keselowski (21) lead all active drivers in the series in starts without a win at Michigan International Speedway.
  • The first starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (22) than any other starting position at Michigan International Speedway:

    • 20 from the pole and one from the first starting position due to qualifying being cancelled – 1985 (Bill Elliott).

  • 21 of the 101 (21%) NASCAR Cup Series races at Michigan have been won from the pole or first starting position; the most recent win from the pole at Michigan was June 2019 (Joey Logano).
  • The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Michigan is 32nd, by NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin in the spring of 2009.
  • The deepest in the field that an active race winner has started at Michigan is 24th, by Kurt Busch in the June of 2015.

WINS

NASCAR Cup Series Wins by Starting Positions at Michigan International Speedway

Starting Position Wins Winning % Starting Position Wins Winning %
1 22 21.78% 13 1 0.99%
2 9 8.91% 15 2 1.98%
3 11 10.89% 17 2 1.98%
4 12 11.88% 18 1 0.99%
5 6 5.94% 19 3 2.97%
6 1 0.99% 20 2 1.98%
7 6 5.94% 24 3 2.97%
8 4 3.96% 25 1 0.99%
9 2 1.98% 27 1 0.99%
10 3 2.97% 28 1 0.99%
11 3 2.97% 32 1 0.99%
12 4 3.96%
Stats Winning % Wins
Winning from the First Starting Position: 21.78% 22
Winning from the Front Row: 30.69% 31
Winning from a Top-Five Starting Position: 59.41% 60
Winning from a Top-10 Starting Position: 75.25% 76
Winning After Starting Outside the Top 20: 6.93% 7

  • A total of 21 different organizations have won in the NASCAR Cup Series at Michigan; 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 NASCAR Cup Series at Michigan; led by Ford with 39 victories; followed by Chevrolet with 26, Mercury (12), Dodge (nine), Toyota (five), Buick (four) Pontiac (four) and Oldsmobile (two).

ADDITIONAL FINISHING POSITIONS

Runner-Up Finishes:

  • A total of 42 different drivers in the NASCAR Cup 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.

Top-Five Finishes:

  • A total of 92 different drivers in the series have posted top-five finishes at Michigan.
  • NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough leads the series in top-five finishes at Michigan with 21.
  • Matt Kenseth leads all active series drivers in top-five finishes at Michigan with 14.

Top-10 Finishes:

  • A total of 149 different drivers in the series have finished inside the top-10 at Michigan.
  • NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin leads the series in top-10 finishes at Michigan with 31 top 10s.
  • Matt Kenseth leads all active drivers in top 10s at Michigan with 20.

Average Finishing Position:

  • Sam Sommers leads the series in average finishing position at Michigan with a 6.0 in two starts.
  • Chase Elliott leads all active drivers in the series in average finishing position at Michigan with a 7.625 in eight starts.

Top 10 in Average Finishing Position at Michigan (All-Time & Active)

Rank All-Time Drivers Avg. Finish Starts Rank Active Drivers Avg. Finish Starts
1 Sam Sommers 6.000 2 1 Chase Elliott 7.625 8
2 Chase Elliott 7.625 8 2 Matt Kenseth 11.342 38
3 Carl Edwards 9.400 25 3 Kevin Harvick 11.658 38
4 Cale Yarborough 9.611 36 4 Brad Keselowski 11.952 21
5 Larry Smith 9.667 3 5 Joey Logano 12.182 22
6 LeeRoy Yarbrough 10.200 5 6 Denny Hamlin 13.821 28
7 Ed Hessert 10.500 2 7 Martin Truex Jr 14.607 28
8 Bobby Allison 11.108 37 8 Erik Jones 15.500 6
9 Matt Kenseth 11.342 38 9 Ryan Blaney 15.500 10
10 Kevin Harvick 11.658 38 10 Austin Dillon 16.000 15

LAP LEADERS

  • A total of 152 different drivers have led at least one lap in the NASCAR Cup 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 NASCAR Cup Series in laps led at Michigan with 700 laps led in 36 starts. 4

Top 10 All-Time Lap Leaders at Michigan International Speedway

Rank All-Time Drivers Led Completed % Led Starts
1 Cale Yarborough 1,308 6,553 19.96% 36
2 Jeff Gordon 1,059 8,581 12.34% 46
3 Bill Elliott 1,004 11,212 8.95% 61
4 Mark Martin 988 10,285 9.61% 56
5 David Pearson 864 4,638 18.63% 29
6 Rusty Wallace 855 8,101 10.55% 44
7 Jimmie Johnson 700 6,525 10.73% 35
8 Darrell Waltrip 689 8,884 7.76% 48
9 Bobby Allison 664 6,711 9.89% 37
10 Dale Earnhardt 596 7,976 7.47% 43

Top 10 Active Lap Leaders at Michigan International Speedway

Rank All-Time Drivers Led Completed % Led Starts
1 Jimmie Johnson 700 6,717 10% 36
2 Joey Logano 572 4,133 14% 22
3 Kevin Harvick 517 7,335 7% 38
4 Kurt Busch 499 6,638 8% 38
5 Matt Kenseth 443 7,214 6% 38
6 Martin Truex Jr 275 5,377 5% 28
7 Kyle Busch 258 5,275 5% 31
8 Brad Keselowski 252 4,076 6% 21
9 Denny Hamlin 198 5,310 4% 28
10 Ryan Newman 125 6,954 2% 37

  • The most laps led in a NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway is 163 laps led by Joey Logano on June 10, 2019 – he won the event starting from the pole position.
  • The most laps led in a 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.

TRACK / EVENT 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.

Top Five Closest Margins of Victory at Michigan in NASCAR Cup Series

Rank Margin of Victory Race Winner Runner-Up Date
1 0.085 Jeff Gordon Ricky Rudd Sunday, June 10, 2001
2 0.131 Matt Kenseth Dale Jarrett Sunday, June 16, 2002
3 0.147 Joey Logano Kurt Busch Monday, June 10, 2019
4 0.168 Dale Jarrett Mark Martin Sunday, August 18, 1996
5 0.270 Bobby Labonte Jeff Gordon Sunday, June 18, 1995

  • Six of 101 (5.9%) NASCAR Cup Series races have resulted with NASCAR Overtime at Michigan:

Date Scheduled Laps Actual Laps Overtime Laps Race Winner
Monday, June 10, 2019 200 203 3 Joey Logano
Sunday, August 13, 2017 200 202 2 Kyle Larson
Sunday, August 19, 2012 200 201 1 Greg Biffle
Sunday, August 21, 2011 200 203 3 Kyle Busch
Sunday, June 15, 2008 200 203 3 Dale Earnhardt Jr
Tuesday, August 21, 2007 200 203 3 Kurt Busch

  • Five of the 101 (4.9%) series races at Michigan have been shortened due to weather:

Date Scheduled Laps Actual Laps Fewer Laps Race Winner
Sunday, June 10, 2018 200 133 -67 Clint Bowyer
Sunday, June 14, 2015 200 138 -62 Kurt Busch
Sunday, June 18, 2006 200 129 -71 Kasey Kahne
Sunday, August 19, 2001 200 162 -38 Sterling Marlin
Sunday, June 11, 2000 200 194 -6 Tony Stewart
Sunday, August 17, 1969 300 165 -135 David Pearson

  • Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions in the NASCAR Cup Series at Michigan International Speedway four times:

Date Drivers That Started First
Sunday, June 16, 1985 Bill Elliott
Sunday, June 24, 1990 Mark Martin
Sunday, August 22, 2004 Jimmie Johnson
Sunday, June 15, 2008 Kyle Busch

FEMALE COMPETITORS

  • Four female drivers have competed at Michigan International Speedway in the 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).

Driver Starting Position Finishing Position Date
Danica Patrick 18 22 8/13/2017
Danica Patrick 23 37 6/18/2017
Danica Patrick 25 21 6/12/2016
Danica Patrick 23 25 8/16/2015
Danica Patrick 19 16 6/14/2015
Danica Patrick 14 18 8/17/2014
Danica Patrick 27 17 6/15/2014
Danica Patrick 28 23 8/18/2013
Danica Patrick 37 13 6/16/2013
Patrick Averages 23.8 21.3
Shawna Robinson 32 34 6/10/2001
Robinson Averages 32.0 34.0
Robin McCall 29 33 8/22/1982
Robin McCall 35 29 6/20/1982
McCall Averages 32.0 31.0
Janet Guthrie 18 27 8/20/1978
Janet Guthrie 15 10 8/22/1977
Janet Guthrie 12 26 6/19/1977
Guthrie Averages 15.0 21.0

NASCAR IN MICHIGAN

  • There has been a total of 152 NASCAR national series races among four tracks in the state of Michigan.

Track Name City Cup Xfinity Gander Trucks Total Races First Year
Michigan International Speedway Brooklyn 101 28 20 151 1969
Grand River Speedrome Grand Rapids 2 0 0 2 1951
Michigan State Fairgrounds Detroit 2 0 0 2 1951
Monroe Speedway Monroe 1 0 0 1 1952
Totals 106 28 20 156

  • The first 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 100 different drivers in NASCAR national series history have their home state recorded as Michigan.
  • Nine of the 100 have won at least one race in NASCAR’s national series; they combined to win 156 NASCAR national series races.

Winners from Michigan
Driver Cup Xfinity Gander Trucks Combined
Brad Keselowski 33 39 1 73
Paul Goldsmith 9 0 0 9
Erik Jones 2 9 7 18
Johnny Benson 1 3 14 18
Tim Fedewa 0 4 0 4
Butch Miller 0 2 1 3
Tracy Leslie 0 1 0 1
Jack Sprague 0 1 28 29
Bob Keselowski 0 0 1 1
Totals 45 59 52 156

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