NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series heads to Michigan International Speedway for this weekend’s Quicken Loans 400, taking place Sunday, June 16th, and Michigan is a place that all three Joe Gibbs Racing drivers have wins – and surprisingly, five-time Cup champ and current points leader Jimmie Johnson does not. Joining the Sprint Cup Series at MIS are the drivers of the Nationwide Series in the Alliance Truck Parts 250 on Saturday, June 15th.
Denny Hamlin, in the No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry, has two wins and seven top 10s in 14 races at MIS, with both wins coming in the June races in 2010 and 2011. Two of the last three races at the two-mile track have been rough for Hamlin, with finishes of 35th (August 2011) and 34th (June 2012).
Kyle Busch, in the No. 18 M&Ms Toyota in the Cup Series race, has one win and five top 10 finishes in 14 races at Michigan, with his win coming in August 2011. In the Nationwide Series, on the other hand, Busch has four top five finishes in five races, including a win in his first Nationwide Series start there in August 2004. Busch hasn’t raced in the series at Michigan since 2011, and this week returns to the series in the No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota Camry.
Matt Kenseth, who got both of his checkered flag at Michigan with Roush Fenway Racing, will drive the No. 20 Home Depot/Husky Tools Toyota on Sunday. Kenseth has an impressive 17 top 10 finishes in 27 races at MIS, and an average finish of 9.6 – one of only two drivers (Carl Edwards being the other) with an average finish in the top 10.
Joining Busch in the Nationwide Series race are JGR regulars Elliott Sadler and Brian Vickers. Sadler, in the No. 11 OneMain Financial Toyota, has four top 10 finishes in eight starts at MIS and six top 10 finishes in the Cup Series. Vickers, in the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota, has three top 10 finishes and a pole in five Michigan Nationwide Series starts; he also has eight top 10 finishes in 14 Cup Series starts at Michigan, including a win in August 2009, and three consecutive poles (August 2008 to August 2009).
Qualifying for the Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans 400 takes place Friday, June 14th at 3:35 p.m. ET, with the race going green at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 16th. Qualifying for the Nationwide Series Alliance Truck Parts 250 takes place Saturday, June 15th at 10:35 a.m. ET, followed by the green flag at 2:15 p.m. ET. Keep up with the action at www.nascar.com and joegibbsracing.com.
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