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<< Sports >>

NASCAR NEXTEL CUP SERIES

MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY

Sunday, June 18, 2006 on FOX
Top 10 Countdown to Race Weekend
10 – In six starts at MIS, Carl Edwards has never finished out of the top 10. Last year, he finished fifth and fourth, respectively, in the June and August NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races, and also had a third-place finish in the NASCAR Busch Series. Edwards finished 10th at MIS in the first NEXTEL Cup start of his career in August 2004 and also has two top-10’s in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series to his credit.
9 – Erin Crocker will drive the No. 98 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in the June 17 Con-way Freight 200. The race will be her first at MIS in the Craftsman Truck Series. Crocker will also race in the ARCA RE/MAX Series Hantz Group 200 on Friday, where she placed seventh last season to become the second-highest female finisher in MIS history.
8 – Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #8 Budweiser Chevrolet, will run a special Father’s Day paint scheme for the 3M Performance 400. The paint scheme is based upon the No. 8 cars driven by his grandfather, Ralph Earnhardt, and father, Dale Earnhardt Sr., during their NASCAR careers. On August 20, 2000, Earnhardt Jr., Earnhardt Sr. and Kerry Earnhardt all raced in the NASCAR Cup Series race at MIS. It was the only time in history that all three raced together in NASCAR competition. They finished 31st, 6th and 43rd, respectively.
7 – Seven-time ARCA RE/MAX Series champion Frank Kimmel comes to MIS for Friday’s Hantz Group 200. In June 2005, Kimmel won the Hantz Group 200 in a 1.733-second decision over Chad Blount to notch his second MIS victory.
6 – After being just the sixth African-American to qualify for a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup event when he made the starting field in Atlanta, Bill Lester comes to MIS this weekend where he will pull double duty and attempt to qualify for both the NEXTEL Cup 3M Performance 400 race on Sunday and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Con-way Freight 200 on Saturday. If successful in qualifying for the Cup race, Lester will be the first African-American in the Cup field at MIS since Willy T. Ribbs started 37th and finished 39th at MIS in June 1986.
5 – MIS has seen five different winners in six NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races since the first event took place at the 2-mile oval in 1999. After Greg Biffle repeated his 1999 win in 2000, Robert Pressley (2002), Brendan Gaughan (2003), Travis Kvapil (2004), and Dennis Setzer (2005) have all steered their trucks to Gatorade Victory Lane. Setzer’s victory gave Chevrolet its first Craftsman Truck Series win at MIS.
4 – If you don’t win the pole, you may want to start fourth at MIS. Since NASCAR’s top series began racing at MIS in 1969, 12 drivers have won races starting from the fourth position. Most recently was Ryan Newman in the June 2004 NEXTEL Cup event. Fourteen drivers have won from the pole at MIS since 1969, including four by Cale Yarborough. Just eight drivers have won from both the second and third starting positions in MIS history.
3 – Ryan Newman, who has won races at MIS in each of the last three seasons, will look to extend his streak to four when he races in the NEXTEL Cup 3M Performance 400. Newman won the NASCAR Busch Series race in August of 2005 after winning NEXTEL Cup races in 2003 and 2004. Newman’s three wins, along with a victory in the 2001 NASCAR Busch Series race, makes him the winningest driver at MIS this decade.
2 – NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series regular David Stremme, who pilots the No. 40 Lone Star Steakhouse/Coors Light Dodge, will make the second ARCA RE/MAX Series start of his career when he takes over for Steve Wallace in the No. 61 Nu South Lemonade/Hantz Group Dodge in Friday’s Hantz Group 200. Stremme’s ARCA debut came at Talladega in 2003.
1 – Mark Martin will make his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series debut at MIS when he competes in the Con-way Freight 200 on Saturday. The long-time NEXTEL Cup regular, in his final season of competition in NASCAR’s highest series, is driving the No. 6 Scotts/Miracle-Gro Ford in the Craftsman Truck Series. Martin will look to win at MIS in his fifth different series after posting victories in the NEXTEL Cup (4), Busch (2), IROC (1) and ASA (1) Series at the 2-mile oval.
Each day, a new fact about MIS will be added up until the start of the race!!

Source: Michigan International Speedway

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