There is one word that keeps coming up over and over when it comes to this weekend's race at the Michigan International Speedway. Fast. I know, all intermediate tracks are fast, but drivers say that since the repave, this may be the fastest of them all.
"Michigan International Speedway is a really fast two-mile track," said Paul Menard. "And with the new Gen-6 car this year we may experience even faster speeds than we did last year after the track was repaved."
Here's the thing about fast, it's hard and it doesn't always make for the best racing. It spreads the field out, less cars are actually in contention. It also puts more emphasis on car and drivers.
"It's pretty fast -- it's really fast," said Clint Bowyer. "The center corner speed is fast. It doesn't feel any different down the straightaway or whatever else if your car is handling good. Let me tell you, when you're fighting loose conditions and the thing snaps sideways on you and you're running 200 mph, it gets your attention pretty quick."
Mark Martin leads all active drivers with five wins, followed by Bobby Labonte and Greg Biffle who each have three. Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt, Jr, Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman, Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards, and Kurt Busch all tied at 2 wins each. Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick each have one win. This is one of five active tracks Jimmie Johnson does not have a win at.
"I love Michigan. It's like a big short track," said Martin. "The track lends itself to the guys who focus on the handling of their race cars.That's always been my specialty. The cars are different this year, so I don't know if we'll repeat last year's performance. We'll just have to see how we stack up against the competition."