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Michigan International Speedway -- 06/14/2009
Author: Becca Gladden
Published: Friday Jun 12 2009 10:13pmRead all of Becca Gladden's articles here
Becca's Pace Lap: The LifeLock 400 at Michigan International Speedway
• Front Row: Brian Vickers (P1), Kyle Busch (P2)
• Pole Qualifying Speed: 189.110 mph
• Highest Starting Rookie: Scott Speed - starts 21st
• To the Rear: Jeff Gordon (engine failure in practice)
• Fastest Qualifier by Manufacturer:
Chevy: Jimmie Johnson (3rd)
Dodge: Kurt Busch (5th)
Ford: Bill Elliott (15th)
Toyota: Brian Vickers (1st)
• Outside the Top 35 Who Made the Field:
• Outside the Top 35 Who Missed the Cut:
• Weather Forecast: Variably cloudy, 69°F, scattered showers, east winds at 6-12 mph
• Race Notes:
Last year's race winner: Dale Earnhardt Jr. (June race)
Most recent winner here: Carl Edwards (August race)
The weather forecast calls for the possibility of off-and-on rain showers this weekend. It’s been rumored that some teams were in race trim for qualifying, fearing a rain-out of Saturday’s practice sessions.
If it does rain Saturday, it will be bad news for Jeff Gordon because his engine blew in practice Friday and he will be going to a back-up for the remainder of the weekend.
David Reutimman and Casey Mears also scraped the wall in practice Friday but the damage was deemed not serious.
Jimmie Johnson had the fastest lap in practice Friday at 188.818 mph. Polesitter Brian Vickers was second-fastest in practice, followed by Kurt Busch, Juan Pablo Montoya, and Clint Bowyer.
There was only one Ford in the top 10 in Friday’s practice – Greg Biffle at 8th – and the highest Ford qualifier was Bill Elliott at 15th.
Ryan Newman holds the Michigan qualifying record at 194.232 mph in 2005. Mark Martin has made 46 Michigan starts without a pole.
• Quotes of the Week:
“You have to really commit to saving fuel at the start of the run, the minute you leave pit road on that run. So if the crew chief notices, even two pit stops from the end, that hey we’re getting to that point and figure out how to save fuel, you can hopefully learn the run before and see what those savings are and then count on that again for the final run. So, it’s always in our minds at places like Pocono, Michigan and the road courses for sure. So hopefully it doesn’t come down to that. We all like to race hard and stand on the gas and hopefully it doesn’t.” – Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports No. 48, on the possibility of another fuel mileage race this weekend.
“I think the guy is just trying to direct a lot of people to his website or to his column and generate ad revenue for said website I suppose. I really don’t see how that argument really is that relevant to anything and I don’t even know really what kind of problem he has or what kind of solution he wants. I don’t really get into it. My fans will handle themselves. They’re good people. We’ve got a lot of great fans that follow this sport and they’re very loyal to us and we need them more now than ever right now, so I think anyone who would be calling them out and stirring them up is causing problems not only for himself but everyone else in this sport.” – Dale Earnhardt Jr., Hendrick Motorsports No. 88, on Kyle Busch’s remark that he has a problem with the Junior Nation.
• Current oddsmakers' favorite:
Jimmie Johnson +500 (starts 3rd)
Kyle Busch/Carl Edwards +700 (starts 2nd/29th)
• Long shots to watch:
Ryan Newman +2000 (starts 18th)
David Ragan +4000 (starts 23rd)
* All information current at press time