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Last Updated Monday, Aug 25, 2008 1:42 am, EDT

Race Capsule

Michigan International Speedway
  • What:

    Race 23 of 36 on Sprint Cup circuit

  • Where:

    Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, MI

  • When:

    August 17, 2008 2:20 pm EDT

  • Laps:


  • Track Length:

    2. miles

  • Race Length:

    400.00 miles

  • Purse:


Drivers to Watch

Jimmie Johnson Continued recent strong stretch by running seventh at Watkins Glen to move up to third in the standings; finished third at Pocono following a win at the Brickyard and runner-up at Chicago; two-time defending series champion blew a motor at Lowe's and finished in 39th place; bounced back with three top 10s, including a sixth at Michigan; picked up his first win of the season at Phoenix; had a disappointing three-race stretch at Las Vegas, Atlanta and Bristol when his average finish was 20th; ran second at California after starting this campaign with a 27th at the Daytona 500; battled teammate Gordon for the top spot in the Chase early last season, then took off - winning four straight races over the second half of the Chase; finished last season with 10 wins, 20 top fives, 24 top 10s, yet failed to finish four races; finished third in this race last year.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. The circuit's most popular driver dropped to fourth in the standings, 269 points behind Kyle Busch after running 22nd at Watkins Glen; snapped a 76-race winless stretch by winning at Michigan on fumes; in seven races since has an average finish of 15 and just one top 10; nearly snapped winless skid but was involved in a late-race incident with Busch at Richmond and wound up 15th; has 12 top 10s through 22 races; ran fifth at Bristol after a third at Atlanta and second at Las Vegas; was the top finishing Hendrick car at the Daytona 500 with a ninth-place showing; was involved in an early race crash at California and finished 40th; made the move from his father's Dale Earnhardt Inc., where he won 17 Cup events, to Hendrick Motorsports; got off to a good start with his new team by winning the Bud Shootout; suffered through a tough final season at DEI, finishing 16th in the standings; had 12 top 10s last season, but also posted 11 finishes of 25th or worse; finished 12th in this race last season.
Jeff Gordon Ran 10th at Pocono for his 10th top 10 of the season, but slipped to 29th at Watkins Glen to remain sixth in the standings; has yet to win this season but has eight top-fives; already has three DNFs this season after posting just one last year; rebounded to finish fifth at Atlanta after being involved in a scary late-race crash at Las Vegas where he finished 35th; bounced back with a third at California after opening 2008 season with a disappointing 39th in the Daytona 500; only a dominant finish by teammate Jimmie Johnson kept him from capturing a fifth championship last season; finished with 10 top-10 finishes in the final 11 races - the other finish in that span was an 11th at Dover; totaled a remarkable 30 top-10 finishes and 21 top fives in 36 races last year; had six checkered flags last season and 81 career, just two shy of tying Cale Yarborough for fifth place all-time; ran 27th in this race last year.
Kyle Busch Is in the midst of a stellar first season with Joe Gibbs Racing, winning eight races and posting 13 top fives through 22 races; lead increased to 242 points atop the standings after winning at Watkins Glen; win at the Glen gave him a sweep of the road courses following victory at Sonoma in June; prior to win at the Glen had "slumped" with a 15th at the Brickyard and 36th at Pocono; also ran dead last at the first Pocono race; finished 13th at first Michigan race; ran 17th at Bristol after power steering failed and transmission issues relegated him to 38th at Martinsville; won at Atlanta, Talladega, Darlington, Dover and the second Daytona race; runner-up finish at Richmond was marred by a late-race incident with Dale Earnhardt Jr.; had the dominant car and led the most laps at the Daytona 500; is building off a sensational run at Hendrick Motorsports in his move to JGR and Toyota; finished fifth in the final 2007 standings after qualifying for the Chase for the second consecutive season; had 20 top-10 finishes last season, including 11 top fives; lone win came during the first Bristol race - the inaugural Car of Tomorrow event; ran 13th in this race last season.
Matt Kenseth Finished 12th at Watkins Glen and sits 12th in the standings; ran third at Daytona and Michigan; finished 38th at Richmond and 41st at Talladega; ran 38th at Phoenix following a ninth at Texas and 30th at Martinsville; had consecutive top 10s at Bristol and Atlanta; was 20th at Las Vegas due to a late-race incident with Jeff Gordon; ran fifth at California, fresh off a disappointing 35th place showing at the Daytona 500; last season had a late-Chase surge with a win at the season-ending race at Homestead, following a third at Phoenix and a second at Texas; finished fourth in the final standings; had 13 top five finishes and 22 top 10s last season; won the series championship in 2003 despite capturing only one checkered flag, prompting NASCAR to change to its current Chase format; enters this season without long-time crew chief Robbie Reiser who has been replaced atop the box by Chip Bolin; ran fourth in this race last year.
Tony Stewart Finished second the past two weeks; slid to a 23rd-place finish after running well at the Brickyard; finished fifth at Chicago in first race since announcing he will leave JGR at the end of the season to drive for his own Stewart-Haas Racing team next season; fell ill at Daytona and was relieved by J.J. Yeley who finished 20th; was involved in an early crash at Dover and finished 41st; came close to winning at Lowe's, but cut down a tire with three laps remaining while leading and finished 18th; finished 38th at Talladega then bounced back to finish fourth at Richmond; ran 14th at Phoenix following back-to-back top-10 finishes at Martinsville and Texas; finished second to teammate Kyle Busch at Atlanta, but was vocal about the poor Goodyear tire quality; suffered a hard crash at Las Vegas, injured his ankle and finished last; had another disappointment in the Daytona 500, finishing third despite having the lead with one lap to go; finished 10th in this race last year.
Carl Edwards Earned fourth win of the season two weeks ago at Pocono, then ran ninth at Watkins Glen; jumped up to second in the standings, 242 points behind Kyle Busch; finished second to Jimmie Johnson at the Brickyard - his fourth runner-up this season; was also second to Busch at Darlington, Dover and the second Daytona race; won at Texas for his third win of the season; was docked 100 points and fell from the top spot in the standings after being penalized after his win at Las Vegas; victory at Texas was his 10th career Cup win; had the dominant car again at Atlanta, but blew an engine and finished 42nd; ran 19th in the Daytona 500; qualified for the Chase last year and won at Dover after placing 12th at New Hampshire, but failed post-race inspection and was docked 25 points; penalty dropped him from third to sixth in the standings and he never recovered; won the 2007 NASCAR Busch Series championship; finished seventh here last year.
Jeff Burton One of the circuit's most consistent drivers has struggled of late; ran in the top 15 through the first 17 races, but has an average finish of 20th over past five starts - including just one top 10 which came at the Brickyard; finished 17th at Watkins Glen and remained fifth in the standings, 309 points behind leader Kyle Busch; won at Bristol for lone victory of the season; had 10 top 10s through first 19 races; finished eighth in last season's standings, one year after placing seventh; finished in the top 10 in half of the races last season, including nine top fives; lone win of the 2007 season came in April at Texas; finished the season strong with five top 10s over the final six races; ran 14th in this race last season.
Kasey Kahne Finished 14th at Watkins Glen and dropped to eighth in the standings; bounced back from disappointing 33rd at Sonoma and 30th at Loudon by running seventh at Daytona, 15th at Chicago and seventh at the Brickyard; finished second to Dale Earnhardt Jr. at Michigan; won first Pocono race from the pole; had a stellar two weeks at Lowe's, winning the Sprint All-Star Challenge then snapping a 52-race winless skid by taking the checkered flag in the Coca-Cola 600; has 11 top 10s this season; after winning six races in 2006, struggled in 2007 when he finished 19th in the standings with just one top five and eight top 10s; also had six DNFs and dipped as low as 36th in the standings at one point; took on the famed Budweiser sponsorship after Earnhardt moved to Hendrick Motorsports; finished 31st in this race last year.