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Last Updated Monday, Jun 26, 2006 1:36 am, EDT

Race Capsule

Michigan International Speedway
  • What:

    Race 17 of 38 on Sprint Cup circuit

  • Where:

    Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, MI

  • When:

    June 18, 2006 1:40 pm EDT

  • Laps:

    200

  • Track Length:

    2. miles

  • Race Length:

    400.00 miles

  • Purse:

    $5,037,040

Drivers to Watch

Kasey Kahne Registered his second consecutive seventh-place finish at Pocono and climbed one spot to fifth in the standings with 1,866 points; captured the checkered flag at the Coca-Cola 600, his third victory this season; rebounded nicely from three consecutive runs outside the top 20; has registered five top-five finishes and eight top-10s this season; won the Samsung/RadioShack 500 to record his third career victory; also visited Victory Lane at Atlanta after registering consecutive fourth-place finishes at California and Las Vegas; placed 18th in this event last season.
Jeff Gordon Placed 34th at Pocono, his fifth finish outside the top 10 in his last six starts; fell two spots to 11th in the standings with 1,644 points; bounced back nicely from disappointing performance at Richmond by finishing second at Darlington; has just four top-five finishes and five top-10s through 13 races this season; struggled to 32nd-place finish in this race last season; won this event in 2001 and has fared well at this track, registering two victories, four poles, 14 top-five finishes and 17 top-10s.
Jimmie Johnson Ran 10th at Pocono to register his series-leading 11th top-10 finish; rebounded from slow start at Dover to place sixth; ran second at Coca-Cola 600 and won the Nextel All-Star Challenge to continue his early dominance of the circuit; leads the standings with 2,145 points, just 48 ahead of Matt Kenseth; captured the checkered flag at the Aaron's 499 to retake the standings lead from Kenseth; ran seventh at Phoenix and fell to second in the standings for just the second time in nine weeks this season; absolutely dominated the circuit over the first six races, registering two victories among five finishes inside the top six; won the season-opening Daytona 500 and captured the checkered flag two weeks later at Las Vegas; placed 19th in this event last season and has three top-10 finishes in eight starts at this track.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Ran 14th at Pocono but fell two spots to sixth in the standings with 1,850 points; captured the checkered flag at Richmond, his first victory of the season that snapped a string of 27 starts without a victory; has placed inside the top 15 in 11 of 14 races this season; finished 17th in this race last season and has struggled at this track, placing inside the top 10 just twice in 13 career starts.
Greg Biffle Registered his fifth straight top-10 finish Sunday in the Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway; remained 12th in the Nextel Cup standings with 1,642 points through 14 races; defending series runner-up captured his first victory of the season at the Dodge Charger 500 at Darlington Raceway on May 13; struggled over the first nine races this season, registering just two top-10 finishes; captured one of his six checkered flags last season in this event, edging out Tony Stewart to win for the second time in six career starts at this track; has three top-five finishes and four top-10s here.
Jeff Burton Finished ninth at Pocono on Sunday and remained seventh in the standings with 1,758 points; has finished inside the top 10 in seven of his last eight starts, including a fourth-place finish at Dover on June 4; also ran fourth at Talladega on May 1; placed 11th in this event last season; has four top-five finishes and eight top-10s in 24 career starts at this track.
Kyle Busch Experienced trouble in pits at Pocono and struggled to 22nd-place finish; remained 10th in the standings with 1,669 points; bounced back nicely from disappointing 38th-place finish at Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte by placing fifth at Dover; ran seventh at Darlington to register his second consecutive top-10 finish; has four top-five finishes and seven top-10s; finished inside the top 12 in five straight races from February 26-April 2; reigning Raybestos Rookie of the Year ran ninth in this event last season but placed 43rd in the GFS Marketplace 400 at this track on August 21.
Tony Stewart Defending series champion persevered through a right shoulder injury to finish third at Pocono, his seventh top-five finish this season; crashed in both the Nextel and Busch races at Charlotte and suffered from a fractured right scapula; crashed in lap 30 at Coca-Cola 600 and finished 42nd; is fourth in the standings; was runner-up to Johnson at Talladega, his second straight second-place finish; won his first race of the season at Martinsville; had the dominant car at Bristol before fading late for a 12th-place finish; placed fifth at Atlanta to rebound from a disappointing finish at Las Vegas; was runner-up to Biffle in this race last season.
Matt Kenseth Ran fifth at Pocono one week after capturing the checkered flag at Dover; climbed within 48 points of Johnson for the standings lead; finished fifth at Charlotte and was runner-up to Kahne at Texas; leads the circuit with nine top-five finishes through 14 races; struggled to a 24th-place finish at Martinsville after crashing on a restart in the 493rd lap; appeared primed for a victory at Bristol before being bumped by Kurt Busch in lap 495 and fading to third; placed fourth in this race last season, one of his nine top-10 finishes in 13 career starts here.
Denny Hamlin Held on to win the Pocono 500, his first career victory; has run inside the top 10 in five of his last six races, climbing to ninth in the standings with 1,682 points; rookie driver owns a 26-point lead over Clint Bowyer for first place in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings; was runner-up to Earnhardt at Richmond and won the season-opening Budweiser Shootout, a non-points event.
Carl Edwards Hopes to rebound from disappointing 25th-place finish at Pocono; is 13th in the standings with 1,547 points, 122 outside of the top 10; ran 14th at Dover a week after placing third at Charlotte; has rebounded nicely from a slow start this season, registering four top-five finishes in his last seven starts; finished seventh at Richmond to record his third consecutive top-10 finish; ran fifth in this race last season and has placed inside the top 10 in all three of his starts at this track.