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Last Updated Sunday, Aug 28, 2005 2:09 am, EDT

Race Capsule

Michigan International Speedway
  • What:

    Race 27 of 37 on XFINITY circuit

  • Where:

    Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, MI

  • When:

    August 20, 2005 3:00 pm EDT

  • Laps:

    125

  • Track Length:

    2. miles

  • Race Length:

    250.00 miles

  • Purse:

    $1,125,988

Drivers to Watch

Passed teammate on the penultimate lap and cruised to his second straight victory last week in Texas; gained 30 points on Stewart with his fourth victory overall, leaving him 77 points off the pace with two races remaining in his quest to become the third different Roush Racing driver to win a championship in as many years; the 26-year-old has run in the top 10 six times in the last seven races since opening the "Chase" with a 19th in New Hampshire; in his first full season on the circuit, has 12 top-fives and 16 top-10s, including a seven here in April; finished 37th in this race among his 13 starts in 2004.
Endured a pair of spins and was fortunate to finish on the lead lap last week, running 20th in the Dickies 500; slipped a spot to fourth in the standings, 122 points off the pace with two races remaining; tied with Tony Stewart for the circuit lead with five checkered flags but has not visited victory lane since June 19 in Michigan; has recorded three top-fives through the first eight "Chase" events but has run 20th in two of the last three; overheating issues led to a 41st here in April; with titles on the Craftsman Truck Series (2000) and Busch Series (2002), has a glimmer of optimism for completing the trifecta considering the front-runners' previous history here: "Tony and Jimmie (Johnson) got in a little tangle earlier this season at Phoenix and Tony got wrecked. The other thing is, is they have had really flawless runs, and Phoenix is a little bit more of a hazard than Homestead so to speak. But anything can happen. Jimmie has not run that well at Phoenix. If he ends up 18th, I win the race, Tony gets crashed, or something happens to Tony Stewart's car, that puts us right in the position with having to beat them by only about five spots and Homestead to win the title. You know, that is what it's going to take. So I'm saying we're not out of it, but, you know, our hopes are not like they were."
Kasey Kahne Gained entry into this event reserved for 2004 and 2005 race winners, past event champions and active series champions since 1995 with his first career checkered flag in last week's Chevy American Revolution 400; led a career-high 242 laps, including the final 106, for his first win in 47 career starts; had six runner-ups, including five as a rookie last year, before finally breaking through; climbed four spots to 15th in the standings; has won the pole for the last three events entered, including last week's Busch Series event; elated at the opportunity to win $1 million in this event: "I'd love to get it. I'd probably go buy a house. I'm still living in my apartment I got 3 1/2 years ago when I moved to Charlotte."
Was runner-up to Kenseth in this event last year after winning it in 2002; leads the series with three poles this year and has qualified second behind Kahne for each of the last two events; also led the circuit in poles in 2002 (6), 2003 (11) and 2004 (9); ran third last week in Richmond after recording a fifth the previous week in Darlington; was the third time in the last two seasons he has posted back-to-back top-fives; climbed eight spots to seventh in the standings over the last two weeks.