The active driver with the most championships has taken over the point standings for the first time this year. Jimmie Johnson now sits atop the points and heads into Michigan International Speedway with momentum on his side. There are several other teams who will be vying for the win including several drivers who desperately need wins to qualify for the Chase, which is only four races away. Who will win the Pure Michigan 400? Here are the top six who will duel around the two-mile D-shaped oval.
6. Kyle Busch - As I've said before, he's an all-or-nothing kind of driver and you'd better have him on your list of possible winners. Kyle hasn't had a lot of luck at Michigan but he won this race a year ago so keep an eye on him - he is badly in need of a win to grab the last wildcard spot.
5. Greg Biffle - He had the pole here last season and had two wins back-to-back several years ago. The Biff' has had a very good season so far and he'll be one to watch this year.
4. Matt Kenseth - He was third in June and has four straight top 10s here. He's had a similar year to Biffle and is certainly one to watch at Michigan.
3. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - He broke his four year losing streak here in June (source - Yahoo!) and that alone should have him as a solid favorite. Two wins and two poles here at Michigan along with the recent win say Junior will be one of the cars to beat.
2. Jimmie Johnson - He's never won at Michigan but had a second here last season and was fifth in June. He's done well at this track and led a lot of laps for having no wins so he should be in front at some time during this race, while challenging for the win.
1. Tony Stewart - Smoke has only one win at Michigan but he's never been out of the top 20 in the last dozen races and he never has been out of the Top 10 over the last five events. His being the runner-up to Junior in June was a precursor to winning the August race this year.
A couple others to watch are Carl Edwards and Jeff Gordon. Both need wins especially Edwards who in 16 starts at Michigan failed only twice to finish in the top 12, plus has two wins. Gordon needs a second victory to help secure the last wildcard spot - note, he led 50 laps at this race a year ago.
The Pure Michigan 400 will be run Sunday August 19 and broadcast live on ESPN at Noon Eastern time. The next race will be at Bristol the following Saturday night.
Sources - NASCAR, Racing Reference
Daryle has been involved in motorsports most of his life and has three decades of experience inside racemarketing, plus for several years has blogged about every type of racing.
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