Michigan Speedway pre-race notes

NNCS: What: BATMAN BEGINS 400 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Race (15th event on the 36-race 2005 NNCS schedule) When: Sunday, June 19, 2 p.m. (EDT). Where: Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, Michigan. Television: Live on FOX,...


(15th event on the 36-race 2005 NNCS schedule)

When: Sunday, June 19, 2 p.m. (EDT).

Where: Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, Michigan.

Television: Live on FOX, 1:30 p.m.

Radio: Live on MRN. Area affiliates include: WTKA 1050-AM (Ann Arbor); WWWW 102.9-FM (Ann Arbor); WITL 100.7-FM (Lansing); WKHM 970-AM (Jackson); WABJ 1490-AM (Adrian); WCSR 1340-AM, 92.1-FM (Hillsdale). WDFN 1130-AM (Detroit).

Official pre- and post-race tailgate shows and official Michigan International Speedway WTKA 1050-AM (Ann Arbor), WKHM 105.3-FM (Jackson) and WITL 100.7-FM (Lansing). WWJ 950-AM (Detroit) will carry live traffic reports on the eights prior to the Sunday, June 19 Batman Begins 400.

2004 Pole Winner: Jeff Gordon, DuPont Chevrolet, 190.865 mph, 37.723 seconds.

2004 Race Winner: Ryan Newman, ALLTEL Dodge, 139.292 mph, 2 hours, 52 minutes, 18 seconds.

About the Batman Begins Movie: Batman Begins, the fifth major motion picture in the Batman saga, will open in all theatres on Wednesday, June 15. Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins explores the origins of the Batman legend and the Dark Knight's emergence as a force for good in Gotham. In the wake of his parents' murder, disillusioned industrial heir Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) travels the world seeking the means to fight injustice and turn fear against those who prey on the fearful. He returns to Gotham and unveils his alter-ego: Batman, a masked crusader who uses his strength, intellect and an array of high tech deceptions to fight the sinister forces that threaten the city. Actress Katie Holmes also stars in the film.

Tickets: Reserved seats still available for the Batman Begins 400 by calling the Michigan International Speedway Ticket Office (1-800-354-1010 or 517-592-6672) or by going on-line at www.MISpeedway.com. Ticket Hotline is open 9 A.M. - 9 P.M. seven days a week. General Admission (infield) tickets for Sunday's race go on sale Sunday morning at 6 a.m. at the tunnel entrance and at 8 a.m. at other Speedway ticket offices.


What:   Paramount Health Insurance 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Race

(10th event on the 25-race 2005 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule)

When: Saturday, June 18, 3:15 p.m. (EDT).

Where: Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, Michigan.

Television: Live on Speed Channel, 3 p.m.

2004 Pole Winner: Dennis Setzer, Chevrolet Silverado Chevrolet, Qualifying was rained out, Starting grid is set based on points standings.

2004 Race Winner: Travis Kvapil, Line-X Toyota, 125.479 mph, 1 hour, 35 minutes, 38 seconds. Win gave Toyota its first victory in truck series.

About ProMedica Health System: Paramount Health Care is a member of ProMedica Health System. ProMedica, ranked the second most integrated health system in the country, was formed in 1986 and is a Toledo, Ohio-based, not-for-profit health care organization with 15,000 associates, 69 corporations and joint ventures, 2,700 physicians and 210 facilities in its 23-county service area in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. ProMedica facilities treated over 2.25 million patients in 2004 and includes 10 hospitals; ProMedica Continuing Care Services with senior, rehabilitation and integrative services; ProMedica Physician Group, a large network of primary care, obstetrics and specialist physicians; Paramount Health Care, the largest HMO in northwest Ohio; and the Health Education Research Corporation, with more than 60 academic affiliations. ProMedica contributes more than $68 million annually in indigent care and other community benefits in the communities it serves. For more information, please visit www.paramounthealthcare.com.

Tickets: Reserved seats still available for the Paramount Health Insurance 200 by calling the Michigan International Speedway Ticket Office (1-800-354-1010 or 517-592-6672) or by going on-line at www.MISpeedway.com. All seats are just $40 and children 12 and under are admitted free.


What:   Hantz Group 200 ARCA RE/MAX Series Race

(9th event on the 23-race 2005 RE/MAX Series schedule)

When: Friday, June 17, 5:15 p.m. (EDT).

Where: Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, Michigan.

Television: SPEED Channel, 5 p.m.

2004 Pole Winner: Justin Hobgood, Germain Motor Co. Dodge, 188.210 mph, 38.257 seconds (new track record)

2004 Race Winner: Reed Sorenson, Sherwin Williams/Target Dodge, 112.518 mph, 1 hour, 46 minutes, 39 seconds.

About the Hantz Group: The HantzGroup is a Michigan-based full-service financial holding company that started in January 1998. The company is involved with financial planning, tax services and business/retirement planning.

Tickets: Seats still available for the Hantz Group 200 by calling the Michigan International Speedway Ticket Office (1-800-354-1010 or 517-592-6672) or by going on-line at www.MISpeedway.com.



* Michigan International Speedway has hosted a NASCAR race in June every year since 1969. The one year that MIS hosted one NASCAR race - 1973 - it took place in June. The Batman Begins 400 will be the 72nd NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at MIS.

* Batman Begins is the first major motion picture to serve as a title sponsor of a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race. However, it is not the first time Warner Bros. Consumer Products has been involved with NASCAR or Michigan International Speedway. Just last August, Warner Bros. Consumer Products and DC Comics partnered with Michigan International Speedway for the highly successful Justice League Racing Weekend Presented by Hot Wheels, as some of NASCAR's top drivers piloted cars emblazoned with the familiar heroes of the Justice League.

* There have been 10 different winners in the last 11 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races at MIS. The winners include: 2004-Greg Biffle, Ryan Newman; 2003-Ryan Newman, Kurt Busch; 2002-Dale Jarrett, Matt Kenseth; 2001-Sterling Marlin, Jeff Gordon; 2000-Rusty Wallace, Tony Stewart; 1999-Bobby Labonte in August. Will there be a different winner in 2005?

* The pole position has been the most productive starting position at MIS in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series competition, producing 14 race winners in 71 total races.

* If you don't win the pole, you may want to start fourth at MIS. Since NASCAR's top series began racing at MIS in 1969, 12 drivers have won races starting from the fourth position. Most recently was Ryan Newman in last year's June NEXTEL Cup event. Just eight drivers have won from both the second and third starting positions in MIS history.

* Since the Batman Begins 400 has been a NASCAR Father's Day tradition for years, it's only appropriate to talk about Father/Son combinations over the years. Richard and Kyle Petty have run together on Father's Day eight times. The first of which was June 15, 1980 as Richard finished fifth and Kyle finished behind his Dad in seventh place. Richard and Kyle have competed in the June race at MIS 12 different times, with Kyle finishing higher than Dad six out of the 12 times. In August of 2000, Dale Earnhardt and his sons Kerry and Dale Jr. all drove in the Cup race at MIS, which was the first and only time all three competed together in a NASCAR event.

* The winner of the June event at MIS has gone on to win the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup championship seven times since the track's first NASCAR race in 1969. The list includes Richard Petty (1974), Cale Yarborough (1977,78), Dale Earnhardt (1987,1990), Dale Jarrett (1999) and the most recent is Jeff Gordon in 2001 when he passed Ricky Rudd on the last lap to win.

* Bobby Labonte captured both Bud Poles at MIS in 2003, becoming the first driver to sweep the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series poles at MIS since Bill Elliott accomplished the feat back in 1988. Over the 36-year history of MIS, a driver has swept both NEXTEL Cup poles at MIS eight different times, among only four different drivers. David Pearson swept both NEXTEL Cup poles in 1974,1977,1978 and Bill Elliott swept both poles in 1984, 1985 and 1988. Bobby's brother Terry Labonte is the only other driver to sweep poles at MIS as he did so in 1983.

* In August of 1981, there was nine caution flags during the race, which set an MIS record. Since then, the record has been tied in three of MIS' last four races. The yellow flag came out nine times in June of 2003 and in both Cup races in 2004. Eight caution flags came out in August of 2003.

* Don't look for one car make to dominate the Batman Begins 400. In the backyard of the automotive capital of the world, no manufacturer has swept the top five finishing positions in the June race at MIS.

* Recently, Ford and Dodge have combined to win the last seven NEXTEL Cup races at MIS. Ford has taken five checkered flags, while Dodge has put a car in victory lane three times since 2000. Jeff Gordon, who won the June Cup race in 2001, is the last driver to win a Cup race in a Chevrolet. Sterling Marlin's August victory in 2001 at MIS was the first time a Dodge won a Cup event since 1977.


* Travis Kvapil made history at MIS last July by giving Toyota its first ever NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series victory. Since then, the manufacturer has recorded three more victories in the series.

* Greg Biffle has won three career races at MIS, including the first two NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races in track history (1999 and 2000).

* Grand Rapids, Michigan driver Johnny Benson will be making his second appearance at MIS in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Benson started 31st, but ended up finishing fourth in his only career Craftsman Truck appearance at MIS last July.

* Terry Cook will be making his 200th career NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series start when he competes at MIS next week. Cook's best finish at MIS came in 2002, when he placed sixth. He finished seventh in last year's race at MIS and has five career truck victories in nine years in the series.

* With Toyota's victory last season, Chevrolet is the only manufacturer without a win in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competition at MIS. Dodge and Ford both have two victories at MIS since 1999.

* Even though the Craftsman Truck Series has competed at MIS for just the past five years, the series is celebrating its 10th year in racing. Mike Skinner won the truck series' inaugural event in 1995 and later went on to win the first points championship.

* In 2003, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at MIS was won by Brendan Gaughan. It was fastest race in series history, averaging 154.044 mph.

* There are a number of drivers who are expected to compete in the Paramount Health Insurance 200 at MIS that are currently racing on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup circuit. Kyle Busch will be seeking victory in three consecutive starts after taking the checkered flag at Charlotte and Dover in back-to-back weeks. Greg Biffle was the last truck driver to win three straight races, which came in 2000 at Texas, Kentucky and Watkins Glen. Ken Schrader will compete in Darrell Waltrip Motorsports' third Toyota Tundra entry at MIS. Bobby Labonte, who won the truck event at Martinsville earlier this season, is also expected to compete, along with Kevin Harvick, who last ran in the Craftsman Truck Series at MIS in 1999, where he finished 11th.


* In 21 ARCA RE/MAX Series races at MIS, the pole-sitter has set a track qualifying record 13 times, including last year's speed of 188.210 mph by Justin Hobgood. His mark bettered Casey Mear's speed of 188.073 mph, which was set in 2003.

* The pole-sitter has won five of the 21 RE/MAX Series races at MIS.

* Twenty-four year-old Erin Crocker, a development driver for Evernham Motorsports, will be making her second career ARCA RE/MAX Series start at MIS on June 17. She will try to become the first driver since Shawna In her only ARCA appearance this season, she took the pole and finished 12th in Nashville last month. Crocker is getting an education from longtime Cup veteran Bill Elliott as both were at MIS for testing on June 6-7. Since Elliott started racing at MIS long before Crocker was born (Elliott's first race at MIS was in 1976, Crocker was born in 1981), he understands what it takes to win at Michigan.

* Crocker has received a great deal of attention as of late due to the recent success of IRL IndyCar Series driver Danica Patrick. After Patrick's fourth place finish in the Indianapolis 500 on May 29, Crocker is drawing comparison's to the 23-year-old. She is scheduled to run in both ARCA races at MIS in June and August.

* Kyle Krisiloff, a development driver for Hendrick Motorsports , will run in the Hantz Group 200 at MIS. Krisiloff, 19, has one career ARCA victory (in 2004) and is planning on running a 12-race developmental schedule in 2005.

* ARCA RE/MAX Series veterans Bobby Gerhart and Frank Kimmel are tied with the most ARCA starts at MIS with 14.


Thursday, June 16, 2005 (Not Open to Public) 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon ARCA RE/MAX Series Practice 3:00 p.m. ARCA RE/MAX Qualifying (Two Laps, All Positions)

Friday, June 17, 2005 8:00 a.m. Gates Open to the Public 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. ARCA RE/MAX Series Final Practice 12:00 noon - 1:10 p.m. NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Practice 1:20 p.m. - 2:40 p.m. NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Practice 2:50 p.m. - 3:50 p.m. NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Final Practice 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Final Practice 5:00 p.m. Pre-Race Activities & Driver Introductions 5:15 p.m. Start of Hantz Group 200 ARCA RE/MAX Series Race (100 Laps, 200 Miles)

Saturday, June 18, 2005 8:00 a.m. Gates Open to the Public 10:00 a.m. NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Qualifying (Two Laps, All Positions) 12:10 p.m. NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Qualifying (Two Laps, All Positions) 3:00 p.m. Pre-Race Activities & Driver Introductions 3:15 p.m. Start of Paramount Health Insurance 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Race (100 Laps, 200 Miles)

Sunday, June 19, 2005 (Father's Day) 8:00 a.m. Gates Open to the Public 1:40 p.m. Pre-Race Activities & Driver Introductions 2:10 p.m. Start of BATMAN BEGINS 400 NASCAR NEXTEL Series Cup Race (200 Laps, 400 Miles)


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About this article
Series ARCA , NASCAR Cup , NASCAR Truck
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Bill Elliott , Jeff Gordon , Dale Jarrett , Darrell Waltrip , Matt Kenseth , Bobby Labonte , Terry Labonte , Tony Stewart , Rusty Wallace , Mike Skinner , Kyle Petty , Ken Schrader , Kevin Harvick , Greg Biffle , Sterling Marlin , Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman , Johnny Benson , Frank Kimmel , Dennis Setzer , Terry Cook , Kyle Krisiloff , Bobby Gerhart , Richard Petty , Brendan Gaughan , Erin Crocker , Reed Sorenson , Justin Hobgood , Cale Yarborough , Danica Patrick , Kyle Busch , Travis Kvapil , David Pearson
Teams Williams , Hendrick Motorsports