DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 13, 2007) -- The end is near for the Chevrolet win streak. Maybe. First take a look at the torrid pace Chevy has set this season: - 13 Wins - 7 Poles - 96.7 Average Driver Rating - 3,502 Laps Led - 2,620 Fastest Laps ...
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 13, 2007) -- The end is near for the Chevrolet win streak. Maybe.
First take a look at the torrid pace Chevy has set this season:
- 13 Wins
- 7 Poles
- 96.7 Average Driver Rating
- 3,502 Laps Led
- 2,620 Fastest Laps Run
After Jeff Gordon's win at Pocono Raceway, Chevy's winning streak has reached 12 races. But if past history is any indication, it'll be an unlucky 13 for Chevrolet.
Michigan International Raceway has not been kind to Chevy in recent years. The manufacturer is mired in an 11-race winless drought at MIS, the longest for Chevy at any track on the circuit.
Instead, Fords and Dodges have consistently parked in Victory Lane.
The Roush Fenway Racing stable has especially good numbers. Three Roush Fenway drivers in particular have excelled at the Brooklyn track. Below are some key Loop Data numbers and rankings of Greg Biffle, Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards -- the three drivers who have had the most success at MIS over the past two years:
Driver Rating: 118.1 (1st)
Avg. Running Pos.: 6.527 (1st)
Fastest Laps Run: 65 (1st)
Laps in the Top 15: 680 (1st)
*Quality Passes: 188 (2nd)
Driver Rating: 111.3 (1st)
Avg. Running Pos.: 10.208 (3rd)
Fastest Laps Run: 35 (8th)
Laps in the Top 15: 607 (3rd)
*Quality Passes: 144 (9th)
Driver Rating: 109.8 (2ndt)
Avg. Running Pos.: 7.970 (3rd)
Fastest Laps Run: 55 (T2nd)
Laps in the Top 15: 626 (2nd)
*Quality Passes: 210 (1st)
* -- Quality Passes are passes of cars in the top 15 while under green flag conditions.
Matt Kenseth won the last race at Michigan, in August. Kasey Kahne, who has fallen into a slump of his own, is the defending champion of this race.
Kahne, and his fellow Dodge drivers, have also performed well at MIS. Along with Kahne, these Dodge drivers have picked up wins at Michigan during Chevy's drought: Jeremy Mayfield (now in a Toyota), Ryan Newman, Kurt Busch and Sterling Marlin (now in a Chevy).
Two Dodge drivers in particular to watch for are Busch and second-year driver Reed Sorenson. Both have impressive Loop Data numbers and have fared well at MIS over the last two years:
Driver Rating: 100.1 (4th)
Avg. Running Pos.: 12.758 (9th)
Fastest Laps Run: 50 (4th)
Laps in the Top 15: 534 (6th)
Quality Passes: 160 (6th)
Driver Rating: 94.0 (11th)
Avg. Running Pos.: 12.544 (7th)
Laps in the Top 15: 246 (6th*)
Quality Passes: 77 (9th*)
* -- Ranks for Sorenson are in terms of average for Laps in the Top 15 and Quality Passes since he has run just two races in the past two years.
That's not to say Chevrolet has run poorly at Michigan. They've run into some tough luck over the past two years.
Clearly, Chevrolets have proven formidable at MIS despite not winning. Stewart has the second-best single-race Driver Rating over the past two years at MIS. He earned the rating in the first Michigan race in 2005, which resulted in a second-place finish to Biffle. He also earned the best Average Running Position at MIS over the past two years at that race.