[The following are facts and figures regarding the cars Pontiac teams will be running this weekend during the NASCAR Winston Cup event at Michigan Speedway.] 10 Johnny Benson last ran this chassis in the Brickyard 400 two weeks ago, which...
[The following are facts and figures regarding the cars Pontiac teams will be running this weekend during the NASCAR Winston Cup event at Michigan Speedway.]
Johnny Benson last ran this chassis in the Brickyard 400 two weeks ago, which marked its third start of the 2000 season. Benson ran among the leaders with this car during both races at Pocono this year before mechanical problems lessened his results. The Grand Rapids, Michigan native will look to improve on the 24th place finish he posted here in June.
Conseco Pontiac driver Rick Mast earned a season-best eighth place finish at Pocono the last time he ran this chassis. It has made three starts in 2000 (Dover, Pocono-twice) and is one of the team's favorite pieces.
Winston Cup points leader Bobby Labonte comes to Michigan as defending champion of this event. Labonte is the track record-holder, and a three-time Michigan winner (sweep in '95), and will look for his fourth win Sunday in a chassis that has treated him extremely well. In eight career starts, this piece owns two wins (Michigan and Atlanta, fall '99), five seconds and a third, which it earned back in June. Its average finish is 1.9.
Home Depot Grand Prix driver Tony Stewart moved back into the top five in the Winston Cup points last week at Watkins Glen, and comes to Michigan as the most recent winner on this racetrack. Stewart will look to match Bobby Labonte's feat of a track sweep Sunday with the same chassis he won with here in June.
Ward Burton was solid here at Michigan in June, qualifying 13th and finishing sixth. He will look for a similar effort this weekend in the chassis that he last ran in The Winston at Lowe's Motor Speedway. A strong run Sunday would break a string of three straight finishes of 28th or worse in this event.
Rookie Mike Bliss drove his way into June's race at Michigan in this car with a great second-round qualifying run that moved him from 37th to 27th in the starting lineup. He fell to 37th in the race itself, but is hoping his second career start here will yield a better result.
Ken Schrader, who will compete in the chassis he last ran at The Brickyard, comes into this week's race 17th in the NASCAR Winston Cup points, despite posting just one top 15 finish in the past 10 races. The team's strength this season has been their ability to finish. The M&M's Pontiac has fallen out early only once, which ranks them in the series' top 10 in fewest DNFs.
John Andretti's best run of the season (ninth) came at Michigan in June, which is good reason for him to return this week with the same chassis underneath the Cheerios Grand Prix. A season of misfortune, including five DNF's, has hurt Andretti's overall effort this year and has him ranked 26th in the Winston Cup points.
This chassis last appeared at a racetrack when Adam Petty tested it at Lowe's Motor Speedway back in May. Kyle Petty, who will make his last start in the Hot Wheels Pontiac next week, last raced this car in Atlanta in March, posting a 26th place finish.
Dave Blaney drove to a 22nd place finish in his last start with this chassis at Indianapolis two weeks ago. Blaney's appearance here at Michigan in June resulted in a 25th place finish after rolling off 17th.