This Week in Ford Racing June 15, 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Ever since Michigan International Speedway opened in 1969, Ford Motor Company has enjoyed a great deal of success in NASCAR's top division. * Ford has won the...
This Week in Ford Racing
June 15, 2004
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series
Ever since Michigan International Speedway opened in 1969, Ford Motor Company has enjoyed a great deal of success in NASCAR's top division.
* Ford has won the most NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races at Michigan.
* 10 different Ford drivers have posted 26 victories in 69 all-time series races at MIS.
* When the Mercury brand is included the win total jumps to 38.
* Ford has won three out of the last four MIS races with Matt Kenseth, Dale Jarrett and Kurt Busch each posting one win apiece in that stretch.
* Bill Elliott posted seven MIS wins with Ford, including consecutive sweeps in 1985 and '86.
* The Wood Brothers won the first race at MIS when Cale Yarborough piloted a Mercury to victory in the Motor State 500 on June 15, 1969.
* Kurt Busch became the youngest driver to win a Cup race at MIS when he captured last year's Sirius 400 at the age of 24 years, 10 months and 11 days.
* Three of the top four all-time winning car owners at MIS currently run Fords, including the Wood Brothers (11), Jack Roush (6), and Robert Yates (6). Harry Melling won all seven of his MIS races with Bill Elliott in a Ford from 1984-89.
Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 97 Sharpie/IRWIN Taurus, is one of four different Ford drivers to post at least one NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series win this season. Sitting seventh in the point standings, Busch will be trying to repeat his win in last year's Sirius 400 at Michigan International Speedway this Sunday.
KURT BUSCH - No. 97 Sharpie/IRWIN Taurus
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT LAST YEAR'S WIN AT MICHIGAN?
"Michigan is big for Ford Motor Company and for Roush Racing. All of our teams put a big emphasis on that race because that's where Roush Racing is based, so there's a lot of hype around it every year. It was cool that we got a chance to go to victory lane, but it is a difficult track to race on. It's similar to California in many ways, but it has its own latitude and the track changes so violently with temperature that it's hard to find the right setup. We had a setup last year that would go on the short run and that's what propelled us to victory lane because we had a lot of yellows at the end of the race. This year, you never know what's gonna happen, but you have to have a car that will run on the low side or the high side so you can maneuver in traffic."
JACK ROUSH SAID AFTER THE RACE IT WAS ONE OF HIS BIGGEST WINS BECAUSE IT CAME DURING FORD'S 100-YEAR CELEBRATION.
"It was a tremendous win and very satisfying for me to be able to give that to Jack, and then I got a letter from Bill and Edsel Ford a couple weeks later congratulating me. That day meant so much and it's hard to believe it's been a year already, but winning that race will always be special because you can only celebrate 100 years once."
ARE YOU COMFORTABLE WITH WHERE YOU ARE IN THE POINT STANDINGS?
"Yeah, we're satisfied. I know we can do better and it's just a matter of being able to maneuver through these summer tracks. Quite a bit of them are the flatter style race tracks and you have to have a different type of handling car for that versus the banked race tracks."
HAS THIS SUMMER SWING BEEN THE TOUGHEST PART OF EACH SEASON FOR YOU?
"No, I don't think so. We won in Michigan last year and we've finished second at Pocono a few times. It's just a matter of having that luck. Last year, we were running eighth and we got a flat tire with three laps to go and finished somewhere around 30th, so it's just a matter of having that luck. Each part of the schedule I enjoy and just challenging our team to do a better job. I think we can do that this second half."