NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers will get a break next week with a weekend off but first they must take on Michigan International Speedway where high speeds and fuel mileage often are a factor.
Here are the particulars for today’s race (all times are Eastern):
START: Mark Dantonio, head football coach at Michigan State, will give the command for drivers to start their engines at 12:57 p.m. The green flag is scheduled for 1:06 p.m.
DISTANCE: The race is scheduled for 200 laps (400 miles) around the 2-mile track.
PRE-RACE SCHEDULE: The Sprint Cup garage opens at 7 a.m., and the drivers meeting is at 11 a.m. Driver introductions begin at 12:20 p.m.
NATIONAL ANTHEM: It will be performed by the U.S. Army Chorus Quartet at 12:51 p.m. Lisa Bascom of Michigan International Speedway will perform the Canadian Anthem at 12:48 p.m.
TV/RADIO: Fox Sports 1 will broadcast the race at 1 p.m. Motor Racing Network will broadcast the race on radio and at mrn.com with its pre-race show beginning at noon. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will have coverage beginning at noon.
FORECAST: The wunderground.com site predicts 78 degrees at race time with a 52% chance of rain.
LAST TIME(S): Jeff Gordon led 68 laps on the way to the win in August. Kevin Harvick placed second. Toyota teams did not lead a lap among the 200 run. Jimmie Johnson won the June race there, as all four Hendrick drivers placed in the top 10 (Kasey Kahne was fifth, Jeff Gordon sixth and Dale Earnhardt Jr.seventh). Kevin Harvick was second in this race. Toyota teams led two of the 200 laps.
MICHIGAN MUSINGS: Kevin Harvick has finished runner-up in the each of the past four races at this track. … Toyota teams have combined to lead 36 laps in the last 800 laps run over the past four Michigan races. … Pole-sitter Kasey Kahne has finished 28th or worse in three of the last four June races at Michigan but has placed in the top-10 in three of the last four August races there. … Jeff Gordon has finished in the top three in 34 percent of his career starts at Michigan. … Greg Biffle ranks second in points scored at Michigan in the six races since the track was repaved.