Race weekend coming up fast


Only days remain until the 3M Performance 400 presented Bondo race weekend at Michigan International Speedway.

Tickets are available for the 3M Performance 400 presented by Bondo NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Aug. 17, along with the Saturday, Aug. 16 CARFAX 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race.

Fans may purchase tickets by visiting MISpeedway.com, or by calling the MIS Ticket Hotline at 800.354.1010. The MIS Ticket Hotline is open from 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., seven days a week.

As we count down the days, here are 10 facts, one for each day, as the beginning of the 3M Performance 400 presented by Bondo weekend quickly approaches.

10 – The number of drivers that led during last year’s 3M Performance 400. Jeff Gordon, Greg Biffle, Robby Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Brian Vickers, Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Ward Burton and Ryan Newman all had the race lead at some point throughout the event.

9 – Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 9 car for Gillett Evernham Motorsports, could be the favorite to win the 3M Performance 400 presented by Bondo. After finishing second in June, Kahne now has five top-five finishes to his credit in Sprint Cup races at MIS which include a victory in the 3M Performance 400 in June of 2006.

8 – Mark Martin has led eight races in the Nationwide Series at MIS, the most of any driver. During those eight races Martin has led 304 laps, which coincidentally is also the most of any driver. The veteran has captured two Nationwide Series wins here (8/93; 8/95) and in his nine starts has finished in the top five every time except in 1997 and 1998 when he finished 11th and sixth, respectively.

7 – Is the number of seconds by which winner of last year’s CARFAX 250, Denny Hamlin, was in front of second place winner Matt Kenseth. Hamlin got into the wall in his Chevrolet during practice on Friday only to turn around and crush the competition the next day. Hamlin managed to lead the final 40 laps and received his first career victory at MIS. His margin of victory set a Nationwide Series track record for the greatest margin of victory.

6 – Will Jeff Gordon get No. 6? By taking the pole for last year’s 3M Performance 400 at MIS, Jeff Gordon now ranks third all-time in track history with five career pole awards. His speed of 189.026 was the fastest at the track since 2005. Besides his five poles, Gordon has also won two Cup races at the two-mile oval, including in 2001 when he last won the Sprint Cup championship.

5 – Driver of the No. 5 Kellogg’s/CARQUEST Chevrolet, Casey Mears, visited MIS this past July. Mears is no stranger to success at the two-mile Irish Hills oval. He has made 11 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at MIS with his best finish of fourth coming in June of 2007. Mears won his only ARCA RE/MAX Series start at MIS in 2003 and also posted four top-10 finishes in five career Nationwide Series starts at the track. He placed 11th in the 3M Performance 400 last year.

4 – 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. The most recent winner from the fourth spot was Ryan Newman in the June 2004 Sprint Cup event. Fifteen drivers have won Cup races from the pole at MIS since 1969.

3 – This weekend will mark the third Sprint Cup race sponsored by 3M at MIS. The Minnesota based company will be the title sponsor for the 3M Performance 400 presented by Bondo on Sunday, Aug. 17 and will also host the 3M Car Care Auto Fair in the AAA Motorsports Fan Plaza. The company’s sponsorship doesn’t end there, as 3M will also sponsor two Roush Fenway Racing

drivers: Greg Biffle in its Sprint Cup race and Todd Kluever in the CARFAX 250 Nationwide Series event on Saturday.

2 – Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite car, is the defending champion of the 3M Performance 400 presented by Bondo. His second career MIS victory helped propel Busch into the 12-driver Chase for the Championship.

1 – Could Dale Jr. finish first again and win two in a row at MIS? He will get his chance during the 3M Performance 400 presented by Bondo on August 17. Junior won the LifeLock 400 Sprint Cup Series race on Father’s Day snapping a 76-race winless streak. It was his first career Cup victory at the Irish Hills track.

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