This past weekend, Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan hosted the Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 and the Camping World Truck Series VFW 200. Across the northern border in Montreal, Canada the Nationwide Series ran the NAPA Auto Parts 200 on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve road course.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Mark Martin received a $3,400 check for winning the Coors Light Pole Award. He put up a lap of 199.706 mph to start up front. This is the No. 55 Toyota driver's 55th pole in 845 NSCS races. With the pole, he moves into a tie for seventh with Bill Elliott on the all-time series poles list. This is Martin's fourth pole and ninth top-10 start in 2012. It is his first pole in 54 races at Michigan International Speedway. He led 54 of the first 64 laps of the race before being involved in a wreck while running up front. He was done for the day and was credited with a 35th place finish.
Did Not Qualify:
No. 33 Stephen Leicht and No. 37 J.J. Yeley.
Greg Biffle won the Pure Michigan 400, his 18th victory in 353 NSCS races. This is Roush Fenway Racing's 12th win at Michigan International Speedway, breaking a tie with the Wood Brothers for most all-time at the track. This is Biffle's second victory and 14th top-10 finish in 2012. It is the No. 16 Ford driver's third victory and 12th top-10 finish in 20 races at MIS. Biffle moved into the lead in the 2012 NSCS point standings after this race.
- Mark Martin won the $5,400 3M Lap Leader Award for leading the most laps (54 of 201).
- Roush Yates Engines won the $5,000 Mahle Clevite Engine Builder of the Race award (Greg Biffle’s No. 16).
- Martin Truex Jr. won the $5,000 American Ethanol Green Flag Restart award for recording the fastest average speed on restarts and finishing the race on the lead lap. He started the No. 56 Toyota sixth, led 12 laps and finished in 10th place.
- Carl Edwards’ crew chief, Chad Norris, won the DIRECTV Crew Chief of the Race award. The $5,000 cash award is presented to the crew chief of the driver who demonstrates the best qualifying and race finish for each event. Edwards started the No. 99 Ford second and finished in sixth place.
- Steve Letarte, crew chief on Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 88 Chevrolet, won the Moog Problem Solver of the Race award. The $5,500 award goes to the crew chief that improves the most from the first half of the race to the second half utilizing the 40 best lap times (improved 0.364 seconds). Earnhardt started the race in 22nd (actually had to start 42nd due to using a backup after wrecking the primary car in practice) and finished in fourth.
- Aric Almirola won the $5,000 USG Improving the Finish Award which goes to the driver who improves the most from start to finish. Almirola started the No. 43 Ford 41st in the lineup and improved his finish 21 places to 20th. He is currently 21st in the point standings.
- Clint Bowyer won the $5,000 Mobil 1 Command Performance Driver of the Race award given to the winner of the race or the next-highest finishing driver displaying the Mobil 1 decal. Bowyer’s No. 15 Toyota finished seventh in the race.
Greg Biffle leads the point standings by 20 points over Matt Kenseth. Jimmie Johnson, the standings leader heading into MIS, blew the engine while leading the race with only about five laps to go. He was credited with a 27th place DNF.
NSCS Top 12 (G/L):
1. Greg Biffle +1
2. Matt Kenseth +1
3. Dale Earnhardt Jr. +1
4. Jimmie Johnson -3
5. Brad Keselowski 0
6. Martin Truex Jr. 0
7. Clint Bowyer 0
8. Kevin Harvick +1
9. Tony Stewart -1
10. Denny Hamlin 0
11. Kasey Kahne 0
12. Carl Edwards 0
Next NSCS Race:
Irwin Tools Night Race, Saturday (night), August 25th at Bristol Motor Speedway.
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NASCAR Nationwide Series
IZOD IndyCar Series driver Alex Tagliani received a $3,400 check for winning the Coors Light Pole Award for the NAPA Auto Parts 200 with a lap of 96.687 mph. This is the No. 30 Chevrolet driver's first pole in four NNS races. It is his first top-10 start in 2012 and his first pole in three races at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Canada. The Montreal native led seven laps and finished 22nd.
Did Not Qualify:
No. 52 Ryan Ellis.
Justin Allgaier won the NAPA Auto Parts 200 from 15th in the lineup. It is his third victory in 130 NNS races. This is the No. 31 Chevrolet driver's first victory and 15th top-10 finish in 2012. It is his first victory and third top-10 finish in four races at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
Rookie of the Race:
Austin Dillon, the No. 3 Chevrolet driver, started 19th and finished ninth. This was ahead of the rest of the 2012 Rookie of the Year contenders earning him the Sunoco Rookie of the Race award.
- Danica Patrick makes the most improvement in the series since her 27th place finish was 16 places better than her last NNS finish. This earned the No. 7 Chevrolet driver a $2,600 check and the Featherlite Most Improved Driver award. Patrick is currently 11th in the point standings.
- Justin Allgaier won the $2,000 Mobil 1 Driver of the Race award given to the winner of the race or the next-highest finishing driver displaying the Mobil 1 decal.
- Penske Engines won the $2,100 Mahle Clevite Engine Builder of the Race award. They built the engine in Jacques Villeneuve’s No. 22 Dodge. He started third, led 43 of the 81 lap event and finished in third place.
Elliott Sadler leads the point standings by 22 points over Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
NNS Top 10 (G/L): (no change this week)
1. Elliott Sadler 0
2. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 0
3. Sam Hornish Jr. 0
4. Austin Dillon 0
5. Justin Allgaier 0
6. Michael Annett 0
7. Cole Whitt 0
8. Mike Bliss 0
9. Brian Scott 0
10. Joe Nemechek 0
Next NNS Race:
Food City 250, Friday (night), August 24th at Bristol Motor Speedway.
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NASCAR Camping World Truck Series:
Joey Coulter received a $2,300 check for winning the Keystone Light Pole Award at Michigan International Speedway for the VFW 200 with a lap of 184.101 mph, a new track qualifying record. This is the No. 22 Chevrolet Silverado driver's first pole in 37 NCWTS races. His previous best starting position was second, which he has done five times. This is Coulter's seventh top-10 start in 2012. He finished seventh in the race.
Did Not Qualify:
NONE, only 35 trucks entered for the 36-truck field.
Nelson Piquet Jr. won the VFW 200, his first victory in 42 NCWTS races. Piquet is the fifth first-time winner of the 2012 season. There have now been 10 different winners in the 12 races this season. Piquet is the first Brazilian driver to win in the NCWTS. This is the No. 30 Chevrolet Silverado driver's second top-10 finish in three races at Michigan International Speedway.
Rookie of the Race:
Dakoda Armstrong won the Sunoco Rookie of the Race award since his third place finish in the No. 98 Toyota Tundra was better than the rest of the 2012 ROTY contenders. Armstrong is currently 15th in the point standings.
- Johnny Sauter started sixth and his 11th place finish was 16 places better than his last NCWTS finish. This earned the No. 13 Toyota Tundra driver $2,200 and the Featherlite Most Improved Driver award. He moved up two spots to 12th in the 2012 point standings.
- Nelson Piquet Jr. won the $1,500 Mobil 1 Driver of the Race award. It is given to the winner of the race or the next-highest finishing driver displaying the Mobil 1 decal.
- Hendrick Engines (Piquet’s No. 30 Chevrolet Silverado) wins the $1,900 Mahle Clevite Engine Builder of the Race award. The award is determined by qualifying and finishing position of the truck.
Timothy Peters and Ty Dillon are tied for the points lead but Peters has the advantage of eight bonus points to Dillon’s six.
NCWTS Top 10 (G/L):
1. Timothy Peters 0
2. Ty Dillon 0
3. James Buescher 0
4. Justin Lofton 0
5. Parker Kligerman +1
6. Matt Crafton -1
7. Joey Coulter 0
8. Nelson Piquet Jr. +1
9. Ron Hornaday Jr. -1
10. Jason White 0
Next NCWTS Race:
UNOH 200, Wednesday (night), August 22nd at Bristol Motor Speedway.