Last June when the Sprint Cup Series was at Michigan, a long winless streak was broken. Junior Nation rejoiced as Dale Earnhardt Jr. pulled into victory lane to celebrate his first Cup win since 2008. It was a day that Earnhardt Jr. and his fans won’t soon forget, but they are also hoping they can get to victory lane again sometime soon. Earnhardt Jr. showed his strength on the freshly repaved Michigan and that could give him a leg-up for this weekend. It’s anyone’s game with the Gen 6 car at Michigan, so it could be Junior celebrating at the end of the race or it could be another driver looking to break through for a victory.
The Quicken Loans 400 is schedule to take place on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 16, 2013. Green-flag time is scheduled for 1:16 PM EST. The race will be made up of 200 fast laps and 400 exciting miles. Sunday’s weather forecast shows a chance of rain, but there is a 60% chance of sunshine with scattered thunderstorms. You can catch the race through TNT’s broadcast or on the radio on MRN.
There was a party among Dale Earnhardt Jr. fans last year when he won this race to break his four-year dry-spell. He didn’t just get lucky and win, he was competing up front for most of the afternoon. The track was extremely fast last August after the repave, but with the Gen 6 car this year, it could be even faster. Earnhardt Jr. will definitely have a shot at winning this weekend, but he’ll need an exceptional performance to do so.
As we head to Michigan this weekend, many drivers are hoping to run well to attempt to stay in Chase contention. One driver that likely will run well on Sunday that really doesn’t need to is Jimmie Johnson. He hasn’t seemed to miss a beat this season and his points lead stretches over a full-race. All that sounds good, but could it be undone in one weekend? Likely not, but Johnson’s track record at Michigan doesn’t favor him performing exceptionally well. He’s either on it or not on it at Michigan and its one of the few tracks where he has not scored a victory; he currently sits at 0-22.
Of course, there are more drivers than just Johnson in the field on Sunday. Other drivers that are likely to be running up front include Mark Martin, Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick, and Greg Biffle among others. To take Johnson off of his throne atop the standings, the drivers directly behind will need to start out-running him and if history proves true again, they’ll have a shot to do so. The Chase is nearing and the summer always seems to fly by so it’s go-time for all the drivers.
Speed. That’s what we’ll be talking about all weekend as a lightning fast race will likely be produced by the mixture of the Gen 6 car and the surface at Michigan. As much as Jimmie Johnson has struggled here in the past, he’ll likely be able to continue his dominance this season and run very well this weekend. It’ll be a battle to control the Motor City until August and whichever driver pulls into victory lane on Sunday will definitely make their manufacturer happy. This win will mean more this weekend since the race is in the car capital of the world and every driver wants to be the one bringing home the trophy.
11:30 AM- 1:00 PM EST (Friday) Sprint Cup Series Practice, televised on SPEED
3:35 PM EST (Friday) Sprint Cup Series Qualifying, televised on SPEED
9:30-10:25 AM EST (Saturday) Sprint Cup Series Practice, not televised
12:30-1:30 PM EST (Saturday) Sprint Cup Series Final Practice, televised on SPEED
1:00 PM EST (Sunday) Sprint Cup Series’ Race, the Quicken Loans 400, televised on TNT
Next Race- Toyota-Save Mart 350 at the Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California