Saturday, June 16, 2012

Notes From The Saturday Michigan Notebook

Michigan International Speedway has a long and storied tradition of Open Wheel racing; absolutely none of it in recent seasons.

That could change in the coming months, after MIS President Roger Curtis told reporters this week that he would be interested in returning his track to the IZOD IndyCar Series, after an absence of several years.

"If they're interested in coming here, we'll talk," said Curtis this week. "If they're not, that's cool, too."

IndyCar Series CEO Randy Bernard told The Associated Press that the sanctioning body has already followed up on Curtis’ comments, saying, “Our business department put a call in to Roger late (Thursday) afternoon to explore any potential opportunities and see what type of interest either side has. We've appreciated some of these track presidents coming out and expressing interest in IndyCar."

The series already races on the Belle Isle street circuit outside metropolitan Detroit, but Bernard said both Michigan venues could be accommodated on the schedule.

Junior Hoping To End Skid
Junior Hoping For MIS Win: It’s been four years since Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s last NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory, and the sport’s Most Popular Driver has high hopes of ending his long national nightmare this weekend, at the track that provided his last visit to Victory Lane.

Earnhardt insists he doesn’t dwell on the four-year drought and remains focused on simply running well. He says accomplishing that goal will take care of finding Victory Lane.

“I never felt that it bothered me that much,” said Earnhardt of the winless skein. “There are other things about finishes and weekends and what happens to you on the racetrack that can bother you way worse than that. If you just have a bad day or make a mistake, that can ruin a race for your team. If you’re that guy and make that mistake on that day, it’s difficult to go home and shake it off.

Earnhardt said his long absence from the Winner’s Circle “makes you really hungry… makes you starve for it. Other than that, it doesn’t really keep me up at night.”

His last Sprint Cup Series win came here at Michigan in June of 2008, and he returns to the Irish Hills this weekend a solid second in the championship standings, just 10 back of leader Matt Kenseth.

Dillon On Nationwide Pole: Rookie Austin Dillon put his Advocare Chevrolet on the pole for today’s NASCAR Nationwide Series “Alliance Truck Parts 250” at Michigan, turning a fast lap in 37.820 seconds, at 190.375 mph. 

JR Motorsports driver Cole Whitt will start on the outside pole, with Joey Logano, James Buescher and Danica Patrick completing the Top-5. The remainder of the Top-10 shows point-leader Elliott Sadler in sixth, followed by Richard Childress Racing teammate Paul Menard, Justin Allgaier, Brad Keselowski and Kenny Wallace, who returns to the No. 99 Family Farmers Toyota this weekend after an absence of several weeks.

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1 comment:

  1. If Indycar returns to Michigan, they need to run a far bigger Hanford wing than they did at Texas.