After coming close so many times before, including a second place run in the 2011 STP 400 at Kansas Speedway, Dale Earnhardt Jr. finally ended his 143-race winless streak when he returned to Victory Lane this past weekend at Michigan. The victory came almost four years to the day of his last win and it was fitting that it came on Father’s Day. The win was number 19 in the Cup series and number two with Hendrick Motorsports for NASCAR’s most popular driver.
“This is incredible,” said Earnhardt. “I just didn’t know when it would happen. I knew it was going to happen, just didn’t know when.”
Two-time Kansas Speedway winner Tony Stewart crossed the finish line 5.393-seconds behind Earnhardt in second, while Matt Kenseth finished third and Greg Biffle and Jimmie Johnson rounded out the top five.
Kansas native Clint Bowyer finished seventh, his third straight top-five finish and he is currently ninth in the point standings. Missouri natives Carl Edwards and Jamie McMurray finished 11th and 14th, respectively, at Michigan.
Kenseth remains the Sprint Cup point leader, just four points ahead of Earnhardt Jr. Biffle remains in third while Johnson moved up into fourth place while Denny Hamlin fell to fifth.
Two-time Kansas Lottery 300 winner Joey Logano earned his fifth NASCAR Nationwide series victory of 2012 this past weekend in Michigan. James Buescher, who won the SFP 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Kansas Speedway earlier this year, finished second, followed by Kurt Busch, Cole Whitt and rookie Austin Dillon.
Elliott Sadler remains atop the Nationwide Series point standings, while Dillon moved up one spot into second place and defending series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. fell to third in the standings.
Chris Buescher led the final 14 laps to score his seventh ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards victory this past weekend at Michigan. 2011 Kansas Lottery 98.9 winner Alex Bowman finished second, Matt Lofton was third with Brennan Newberry and Brandon Davis rounding out the top five. Point leader Brennan Poole experienced tire issues and fell out of contention for the win, but he finished 11th and managed to maintain a 20-point advantage in the standings over Buescher.
This was the first race on the new surface at Michigan and for the second week in a row the previous track records were shattered on a newly repaved track. In Cup Series practice on Thursday morning, 39 of the 41 drivers eclipsed the track qualifying record. On Friday, Marcos Ambrose posted a speed of 203.241 mph and for the first time since 1987 the 200 mph mark was surpassed during Cup Series qualifying.
Tickets to the Hollywood Casino 400, the sixth race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, are on sale now by calling 866-460-RACE (7223) or logging onto www.kansasspeedway.com. Tickets to the Kansas Lottery 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race and the Kansas Lottery 98.9 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards race are also on sale now.
Parking is always free at Kansas Speedway and fans can bring their own food and drink into the grandstands in a 14x14x14-inch soft-sided cooler.