The Frontstretch: Ford Country - Making the Grade: Michigan (Nextel Cup) by Dennis Michelsen -- Monday June 20, 2005

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Ford Country - Making the Grade: Michigan (Nextel Cup)

Dennis Michelsen · Monday June 20, 2005


Pace Laps
29th consecutive sellout of 137,000…they love their NASCAR up North, too!

Softer tires led to amazing speeds, with 20 drivers breaking the track record in qualifying.

Impound rule made a huge difference. Average finish of the top five qualifiers was 15.6, while the top five finishers averaged 17th in qualifying. Clearly, the top finishers chose to be slow on Saturday to win on Sunday!

Race Grade B
Michigan lends itself to the chance of one team hitting the setup and running away with the race. This race did feature some interesting strategy at the end, watching fresh tires battle traffic while old tires snuck away.

F for Jeff Gordon and Robbie Loomis
Can you guys whine any louder? Amazing how when they guess right on setup and run good they love the Goodyear people, but when they miss the setup, they blame someone else.

D for Brian Vickers
Face it, Brian, you just blew the entrance to pit road and wrecked…it can happen to anyone. Just ask former Cup champion Matt Kenseth! But don’t whine about a tire being down, when the video evidence shows it was up! Yes, the tire was badly worn, but no, it didn’t blow out…until after you slid it sideways!

C for Scott Wimmer
Finishing on the lead lap in 16th place is a good job for this BIll Davis Racing team. A little more consistency might end up getting this team their first top ten of the season soon too.

B for Tony Stewart
Smoke dominated the race, but could not overcome traffic to win in the end. Tony is firmly in the middle of the playoff race, and could have one of his late season rallies to take the championship…which would be a huge upset the way Gibbs Racing has run this season.

A for Greg Biffle and Roush Racing
Biffle is this year’s best Roush driver, which has been good for the last two championships in the Cup series! Roush Racing has had an amazing year with 8 wins, 5 of them from Biffle. Roush’s worst finish of the day was defending champ Kurt Busch in 12th place! The other four Roush-kateers finished in the top five!

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Today on the Frontstretch:
Championship Caliber? What Does That Even Mean?
Mirror Driving: Winning Vs. Points, Needing a Boost, and The Lady’s Last Dance?
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