The Backstretch Blog's Race Day: Motor City
NASCAR is at the home of the auto industry. Nestled about an hour out side of the world's automotive center is the Michigan International Speedway. Winning at MIS means a lot to every team in the garage, for obvious reasons, this is the home to the manufacturers.
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"In my office at my house, I have a letter form Edsel Ford congratulating our team on the race win," said three time Michigan winner Kurt Busch. "And it's something I framed and put in a similar format to a letter that my grandfather got from Henry Ford when he was a Ford employee. And it was really neat to have that moment and the lineage of our family of letters from the Ford Family." If you want to bring home the hardware in Michigan is pretty simple, you have to be fast. This track is all about raw speed." Michigan is unique because it's a very fast track and the restarts can be pretty tricky," said 2006 winner Kasey Kahne. "We've had fast cars the past few weeks and have been able to carry some momentum over from the Brickyard win, so I'm looking forward to getting on the track at Michigan." Kahne is one of 10 former Michigan winners in the field this afternoon. Kyle Larson is the most recent winner and has actually win the past two races at MIS. "This track is obviously one where we feel really confident and know our Chevy can be competitive," said Larson. "Hopefully we can kind of regain our focus and put together a complete weekend with good laps in practice, a good qualifying effort and a strong race." Larson will start ninth today. Michigan native Brad Keselowski is on the pole. He has two Xfinity series wins at his home track, but he's never found victory lane on the Cup side there. "It feels really good to run well here at Michigan," said Keselowski. "This is my home track. A lot of fans here. I have to put my glasses on so nobody can see me. Really cool. Really special." His teammate Joey Logano will start next to him on row one, with Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth and Chase Elliott rounding out the top five starting positions. The green flag is set to drop at about 3:15 in Brooklyn, Michigan. You can watch this week's race on the NBC Sports Network.