Sunday, June 17
Michigan Int'l Speedway
Carl Edwards leads en route to his win in the Citizens Bank 400. More pix in the Gallery at the end of this page...
Edwards Breaks 52-Race Winless Streak at Michigan
BROOKLYN, MI (June 17, 2007) - This one came down to the end. Three cars were fast all day, Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson and Martin Truex, Jr.
Crew chiefs were fidgeting. Crew members were cracking their knuckles. Car owners were crossing their fingers.
A father's day crowd of more than 100,000 NASCAR fans stayed on its feet for the final 30 laps.
With his crew chief telling him to "keep being smooth, don't push it," Edwards pushed his Office Depot, Jack Roush Ford across the finish line ahead of Truex for his first win in 52 races.
While Edwards was collecting the checkered flag, Johnson, running third with seven laps to go, ran out of gas and coasted into the pits, relegating Johnson to a 19th place finish after a sterling run.
Truex was second but dropped back at the end after brushing the wall trying so hard to catch Edwards.
Tony Stewart was third and Casey Mears fourth, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., was fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 were Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Jamie McMurray, Jeff Gordon and Michael Waltrip.
Edwards' win did not come without an anxious moment when the back-flipping young driver was penalized earlier in the race for being too fast on pit road. He came back to the front after re-starting from the rear.
Truex also battled back after a spinout by Ryan Newman and Jeff Green sent several drivers, including Truex, careening through a cloud of heavy smoke.
Stewart's third-place finish was also awesome. The former champion battled into contention after starting from the rear in a patched-up car as a result of a practice accident with David Gilliland.
Edwards dedicated the win to his Dad on Father's Day.
Truex quickly showed his DEI Chevy was quick, moving past Johnson for the lead on the 10th lap.
Pole-sitter J.J. Yeley dropped back at the start and Johnson held the lead before Truex charged ahead.
Ryan Newman, who can't catch a break this season, moved into third spot before a rear down went down, prompting an unscheduled pit stop. Newman lost additional time in the pits while his crew had to untangle the tire carcass from the tire rim before putting on a new one.
The first caution of the day fell on lap 51 for debris on the track.
After pit stops, Truex continued to lead with teammate Dale Earnhardt, Jr., running second. Johnson slipped past junior for second a few laps later.
Johnson picked off Truex for the top spot on lap 64. Gordon had slipped back to eighth place.
Juan Pablo Montoya brought out the caution again on lap 68 when he slapped the wall in turn 2.
Carl Edwards was penalized for speeding on pit road and sent to the rear of the field. Edwards had raced his way from 12th to sixth before the infraction.
Kenseth, an invisible man for most of many races, was beginning to show his form in 12th position. The former champion has built a reputation for taking his time and making a charge for the front later in a race.
Earnhardt gave old-time fans a charge when he put a rag in his mouth like NASCAR legend Richard Petty used to do. However, a multi-car crash on lap 75 scrambled the lineup and sent several cars to the garage for repairs.
Jeff Green and Newman tangled off turn two and caused a chain reaction that sent numerous cars spinning down the track, including contenders Truex and Kenseth.
The caution might have saved Earnhardt while costing his teammate. Earnhart’s car had a flat tire on the previous restart and the caution allowed him to make a change without losing too much time.
The accident did, however, knock Brian Vickers and Kenseth from contention.
At the 100-lap halfway point, Johnson was in control with teammate Gordon next, followed by Kurt Busch, Tony Stewart, who had to start from the rear after a practice crash prompted numerous changes to his Chevy. Coca-cola 600 winner Casey Mears was fifth, Sterling Marlin next, then Edwards, Denny Hamlin, Biffle and Kyle Busch.
Complete race results and point standings in the Related news section following...
Checkered Flag Fast Facts
Schedule / Broadcast Times
Practice: Friday, June 15 (SPEED at 12:30 p.m./AT, 11:30 a.m./ET)
Qualifying: Friday, June 15 (SPEED at 4:30 p.m./AT, 3:30 p.m./ET)
Final Practice: Saturday, June 16 (SDD - SPEED at 8 p.m./AT, 7 p.m./ET)
RaceDay: Sunday, June 17 (SPEED at 12:30 p.m./AT, 11:30 a.m./ET)
Countdown to Green: Sunday, June 17 (TNT at 2:30 p.m./AT, 1:30 p.m./ET)
Race: Sunday, June 17 (TNT at 3 p.m./AT, 2 p.m./ET) (TSN-Alt. at 4 p.m./AT, 3 p.m./ET - joined in progress)
- Edwards won the Citizens Bank 400, his fifth victory in 100 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races.
- This is his first victory and fifth top-10 finish in 2007.
- This is his first victory and fifth top-10 finish in six races at Michigan International Speedway.
- Martin Truex Jr. (second) posted his sixth top-10 finish of 2007 and his third in the top-three in the past
- Tony Stewart (third) posted his 11th top-10 in 17 Michigan races and his fifth in 2007.
- Paul Menard (12th) was the highest finishing rookie.
- Jeff Gordon continues to lead the 2007 point standings. He has led the point standings since Bristol and
is now 264 points ahead of Denny Hamlin, who moved into second with his 14th-place finish and tied his
career-best points position.
Green Flag Fast Facts
The Race: Citizens Bank 400
The Place: Michigan International Speedway
The Date: Sunday, June 17
The Time: 2 p.m. (ET)
TV: TNT, 1:30 p.m./AT, 12:30 p.m./ET
Track Layout: 2-mile oval
Distance: 200 laps/400 miles
2006 Winner: Kasey Kahne
2006 Pole: Kasey Kahne
Michigan Pre-Race On-Track Schedule (local/ET time): Friday—Practice, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.; Qualifying, 3:10 p.m.
Saturday—Practice, 10-10:50 a.m.; Final Practice, 1:20 – 2:20 p.m.
Year-To-Date Standings: click here
- J. J. Yeley, No. 18 Interstate Batteries Monte Carlo SS, captured his career-first NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Bud Pole at Michigan International Speedway. The driver from the Joe Gibbs Racing stable captured the top starting spot by one one-thousandths of a second over Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Monte Carlo SS.
- Michael Waltrip, who qualified for his third race of the season, is starting to feel progress with his new Toyota team...Post-qualifying comments: “From
the first time I ran in practice this morning, the car just felt right. It ran well and it would go where I wanted it to.
We just nicked at it all through practice and kept improving. Last week we had to re-build the car before our qualifying
run and that’s a hard situation to be in. Today we were just normal and that was good enough to get a solid starting
position for Sunday. We are taking baby steps and this is a good step in the right direction. I would definitely
rather be in than out and now we need to focus on running good in the race.”
- This weeks Did Not Qualify list includes Dale Jarrett, Ward Burton, Jeremy Mayfield, Mike Bliss, Kevin Lepage and Kenny Wallace.
Green Flag Notes...
Photo Gallery - Sunday, June 17 - race day
- Chevrolet ran its consecutive win streak to 12 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races with Jeff Gordon’s triumph last Sunday at Pocono. The manufacturer has won 13 of the 14 races thus far in 2007. However, a Chevrolet driver has not won at Michigan International Speedway since 2001 (Gordon), having gone winless in 11 straight races there. That is the longest drought for Chevrolet at any track on the circuit.
- Elliott Sadler (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge) will be making his 300th career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series start this Sunday at Michigan.
- Carl Edwards will be making his 100th career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup start at MIS. This track is also the site of Edwards’ first ever NASCAR NEXTEL Cup start (8/22/04).
- Martin Truex Jr. (No. 1 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet) continues to work his way up the point standings and is 11th heading into this weekend’s action. Truex, who broke through with his first career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory two weeks ago at Dover, followed that up with a third-place finish at Pocono.
- Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet) notched a pair of top-10 finishes at Michigan a year ago, including a third-place showing at this race in 2006.
- To commemorate the 50th running of the Daytona 500, Daytona International Speedway has created “Celebrity Tickets for Charity,” a philanthropic initiative that allows professional athletes, musicians, famous actors, TV personalities and other celebrities to showcase their artistic talents by designing the most famous ticket in all of motorsports. The winning design will be announced July 7 and will appear on the ticket for the 2008 Daytona 500. The top-10 finalists for this celebrity ticket contest will be unveiled this Friday at a 1:45 p.m. press conference in the media center at Michigan International Speedway.
- Juan Pablo Montoya (No. 42 Texaco/ Havoline Dodge) finished 20th at last Sunday’s Pocono 500 and leads David Ragan (No. 6 AAA Ford) by six points (152-146) in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year competition. Paul Menard (No. 15 Menard’s Chevrolet) remains third (93), while David Reutimann (No. 00 Burger King Toyota) is fourth (82) followed by AJ Allmendinger (No. 84 Red Bull Toyota) with 64 points.
- There wasn’t much movement in the top 35 car owner point standings over the weekend following the Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway.
The No. 70 Chevrolet, driven by Johnny Sauter and owned by Joe Custer still holds down the 35th spot. The No. 10 Dodge owned by
Jim Rocco and driven by Scott Riggs is still 36th in owner points, just 20 points behind Sauter. Riggs finished 18th at Pocono
while Sauter came in 40th. A pair of Toyotas – the No. 22 driven by Dave Blaney and owned by Bill Davis and the No. 83 driven
by Brian Vickers and owned by Dietrich Mateschitz – are still 37th and 38th, respectively. Robert Yates’ two entries – the No. 38 Ford driven by David Gilliland and the No. 88 Ford driven by Ricky Rudd – are 34th and 33rd in the owner points standings.
- Jeff Gordon’s (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet) victory in last Sunday’s rain-shortened event at Pocono Raceway was his fourth win
of the 2007 season, tying him with teammate Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet) for the most series victories on the year.
Gordon continues to lead the standings, outdistancing second-place Matt Kenseth by 242 points. Last Sunday’s victory also
provides him with 40 potential bonus points when the top 12 drivers who qualify for the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup have
their points adjusted following race No. 26 at Richmond International Raceway. They will begin the Chase – contested
during the final 10 events – seeded according to their number of wins this season.
J.J. Yeley (green car) and Jimmie Johnson (blue car) pace the field to the green flag to start the race...
Eventual race winner Carl Edwards makes a pit stop...
Martin Truex Jr. (1) races Jimmie Johnson...
Edwards does his celbratory backflip for the appreciate crowd...
Edwards (left) and motorcoach driver Tom Giacchi pose in Victory Lane; Giacchi pledged he would not shave until Edwards
next visited Nextel Cup Victory Lane - 52 races ago...
Photo Gallery - Saturday, June 16 - practice
Jeff Gordon signs autograph cards...
Photo Gallery - Friday, June 15 - practice & qualifying
Carl Edwards (left) and Tony Stewart (right) appear to be in deep thought during a break in practice...
Kyle Busch readies for his qualifying lap...
Dale Earnhardt Jr. walks the qualifying grid...
Steve Addington (left) talks with J.J. Yeley following his Bud Pole qualifying lap Friday at Michigan International Speedway.
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