Pure Michigan 400 2012: Start Time, Lineup, TV Schedule and More

Alex BallentineFeatured ColumnistAugust 17, 2012

BROOKLYN, MI - JUNE 17:  Marcos Ambrose, driver of the #9 Stanley Ford, and Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, lead the field to a restart during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway on June 17, 2012 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series heats up this weekend as the series comes to Michigan Speedway, where defending champion Kyle Busch will attempt to defend his Pure Michigan 400 title. 

Busch will be looking to get back into the win column for the first time since April 28 at Richmond. To get the win, Busch will need to battle the likes of Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and hometown favorite Brad Keselowski.

With NASCAR's biggest names jockeying for position as the Chase for the Cup nears, expect plenty of intense racing this weekend.

Here's where you can catch all of Sunday's action.


Where: Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, Mich.

When: Sunday, August 17 at 12 p.m. ET

Watch: ESPN

Live Stream: TrackPass

Listen: Motor Racing Network

Starting Order: Qualifying will be held on Friday at 4 p.m. ET. It can be seen on SPEED channel.


Full TV Schedule (via NASCAR.com)

Practice: Friday, August 17 at 12:30 p.m. ET, SPEED

Qualifying: Friday, August 17 at 4:00 p.m. ET, SPEED

Practice: Saturday, August 18 at 8:30 a.m. ET, SPEED

Practice: Saturday, August 18 at 11:00 a.m. ET, SPEED

Pure Michigan 400: Sunday, August 19 at 12:00 p.m. ET, ESPN


Drivers to Watch

Kyle Busch

Busch needs a win in the worst way as he has only mustered one win in 2012 and currently sits at No. 14 in the overall standings. The season has been up and down for Busch, and this month has been a perfect example of that. 

At Pocono, Busch a crash left him unable to finish the race, but he rebounded last week with a respectable seventh place finish at Watkins Glen, although a second-place start position makes seventh a bit disappointing. Busch won the 2011 race, so this is the perfect place for him to really get himself back in the mix.


Jimmie Johnson

Johnson currently sits atop the Sprint for the Cup standings and is enjoying a great season. Michigan International Speedway should present him with a great opportunity to increase his lead as he was the runner-up in the 2011 version of this race.

Johnson has claimed three victories this season but still only leads Greg Biffle by one point. Johnson comes into the race as the odds-on favorite at 6-to-1 (via SFGate.com).

If Johnson can pull off a win here, it will be a huge step in his pursuit of the Cup.


Brad Keselowski

Everyone loves a hometown favorite, and Brad Keselowski will be playing that role in Michigan on Sunday.

The Rochester Hills native will no doubt be the fan favorite and comes in with decent odds to win the race (12/1 according to SFGate.com). Keselowski is coming off of a second-place finish in last week's race at Watkins Glen and should put on a good showing for the Michigan fans.

With three wins to his name already, Keselowski would make a jump up from No. 5 in the standings and become the first driver to four wins this season if he is able to pull off the upset and win.


Predicted Winner: Brad Keselowski

Keselowski just has the right combination of momentum and history to pull off the upset and beat out the favored Johnson and Busch. 

Keselowski finished third in the 2011 race and has just as many wins as Johnson on the season. With the added motivation of winning in his home state, he's an intriguing pick for this race and one who can definitely pick up the win.