2014 NASCAR at Michigan II: Preview, Prediction of Pure Michigan 400

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2014 NASCAR at Michigan II: Preview, Prediction of Pure Michigan 400
Paul Sancya/Associated Press
Sprint Cup action at Michigan International Speedway

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing at Michigan International Speedway is a complex mix of high speeds, four- and sometimes five-wide racing, fuel-mileage strategies, tire management and track position.

In June, the Cup drivers put on one of the more memorable events of the year, with 25 lead changes, despite the drivers' protests that it was difficult to pass.

Speeds were well over 200 mph for qualifying, with Kevin Harvick capturing the pole with a track-record speed of 204.557 mph. In fact, 28 of the 43 starters in the June race cracked the 200 mph barrier during qualifying.

Jimmie Johnson was the race winner. He hasn’t won since. Harvick finished second, and the hometown boy, Brad Keselowski, finished third.

The track should not have changed much from the June race, so conditions will be similar to what drivers experienced a couple of months ago. The teams that were good then will be good once again. And the rest? They’ve had all summer to get better.

Expect an even closer and more competitive race this time around, as the 31 drivers in the field who haven’t won a race this season will be aiming to do so Sunday.

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