Fords overdue for victory in Michigan International

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Editor’s note: The race in Pocono, delayed by rain till Monday, was not over prior to deadline.

Race 15 of the 2016 Sprint Cup schedule takes us to Michigan International Speedway in the Irish Hills just outside Motor City for the 94th edition of the American automobile manufacturer battle royale where all the executives from Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota root their brand loud and proud to the winners circle.

The Ford executives have done the most cheering with 34 Michigan wins all-time, but none since 2013. 

The guys in bow-ties have won 23 times, including three of the past four. Toyota, the new guys on the block who make its Camry brand in Georgetown, Kentucky, have won five times, including the last race there (Matt Kenseth) in August.

The wide 2-mile D-shaped oval is the sister track of California Speedway, where Jimmie Johnson won at in March, but the two tracks don’t really race alike, or at least results comparison between the two over the years don’t suggest it.

One of the links we can look at is the success of Kevin Harvick over the years. He’s only got one win at each, 2010 at Fontana and 2011 at Michigan while driving for Richard Childress Racing. 

Since moving to Stewart Haas Racing in 2014, he’s been on an incredible run at both tracks. No wins, but a whole bunch of runner-ups. I mean, like really, a whole bunch.

He’s finished second in the past two Fontana races, including leading the most laps (142) in March. At Michigan, he’s been second in five of the past six races there. 

The only time he didn’t finish second over span was last June in the rain-shortened event when he led a race-high 63 laps but a flat tire late led to a 29th-place finish.

Harvick only has one win this season (Phoenix), but he’s had three other second-place finishes. Look for him to be celebrating in victory lane with all the Chevy executives at race end.

Micah Roberts is a former Las Vegas race and sports book director, one of The Linemakers on SportingNews.com , and longtime motorsports columnist and sports analyst at GamingToday. Twitter: @MicahRoberts7 Email: [email protected]

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