BROOKLYN, Mich. - The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series returns to Michigan International Speedway this weekend and Ford will be looking to continue an impressive streak that began when the facility opened in 1969. Ford has won at least one race in 35 of the 48 years the track has been in operation, including 12 season sweeps. In fact, Ford Motor Company has won almost half of the MENCS events held as Ford (35) and Mercury (12) have combined to capture 47 of the 96 races.
ONE YEAR AGO
Joey Logano started and won from the pole for the second time in his career at Michigan International Speedway when he captured the June race in 2016. Logano finished ahead of Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson with Penske teammate Brad Keselowski ending up fourth. The new aerodynamic package, promising to produce lower downforce, didn’t disappoint as there were 14 lead changes with Logano leading six times for 138 total laps. The win gave Team Penske its 50th Cup win with Ford and produced the 100th victory for Roush Yates Engines in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
MERCURY AND FORD SWEEP MIS OPENING SEASON
Ford Motor Co. swept the inaugural season of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Michigan International Speedway in 1969 when Cale Yarborough (Mercury) and David Pearson (Ford) took turns going to victory lane. Yarborough won an intense battle in the track opener on June 15 after passing Lee Roy Yarbrough with three laps to go to take the Wood Brothers to victory lane. That capped a finish which saw Yarborough, Pearson and Yarbrough swap the lead 20 times over the final 146 laps. The second date took place on Aug. 17 and this time it was Pearson and Holman-Moody taking the checkered flag. Pearson sat on the pole and led 79 of the 165 laps completed. The race, which was originally scheduled to be a 600-mile event, was halted at that point and declared official due to rain. Pearson went on to win a record nine times at MIS, which puts him as the speedway’s all-time MENCS winner.
FOUR STRAIGHT FOR AWESOME BILL
Bill Elliott is the only driver to win four straight Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Michigan International Speedway, sweeping both events in 1985 and ’86, and he capped that impressive streak in dominating fashion. Elliott led 125-of-200 laps on Aug. 17, 1986 to beat Tim Richmond to the finish line and win the Champion Spark Plug 400. Elliott went on to win seven career races at MIS and currently ranks third on the all-time list, trailing only David Pearson (9) and Cale Yarborough (8).
JARRETT WINS FIRST CUP RACE
Dale Jarrett registered his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory in memorable fashion at Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 18, 1991. Jarrett, who was in second season driving for the Wood Brothers, found himself in furious battle with Davey Allison, who stalked him over the final dozen laps in his No. 28 Texaco Havoline Thunderbird. Allison made a move to the outside coming off turn four and got alongside Jarrett as the two took the white flag together. They took turns exchanging the lead, but never left each other’s side. As they came off turn four both Fords made contact, but it was Jarrett who ended up edging Allison by eight inches at the finish line.
BIFFLE WINS FORD’S 1,000TH
Greg Biffle posted Ford’s 1,000th NASCAR victory when he took the checkered flag on June 16, 2013 in the Quicken Loans 400. The milestone win, which included combined victories in the NASCAR Camping World Truck, NASCAR XFINITY and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, was Biffle’s second straight at MIS and fourth overall. The race was shaping up to be a battle between Biffle, who was leading, and a hard-charging Jimmie Johnson, but a flat tire ended Johnson’s chances with two laps to go.
LOGANO WIN RESULTS IN TWO FIRSTS
When Joey Logano won the Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 18, 2013 it represented his first win with Ford and new car owner Roger Penske. But it also marked the first time the speedway awarded the Michigan Heritage trophy, which goes to the winning manufacturer of every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at MIS. Logano, who won the pole and led a race-high 51 laps, passed Mark Martin for the lead with four laps to go after Martin’s car ran out of gas.
FORD MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP MICHIGAN WINNERS
1969 – David Pearson (2)
1984 – Bill Elliott (1)
1985 – Bill Elliott (Sweep)
1986 – Bill Elliott (Sweep)
1987 – Bill Elliott (2)
1988 – Davey Allison (2)
1989 – Bill Elliott (1)
1990 – Mark Martin (2)
1991 – Davey Allison and Dale Jarrett
1992 – Davey Allison (1)
1993 – Mark Martin (2)
1994 – Rusty Wallace and Geoffrey Bodine
1996 – Rusty Wallace and Dale Jarrett
1997 – Ernie Irvan and Mark Martin
1998 – Mark Martin (1)
1999 – Dale Jarrett (1)
2000 – Rusty Wallace (2)
2002 – Matt Kenseth and Dale Jarrett
2003 – Kurt Busch (1)
2004 – Greg Biffle (2)
2005 – Greg Biffle (1)
2006 – Matt Kenseth (2)
2007 – Carl Edwards (1)
2008 – Carl Edwards (2)
2012 – Greg Biffle (2)
2013 – Greg Biffle and Joey Logano
2016 – Joey Logano (1)