MICHIGAN RECORD: 24 career starts, 0 wins, four top-5s, nine top-10s, 0 poles. Best career finish: Second in mid-summer 2011 race. Finished 28th in this race last year and was 40th (tied a career-low there) in the mid-summer encore race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Johnson has struggled of late at Michigan, with finishes of 27th, 28th and 40th in his last three races there. Additionally, Michigan is one of the few tracks that Johnson has never won a Sprint Cup event. Even though he typically likes larger tracks, Johnson has historically struggled at Michigan. Here's his thoughts on Sunday's race: It seems like we run well at Michigan and then something usually happens to us, so we have been chasing a win for what seems like forever. There are always a lot of Chevrolet guests out at the track since its right down the road from Detroit so it would be nice to see a Chevy in the winner's circle for them. Hoping we can pull off a win at Michigan soon for this Lowe's team, check it off the list and have a great celebration."
LOOKING BACK: After dominating the previous two races, both wins (Charlotte and Dover), Johnson led just five laps Sunday at Pocono, ultimately finishing sixth.
ETC.: Johnson has completed an outstanding 94.2 percent (4,462) of the 4,729 total laps contested in 24 career starts at Michigan. His average start there is an outstanding 8.9 and his average finish is 16.8. He has three DNFs there.
2 BRAD KESELOWSKI, Ford
Team: Penske Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: Brad Keselowski continues his climb upward in the standings. After climbing from 11th to ninth after Charlotte, and then to eighth after Dover, Keselowski jumped three spots - the most of any driver in the top 10 this week - to fifth after Sunday's race at Pocono. He trails points leader Jeff Gordon by 50 points, is 27 points behind fourth-ranked Jimmie Johnson and leads sixth-ranked Kyle Busch by five points.
MICHIGAN RECORD: 9 career starts, 0 wins, 2 top-5s, 0 top-10s, 0 poles. Best career finish: Second in mid-summer 2012. Finished 12th in this race last year and was also 12th in the mid-summer encore race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Keselowski is likely still upset that debris kept him from winning at Pocono this past Sunday, letting Dale Earnhardt Jr. to pass him in the closing laps to earn the win. Michigan provides Keselowski incentive, as he has never won at his "home" track and has actually been marginal at best in nine overall starts. Will his 10th start there be different? "This weekend will likely see some of the highest speeds of the season. The track surface along with the aero characteristics of these cars ought to combine for what I expect to see record-breaking speeds. Racing in Michigan holds that touch of added significance as it is a home race for me and since we've yet to win here, there is additional motivation to get to Victory Lane. Our Ford Fusions have had great speed lately and we've been really close to winning the last couple of races. We are ready to move up that one last spot and get a victory at home."
LOOKING BACK: Keselowski had the most laps led at Pocono (95 of 160), but couldn't seal the deal when debris on his grill spiked the water temperature in his car late in the race. He was forced to slow to try and pull the debris off the grill by getting behind Danica Patrick's lapped car, but was unable to do so, allowing Dale Earnhardt Jr. to pass and earn the win. Keselowski ultimately finished second.
ETC.: Keselowski has completed a near-perfect 99.8 percent (1,800) of the 1,804 total laps contested in nine career starts at Michigan. His average start is 20.8 and average finish is 16.9. He has zero DNFs there.
18 KYLE BUSCH, Toyota
Team: Joe Gibbs Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: After dropping four places in the standings after Dover, Kyle Busch regained one of those lost spots, climbing back to sixth place after Pocono. He trails points leader Jeff Gordon by 55 points, is five points behind fifth-ranked Brad Keselowski and leads seventh-ranked Carl Edwards by two points.
MICHIGAN RECORD: 18 career starts, 1 wins, 4 top-5s, 6 top-10s, 0 poles. Best career finish: First in mid-summer 2011. Finished fourth in this race last year but dropped to 31st in the mid-summer encore race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Busch is still looking for his second win of the season, not to mention his second career win at Michigan, a track that has vexed him throughout his career. Here's his thoughts on Sunday's race: "We've had some good days there, we've had some not-so-good days. Last June was actually pretty good for us, but not so much in August. We qualified OK but then got back in traffic and had a hard time recovering from being back there. We finished fourth, which was good for us and our team and how sometimes we run there. I'm excited about the opportunity to come back and try to change it up a little bit and maybe run a little bit better this time and just be able to get back to victory lane, hopefully."
LOOKING BACK: Busch had a run-in with Kasey Kahne in the Sunday's race at Pocono, forcing Kahne into the wall and ending his day and that of Carl Edwards, who was caught up in Kahne's mishap. Busch, meanwhile, finished 12th at Pocono.
ETC.: Busch has completed just 93.4 percent (3,306) of the 3,539 total laps contested in 18 career starts at Michigan. His average start there is 14.4 and average finish is 16.5. He has one DNF there.
99 CARL EDWARDS, Ford
Team: Roush Fenway Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: Carl Edwards dropped the most positions of any driver in the top 10 in the Sprint Cup standings, falling four places from third to seventh. Edwards trails points leader Jeff Gordon by 57 points, is two points behind sixth-ranked Kyle Busch and leads eighth-ranked Denny Hamlin by 21 points.? MICHIGAN RECORD: 19 career starts, 2 win, 9 top-5s, 15 top-10s, 1 pole. Best career finish: First in spring 2007 and mid-summer 2008. Finished eighth in this race last year and was 10th in the mid-summer encore race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Edwards could be making his second-to-last appearance at Michigan as a Roush Fenway Racing driver on Sunday. If rumors are to be believed, he's likely to leave RFR at season's end, with rumored locations including Joe Gibbs Racing and Team Penske (although owner Roger Penske denied those rumors at Pocono).
LOOKING BACK: Edwards got caught up in a late-race wreck at Pocono, being collected by Kasey Kahne's wrecked car, and ultimately finishing a disappointing 41st. "I saw Kasey hit the wall really hard," Edwards said. "I tried to avoid it but there was oil all over the track and I plowed into the back of him. Everyone did a good job of missing me but man Kasey hit hard."
ETC.: Edwards has completed 99.2 percent (3,710) of 3,739 total laps contested in 19 career starts at Michigan. His average start there is 19.9 and his average finish is an excellent 8.3. He has zero DNFs there.
11 DENNY HAMLIN, Toyota