WHERE HE STANDS: 15th, 32 points out of the top 10.
MICHIGAN RECORD: Best finish in three starts is 11th.
LOOKING AHEAD: Dillon said, "I've raced at Michigan before in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, so I'm really looking forward to going back to a track where I've made a few laps. It's a fast track. I love it. I've had some of my best finishes in the Cup Series at Michigan. Last year we came pretty close to winning the Nationwide race, but cut down a tire. It's a very raceable track."
LOOKING BACK: Dillon was black flagged for changing lanes before the start-finish line on the restart on lap 83. The pass-thru penalty dropped him a lap down. He spent the rest of the race trying to get back on the lead lap as he finished 17th at Pocono. "It was a really long race for us, but I learned a lot and I feel like we are building a pretty good notebook for the future," said Dillon.
ETC.: After visiting Dow's corporate headquarters in Midland, Mich., Wednesday morning, Dillon threw out the first pitch at the Great Lakes Loons baseball game that evening. "I am looking forward to all of that," said Dillon. "It will be a fun day."
15 CLINT BOWYER, Toyota
Team: Michael Waltrip Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: 16th, 34 points out of the top 10. Gained one spot last week.
MICHIGAN RECORD: Will be shooting for his seventh straight top-eight finish.
LOOKING AHEAD: Bowyer tested recently at Michigan. "We were good in a tire test and I'm looking forward to getting back there and see how things go on the race weekend," said Bowyer. "It just has such a tremendous amount of speed and aero dependency and if your car is good then you're going to be good."
LOOKING BACK: Bowyer finished 11th at Pocono. But he felt, "We deserved a top-five today. I'm proud of the guys in the pits and (crew chief) Brian Pattie gave me a great RK Motors Toyota. We had some bad luck on the final restart (with 12 laps to go) and lost some spots. When the 22 (Joey Logano) lost his engine, we all got jumbled up and that really cost us. We deserved to finish a lot better. But we moved up in the points and that's a good thing."
ETC.: Bowyer will become a father later this year, but when he thinks about Father's Day "it's always been about Pops (his father). He's been such an important part of my life and has helped me so much. I still think it's going to be about him even when I'm a dad. It's just the way it's always been."
27 PAUL MENARD, Chevrolet
Team: Richard Childress Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: 17th, 37 points out of the top 10. Lost three spots last week.
MICHIGAN RECORD: Finished fourth last August for his second top-nine finish in the last three races.
LOOKING AHEAD: Menard said, "Before they (Michigan) repaved, you could run all over the place. Then they repaved it and the racing groove got narrow. We had maybe two car widths on the bottom. Last year got better and this year I foresee getting better again. Our teammate, Ryan Newman, participated in the tire test. Hopefully it (the new tire compound) has a little give to it so we can move around. I definitely see us breaking a track record again."
LOOKING BACK: Menard finished 26th after running into major mechanical problems during the final 34 laps. "Today was a tough day," said Menard. "We fought a loose car early in the race, but Slugger (Labbe, crew chief) was able to make a call for adjustments that helped. But then we ran into some kind of mechanical issue at the end of the race that made finishing a challenge."
ETC.: Menard has high hopes for this weekend because of the car he will be driving. He drove it twice before this season, finishing third at Las Vegas and eighth at Charlotte. "It is one of our better cars," said Menard. "It just has a good feel to it. I'm really looking forward to running it again at Michigan."
14 TONY STEWART, Chevrolet
Team: Stewart-Haas Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: 18th, 49 points out of the top 10. Gained three spots last week.
MICHIGAN RECORD: Six top-nine finishes in the last seven races including a second in the 2012 June race and a fifth last August. Overall has one win and 20 top-10 finishes including 12 top-five's in 29 starts.
LOOKING AHEAD: Stewart hopes the racing groove at Michigan continues to widen out. "The first year once it cleaned off, it seemed like the track got to be pretty good," said Stewart. "It was still a relatively one-groove track, but it got better as the weekend went on. It was even better last year and really we should see more of the same even with the higher speeds. Hopefully, the race track will continue on that path and continue to widen out."
LOOKING BACK: Stewart led four times for 24 laps and was leading when he headed down pit road on lap 119. But his victory hopes were erased when he was penalized for speeding as he entered pit road. Stewart was never able to recover as he finished 13th. "100 percent driver error," said Stewart. "I don't know how I got through the lights like I did, but I got to where I blew through all the lights and didn't have any on the tach (tachometer) so I had no clue that I was over it (the pit road speed limit). It was 100 percent driver error. I gave my guys grief last week with a sixth-place run though we should have run in the top three and then I threw it away this week. Had an awesome Mobil 1 Chevy all day, all weekend from Friday through Sunday - just a great race car. But the driver screwed it up this week."