MICHIGAN RECORD: Finished sixth last August for his third top-10 finish in the last four races.
LOOKING AHEAD: Since 1993 when Richard Petty became sole owner of Petty Enterprises, more than a dozen drivers have raced full time for "The King." Ambrose's two wins ties him with the late Bobby Hamilton and Kasey Kahne for the most victories while driving for Petty. Ambrose's 28 top-10s are only one behind Hamilton. "I don't pay attention to the stats much, but it's good to know that I'm part of something special for this Richard Petty team," said Ambrose. "I've had good results at Michigan and I'm anxious to get there. We know where our strengths are going to be in the next few weeks, and Michigan is up near the top of that list."
LOOKING BACK: A pit-road accident damaged Ambrose's hopes of a solid top-15 finish. Instead, he had to be content with a 24th-place finish at Pocono. "Jimmie (Johnson) was leaving his pit, and he didn't know we were trying to come in," said Ambrose. "I didn't see him come out, and he didn't see me either. It's just a racing deal, but it didn't help either of us. The guys did a nice job fixing the damage and we had good speed at the end. We did the best possible with our situation."
ETC.: The Petty Family Foundation announced Monday that the Foundation will be making contributions to four organizations on behalf of Lynda Petty, Richard's wife who died March 25. "We are so grateful to all who had donated to the Petty Family Foundation in memory of our mother," said Rebecca Petty Moffit, Executive Director of the Foundation. "The family wanted to give back to the places where our mother contributed and to those she helped and in return helped her." The organizations that received a donation were Hospice of Randolph County (NC), the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke University, Mount Lebanon Baptist Church and Randolph County Community College.
1 JAMIE MCMURRAY, Chevrolet
Team: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates
WHERE HE STANDS: 23rd, 66 points out of the top 10.
MICHIGAN RECORD: Four top-10 finishes in 22 starts.
LOOKING AHEAD: McMurray feels a lot of races at Michigan come down "to being a fuel mileage race so pit strategy will come into play on Sunday. The track is really fast and has a ton of grip. Michigan is a fun place to race. It is especially fun because you have guys that run the bottom and others that are way up by the fence all day. We have had really fast cars and I hope we can continue the good finishes that we have had the last several weeks."
LOOKING BACK: McMurray finished 10th at Pocono. "I'm really proud of the effort from our team today," said McMurray. "We had a strong car. Pocono is such a hard track to pass at and when we got a little bit off sequence in the middle of the race it was tough to make up a lot of ground under green. My team made great adjustments and had good pit stops to get us another top-10 finish. Today was a good company day (as teammate Kyle Larson finished fifth)."
ETC.: With 12 races left on the schedule to determine the 16 drivers that will make up this year's Chase for the Championship, McMurray believes there is still plenty of time to earn a spot via the point standings. "Sure, the best way to make the Chase is by winning a race, but I still think there are going to be several guys make it on points," said McMurray. "Right now Austin (Dillon) would be the last guy in and we are only 34 points back of him. So we still have time to get in that way."
78 MARTIN TRUEX JR., Chevrolet
Team: Furniture Row Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: 24th, 93 points out of the top 10. Gained one spot last week.
MICHIGAN RECORD: Finished third in the June race a year ago. Overall has five top-10 finishes in 16 starts including two runner-up finishes.
LOOKING AHEAD: Truex said, "I am not sure about Michigan. Since the track was repaved it changed the style of racing there. The track is just too fast right now. I am hoping the new pavement is wearing out a little to slow us down. I enjoyed the old asphalt at Michigan where you could run all over the place. We're professionals and it's our job to deal with the track conditions."
LOOKING BACK: Truex finished ninth at Pocono for his second straight top-10 finish. "We had top-10 cars all year but we were not able to finish races," said Truex. "The last two weeks we finished the races and got some decent results. We're gaining but still have a ways to go to get where we want to be with our Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet. We got the car going really good at one point of the race but I hit the wall, which made the car really tight and we had to fix it on the next pit stop. That incident put us behind, but we battled back, and our pit crew did another outstanding job."
ETC.: Truex knows his chances of making the Chase this season will depend on the team's ability to win a race during the next 12 races. "We need to get that victory to make the Chase," said Truex. "And the progress we've made lately gives us more optimism to nail down that win.
We feel good about our chances (of winning a race in the near future). Things are much brighter with our Furniture Row team than they were earlier in the season."
41 KURT BUSCH, Chevrolet
Team: Stewart-Haas Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: 27th, 134 points out of the top 10.
MICHIGAN RECORD: Finished third last August after leading for 43 laps. Overall has two wins and nine top-10 finishes in 26 starts.
LOOKING AHEAD: Busch likes racing at Michigan "because it's a balance of trying to make sure you have the speed through the corners, but then every change that you're making you have to keep in mind the straightaways are so long there. You're balancing trying to keep the drag out of the car."
LOOKING BACK: Busch finished third at Pocono for his 15th top-10 finish in 26 starts at the Pennsylvania facility. It was first top-10 finish in eight races dating back to his win at Martinsville. "It was a great top-five run," said Busch. "Daniel (Knost, crew chief) was smooth on what pit calls to make, and the crew guys had sufficient pit stops. It was solid execution, a nice turn of the page so to speak. I'm real proud of the changes we made to the car to find some speed, and now we'll just try to develop it week in and week out."