Kurt Busch may not remember the 1980s Michigan television commercials that ended with the theme “Yes, Michigan!”
But as the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series rolls into historic Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, he is thinking “Yes, Michigan!”
Busch, driver of the No. 41 Monster Energy/Haas Automation Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), has three wins at Michigan, which puts him in a tie with Matt Kenseth for most among active drivers. And just like at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, he’s won three times, with three different teams.
He scored his first win at Michigan in June 2003 driving for Roush Fenway Racing, then backed it up with a victory in August 2007 with Roger Penske. His last Michigan win came in a rain-shorted race with SHR in June 2015.
Busch also qualified on the pole in June 2010 and 2011 and has scored five top-five finishes at the 2-mile oval.
He’ll be looking to take Ford back to victory lane at Michigan, which is about an hour from the Detroit area, where Ford is based. The blue oval has a long history at Michigan, winning nearly half the races since the track opened in 1969. Of the 96 NASCAR Cup Series races contested at Michigan, Ford and its Mercury brand have won 47 of them – 35 wins by Ford and 12 by Mercury.
Busch is credited with one of those triumphs – June 2003, when he snatched the lead from Jeff Gordon with 24 laps to go to claim his seventh career Cup Series win.
The Las Vegas native has four top-12 finishes, including a win, in his last five starts at the 2-mile oval. He’s hoping to score another victory this weekend so he can once again proclaim, “Yes, Michigan!”