TEAM CHEVY NASCAR RACE ADVANCE: Michigan International Speedway


Two of NASCAR’s top series will take center stage in the “auto capital of the world” this weekend as the NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) and NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) is set to make its annual appearance at Michigan International Speedway. Located just outside General Motors’ headquarters in Detroit, the two-mile oval has more than just a checkered flag at stake for NASCAR’s premier series. Chevrolet’s drivers and teams will also be vying for the prestigious Michigan Heritage Trophy – an award presented to the winning manufacturer in Sunday’s FireKeepers Casino 400. A recognition that was introduced to the series in 2013, Chevrolet has taken the honor six times – with the last three courtesy of Kyle Larson’s three-peat, recorded from August 2016 to August 2017.


Heading to the manufacturer’s home race, the NCS has only competed on one two-mile oval (Auto Club Speedway) this season – a race that saw Kyle Busch collect his first win since returning to the Bowtie brigade. 



“Motor City” holds a special place in Kyle Larson’s career with Michigan International Speedway being the home of his first career win in NASCAR’s premier series. In his 99th career NASCAR Cup Series start; Larson drove the No. 42 Chevrolet for car owner Chip Ganassi to the win by a 1.478-second margin over now Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott (August 2016).


The California native went on to sweep the series’ two races at the Michigan oval the following season – making him one of only 10 drivers in series’ history to post consecutive NCS wins at the track.



Chase Elliott is continuing to inch closer to the NASCAR Cup Series’ playoff picture – now sitting in the 20th position in the points standings and only 40-points below the cutline. Elliott is on the horizon of a few of his best tracks, including Michigan International Speedway. Despite still looking for his first victory in the Irish Hills, Elliott’s career statistics at the two-mile oval boosts the Team Chevy driver as a frontrunner heading into the race weekend. 


In 12 career NCS starts at Michigan International Speedway, the 27-year-old Georgia native has amassed 10 top-10 finishes. Of those results include three top-five finishes, all of which were runner-up results that were posted in his first three starts at the track. Elliott also leads the series in average finishing position at the track with 8.0. In the series’ only two-mile oval appearance of the season at Auto Club Speedway, Elliott was part of Chevrolet’s top-four sweep – driving his No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Camaro ZL1 to a career-best runner-up finish at the track. 


Chevrolet holds a winning percentage of over 50 percent in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Michigan International Speedway – collecting wins in 17 of the series’ 30 appearances at the track. The manufacturer’s first victory came in the series’ debut at the two-mile oval in August 1992 with Todd Bodine – a win that saw the Bowtie brand sweep the podium with Hut Stricklin in second and Dale Earnhardt Sr. in third. The Camaro SS has taken the victory in three of the series’ last four Michigan events – recorded by three different Team Chevy drivers (Austin Dillon – 2018; Tyler Reddick – 2019; and AJ Allmendinger – 2021). 



After conquering a double-overtime finish, JR Motorsports’ Sam Mayer earned his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series victory at Road America. A victory made extra special at his home track, the Wisconsin native became the eighth NXS driver – and fifth from the Chevrolet camp – to clinch a spot in the series’ playoff field. This will mark Mayer’s second appearance in the series’ post-season with the first coming in his rookie campaign in 2022 – making his way into the Round of Eight and ultimately ending the season seventh in the final driver points standings. 


At the drop of the checkered flag at Richmond Raceway, the 2023 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Playoff field was officially set with the 10 drivers that will compete for the championship title. Chevrolet accounts for 50 percent of the Playoff field with five drivers from five different Chevrolet teams set to compete for the manufacturer’s 15th NCTS Driver’s Championship. Carson Hocevar, Christian Eckes and Grant Enfinger – each already making repeat visits to victory lane this season – sit in the third through fifth positions, respectively, in the playoff standings. NCTS rookie Nick Sanchez (eighth) and Matt DiBenedetto (ninth) were two of four drivers that pointed their way into the post-season. 


The first of three races in the NCTS Playoffs Round of 10 will take place at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park next Friday, August 11. The Bowtie brand will head to the historic track as the event’s defending winners with Playoff contender Grant Enfinger and the No. 23 GMS Racing Silverado RST team.  


With Carson Hocevar’s victory in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series regular season finale at Richmond Raceway, Chevrolet has officially hit a double-digit win count across all three NASCAR national Series. The manufacturer continues to maintain a winning percentage of more than 50 percent in each series – collecting 12 wins in 22 NASCAR Cup Series races, 11 wins in 20 NASCAR Xfinity Series races and 10 wins in 16 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races.


Chevrolet has proven to be a frontrunner in the battle for the Manufacturer’s Championship in all three NASCAR national series as the Bowtie brand continues to hold steady atop all three manufacturer points standings. Chevrolet has a history in sweeping the Manufacturer’s Championship titles across all three NASCAR national series in a single season – accomplishing that feat on four separate occasions (2012, 2005, 1998, 1996). 


·        Chevrolet will pace the field in the doubleheader race weekend at Michigan International Speedway. The Camaro SS 1LE will lead the NASCAR Xfinity Series in Saturday’s Cabo Wabo 250, and the Camaro ZL1 will lead the NASCAR Cup Series in Sunday’s FireKeepers Casino 400.


·       NASCAR Cup Series victories by active Chevrolet drivers at Michigan International Speedway:     

  • Kyle Larson – three wins (2017 sweep, 2010)
  • Kyle Busch – one win (2011)


·       In 105 NASCAR Cup Series races held at Michigan International Speedway, Chevrolet has recorded 26 victories and 27 poles.


·       Three of the five repeat winners in the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season come from Team Chevy:

  • William Byron: series-leading four wins (Las Vegas, Phoenix, Darlington & Atlanta 2)
  • Kyle Busch: three wins (Auto Club, Talladega, WWTR)
  • Kyle Larson: two wins (Richmond & Martinsville)


·       In 22 points-paying NASCAR Cup Series race this season, Chevrolet continues to lead the series in wins (12), top-fives (49), top-10s (93), stage wins (18) and laps led (2,344).


·       Chevrolet leads the series in wins across all three NASCAR national series this season with 12 victories in 22 NASCAR Cup Series races, 11 victories in 20 NASCAR Xfinity Series races and 10 wins in 16 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races – all with a win percentage of at least 50%.


·       With William Byron’s win at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hendrick Motorsports now sits at 297 all-time NASCAR Cup Series victories – all recorded with Chevrolet.


·       Chevrolet’s series-leading 12 NASCAR Cup Series wins this season have been recorded by drivers from four different Chevrolet teams: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (JTG Daugherty Racing), Kyle Busch (Richard Childress Racing), William Byron and Kyle Larson (Hendrick Motorsports) and Ross Chastain and Shane van Gisbergen (Trackhouse Racing).


·       Chevrolet drivers have recorded 18 of the 44 NASCAR Cup Series stage wins this season: William Byron (seven; series-leading), Ross Chastain (five), Kyle Larson (three), Kyle Busch (two) and Chase Elliott (one).


·       Chevrolet continues to sit atop the manufacturer points standings in all three NASCAR national series, leading by 56 points in the NASCAR Cup Series, 61 points in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and 51 points in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.


·       Chevrolet has swept the Manufacturer Championships across all three NASCAR national series in a single season four different times (2012, 2005, 1998, 1996).


·       With Grant Enfinger’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series win at World Wide Technology Raceway, GMS Racing is now the winningest Chevrolet organization in NCTS’ history with 44 all-time wins in the series.


·       With its 41 NASCAR Cup Series Manufacturer’s Championships, 33 NASCAR Cup Series Driver’s Championships, and 845 all-time NASCAR Cup Series wins, Chevrolet continues to hold the title of winningest brand in NASCAR Cup Series history.  


·       Fans can visit the Team Chevy Racing Display in the Fan Plaza at Michigan International Speedway.

·       Fans can check out an assortment of Chevrolet vehicles at the Team Chevy Racing Display including: Silverado 2500 LTZ, Tahoe RST, Blazer RS, Trax 2RS, Equinox Premier, Silverado ZR2, ‘NASCAR 75th Anniversary’ themed Camaro ZL1 and the Corvette E-Ray.

·       Fans can also view Chase Elliott’s No. 9 Camaro ZL1 show car.



Team Chevy Driver Appearances at the Display:

Saturday, August 5

·       Justin Allgaier: 12:15 p.m.

·       Brandon Jones: 12:30 p.m.

·       Josh Berry: 12:45 p.m.

·       Sam Mayer: 1 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.


Sunday, August 6

·       Erik Jones: 10:30 a.m.

·       Daniel Suarez: 11:15 a.m.

·       Alex Bowman: 11:30 a.m.

·       Kyle Busch: 11:45 a.m.

·       Josh Bilicki: 12 p.m.



Chevrolet Display Hours of Operation:

·       Friday, August 4: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.

·       Saturday, August 5: 11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

·       Sunday, August 6: 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.


NASCAR Cup Series: FireKeepers Casino 400

Sunday, August 6, at 2:30 p.m. ET

(USA Network, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90)



NASCAR Xfinity Series: Cabo Wabo 250

Saturday, August 5, at 3:30 p.m. ET

(NBC, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90)



How important is it to have things on a high note as the regular season comes to a close?

“We always want to run well but as long as we keep bringing fast cars and nailing the balance or getting it close at least. We’ve been a bit off there recently where we’ve been sliding the fronts a little too much or the rears a little too much. It’s not a fundamental issue, it’s just small tweaks. We’ re just looking for those last little bits.”


So you feel like you’re in a good place?

“I do. There aren’t any fire alarms at Trackhouse Racing.”


You guys have had a little bit of a quiet summer, no that it’s a bad thing, but just flying under the radar just doing what you guys need to do to be ready for the playoffs?

“Absolutely. We want to win and contend for wins, lead laps, put ourselves at the front during the race. There’s no panic. Just go about our business and see the fruits of our labor.”




Larson on racing at Michigan International Speedway:

“Our team is looking forward to running at Michigan (International Speedway) this weekend. My first ever NCS win was at Michigan (International Speedway), so it’s certainly a special place to me. With only two 2.00-mile tracks on the (NASCAR Cup Series) schedule, our team is looking for redemption following Fontana (Auto Club Speedway). I’ve had two solid top-10 finishes with the No. 5 team in my last two starts, so I hope to be able to repeat that. The guys have been putting in hard work at the shop to build a fast Chevy, so I’m eager to hit the track and give it our best.”




Daniels on racing at Michigan International Speedway:

“We are definitely looking forward to Michigan (International Speedway). It’s a super-fast track. Lots of wide-open throttle time but your car also has to handle good. It’s (Michigan International Speedway) got its own unique challenges but we have a lot of confidence in our engine shop. They have been giving us great engines and obviously that has a big impact at this track. We’ve got to do a good job of putting a good car under Kyle and let him do his thing. Hopefully we can go have a nice solid (race) day.




What makes the Cup races so difficult to win at Michigan?

“Michigan is always a difficult track just because it’s so fast. You’re going through the corners at such a fast speed that you’re sustaining high speeds all the way around. I’ve won at Michigan once years ago but that was on the old asphalt and now it’s finally getting to where the current racetrack asphalt is aging and leading itself to wider grooves that you can kind of maneuver around the racetrack a little bit better. Hopefully that’s the case this time around when we go back to Michigan.”


Is there any track on the schedule that you can compare to Michigan? Fontana was similar but now it’s off the schedule.   

“Fontana is the closest just because it’s a two-mile racetrack, but the asphalt, grip level, and banking level is entirely different at each of those tracks. I would say Kansas, maybe, is the most similar. Kansas has really aged well and has progressive banking from the bottom to the top so you can run all over the racetrack. You can run to the top, right up against the wall for the majority of the day at Kansas. Michigan is not quite there yet. I’m not really sure anywhere compares entirely to Michigan.”


Is there a fine line on how far to trim the car out at Michigan between practice/qualifying and the race?  

“Michigan, for practice, qualifying and the race, you’ve got to put it in race trim. There’s not enough time between practice, qualifying and the race and not enough allowed adjustments to give yourself a slick, low-drag car for qualifying and then a high-downforce car for being in traffic for the race. You just put as much downforce in it as you can because you know you’re going to be out of the throttle at some point during the race. You just need as much grip as you possibly can get to keep your car going on the long run.”




Elliott on racing at Michigan:

“Michigan (International Speedway) is an important race on the schedule with it being close to Detroit. It’s also a part of the country I really enjoy during the summer months and I’m looking forward to going up there. It would be great to go there this weekend, get a win for Team Chevy and lock ourselves into the playoffs.”




“I’m looking forward to going to Michigan; we’ll have a lot of on-throttle time and it’s a racetrack I’m excited to go drive at. Last year, Noah [Gragson] had really good speed in the No. 16 car, and our big racetrack speed has been there this year so, I think it’s a track we can go to and do well at.”




“I’m looking forward to going back to Michigan. Our No. 31 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Camaro ZL1 has had a lot of speed on the larger tracks this year, so hopefully we can break our string of bad finishes and start gaining back momentum.”




“Michigan for me is always fun, getting to go home, and spending some time up there, I will be there a little bit extra this year with the wedding on Wednesday and everything else going on, so it is kind of a cool way to cap everything off with the race on Sunday. Getting to tailgate with fans is something that we have done on and off a bit ever since I started coming to Michigan in the Cup Series, but cool to have the hometown fans at the track and have a big group coming up to watch the race. I feel like our car was good there last year, it was kind of an up and down race, but we came home with a solid finish through it all. We had speed there the whole time, and hopefully we can have a solid car. It’s always fun to go run well there, and it’s important to me to go out and run well in front of so many people that grew up in this area like I did. No guy from Michigan has ever one there, so that’s always something that you want to keep in your mind and try to make that happen, so I am looking forward to being home and the weekend in general.”




“It’s in the backyard of our manufacturer and you always want to win there. It’s a racetrack that is fast and hard to pass. We don’t have a lot of off throttle time. We’re in the gas a lot and it’s high-speed. For us, it’s a fun racetrack, but also a frustrating racetrack at the same time. You’re trying to calculate your passes and when you are going to pass. I was just at the shop with my team, and they were working on our No. 47 Kroger/Minute Rice Camaro, and I feel good about the setup we have in it and looking forward to going up to Michigan and performing well.”




Is it time to panic about making it into the playoffs?

“No, there is a lot of racing left. I told my guys all of us need to relax and have fun. That’s when we perform our best. We have some really good tracks coming up for us. Trackhouse Racing has a great road course program and we have run really well at Daytona and Michigan.”


You led 33 laps at Michigan the last time you raced there. What do you remember about that race?

“I really thought Ross and I had great cars that day. That wreck couldn’t come at a worse time. It cost both Ross and I a shot at the victory. My guys gave me a great Worldwide Express Chevrolet there last year and I hope we are as fast on Sunday.”