Parks Pit Report: Quicken Loans 400

He's definitely back now.  Jimmie Johnson got his third win of the year, which makes him the lead driver thus far in Chase standings.
He's definitely back now.  Jimmie Johnson got his third win of the year, which makes him the lead driver thus far in Chase standings.

He’s definitely back now. Jimmie Johnson got his third win of the year, which makes him the lead driver thus far in Chase standings.

It’s common knowledge that winning a race is the ultimate goal of any driver that gets behind the wheel, no matter what level of racing they are at.  But when it comes to NASCAR and Michigan, the win has more importance.

A win at the Michigan International Speedway is of greater importance with the track being just over an hour away from Detroit, and the automotive headquarters of Ford, Chevrolet, and Dodge (although now Dodge is not part of NASCAR).

Probably one of the worst years the Detroit area had was when the automotive industry plummeted, and it hurt a lot of workers in the Detroit area.  It got to the point where two of those three were accepting help to get bailed out and restructured.  The other restructured on their own, and in the years that have passed the auto industry has gotten that much better.  In NASCAR, it has helped that the auto makers got completely behind the new Gen-6 race car that debuted a year ago.

Manufacturers had a lot of input on making the cars near exact replicas of their street counterparts, and in doing so brought NASCAR into the modern era.

Back in the 1960’s and 1970’s the same idea of “Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday” was enormous in the early years of NASCAR, and it brought so many big drivers to the forefront of their careers.  NASCAR got away from that in years since, especially when the “CAR OF TOMORROW” debuted in 2007, as every car was practically the same, with the only real difference being in the engine and the decals on the nose.  It in essence was just one car, with four different looks.

Not anymore, now each manufacturer has a car that literally is exactly like their street version, with everything from the body lines to the grille bars reviewed to make sure they are within specs and looks.

Winning at Michigan once again has meaning, because now manufacturers can look to sales once more to see how sales go the week following the race.  This week, General Motors hopes to have a boost in sales, as it was Jimmie Johnson in victory lane once again this season.

“Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday.” It certainly is back.

RESULTS:  1-Johnson  2-Harvick  3-Keselowski  4-Menard  5-Kahne  6-Gordon  7-Earnhardt Jr.  8-Larson  9-Logano  10-Bowyer

NOTABLE FINISHES:  11-Stewart  13-Kurt Busch  23-Edwards  29-Hamlin  41-Kyle Busch

CAUTIONS:  8 for 36 laps.  Laps 2-6 (#32, 55 accident-T4), 8-11 (#5, 42, 78 accident-BS), 73-78 (Debris-BS), 104-107 (#34 spin-T4), 111-113 (#23 accident-T2), 115-119 (#13, 66 accident-T4), 123-127 (#11, 43 accident-T4), 149-152 (Debris-T2).

LEAD CHANGES:  25 among 13 drivers.  Harvick 1-18, Gordon 19-42, Keselowski 43-44, Gordon 45-56, Harvick 57-74, Johnson 75-77, Logano 78-91, Johnson 92-104, Harvick 105-112, Keselowski 113, Harvick 114-118, Keselowski 119, Harvick 120-126, Logano 127-141, Harvick 142-148, McMurray 149-151, Johnson 152-164, McMurray 165, Earnhardt Jr. 166, Kurt Busch 167-182, Kahne 183, Larson 184-185, Dillon 186-187, Stewart 188, Kenseth 189-190, Johnson 191-200.

TIME OF RACE:  2 Hrs, 47 Mins, 19 Secs.

AVERAGE SPEED:  143.441 MPH

MARGIN OF VICTORY:  1.214 Seconds

POINT STANDINGS:  1. Gordon, 537 points*; 2. Johnson, -15*; 3. Earnhardt Jr, -23*; 4. Kenseth, -24; 5. Keselowski, -47*; 6. Edwards, -75*; 7. Logano, -83*; 8. Larson, -83; 9. Harvick, -90*; 10. Kyle Busch, -91*

*Race Winner, Chase eligible

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