Where you start at Michigan matters

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In Michigan, starting position is essential.

There are only six starting-grid positions on the entire Sprint Cup circuit in which the drivers who start there have an average finish in that exact spot.

In Michigan Cup races since 2005, drivers who started 18th have an average finish of 18.0, and those who started 22nd have an average finish of 22.0 (the other ultra-consistent positions are 17th at Atlanta, 18th at New Hampshire, 27th at Kentucky and 28th at Watkins Glen).

In fact, during that span five starting spots at Michigan (13th, 15th, 18th, 20th and 22nd) have an average finish within one place of their starting position.