Larson Goes for a Michigan 4-Peat
Kyle Larson has 5 career Cup Series wins, and 3 of those have come at the location of this week's race, Michigan, in his last 3 starts there. The only driver to ever win 4 straight at Michigan was "Awesome" Bill Elliott from 1985-86. Larson will race against Elliott's son, Chase, on Sunday.
There's only been 14 win streaks of 4 or more races at a single track in Cup Series history. Of those, only 4 have taken place since 1985, including Elliott's 4-race Michigan win streak.
Larson hasn't struggled closing the deal on wins at Michigan, but it hasn't been a strength for him at other tracks. For Larson's Cup Series career, he has 5 wins and 17 runner-up finishes. He has another 9 3rd-place finishes.
Larson also has a win at another 2-mile track like Michigan, California. He's won 4 of the last 5 races on 2-mile races in the Cup Series overall (Martin Truex Jr. won at California earlier this year).
Time for Elliott to Get #1
Another driver who has struggled turning good finishes into wins is Chase Elliott. In his Cup Series career, Elliott has 25 career top-5 finishes, including 8 runner-up finishes, but no victories. 3 of those runner-up runs have come at Michigan in 4 career starts there. That gives him the best average finish in series history for any driver.
The 8 runner-up finishes would mark a tie for the 4th-most before a driver's first Cup Series victory. Elliott's father Bill also had 8 runner-up finishes before his first win.
Truex Jr. Making it a 3-Man Race?
After Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick combined to win 9 of the first 13 races of the season, Martin Truex Jr. got his 2nd win of the season last week at Pocono, becoming the 3rd multi-time winner this season. The win continued Truex's breakout.
Despite Truex joining Harvick and Busch among the multiple race winners, he hasn't measured up to the outstanding marks those to have hit this season.
Who's Hot and Who's Not - Michigan
Kyle Larson: 3 straight Michigan wins; trying to tie Bill Elliott's record for consecutive Michigan wins (3 of 5 career MENCS wins at Michigan)
Chase Elliott: 3 runner-up finishes in 4 career Michigan races (8th in other); 3.5 Avg finish is best in track history
Kevin Harvick: 7.6 Avg finish is tied for best by any driver in last 10 Michigan races (tied with Joey Logano)
Erik Jones: finished 3rd in last Michigan race, tied career-best at time (finished 2nd at Bristol in next race)
Jamie McMurray: 4 straight top-10 finishes at Michigan; 5 in his first 26 races at track
Kyle Busch: 26.8 Avg finish in last 9 Michigan races; 5 finishes of 30th or worse
Jimmie Johnson: career-long 37-race winless streak; 1 win in 32 career Michigan races
Clint Bowyer: 1 top-5 finish in 24 career Michigan races (5th in 2013 August race); only track where he's made 20 or more starts with 1 or fewer top 5s
Brad Keselowski: finished 16th and 17th in last 2 Michigan races after run of 6 straight top-10 finishes at track (looking for 1st career Cup win at track)
Aric Almirola: 0 top-10 finishes in 11 career Michigan starts
--- ESPN Stats & Info ---