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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Brad Keselowski hopes to find Victory Lane again at MIS this weekend

Fresh off a recent win in Sprint Cup, Brad Keselowski -- a native of Rochester Hills, Michigan -- returns to Michigan International Speedway, where he won a dominating victory last summer in his home state.

Keselowski said he is looking forward to trying to make it three in a row at his home track in the Nationwide Series.

“It felt really good to dominate the way we did at Michigan last year with the new Discount Tire Dodge Challenger. As a driver, you dream about having cars that drive like that one did. That win helped validate the win from 2009 because I heard a lot about that race being given to me. All you can do is put yourself in position for wins and that’s what I felt I did in that race. Last year, there was no doubt who had the best car. We definitely need a win in 2011 and I can’t think of a better track to pick one up than Michigan. We should have a pretty strong notes package from last year that should help us roll right off the truck with speed. It would be pretty sweet to get three in a row at my home track.”

And, of course, he wouldn't mind winning the Cup race on top of that. Though that will likely be a little more difficult, as I anticipate the Roush drivers and their strong Ford engines will be the ones to beat on Sunday.

Did you know?
Brad Keselowski and father Bob are two of eight drivers from Michigan who have won an event in one of NASCAR’s three touring series (Brad – 2 Sprint Cup, 12 Nationwide and Bob – 1 Camping World Truck).

MIS, by the numbers
0 - fewest cautions (three times, most recent 6/13/99)
1 - fewest laps led by race winner (Mark Martin, 6/14/09)
2 - fewest cars on lead lap at finish (five times, most recent 6/15/75)
5 - fewest leaders (five times, most recent 8/12/84)
6 - races won from outside a top-20 starting position
6 - wins by Dodge at MIS since manufacturer's return to NASCAR in 2001
7 - fewest lead changes (8/12/84)
8 - number of jet dryers available for track drying this weekend at MIS
9 - most wins (David Pearson)
10 - most poles (David Pearson)
10 - most cautions (8/20/06)
11 - wins by car owner (Wood Brothers, Jack Roush)
14 - fewest cars running at finish (6/16/74)
15 - most leaders (6/20/82)
18 - drivers with more than one win
20 - drivers with more than one pole at MIS
24 - wins from the front row; 16 from the pole
32 - worst starting position for race winner (Mark Martin, 2009)
33 - different race winners
37 - most cars on lead lap at finish (6/18/06)
40 - different pole winners
41 - most cars running at finish (five times, most recent 6/17/07)
63 - most caution laps (8/24/75)
65 - most lead changes (8/16/81)
120 minutes - approximate amount of time it takes to dry the 2.0-mile track
162 - laps led by race winner (Rusty Wallace, 8/20/89)

Verizon boosts wireless network at MIS

BROOKLYN — Verizon Wireless has activated a temporary cell site to improve its voice and data network around the Michigan International Speedway (MIS) in Brooklyn and to accommodate the hundreds of thousands of NASCAR fans attending races and related events at the speedway this summer.

The company has deployed a COLT (Cell on Light Truck) to boost capacity in the area surrounding the racetrack. A COLT is a fully functional, generator-powered mobile cell site that enhances wireless capacity in a specific location—and works especially well in dense areas with large crowds.

Additionally, Verizon Wireless has upgraded equipment on its existing cell sites in the area that provide coverage in and around MIS. The company’s upgrades and the COLT will boost voice capacity by 200% and data capacity by 1,000%.

“Ensuring our customers can count on their wireless devices for communication, news and more at major sporting events, like the races held at MIS is part of our ongoing commitment to network reliability,” said John Granby, president–Michigan/Indiana/Kentucky Region, Verizon Wireless. “We look at how our customers’ usage patterns are changing at events like these and we use this information to make sure we stay well ahead of their demand.”

Like father like son
As Father’s Day is celebrated on Sunday, Baldwin and Blaney will celebrate participating in the sport they love. Both Baldwin and Blaney owe their passion of racing to their racer dads, and both continue to pass that passion down to the next generation. Baldwin’s father, Tom Baldwin, was a well-known Modified racer in the Northeast. Baldwin’s oldest son, Tommy Baldwin III, is following in his father’s footsteps working in the TBR shop. Blaney grew up watching his father, Lou Blaney, race the dirt tracks of the northern Ohio and western Pennsylvania for four decades. Blaney’s son, Ryan, got behind the wheel at a young age and recently made his NASCAR debut in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.

Busch-Harvick continue war of words, on-track battles
One of the few highlights of a boring Pocono race was the tight battle early in the race between sworn enemies Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch, with Harvick being the aggressor.

Busch said after Pocono that Harvick's actions say a lot about him.

"I'm not really sure to be honest with you. I was running my own race. It was another car I had to pass. Seemed like he (Kevin Harvick) was trying to make it awfully difficult on me. There's a couple times where I just had to back off and wait,
got back to him and tried to pass him again. Maybe kind of shows his character and who he is, how he feels he needs to race on the race track. But it's not my fight. He's trying to turn it into one."

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