Chevrolet Looks to Post First Win at Mis Since 2001

by : KatieJones

The Citizens Bank 400, the fifteenth race of the 2007 Nextel Cup Series, is just around the corner and talks in the paddocks revolve around Chevrolet's winless streak. The winless streak, of course, does not point out to the current season because Chevy teams have been dominating the season so far. To date, Chevrolet Impalas has already won thirteen of the fourteen races this season.

The winless streak is about Chevy teams not being able to win at the Michigan International Speedway where the next race will take place. The last driver to win at the MIS driving a Chevrolet is Jeff Gordon who posted a win at the circuit on June 10, 2001. From that time onwards, either a Dodge or a Ford has won at the Michigan track.

With history against them, Chevrolet teams need a boost which J.J. Yeley gladly gave them. The 30-year old NASCAR driver won the pole position which means he will start at the front row come raceday on Sunday. Yeley drives the Number 18 Chevy Impala for Joe Gibbs Racing. Another Chevy car will be starting alongside Yeley on the front row. Defending champion Jimmie Johnson recorded the second fastest lap time in the qualifying round to secure a front row start.

Kyle Busch, another Chevrolet Impala driver, will start on the second row after he qualified at the third spot. He will start alongside the Number 12 Dodge of Ryan Newman. Newman drives the only non-Chevy car in the top nine spots. His teammate Kurt Busch will start tenth on the grid.

While Chevrolet cars have dominated the season, drivers are talking about the MIS being a Ford track because it seems to favor Ford cars in recent years. Jimmie Johnson expressed his feelings towards the track saying: "It's weird how certain tracks favor certain teams." This consensus among NASCAR drivers is based on the fact that Ford cars have won three out of the previous five races at the MIS. In 2002, Matt Kenseth won the Sirius Satellite Radio 400 while in 2003 Kurt Busch won the Sirius 400. In 2005, Greg Biffle won the Batman Begins 400.

"Manufacturers, unfortunately, have their hands tied and can't do a lot," says Johnson. "It really revolves around the teams. And this has been a Roush track, for whatever reason. I know Jeff (Gordon) has won here... but it kind of falls into being a Roush track. They carry the Ford logo, so thus it's been considered a Ford track, too."

With their NASCAR Chevrolet Impalas engineered for high level of performance which leaves no room for components such as , Chevrolet teams have performed well at the MIS in the past only to falter during the later stages of the race.

"I think that the Chevy teams have been close here," says Johnson. "I know from my own experience, we were running up front in the fall here and had a flat tire. I've personally had a lot of crazy things happened to me late in races here, whether it's strategy, running out of fuel, tire failures. We just haven't had the finishes we thought we would. But if you look at the statistics probably up to the two-thirds mark, Chevy teams are in contention - but when the checkered falls, weird things happen. I don't know why, but the statistics certainly show that Ford camp seems to rule here."