The summer stretch of the NASCAR season that takes place between two races at Michigan always brings a lot of excitement to the table with a variety of race tracks. The two-mile speedway in the Irish Hills of Michigan has a lot of storylines heading into it this weekend.
Check out the seven biggest storylines to keep an eye on this weekend at Michigan:
Chase Elliott finished second in both Michigan races last year and has to feel a bit of pressure mounting as so many others cross off their first Cup Series victory. Along with Elliott are two rookies with potential to score win No. 1. Erik Jones finished a career-best third at Pocono and is a Michigan-native. Daniel Suàrez won the Michigan XFINITY Series race last year and has shown improvement as well.
Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch have been knocking on the door of a victory over the past month of the season. Both drivers have one victory in the Irish Hills but it’ll be surprising to see too many weeks tick off before one of these guys get back to Victory Lane.
Getty ImagesGetty Images
Bubba’s second start
Bubba Wallace made his Cup Series debut last week at Pocono in the iconic No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford and finished 26th. He’s slated to be behind the wheel for at least a few more weeks as Aric Almirola recovers. It’ll be interesting to see how he does in his second start.
Matthew OHarenMatthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Gibbs Racing still winless in a points race
We’ve already touched on Kyle Busch on the verge of a win over the past several weeks. His JGR teammates haven’t come quite as close and that’s a big surprise for the top-tier Toyota group. At this point last year, JGR already had seven wins locked up between their four drivers.
Michael Thomas ShroyerMichael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports
Reaction as a winner
Ryan Blaney scored his first Cup Series win last weekend at Pocono and has been one of the best drivers in 2017 on the intermediate tracks. Keep an eye on the No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford. Wins can come in bunches and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see that from Blaney.
As each week ticks off, JR Nation starts to get a bit more worried that they won’t see their favorite driver make his way back to Victory Lane one more time before he retires. When Dale Earnhardt Jr. heads to a track like Michigan that he has two wins at, there’s some hope that this might be the week.
The forecast has fluctuated all week but there’s a chance that it’s a bit wet over the next few days in the Irish Hills. Currently, the highest chance of rain is Saturday night into Sunday morning, which would avoid delaying the XFINITY or Cup Series races.