Michigan Fast Facts: Finding Luck In The Irish Hills

BROOKLYN, MI – JUNE 16: Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Fastenal Ford, and Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row/Sealy Chevrolet, lead the field on the first lap of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway on June 16, 2013 in Brooklyn, Mich.

Nestled on 1,400 acres in the "Irish Hills" of Michigan sits Michigan International Speedway. 

With groundbreaking taking place on Sept. 28, 1967, the 2-mile D-shaped oval has been playing host to some of the fastest NASCAR racing for 44 years.

A favorite among both fans and drivers, the 18-degree banking and wide, sweeping turns allow for high speeds, two- and three-wide racing, and exciting finishes. 

Here are a few facts for Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400:

• The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at MIS was held on June 15, 1969, with Cale Yarborough taking the inaugural win. The hall of famer would go on to earn eight Michigan wins throughout his illustrious career.

• There have been 34 different winners over 88 races at MIS. David Pearson leads all drivers with nine career victories, with Mark Martin holding the most among active drivers with five.

• "Handsome" Harry Gant became the oldest winner at MIS when he took the checkered flag on Aug. 16, 1992 at 52 years, 7 months and 6 days.

• Starting from the pole can lead to good things at MIS, as 16 of the 88 races (18.1%) have been won from the first starting spot – the most of any starting position. Brian Vickers was the last driver to start first and finish first at Michigan in 2009.

• In 2012, the track underwent a repave, increasing speeds overall. That was evident as Joey Logano broke the track record in Friday’s qualifying session with a lap of 203.949 mph – the ninth fastest qualifying lap in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history.

• Michigan International Speedway is the largest registered campground in the state of Michigan, with more than 8,000 campsites available for fans.