NASCAR. MIS to host the 3M 400 8.13

Written by David Green.

By RICH FOLEY

Observer Motorsports Writer

Kyle Busch may be winning almost everything in NASCAR this year, but it’s older brother Kurt who is defending champion of this Sunday’s 3M 400 at Michigan International Speedway.

Kurt, who has two wins at MIS, is looking for the track to give him a boost in his quest to qualify the #2 Miller Lite Dodge for the season-ending Chase for the Championship. His previous MIS Cup win was in a Ford in 2003.

Kasey Kahne is another driver looking to MIS for an improvement in his fortunes. Kahne, driver of the #9 Dodge for Gillett-Evernham Motorsports, finished second at MIS in June. He has five top-five finishes in nine MIS Cup starts, including a win in the June 2006 event.

Casey Mears may not be considered a front runner at MIS, but the record book makes a good case for him. His Cup history shows only one top-five finish, a fourth in June 2007, in 11 starts. But he has four top-10s in five starts in the Nationwide (formerly Busch) Series with a high of second place in 2006.

Mears also won his only MIS ARCA start in 2003. Previously, he raced at MIS in the open-wheel Indy Lights division and scored runner-up positions in both 1999 and 2000. Clearly, he knows his way around the track.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr., broke a 76-race losing streak at MIS in June. That was his first MIS Cup win, but he’s scored two victories at the Nationwide Series level at the two-mile oval.

Jeff Gordon was pole-sitter for last year’s 3M 400. One more MIS pole will make six, tying him with Bill Elliott for second place on the all-time list.

David Pearson still leads with 10 MIS poles, including five in a row. Pearson first took over the track lead in poles in August of 1974 and has held it ever since. He scored his last MIS pole in 1979. Pearson is, of course, also the MIS Cup wins leader with nine, the last coming in 1978.

  • Front.little Ball
    Fayette's Demetrious Whiteside (left)Skylar Lester attempt to keep the ball from going out of bounds during Morenci's recent basketball tournament for fourth and fifth grade teams. Morenci's Andrew Schmidt stands by.
  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

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