For­mer Cup cham­pion Brad Ke­selowski is seek­ing an elu­sive first vic­tory at his home track.

He’ll start sec­ond to Kurt Busch at Michi­gan

Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend - - SPORTS+ -

BROOK­LYN, Mich. — Brad Ke­selowski has never won a Cup Se­ries race at Michi­gan.

For some drivers, that might be no big deal, but Ke­selowski is from Rochester Hills, about 90 miles from Michi­gan In­ter­na­tional Speed­way.

“A win here would be like win­ning the Day­tona 500 for me,” Ke­selowski said. “A home track means a lot to any race car driver.”

It’s a bit sur­pris­ing that Ke­selowski hasn’t won at Michi­gan, con­sid­er­ing he gets two chances a year at the Cup level. He fin­ished sec­ond in 2012 and has five top­five show­ings in 17 starts.

He’ll have an­other chance Sun­day, and af­ter qual­i­fy­ing sec­ond, he has to be con­sid­ered a con­tender.

Ke­selowski was one of six Ford drivers in the top seven in qual­i­fy­ing, in­clud­ing pole win­ner Kurt Busch.

Ke­selowski won the pole at MIS last Au­gust and led 105 laps, but he fin­ished 17th. Ke­selowski has won Xfin­ity races at Michi­gan, but he has no vic­to­ries there at the top level.

“It is your friends and fam­ily and there is a lot of no­to­ri­ety that comes with it. That makes the losses sting more and the wins sweeter,” Ke­selowski said. “The fact we have been so close and not achieved it is very top of mind ev­ery time I come here.”

Ke­selowski is fifth in the Cup stand­ings this year, the top driver with­out a vic­tory. His most re­cent win was at Tal­ladega last sea­son.

“I want to win, I want to win a lot of races. I feel like we have a pretty strong team,” he said.

“We have had two or three races where we had the speed to win. That said, we haven’t been able to ex­e­cute on those. We have had a num­ber of races we had the speed to run third to fifth and it seems we have ex­e­cuted very well on those week­ends and didn’t catch any luck to go with it.”

Kyle Lar­son has won the last three Cup races at Michi­gan. He qual­i­fied 26th this week, how­ever.

Dil­lon takes Xfin­ity Se­ries race short­ened by rain

BROOK­LYN, Mich. — Austin Dil­lon won the rain-short­ened NAS­CAR Xfin­ity race at Michi­gan In­ter­na­tional Speed­way on Satur­day.

The race was de­layed around three hours at the start be­cause of the weather, and there had been a threat of more rain for a while be­fore the race was fi­nally called af­ter 91 of the planned 125 laps. Dil­lon and Daniel Hem­ric bat­tled for the lead on a restart on the 89th lap, but the race went un­der cau­tion again al­most im­me­di­ately be­cause of the weather.

It was the ninth ca­reer Xfin­ity vic­tory for Dil­lon, and the first in 2018 for this year’s Day­tona 500 win­ner.

Qual­i­fy­ing ear­lier in the day was can­celed be­cause of the weather. Kyle Busch started the race at the front based on owner points.

Vet­tel takes Cana­dian pole

MON­TREAL — Se­bas­tian Vet­tel claimed the pole po­si­tion in the For­mula 1 Cana­dian Grand Prix with the fastest lap ever on the Cir­cuit Gilles Vil­leneuve.

Vet­tel steered his Fer­rari over the 2.71-mile track in 1 minute, 10.764 sec­onds to de­prive Lewis Hamil­ton of a record seventh pole in Mon­treal. It’s Vet­tel’s fourth pole on the Ile Notre-Dame, and his first since 2013.

The Mercedes of Valt­teri Bot­tas will also start in the front row. Af­ter lead­ing all three prac­tice ses­sions, Max Ver­stap­pen will start third, along­side Hamil­ton. Kimi Raikko­nen in the other Fer­rari and Monaco win­ner Daniel Ric­cia­rdo are in the third row.

Sauter beats Friesen for Truck Se­ries win

FORT WORTH, Texas — Johnny Sauter held off Ste­wart Friesen in a three-lap shootout at Texas Mo­tor Speed­way on Fri­day night for his fourth NAS­CAR Camp­ing World Truck Se­ries vic­tory of the sea­son and 21st over­all.

Sauter, the se­ries points leader, matched his sea­son high for vic­to­ries in only the eighth event of the sea­son.

The 40-year-old Wis­con­sin driver won for the fifth time on the 1½-mile oval.

Sauter has won six of the last 11 races and has top-threes in 10 of the last 12.

Friesen, who fin­ished 14th in points as a rookie last sea­son, fin­ished 0.092 back to match his best ca­reer fin­ish.

Justin Ha­ley, a 19-year-old, was third to also match his best re­sult.

Rookie Todd Gilliland led for 62 of the 167 laps and fin­ished sixth.

THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Brad Ke­selowski would like to per­form well Sun­day at Michi­gan, his home track, with friends and fam­ily look­ing on.

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