The pre-race invocation has been given, both the American and Canadian National Anthems have been performed, and drivers standing near their race car as the green flag approaches for the Quicken Loans 400 at the now-sunbathed Michigan International Speedway.
Some drying in turns one and two and the backstretch remains, but the race will get going sooner rather than later and all 400 miles should be on tap today. That is a much better scenario than the August 2007 race weekend at Michigan, when the race wound up being delayed two days by a deluge of rain before the engines finally fired on Tuesday. The skies threatened that day, but the race was eventually completed with Kurt Busch winning.
Once the green flag drops, a long task will be ahead for Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson, and Ryan Newman. Edwards was a victim of some engine gremlins during his qualifying performance Saturday and did not complete his lap. Newman and Johnson, both supposed to start from the top-10, had to change the engines in their Chevrolets and will start from the back of the field. Johnson is still seeking his first win at Michigan, one of only five race tracks on which he has never won, while Newman and Edwards are both two-time Michigan winners.