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Champion 400 – Michigan International Speedway – 8/17/86

NASCAR Winston Cup race number 19 of 29

Sunday, August 17, 1986 at Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, MI
200 laps on a 2.000 mile paved track (400.0 miles)

Time of race: 2:57:28
Average Speed: 135.376 mph
Pole Speed: 171.924 mph
Cautions: 5 for 38 laps
Margin of Victory: 1.45 sec
Attendance: 64,000
Lead changes: 23

Just 41 days later NASCAR returned to Michigan International Speedway, and again for the 4th time in a row Bill Elliott and the Coors – Melling Ford Thunderbird team won the race. Elliott, along with the win set a record for 4 consecutive wins on a superspeedway. Elliott had won 5 out of the last 6 races at MIS. This was special for Harry Melling too since he lived a short distance away, and considered MIS his home track. Never has there been such dominance at a single track for wins that has been shown by Elliott at MIS. The newly surfaced track is still making exciting racing with 23 lead changes among 10 drivers. Elliott qualified 3rd for the race and dominated leading 125 of the 200 total laps run. Elliott took the lead for the final time on lap 175 to lead the final 26 laps for the win. Finishing out the top 5 were Tim Richmond, Geoff Bodine, Darrell Waltrip, and Dale Earnhardt. Elliott won with an average speed of 135.376mph. Slowing the race pace were 5 cautions for 38 laps. Owner Harry Melling won $56,950 dollars for the win with Elliott picking up another 185 Championship points where he was in 6th place at the time. The win was Elliott’s 17 win, and the 2nd in the 1986 season to date.

Elliott enjoyed racing Michigan International Speedway and with his smooth driving style, he had some astounding results at this speedway through the years. Complimented by the high HP engines of Ernie Elliott, and the smooth drivelines of Dan Elliott, Bill’s brothers, the Coors Melling Team had some tremendous finishing stats through the years. Elliott ran 61 races at Michigan with 7 wins, 17 top 5’s, 29 top 10’s, and 6 pole positions. Elliott led 1,004 laps of the 11,212 laps he completed on the 2 mile track earning $2,463,235 in total earnings to date. Elliott drove a total of 22,424 miles at Michigan Speedway with an average starting position of 11th, with an average finish of 14.6.

(Article by Dale Brown)

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