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Sure enough, the upcoming Sprint Cup Carfax 400 will be paced by none other than the Blue Oval's tiny 2011 Fiesta Sedan. With less than a third of the displacement of the tube-frame beasts lapping Michigan International Speedway, we wouldn't quite expect lightning-quick pace laps, but hey – safety first. While pace cars are typically some sort of performance product, manufacturers aren't past parading less than muscular new hardware in front of the captive audiences of the raceway.

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Edison2's Very Light Car – Click above for high-res image gallery

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TTW – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Edison2's Very Light Car – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Illuminati Seven – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Last we heard, either 15 or 22 teams had made it to the Automotive X Prize's Knockout stage. Turns out, 21 teams will take to the Michigan International Speedway (MIS) in Brooklyn, Michigan this week for the next level of the competition to bring hyper-efficient vehicles to market.

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The Progressive Automotive X-Prize has lost a lot of potential and participating teams over the course of the past few years, and today it lost a dozen cities. See, in early 2008, the AXP asked for bids to host trial events around the U.S. and at least 14 said they were interested. Yesterday, Peter Diamandis, the chairman and CEO of the X Prize Foundation, announced that nearly all of the actual on-the-road events will be held in Michigan. Make that the on-the-track events.

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Michigan International Speedway (MIS) plays host to two NASCAR races: the 3M Performance 400 Presented by Bondo in the Sprint Cup Series, and the Carfax 250 in the Nationwide Series. Both races are likely to involve a fair number of cars crashing into each other, so it's ronic, then, that the MIS has been selected by the Michigan Department of Transportation as a neutral testing facility for car-to-car and car-to-road technology that are expected to one day prevent cars from crashing.

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. is the darling of NASCAR, but the motorsport's most popular driver was completely winless for the last 76 races until this past weekend when the Intimidator's son won the LifeLock 400 at Michigan International Speedway. Junior won the race in an odd way, literally coasting across the finish line on an empty tank of gas under a caution flag after Patrick Carpenter spun out on lap 203. The race had been extended to overtime after Sam Hornish Jr. spun on Lap 200, and had it not b

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Indianapolis 500 winner, current IndyCar points leader and husband of actress of Ashley Judd (rank those however you want) Dario Franchitti was involved in a spectacular airborne crash during this weekend's Firestone 400 at Michigan International Speedway, though fortunately he walked away with nary a scratch. Franchitti was doing his best to hold off Dan Wheldon, currently 4th in points, on Lap 144, when his rear end touched wheels with the front of Wheldon's car. Franchitti's car turned sidewa

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