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After finishing second in the previous event at the track, Michael Andretti finally conquered Michigan International Speedway for the first time as an IndyCar driver when he won the 1987 Marlboro 500. His second of four victories on the season, the win came despite nearly stalling his car on his final pit stop with fewer than 10 laps to go. Al Unser, in his first race since winning the 1987 Indianapolis 500, placed second, while Bobby Rahal came home third.

Rahal, who had taken the points lead three races earlier at the Meadowlands Grand Prix, would close a six-race podium streak in Michigan. He and Andretti would be the chief championship rivals for the remainder of the 1987 season.