Bowyer wins rain-shortened Michigan 400

Speedcafe.com

Monday 11th June, 2018 - 11:30am

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Clint Bowyer

Clint Bowyer picked up his second win this NASCAR season in a FireKeepers Casino 400 which was cut significantly short by rain in Michigan.

Stewart-Haas Racing Fords were classified first, second, and third when the race was called after only 133 of the 200 scheduled laps.

Given that Stage 2 had been completed, the result of Bowyer in first, Kevin Harvick in second, and Kurt Busch in third stood.

The break at the end of Stage 2 and the start of the final stage proved to be the critical moments.

Harvick had won the second stage but was beaten out of pit lane again by Bowyer, who took only two new tyres compared to the former’s four.

When the green flag flew on Lap 126, Harvick got ahead on the low side but Bowyer drove past on the outside and put Car #14 ahead before they crossed the stripe again.

He managed to keep Car #4 behind until a Caution came on Lap 130 as a result of Ricky Stenhouse Jnr (#17 Roush Fenway Racing) spinning and hitting the wall at Turn 2.

Rain, which had already delayed race start by approximately two-and-a-half hours, began falling again while the yellow flags were out and the race was called then and there.

Harvick had earlier taken out Stage 2 after hitting the lead for the first time on Lap 72 of the race and heading a majority of laps during the second stanza in Car #4.

That stage also ended with an SHR top three, Bowyer a little under three seconds adrift in second and Kurt Busch third in Car #41.

Ryan Blaney (#12 Team Penske Ford) won Stage 1, which Kurt Busch led from pole but was passed on Lap 48 and ultimately took the green/white chequered flag in seventh.

SHR narrowly missed out on a quadruple top 10 as Aric Almirola was classified 11th in the #10 Ford.

Fourth through eighth were Kyle Busch (#18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota), Paul Menard (#21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford), Brad Keselowski (#2 Team Penske Ford), Joey Logano (#22 Team Penske Ford), and Blaney.

The best-placed Chevrolets were Chase Elliott (#9 Hendrick Motorsports) in ninth and Jamie McMurray (#1 Chip Ganassi Racing) in 10th.

Kyle Larson fell a lap down during Stage 2 when he spun the #42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet at Turn 4.

He got the lap back with a free pass at the final Caution, but with no time to mount a recovery was classified 28th.

Kyle Busch continues to lead the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, which takes a rare weekend off before the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 22-24 (local time).

Final laps and post-race interview

Race highlights

Results: FireKeepers Casino 400, Michigan International Speedway

Pos Num Driver Make Laps Led Status
1 14 Clint Bowyer Ford 133 8 Running
2 4 Kevin Harvick Ford 133 49 Running
3 41 Kurt Busch Ford 133 46 Running
4 18 Kyle Busch Toyota 133 0 Running
5 21 Paul Menard Ford 133 3 Running
6 2 Brad Keselowski Ford 133 0 Running
7 22 Joey Logano Ford 133 0 Running
8 12 Ryan Blaney Ford 133 15 Running
9 9 Chase Elliott Chevrolet 133 0 Running
10 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 133 0 Running
11 10 Aric Almirola Ford 133 0 Running
12 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 133 0 Running
13 24 William Byron Chevrolet 133 0 Running
14 3 Austin Dillon Chevrolet 133 0 Running
15 20 Erik Jones Toyota 133 0 Running
16 88 Alex Bowman Chevrolet 133 0 Running
17 47 AJ Allmendinger Chevrolet 133 0 Running
18 78 Martin Truex Jnr Toyota 133 0 Running
19 43 Bubba Wallace Chevrolet 133 0 Running
20 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 133 0 Running
21 13 Ty Dillon Chevrolet 133 0 Running
22 31 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 133 0 Running
23 95 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 133 11 Running
24 37 Chris Buescher Chevrolet 133 0 Running
25 34 Michael McDowell Ford 133 0 Running
26 15 Ross Chastain Chevrolet 133 0 Running
27 72 Corey LaJoie Chevrolet 133 0 Running
28 42 Kyle Larson Chevrolet 133 1 Running
29 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jnr Ford 133 0 Running
30 19 Daniel Suarez Toyota 132 0 Running
31 23 Gray Gaulding Toyota 132 0 Running
32 00 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 132 0 Running
33 6 Matt Kenseth Ford 132 0 Running
34 7 DJ Kennington Chevrolet 132 0 Running
35 66 Timmy Hill Toyota 132 0 Running
36 32 Matt DiBenedetto Ford 131 0 Running
37 51 BJ McLeod Chevrolet 131 0 Running
38 38 David Ragan Ford 35 0 Crash
39 99 Garrett Smithley Chevrolet 1 0 Transmission

Standings

Pos Driver Pts Gap Starts Wins Playoff pts
1 Kyle Busch 664 15 4 25
2 Kevin Harvick 589 -75 15 5 26
3 Joey Logano 566 -98 15 1 7
4 Brad Keselowski 514 -150 15 0 4
5 Clint Bowyer 510 -154 15 2 10
6 Martin Truex Jnr 506 -158 15 2 13
7 Kurt Busch 493 -171 15 0 2
8 Denny Hamlin 468 -196 15 0 1
9 Ryan Blaney 457 -207 15 0 4
10 Kyle Larson 443 -221 15 0 1
11 Aric Almirola 433 -231 15 0 0
12 Jimmie Johnson 377 -287 15 0 0
13 Chase Elliott 362 -302 15 0 0
14 Erik Jones 346 -318 15 0 0
15 Alex Bowman 331 -333 15 0 0
16 Ricky Stenhouse Jnr 327 -337 15 0 0
17 Paul Menard 327 -337 15 0 1
18 Austin Dillon 292 -372 15 1 5
19 Jamie McMurray 283 -381 15 0 0
20 William Byron 277 -387 15 0 0
21 Daniel Suarez 265 -399 15 0 0
22 Ryan Newman 257 -407 15 0 0
23 AJ Allmendinger 249 -415 15 0 0
24 Bubba Wallace 247 -417 15 0 0
25 David Ragan 225 -439 15 0 0
26 Chris Buescher 217 -447 15 0 0
27 Michael McDowell 205 -459 15 0 0
28 Kasey Kahne 201 -463 15 0 0
29 Ty Dillon 194 -470 15 0 0
30 Matt DiBenedetto 156 -508 15 0 0
31 Trevor Bayne 145 -519 11 0 0
32 Gray Gaulding 100 -564 15 0 0
33 Cole Whitt 85 -579 8 0 0
34 Landon Cassill 75 -589 9 0 0
35 DJ Kennington 58 -606 6 0 0
36 Matt Kenseth 49 -615 4 0 0
37 Corey LaJoie 49 -615 7 0 0
38 Jeffrey Earnhardt 35 -629 6 0 0
39 Reed Sorenson 31 -633 7 0 0
40 Brendan Gaughan 24 -640 2 0 0
41 Harrison Rhodes 23 -641 5 0 0
42 Mark Thompson 15 -649 1 0 0
43 Derrike Cope 4 -660 2 0 0
44 Danica Patrick 2 -662 1 0 0
45 Justin Marks 0 -664 1 0 0
46 David Gilliland 0 -664 1 0 0
47 Ross Chastain 0 -664 14 0 0
48 Timothy Peters 0 -664 1 0 0
49 Cole Custer 0 -664 2 0 0
50 Joey Gase 0 -664 2 0 0
51 Parker Kligerman 0 -664 1 0 0
52 JJ Yeley 0 -664 3 0 0
53 Timmy Hill 0 -664 6 0 0
54 Daniel Hemric 0 -664 1 0 0
55 BJ McLeod 0 -664 3 0 0
56 Chad Finchum 0 -664 1 0 0
57 Cody Ware 0 -664 1 0 0
58 Garrett Smithley 0 -664 1 0 0

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