This week the Monster Energy Cup Series travels to the Irish Hills and Michigan International Speedway for the Consumer’s Energy 400.
The final car out on the track in single car qualifying, Brad Keselowski puts his number two car on the pole with time of 37.801 seconds. He will lead the field to the green flag in his home state of Michigan.
In post qualifying inspection, NASCAR officials disallowed the qualifying times for the number three car driven by Austin Dillon and the number eight car driven by Daniel Hemric when they discovered unapproved adjustments on the cars.
As a result of the infractions the crew chiefs for each car were fined $25,000. Car owner Richard Childress was docked 10 points from the number three and number eight cars, and Austin Dillon and Daniel Hemric were each docked 10 driver points. Dillon and Hemric will also have to start the race from the back of the field.
In pre-race inspection on Sunday morning, the number 19 car driven by Martin Treux Jr failed the inspection process twice; as a result, the Joe Gibbs Racing team has lost a crew member – an engineer – for the race and Truex will have to start the race from the back of the field.
Corey LaJoie and Matt Tifft will have to start from the back of the field after making a transmission change. With a driver change in the number 77 car, that team will also be starting the race from the back of the field.
The starting line up for the Consumer’s Energy 400:
Martin Truex Jr – moved to the back of the field for failing inspection
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Matt Tifft – moved to the back of the field for a transmission change
Corey LaJoie – moved to the back of the field for a transmission change
Garrett Smithley – moved to the back of the field for a driver change
Stages one and two of the race are 60 laps each with stage three lasting 80 laps for a total of 200 laps around the two mile track. The drivers cannot complete any of the stages without making a pit stop.
Brad Keselowski brings the field down for the green flag start of the race from the outside lane with Kevin Harvick starting alongside on the front row. Brad Keselowski gets out in front for the lead.
Brad Keselowski leads lap one with Kevin Harvick on his bumper.
Lap five, on his 500th race start Martin Truex Jr has already moved through the field and is up to 16th place.
Lap seven, Brad Keselowski holds on to a narrow lead on Kevin Harvick with Joey Logano in third.
Lap 10, Brad Keselowski has pulled out to a half second lead on Kevin Harvick.
Lap 12, Michigan native Brad Keselowski is beginning to pull away from the field with a lead of over half a second on Kevin Harvick with Joey Logano in third.
Lap 16 Jimmie Johnson slows on the track with a smoking car and possible flat tire; so far the track stays green. Johnson gets his car on pit road with significant damage to his car and the track stays green.
Johnson’s team has an extended pit stop trying to replace the tire, the tire carcass was wrapped around the axle.
Jimmie Johnson returns to the track two laps down.
Lap 21, Brad Keselowski has increased his lead to a second and a half on Kevin Harvick.
Lap 23, Kevin Harvick has closed the gap on leader Brad Keselowski to just over a second; there are 32 cars on the lead lap.
Lap 27, the gap between leader Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick is now down to under a second. Jimmie Johnson had to make a second trip down pit road for repairs and is now three laps down.
Lap 30, Martin Truex Jr has moved into the top 10 at seventh place after starting the race from the back of the field.
Lap 32, Kevin Harvick brings his car down pit road with a flat tire and hands second place over to Denny Hamlin with Brad Keselowski still in the lead.
Lap 35, Brad Keselowski has a lead of over two seconds on Denny Hamlin, but Hamlin’s lap times are faster than Keselowski.
Chase Elliott brings his car down pit road for service, the first driver to make a green flag pit stop.
Lap 37, Denny Hamlin has cut the gap to leader Brad Keselowski in half to just over a second.
Lap 38, Brad Keselowski’s lead is now down to under a second over Denny Hamlin.
Lap 40, Denny Hamlin gets around Brad Keselowski for the lead.
Lap 42, Martin Truex Jr has moved into the top five, in fourth place.
Lap 43, drivers begin making their green flag pit stops.
Lap 46, leader Denny Hjamlin makes his green flag pit stop and gives the lead over to Martin Truex Jr.
Kyle Larson was caught speeding on pit road and will have to serve a pass through penalty.
Lap 48, leader Martin Truex Jr makes his green flag pit stop and takes fuel only.
Lap 54, Martin Truex Jr is in the lead with Denny Hamlin a second back with 26 cars on the lead lap.
In a three wide battle, Denny Hamlin gets around Martin Truex Jr to take the lead but Truex retakes the lead as the two drivers battle in the final laps of stage one.
Martin Truex Jr takes the white flag for stage one.
Martin Truex Jr wins stage one.
The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Martin Truex Jr
Taking only two tires, Brad Keselowski wins the race off of pit road.
After leading the first 41 laps, Brad Keselowski retakes the lead and brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 66 with Denny Hamlin alongside. From the top lane, Keselowski gets out in front of the field for the lead.
Lap 70, all 38 cars are on the lead lap with Jimmie Johnson in last place seven laps down. Brad Keselowski lead the race less than a quarter of a second in front of Denny Hamlin.
Lap 74, Brad Keselowski is in the lead, half a second in front of Martin Truex Jr.
Lapp 77, Martin Truex Jr has closed the gap on leader Brad Keselowski to just a tenth of a second.
Lap 85, Brad Keselowski continues to lead the race with Denny Hamlin nearly a half second back.
Lap 87, Brad Keselowski now has a lead of only two thenth of a second on Martin Truex Jr.
Lap 91, Martin Truex Jr passes Brad Keselowski to take the lead.
Lap 92, Martin Truex Jr has pulled out to a lead of nearly a second on Brad Keselowski.
Lap 97, Martin Truex Jr has a lead of over half a second on Denny Hamlin with Kurt Busch in third.
Lap 100, halfway, Martin Truex Jr has a half second lead on Denny Hamlin with 26 cars on the lead lap. There have been no caution flags for on track incidents so far.
Lap 103, Denny Hamlin has closed the gap on leader Martin Truex Jr to just a quarter of a second, but third place driver Kurt Busch is closing in on them.
Lap 107, Alex Bowman makes his pit stop as green flag pit stops begin.
Lap 110, leader Martin Truex Jr makes his pit stop and goes fuel only for the second time. Brad Keselowski is the new leader.
Lap 111, Kevin Harvick is the new leader.
Lap 114, Martin Truex Jr retakes the lead as green flag pit stops cycle through.
Lap 115, the caution flag comes out when Brad Keselowski spins out with a flat tire. He avoids hitting the wall and saves the car but digs up some grass at the edge of the apron.
In a one lap shootout til the end of stage two, Martin Truex Jr brings the field down for the green flag restart with Kyle Busch alongside Truex on the front row. Kyle Busch gets out in front for the lead with a little help of a push from Erik Jones. Kyle Busch wins stage two as cars wreck behind him.
The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Martin Truex Jr
Aric Almirola, Austin Dillon, and Daniel Hemric were all involved in the crash.
Taking only two tires, Kyle Busch wins the race off of pit road, but not all of the drivers made a pit stop. Kyle will restart the race in 16th place.
Kurt Busch brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 127 and goes nose to nose with Joey Logano before Joey Logano edges out for the lead.
Lap 131, Joey Logano has a quarter of a second lead on Kurt Busch. In the March race, Logano won the race after leading 163 laps.
Spence Boyd brings out the cuation flag after getting into the wall.
Joey Logano brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 136 with Joey Logano getting a jump out in front for the lead. Drivers are getting three wide behind him.
Clint Bowyer brings out the caution flag when he gets into the wall and causes significant damage to his car after making contact with Paul Menard.
Joey Logano brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 141 and goes nose to nose with Kurt Busch but after a push form team mate Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano takes the lead.
William Byron got way loose but saves the car and the track stays green.
Clint Bowyer takes his car to the garage after failing to achieve the minimum speed on the track after his crash.
Lap 149, the caution flag comes out for Ricky Stenhouse Jr after he spins out.
Most of the drivers come down pit road for service even though they are just outside the fuel window.
Taking fuel only, Ryan Blaney wins the race off of pit road.
Ryan Blaney brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 151 and jumps out in front for the lead after a push from team mate Joey Logano.
Joey Logano gets past Ryan Blaney on the outside lane but Blaney battles back before Logano finally gets out in front for the lead.
Forty-five laps to go, Joey Logano has a lead of just a tenth of a second on Ryan Blaney with Brad Keselowski in third.
Lap 162, Joey Logano has a third of a second lead on
Ryan Blaney with Brad Keselowski in third. There are 28 cars on the lead lap with two drivers out of the race.
Thirty to go, Joey Logano has a half second lead on Ryan Blaney with Brad Keselowski in third. Some of the teams are reporting that they are a little short of making it to the end of the race on fuel.
Lap 173, Joey Logano has a lead of over half a second on Kevin Harvick.
Twenty to go, Joey Logano is in the lead but the team is concerned about whether they have enough fuel to make it to the end. There are a number of drivers who will not be able to finish the race without stopping for fuel.
Lap 182, Kevin Harvick challenges Joey Logano for the lead and finally gets out in front for the lead.
Lap 185, Kevin Harvick has pulled out to a half second lead on Joey Logano as he begins working his way through slower traffic.
Lap 187, Kevin Harvick’s lead is now over a second on Joey Logano.
Lap 188, 10 laps short, Brad Keselowski brings his car down pit road for fuel.
Eight to go, Kevin Harvick has a lead of nearly a second and a half on Joey Logano.
Four to go, Kevin Harvick has increased his lead to over two seconds on Joey Logano.
Joey Logano brings his car down pit road for a short burst of fuel.
Kevin Harvick has a lead of over a second and a half on Denny Hamlin.
Kevin Harvick takes the white flag – two miles to go.
Kevin Harvick takes the checkered flag to win at Michigan. A number of drivers are running out of fuel on the final lap.
Seven year old Keelan Harvick runs to meet his dad on pit road for a burn out and a ride to victory lane in the winning car.
The unofficial results of the Consumer’s Energy 400:
Martin Truex Jr
Ricky Stenhouse Jr