Ford Streak Continues with Winner #15 at MIS

NASCAR Cup Series

Preparing for the race on Sunday, the Cup Series drivers take to the track for practice and qualifying on the two mile track of Michigan International Speedway and the FireKeepers Casino 400.

BJ McLeod is the first driver on the track to run a qualifying lap and posted a time of 39,30 seconds.

Kyle Busch is the first driver to break the 38 second mark with a time of 37.890 seconds around the track.

From Group A; Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Erik Jones, Christopher Bell, and Austin Cindric will make a run for the pole in round two.

In Group B; Bubba Wallace, Kyle Larson, Martin Truex Jr, Joey Logano, and Tyler Reddick will move on to round two and a run for the pole.

Dale Earnhardt Jr revealed that no Michigan born driver has ever won a Cup Series race at MIS.

The first of the top 10 drivers to take to the track is Erik Jones who posted a time of 38.366 seconds.

With a time of 37.755 seconds, Bubba Wallace has his first career Cup Series pole.  It is also the first pole for 23XI Racing.

The starting lineup for the FireKeepers 400:
Bubba Wallace
Christopher Bell
Kyle Busch
Joey Logano
Austin Cindric
Tyler Reddick
Martin Truex Jr
Kyle Larson
Denny Hamlin
Erik Jones
Ty Gibbs
Noah Gragson
Chase Elliott
Michael McDowell
Daniel Suarez
Kevin Harvick
Cole Custer
Aric Almirola
Chris Buescher
William Byron
Justin Haley
Ross Chastain
Chase Briscoe
Ryan Blaney
Ty Dillon
Austin Dillon
Harrison Burton
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
JJ Yeley
Alex Bowman
Austin Hill
Corey LaJoie
Brad Keselowski
Cody Ware
Josh Bilicki
BJ McLeod
Todd Gilliland

Just as the pre-race events of “Countdown to Green” began…so did the rains.   After a 30 minute rain storm…sometimes heavy…the skies begin to clear and track drying begins.

At 3:43pm EDT, NASCAR has called for the teams to remove the car covers.

At 3:54pm EDT the drivers have been called to their cars.

After an hour delay for rain and track drying, pre-race ceremonies begin at 4:05pm EDT.

Kevin Harvick has won a total of five races at Michigan; including four of the last six.  Coming from back in the pack, Harvick is hoping that he can extend that record today.

Homestate drivers Brad Keselowski and Erik Jones are hoping they will be the ones to wave the checkered flag at the end of today’s race.

After the rain storm that cleaned off the track, NASCAR has called for a competition caution on lap 20.

Stages one is 45 laps long, stage two is 75 laps in length, and stage three is 80 laps for a total of 200 laps around the two mile track.  The drivers cannot complete stages two and three on a single load of fuel and will have to make pit stops during the race.

At 4:33pm EDT, Bubba Wallace brings the field down for the green flag start of the race from the outside lane with Christopher Bell on the inside.  With a push from Joey Logano, Bubba gets out in front for the lead.  Drivers are three and four wide across the track in a battle for position.

Bubba Wallace leads lap one.

Lap two, Bubba Wallace has the lead with Joey Logano in second; Kyle Busch, Tyler Reddick and Christopher Bell round out the top five.  Tyler Reddick passes Kyle Busch for third.

Lap four, Bubba Wallace has a third of a second lead on Joey Logano; Tyler Reddick, Kyle Busch, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

Lap six, Ross Chastain started the race in 22nd place and has moved up to 15th; Daniel Suarez is in 17th.  Bubba Wallace has a lead of nearly haf a second on Joey Logano with Tyler Reddick, Kyle Busch, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

Lap eight, Bubba Wallace has a lead of over a second on Joey Logano.

Tyler Reddick passes Joey Logano for second.  Logano has some debris on his grille

Lap 10, Bubba Wallace has increased his lead to a second and a half on Tyler Reddick.

Kyle Busch passes Joey Logano for third.

Lap eleven, Bubba Wallace holds a lead of nearly a second and a half on Tyler Reddick; Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, and Joey Logano round out the top five.

Lap 15, Bubba Wallace has a second and a half lead on Tyler Reddick; Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

Joey Logano reports some balance issues in his car.

Chase Elliott has some radio issues in his car.

Lap 17, Bubba Wallace continues to extend his lead on Tyler Reddick and is now nearly two seconds.

All 37 cars on on the lead lap.

Lap 19, Kyle Busch is on Tyler Reddick’s bumper and is challenging for second.  Kyle Larson comes up to battle with Kyle Busch for third.

Kyle Busch reports that he is super tight in turns one and two.

Lap 21, NASCAR displays the yellow flag for the competition caution.

The field is mixed on drivers coming down pit road; leaders are among those that make a stop.  Taking just two tires, Bubba Wallace wins the race off of pit road.

Coming out in eighth place, Kyle Busch is the first driver on the track with four fresh tires.

Making his Cup Series debut, Austin Hill gets into the back of Cody Ware on pit road.

After staying out on the track, Christopher Bell brings the field to the green flag on lap 25 with Erik Jones alongside.  Big contact and a crash ensues right after the restart.  Austin Cindric, Kyle Busch, Aric Almirola, JJ Yeley, Ty Gibbs, Harrison Burton, Todd Gilliland, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, and Michael McDowell were all involved.  Cindric hit the wall head on hard.

Kyle Busch’s team notes that it looks like the left tire rod is damaged; he takes his car to the garage.

Austin Cindric is out of the infield care center and says that he is fine.  Kyle Busch is also out of the care center and ok.  Busch noted that he, “can’t get a break.”  When asked about his level of frustration, he said, “from one to 10…infinity.”

Christopher Bell brings the field down for the green flag restart from the outside lane with Erik Jones on the inside on lap 33.  Christopher Bell gets out in front with Erik Jones in second; Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr, and Chris Buescher round out the top five.

Lap 36, Christopher Bell has a half second lead on Denny Hamlin; Erik Jones, Martin Truex JR, and William Byron round out the top five.

Since the restart, Ross Chastain has moved up 12 spots to seventh place.

With five laps remaining in stage one, Christopher Bell has a half second lead on Denny Hamlin; Erik Jones, Martin Truex Jr, and William Byron round out the top five.  There are six cars out of the race after the big wreck.  Michael McDowell is the only car on the track not on the lead lap.

Lap 42, Chris Buescher passes William Byron for fifth.

Christopher Bell wins stage one for his second stage win of the season.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Christopher Bell
Denny Hamlin
Erik Jones
Martin Truex Jr.
Chris Buescher
Ross Chastain
William Byron
Kevin Harvick
Joey Logano
Chase Briscoe

Drivers come down pit road for service with Ross Chastain winning the race off of pit road after taking only two tires.  Kyle Larson and Bubba Wallace also took only two tires with Ryan Blaney taking fuel only.

Ty Gibbs and Corey LaJoie stayed out on the track.

Ty Gibbs brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two with Ross Chastain in the inside lane on lap 52.  After a push from Ryan Blaney, Ross Chastain gets out in front for the lead with Ty Gibbs in second.  Drivers are four and five wide across the track in a battle for position.

Lap 53, Ross Chastain leads the race with Ty Gibbs in second; Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson, and Bubba Wallace round out the top five.

With the draft, drivers are topping speeds of 200mph.

Lap 57, Kyle Larson passes Ty Gibbs for second.

There are 29 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 60, Ross Chastain has a third of a second lead on Kyle Larson; Ty Gibbs, Ryan Blaney, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.  Bell passes Blaney for fourth.

Lap 62, Ros Chastain has a narrow lead on
Kyle Larson; Ty Gibbs, Christopher Bell, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.

Lap 67, Ross Chastain leads the race with Kyle Larson and Christopher Bell on his bumper; Denny Hamlin and Ty Gibbs round out the top five.

Lap 69, Ross Chastain leads the race with Kyle Larson in second; Christopher Bell, Noah Gragson, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.

Lap 71, Christopher Bell and Kyle Larson battle for second with Ross Chastain nearly a half second in front.

Lap 74, Ross Chastain leads the race with Christopher Bell on his bumper; Denny Hamlin, Noah Gragson, and Kyle Larson round out the top five.

Denny Hamlin battles with Christopher Bell for second.

Michael McDowell and Todd Gilliland are the only drivers laps down.

Lap 75, Denny Hamlin passes Christopher Bell for second and sets his sights on leader Ross Chastain…and a possible continuation of the feud.

Lap 79, Denny Hamlin passes Ross Chastain on the outside to take the lead; Christopher Bell, Noah Gragson, and Kyle Larson round out the top five.

Lap 82, drivers begin making their green flag pit stops.

Ty Gibbs had a 19 second pit stop.

Lap 86, Kevin Harvick passes Kyle Larson for fourth.

Lap 87, Denny Hamlin has pulled out to a lead of over a second on Christopher Bell; Ross Chastain, Kevin Harvick ,and Kyle Larson round out the top five.

Bubba Wallace reports that his car is “absolutely plowing”.

Lap 93, Ross Chastain brings his watermelon car down pit road for service.  Two tires rolled loose on pit road.  Chastain’s team has been charged with a uncontrolled tire penalty and will have to serve a pass through penalty.

Lap 95, leader Denny Hamlin makes his pit stop and hands the lead over to Christopher Bell.

Joey Logano brings his car down pit road with reports of a vibration.

Lap 96, Christopher Bell brings his car down pit road for service and gives the lead over to Erik Jones.

Cole Custer brings out the caution flag with a flaming tire on lap 98.  He brings his car to his pit stall with crews telling him to get out of the car.  Custer is out of the car amid a great deal of smoke as firemen put out the fire.

Tyler Reddick is reporting a possible engine issue.

Chase Elliott also had a very slow 19 second pit stop after a loose tire.

Drivers who have yet to make a pit stop come down pit road for service.  Denny Hamlin retakes the lead.

Saying that he smells smoke, Tyler Reddick brings his cr down pit road.

Denny Hamlin brings the field down for the green flag restart from the outside lane with Kevin Harvick on the inside on lap 106.  Kevin Harvick edges out for the lead but Denny Hamlin comes up on the outside to battle for the lead.  Hamlin takes the lead.

Lap 107, Denny Hamlin leads the race with Kevin Harvick in second; Christopher Bell, Brad Keselowski, and Kyle Larson round out the top five.

Kevin Harvick continues to battle with Denny Hamlin for the lead with Christopher Bell on their bumpers.

Denny Hamlin leads the race with Kevin Harvick and Christopher Bell in a battle for second.

The caution flag comes out on lap 109 after Noah Gragson spins out and gets into the wall.  Gragson has a broken toe link.

Several drivers come down pit road for service including Christopher Bell and Kevin Harvick.

Tyler Reddick’s car goes behind the wall.

Ryan Blaney had to make a second trip down pit road.

Denny Hamlin brings the field down for the green flag restart from the outside lane with seven laps remaining in stage two.  Denny Hamlin leads the race with Daniel Suarez in second; Kyle Larson, Brad Keselowski, and Cristopher Bell round out the top five.

Three to go in stage two; Denny Hamlin leads the race with Daniel Suarez in second; Kyle Larson, Christopher Bell, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

Denny Hamlin wins stage two for his third stage win of the season.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Denny Hamlin
Daniel Suarez
Kyle Larson
Christopher Bell
Brad Keselowski
Erik Jones
Austin Dillon
Alex Bowman
William Byron
Joey Logano

Several drivers come down pit road for service including leader Denny Hamlin.  Kyle Larson was caught speeding on pit road.

After staying out on the trac k, Daniel Suarez brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three from the outside lane with Christopher Bell on the inside lane with 74 laps remaining in the race.  Austin Dillon tries to make it a three wide battle for the lead but it is Joey Logano who comes up on the inside for a three wide battle.  Daniel Suarez leads the race with Christopher Bell in second; Ross Chastain, Joey Logano, and Austin Dillon round out the top five.

Seventy to go, Daniel Suarez has a narrow lead on Christopher Bell; over haf a second back is Ross Chastain in third with Joey Logano and Austin Dillon rounding out the top five.

Christopher Bell tries to challenge Daniel Suarez for the lead but so far Suarez has held him off.

Alex Bowman gets loose and moves way up the track but he saves the car and the track stays green

With 66 laps to go, Daniel Suarez has a lead of two tenths of a second on Christopher Bell.

Lap 138, Christopher Bell and Daniel Suarez battle for the lead with Ross Chastain on their bumper.

Lap 141, the battle for the lead continues with Christopher Bell trying to get around Daniel Suarez for the lead; Ross Chastain is in third with Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick rounding out the top five.

Lap 144 Christopher Bell comes down on the inside but Ross Chastain comes up to push Daniel Suarez back out in front with Chastain in second and Christopher Bell in third.

Lap 148, Daniel Suarez continues to lead the race with team mate Ross Chastain in second; Christopher Bell is in third with his team mate Denny Hamlin coming on hard.

Denny Hamlin passes Christopher Bell for third.

Lap 150, the drivers are now within their pit windows to make it to the end of the race on one more pit stop for fuel.

Lap 151, Denny Hamlin has caught up to Trackhouse team mates Daniel Suarez and Ross Chastain.

Lap 152,  Austin Dillon is the first driver to make his green flag pit stop to begin the final ycycle of green flag stops.

The top five are Daniel Suarez, Ross Chastain, Denny Hamlin, Christopher Bell, and Bubba Wallace.

Fifth place driver Bubba Wallace is running laps faster than the leaders.

Lap 157, leaders Daniel Suarez and Ross Chastain come down pit road for their green flag pit stops.  Denny Hamlin is the new leader.  Ross Chastain edges out Daniel Suarez on pit road.

Christopher Bell and Ross Chastain make contact and sends Bell into the wall bringing out the caution flag on lap 160.  Chastain was moving up the track and Bell tried to block him from coming up on the outside.  Bubba Wallace just missed getting involved in the wreck.

Drivers come down pit road for service with Denny Hamlin winning the race off of pit road and Bubba Wallace comes out in second with Kyle Larson in third.

Ty Gibbs was caught speeding on pit road.

Denny Hamlin had too many crew members over the pit wall.  A tire was rolling away loose and a crew member came out to retrieve the tire.  This was the 31st penalty for Hamlin’s team this season.

Kevin Harvick brings the field down for the green flag restart from the outside lane with Bubba Wallace on the inside with 35 laps remaining in the race.  After leading only 13 laps all season, Kevin Harvick edges out in front after a push from Kyle Larson.  Bubba Wallace and Kyle Larson battle for second.  Joey Logano makes it a three way battle for second.

Kevin Harvick has a lead of over a second on Joey Logano; Bubba Wallace, Ryan Blaney, and Erik Jones round out the top five.

Joey Logano is the only driver in the top five to have won a race this season.

Lap 169, After having to serve a penalty and restart from the back of the field, Denny Hamlin has entered the top 10.

With 29 laps to go, Kevin Harvick has a lead of a  second and a half on Joey Logano; Bubba Wallace, Ryan Blaney, and Erik Jones round out the top five.

With 23 laps to go, Kevin Harvick has a lead of over two and a half seconds on Joey Logano; Bubba Wallace is in third over three seconds back.

With 22 laps to go, Kevin Harvick continues to increase his lead and is now nearly four seconds out in front of Joey Logano; Bubba Wallace, Ryan Blaney, and Erik Jones round out the top five.

Twenty to go, Kevin Harvick has a four second lead on Joey Logano as Bubba Wallace continues to battle with Logano for second.

With 18 laps to go, Bubba Wallace finally gets around Joey Logano and pulls away quickly; Harvick is over four seconds in front of Wallace.

Bubba Wallace is running laps two tenths of a second faster than leader Kevin Harvick.

When Bubba Wallace passed Joey Logano for second; Kevin Harvick has a lead of over four and a half seconds; with 15 laps to go that lead is now just over four seconds.

Twelve to go and Kevin Harvick has led 26 laps – twice as many as he has led all season.  He has a lead of four and a halve seconds on Bubba Wallace.; Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.

Ten to go, Kevin Harvick has a four second lead on Bubba Wallace.

Ryan Blaney gets into the wall and fives the fifth place spot to Martin Truex Jr.  the track stays green.

Six to go, Denny Hamlin is running laps faster than the leaders; he has worked his way back to third after a penalty.

Daniel Suarez has a flat tire and is smoking with sparks coming from under the tire.  With five laps to go, the track stays green.

Four to go, Kevin Harvick has a lead of over three and a half seconds on Bubba Wallace; Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, and Martin Truex Jr rounding out the top five.

Kevin Harvick takes the white flag.

Breaking a 65 race losing streak, Kevin Harvick marks career win number 59.  He becomes the 15th different winner this season.  This is the eighth race win in a row for Ford at MIS.  Two years ago after a win, Harvick’s son Keelan rode to victory lane; this time it’s Piper’s turn to go for a ride.

With his second place finish, Bubba Wallace marks his fourth week in a row of a top 10 finish.

Kevin Harvick makes a backwards victory lap, waving to the fans as he goes before doing a massive burnout that buries the car in smoke.  Daughter Piper helps Harvick collect the checkered flag.

The unofficial results of the FireKeepers Casino 400:
Kevin Harvick
Bubba Wallace
Denny Hamlin
Joey Logano
Ryan Blaney
Martin Truex Jr
Kyle Larson
Erik Jones
Alex Bowman
Ty Gibbs
Chase Elliott
William Byron
Austin Dillon
Ty Dillon
Brad Keselowski
Chris Buescher
Justin Haley
Austin Hill
Corey LaJoie
Chase Briscoe
Josh Bilicki
Cody Ware
BJ McLeod
Ross Chastain
Daniel Suarez
Christopher Bell
Todd Gilliland
Michael McDowell
Tyler Reddick
Noah Gragson
Cole Custer
Harrison Burton
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Aric Almirola
JJ Yeley
Kyle Busch
Austin Cindric

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