Joey Logano started on the pole for the FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway, led 163 laps, and won in overtime, claiming his second win of the season Monday evening.
But it wasn’t quite as easy as it sounds.
After posting the fastest time on Saturday to claim the pole, the race was postponed to Monday due to rain. Logano had the most dominant car throughout the race, winning Stage 1. Austin Dillon, however, won the second stage taking advantage of fuel strategy while the leaders had to pit.
Early on it looked as though Kevin Harvick, a two-time winner at Michigan, might provide some competition for the No. 22 Team Penske Ford. But toward the end of Stage 1, Harvick had to pit because of a loose wheel, causing him to go a lap down. Harvick eventually received the free pass to get back on the lead lap and even led 15 laps during the race. He started seventh in overtime but it was too little too late.
During the final pit stops which began on Lap 173, several teams tried varying strategies to gain an advantage with some drivers taking four tires, while others took two. Brad Keselowski elected to take fuel only. Logano, who only took two tires, retained the lead.
As the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race wound down it looked as though no one could catch Logano but with five laps to go, Erik Jones had a tire go down, spinning into the grass, and bringing out the final caution which led to a 2-lap overtime restart. Logano had to hold off a hard-charging Kurt Busch and Martin Truex Jr. to capture his third victory from the pole at the 2-mile track and his 23rd series career win.
Logano called it a “perfect day,” for both him and the fans.
“It is so hard to have perfect days like that,” he said. “I made one mistake on the restart and let the 4 (Harvick) get to the outside of me and really made me mad at myself. I was able to make that up, which is great, we are keeping Hudson up past his bedtime. This is a good place for him to get ready for sleep I guess. It feels so good to get into victory lane. I gotta thank the fans, everyone that stuck it out through the rain yesterday and came out today to watch a great race and a wild ending. You don’t want to see cautions there at the end when you are the leader but as a fan that is like the one thing you do want to see. I am glad we got the best of both worlds.”
Kurt Busch finished second, saying, “I had a blast. That was the tightest I ever put my belts at the end of a race because we’ve got enough stage points. Today, it was like hell, we don’t need to get anything but the win. And, we got second today. ey) Logano’s car was tough. I really wanted it to go green at the end and push (Martin) Truex, Jr. through to the No. 22 (Logano). That was my best shot at it.
“What a day for our Camaro, Chevy and Monster. Thank you, guys. We’ll get it. We’ll get it. This gives us reason to smile and be happy. We ran up front. We were strong. We were in our manufacturer’s backyard, but got second today.”
Truex, who finished third, was unhappy with Logano’s start in overtime. In a post-race interview, he said, “He just went way early before the restart zone, jumped it, so I don’t know how we get a no-call on that. Maybe the rules are, maybe you can just do whatever you want on restarts now. Clearly, he went way before the box so that’s the way it goes, they didn’t call it and he wins. But he had a faster car than we did anyway so it’s a kind of a moot point.”
Daniel Suarez and Kyle Busch rounded out the top five. Brad Keselowski was sixth as Harvick, Ryan Newman, Ryan Blaney and Alex Bowman completed the top 10.
Daniel Hemric was the highest finishing rookie in 12th. Logano leads the standings by nine points over Kyle Busch.
The next race for the Monster Energy Cup Series will be on Sunday, June 23 at Sonoma Raceway.
Follow @angiecampbell_ for the latest NASCAR news and feature stories.
Monster Energy Cup Series Race Number 15
Race Results for the 51st Annual FireKeepers Casino 400 – Monday, June 10, 2019
Michigan International Speedway – Brooklyn, MI – 2. – Mile Paved
Total Race Length – 203 Laps – 406. Miles
|1||1||22||Joey Logano||Shell Pennzoil Ford||203||1||0||50||Running|
|2||7||1||Kurt Busch||Monster Energy Chevrolet||203||5||4||48||Running|
|3||16||19||Martin Truex Jr.||Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota||203||6||3||47||Running|
|4||9||41||Daniel Suarez||Haas Automation Demo Day Ford||203||0||0||33||Running|
|5||15||18||Kyle Busch||M&M’s Hazelnut Toyota||203||0||6||37||Running|
|6||8||2||Brad Keselowski||Miller Lite Ford||203||10||0||32||Running|
|7||3||4||Kevin Harvick||Busch Light Ford||203||0||2||39||Running|
|8||18||6||Ryan Newman||Coca-Cola Ford||203||0||0||29||Running|
|9||13||12||Ryan Blaney||Menards/Wrangler Riggs Ford||203||0||0||28||Running|
|10||20||88||Alex Bowman||Nationwide Chevrolet||203||2||9||38||Running|
|11||4||11||Denny Hamlin||FedEx Freight Toyota||203||0||0||26||Running|
|12||11||8||Daniel Hemric #||Chevrolet Accessories Chevrolet||203||0||7||29||Running|
|13||6||21||Paul Menard||Menards/NIBCO Ford||203||9||0||26||Running|
|14||22||42||Kyle Larson||Credit One Bank Chevrolet||203||7||0||27||Running|
|15||19||48||Jimmie Johnson||Ally Chevrolet||203||0||0||22||Running|
|16||31||37||Chris Buescher||Kroger Thrill of the Grill Chevrolet||203||0||10||22||Running|
|17||2||10||Aric Almirola||Smithfield/Meijer Ford||203||4||5||33||Running|
|18||21||24||William Byron||Hendrick Autoguard Chevrolet||203||0||8||22||Running|
|19||10||17||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||NOS Energy Ford||203||0||0||18||Running|
|20||17||9||Chase Elliott||NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet||203||8||0||20||Running|
|21||29||95||Matt DiBenedetto||Toyota Express Maintenance Toyota||203||0||0||16||Running|
|22||25||13||Ty Dillon||Twisted Tea Chevrolet||203||0||0||15||Running|
|23||32||32||Corey LaJoie||Harvest Investments Ford||203||0||0||14||Running|
|24||26||36||Matt Tifft #||Surface Sunscreen Ford||203||0||0||13||Running|
|25||28||47||Ryan Preece #||Kroger Chevrolet||203||0||0||12||Running|
|26||12||3||Austin Dillon||Dow Salutes Veterans Chevrolet||202||0||1||21||Running|
|27||23||34||Michael McDowell||Melling Engine Parts Ford||202||0||0||10||Running|
|28||27||43||Bubba Wallace||Victory Junction Chevrolet||201||0||0||9||Running|
|29||30||0||Landon Cassill(i)||Superior Essex Chevrolet||201||0||0||0||Running|
|30||36||15||Garrett Smithley||Victory Lane Quick Oil Change Chevrolet||200||0||0||0||Running|
|31||14||20||Erik Jones||Craftsman/Sport Clips Toyota||199||3||0||14||Running|
|32||35||77||Quin Houff||Spire Motorsports Chevrolet||198||0||0||5||Running|
|34||24||38||David Ragan||Citgard Heavy Duty Engine Oil Ford||195||0||0||3||Running|
|35||5||14||Clint Bowyer||Haas Automation/ITsavvy Ford||130||0||0||2||Accident|
|36||33||51||Kyle Weatherman(i)||Jacob Companies Ford||69||0||0||0||Accident|