|Date: June 18, 2017
Event: FireKeepers Casino 400 (Round 15 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn (2-mile oval)
Format: 200 laps, broken into three stages (60 laps/60 laps/120 laps)
Start/Finish: 11th/14th (Running, completed 200 of 200 laps)
Point Standing: 4th (508 points, 132 out of first)
Race Winner: Kyle Larson of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Furniture Row Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Furniture Row Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-60):
● Kevin Harvick started 11th, finished 13th.
● The Jimmy John’s Ford was sent to the rear of the field for the start of the race due to an unapproved body modification.
● Came to pit road under caution on lap eight for four tires and a wedge adjustment while racing in the 22nd position.
● Pitted under caution on lap 27 for two tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment while racing 19th.
● Came to pit road for four tires, fuel and air pressure adjustments at the conclusion of Stage 1.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 61-120):
● Started eighth, finished sixth. Earned five bonus points.
● Raced his way into the top-five following the restart on lap 68.
● Came to pit road under green on lap 112 for four tires and fuel while racing in the second position.
● Stayed out in the sixth position at the conclusion of Stage 2.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 121-200):
● Started sixth, finished 14th.
● Pitted under caution from the fourth position on lap 150 for four tires, fuel and air pressure adjustments.
● Restarted ninth on lap 154 after the top-four cars opted for a two-tire strategy.
● Stayed out under caution on lap 181 while racing in the 14th position and restarted in 10th on lap 185.
● Was collected in a multicar incident on lap 190 and forced to pit under caution for repair and fresh tires.
● Restarted 22nd on lap 195 and rallied to a 14th-place finish in the closing laps.
● Harvick’s 14th-place result was only his second finish outside the top-five at Michigan since joining SHR in 2014.
● Harvick finished sixth in Stage 2 to earn five bonus points.
● There were eight caution periods for a total of 34 laps.
● Twenty-six of the 37 drivers in the FireKeepers Casino 400 finished on the lead lap.
● Kyle Larson won the FireKeepers Casino 400 from the pole to score his third career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his second of the season and his second at Michigan. His margin of victory over second-place Chase Elliott was .993 of a second.
● Larson leads the championship standings with 640 points and has a five-point margin over his nearest pursuer, Martin Truex Jr.
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We were just too tight, tight all day long, and we could not get it loosened up enough to be able to challenge. It is too bad really. Just too tight.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!