Date: June 10, 2019
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/80 laps)
Start/Finish: 5th/35th(Accident, completed 130 of 203 laps)
Point Standing: 12th (404 points, 210 out of first)
Note: Race extended three laps past its scheduled 200-lap distance due to a green-white-checkered finish.
Race Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Austin Dillon of Richard Childress Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-60):
● Clint Bowyer started fifth, finished 13th.
● Bowyer dropped from fifth to 12th in the opening laps, telling the crew his car was very loose.
● The No. 14 pitted for two tires and handling adjustments on lap 22 during the competition caution.
● Bowyer told his team the car was loose in the corner and tight off the turns following the adjustments.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 61-120):
● Bowyer started eighth, finished 27th.
● Bowyer moved to third in the opening lap and ran at the front of the field for most of the stage.
● The crew told Bowyer in the closing laps he didn’t have enough fuel to make it to the end.
● Bowyer pitted on lap 114 for two tires and a splash of fuel, dropping back to 27th.
● A two-tire stop during the stage break enabled Bowyer to start the final stage in seventh.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 121-200):
● Bowyer started seventh, finished 35th.
● Bowyer raced in the top-10 in the opening laps of the final stage, but his No. 14 and the No. 20 of Erik Jones made contact in turn two on lap 130, sending the No. 14 into the wall.
● Bowyer’s damaged car limped back to the pits but was unable to continue the race, so he finished the race 35th.
● Bowyer led a single lap to increase his laps-led total at Michigan to 37.
● Bowyer crashed on lap 130. It is only his second DNF (Did Not Finish) in 27 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Michigan.
● Bowyer came into the FireKeepers Casino 400 as the defending race winner.
● Joey Logano won the FireKeepers Casino 400 to score his 23rd career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his second of the season and his third at Michigan. His margin of victory over second-place Kurt Busch was .147 of a second.
● There were seven caution periods for a total of 35 laps.
● Twenty-five of the 36 drivers in the FireKeepers Casino 400 finished on the lead lap.
● Logano leaves Michigan as the new championship leader with a nine-point advantage over second-place Kyle Busch.
Clint Bowyer, Driver of the No. 14 Haas Automation/ITsavvy Ford Mustang:
“(Erik Jones) got loose and I tried to basically make an evasive move to get under him. (Austin Dillon) was there and got loose under him, and then I got into him and ran out of real estate. It was a pretty frustrating day. Pretty frustrating out there.”
The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Save Mart 350k on Sunday, June 23 at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!