Date: Aug. 8, 2020
Event: FireKeepers Casino 400 (Round 21 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn (2-mile oval)
Format: 156 laps, broken into three stages (40 laps/45 laps/71 laps)
Note: Race extended five laps past its scheduled 156-lap distance due to a green-white-checkered finish.
Start/Finish: 9th/19th (Running, completed 161 of 161 laps)
Point Standing: 12th with 532 points, 331 out of first
Race Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-40):
● Clint Bowyer started ninth and finished 11th.
● The No. 14 DEKALB Ford fell to 16th by the lap 15 competition caution.
● Bowyer took two right side tires during the caution and the crew made adjustments to help the car’s handling.
● Bowyer said the car handled better late in the stage and drove to 11th.
● During the stage break, Bowyer pitted from 11th for four tires and more air pressure adjustments.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 41-85):
● Bowyer started sixth and finished ninth to earn two bonus points.
● Bowyer chose to start the stage on the inside lane in sixth, but the outside lane dropped him to tenth after the green flag waved.
● The No. 14 DEKALB Ford climbed to ninth midway through the stage.
● During the stage break, Bowyer used a quick pit stop to jump to sixth.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 86-161):
● Bowyer started sixth and finished 19th.
● The No. 14 DEKALB Ford moved to fifth with 56 laps to go.
● Bowyer pitted during the caution with 49 laps to go for four tires and restarted 13th.
● Bowyer reported his car was very loose in traffic and faded to 23rd.
● Bowyer held that position until contact brought him to pit lane for bodywork repairs during a caution with six laps to go.
● Bowyer restarted 32nd with three laps to go but another caution forced the race into overtime.
● In overtime Bowyer drove to 19th.
● Kevin Harvick’s victory in the FireKeepers Casino 400 marked the 82nd overall win for SHR. It was the organization’s 61st points-paying NASCAR Cup Series victory, its sixth of the season and its fifth at Michigan.
● SHR has now won four of the past five races at Michigan. Harvick won at the track in August 2018 and August 2019, and Bowyer won in June 2018. SHR scored its first Michigan win via former driver Kurt Busch in June 2015.
● Harvick’s margin of victory over second-place Brad Keselowski was .284 of a second.
● There were nine caution periods for a total of 43 laps. Thirty-two of the 39 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.
● Harvick remains the championship leader after the FireKeepers Casino 400 with a 94-point advantage over second-place Keselowski.
● Bowyer will start Sunday’s race at Michigan in second since NASCAR will invert the top-20 to determine the starting lineup.
Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 DEKALB Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We got back in traffic in the final stage and were really loose. You don’t want to be in the back at this place, it was like gridlock. We ran well early, got some positions in overtime today and we start second tomorrow so I’m optimistic.”
The second event of the NASCAR Cup Series doubleheader at Michigan is the Consumers Energy 400 on Sunday. The race starts at 4:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!