BROOKLYN, Mich. – Clint Bowyer scored his second win of the season in Sunday’s rain-shortened FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway.
After a two-tire stop, Bowyer got around his teammate Kevin Harvick on a restart and held the lead when the eighth and final caution came out for an incident with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Kasey Kahne on Lap 130. Rain hit the track shortly after and the race ended on Lap 133 to give Bowyer his 10th career win and a 1-2-3 finish for Stewart-Haas Racing.
“We won! We won! When he said, ‘two tires,’ I was like, ‘I dunno,’ especially when you look in your mirror and everyone else is taking four,” Bowyer said about the call. “When you come out that far ahead of everybody, you know it’s a great gamble.
“One-two-three for Stewart-Haas. What a gutsy call. We won again! How ‘about it?”
Harvick led a race-high 49 laps and finished second for the sixth time in the last 11 races at MIS.
Kurt Busch, who led 46 laps from the pole, rounded out the top three sweep for SHR.
Kyle Busch finished fourth – the lone Toyota in the top 10 – after having to start at the rear of the field, along with his teammates of Denny Hamlin and Erik Jones, after their cars failed pre-race inspection because of unapproved splitters.
Paul Menard, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott and Jamie McMurray completed the top 10.
Blaney and Harvick won the day’s first two stages.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series now takes next weekend off before returning to action at Sonoma Raceway on Sunday, June 24.
How Bowyer Won: He was the first car off pit road after the end of the second stage on lap 120 and was able to maintain that advantage over Harvick the rest of the way. Rain hit the track on lap 133 and NASCAR was forced to display the red flag and call the race official.
Who Had a Good Day: Who Had a Good Day: Ford drivers finished in seven of the top eight spots…Menard’s finish was his first top five since Daytona last July…Elliott has now finished in the top 10 in all five of his Michigan starts…McMurray recorded his fifth straight top 10 at Michigan.
Who Had a Bad Day: Kyle Larson started from the 26th position but quickly worked his way to the front of the field in search of his fourth straight Michigan win. However, he spun on his own racing out of the fourth turn and took himself out of contention for the win (Read More)…Daniel Suarez suffered a similar fate with a spin…Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was involved in a pair of incidents, the second including contact with Kasey Kahne.
What Else Happened: Threatening weather in the area was the story of the day with the start of the race delayed until 4:45 p.m. ET. But the first two stages went uninterrupted by weather. The Ford dominance was back in vogue as it has been for most of the season with the likes the Stewart-Haas Racing team spending most of the afternoon at the front of the field. The third stage turned out to be ruled by pit strategy and track position, which paid off for Bowyer to help him to Victory Lane.
Quotable: “Pissed away what I felt like was the fastest car today. Stupid mistake on my end,” – Kyle Larson.
Notables: Today marked the first 1-2-3 finish for Stewart-Haas Racing…Bowyer’s 10th career win came in his 448th start…Ford has eight wins this season.