BROOKLYN, Mich. – Stories to follow during Monday’s rain-delayed Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway, which can be heard live on the Motor Racing Network starting at 5 p.m. ET.
Note: There will be a competition caution on or around Lap 20.
Rules of the Game
The common thread of the season has been guessing what impact the new Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series rules package will have on every race. Those questions are front and center again in the race. Practice created two distinct looks with single car speed versus drafting and pack racing. Most believe there will be a hybrid of the two on Monday. Kevin Harvick said, “I think it will be an interesting race. The cars are driving better and drafting better than I thought they would. It should be fun to watch.”
Kyle Busch Rolling
Kyle Busch continues to find ways to succeed despite his opposition to the rules. He scored win number four of the season last week at Pocono and leads the series in victories coming into the Michigan race. Busch has had four straight Michigan top-10 finishes together over the last two seasons.
Busch’s Pocono win was the 13th time this season a Joe Gibbs Racing or Team Penske driver has scored a victory this season. Hendrick Motorsports remains the only other team to get into the win column thanks to Chase Elliott’s May Talladega victory. Elliott happens to have the best Michigan average finish among active drivers over the last 10 races at 5.3. Penske’s Joey Logano will start from the pole.
SHR Still Winless
Make it 14 races and counting for Stewart-Haas Racing going winless in 2019. There has been speed inside the organization this weekend during practice and qualifying but that has not been the team’s problem this year. Finding Victory Lane remains the issue for the organization that swept both Michigan races last year with Clint Bowyer and Kevin Harvick.
Larson Seeks Return to Michigan Magic
Kyle Larson earned his nickname “Two Mile Kyle” a couple years ago thanks to winning three straight races at Michigan. It’s been a struggle for the Chip Ganassi Racing driver of late as he remains winless. Since his three consecutive Michigan wins Larson posted finishes of 28th and 17th a year ago.