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Michigan Checkered and Black Flags

Race Recap and Results

Pete Pistone distributes this week’s checkered and black flags following the weekend of racing at Michigan International Speedway.

Checkered Flags

Joey Logano
Talk about a plan coming together. Logano and crew chief Todd Gordon had one this weekend at Michigan and executed it to perfection. Winning the pole, earning the number one pit stall and having a fast car all added up to Michigan career win number three for Logano.

Kurt Busch
Nine top-10 finishes for Busch in the season’s first 15 races is a pretty impressive stat for the veteran driver. He was in contention for his first win of 2019 all day long but came up just short following Logano across the finish line.

Daniel Suarez
The Stewart-Haas Racing driver appears to be closing in on his first career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory. He was very fast all weekend at Michigan and will be someone to watch the series returns to the Irish Hills in August.

Ryan Newman
A typical day for the veteran where he was not on anyone’s radar for most of the race until it mattered most. Newman made a charge into the top 10 in the final stages and came away from Michigan with an eighth-place performance.

Michigan Racing
There was a lot going on during Monday’s rain-delayed FireKeepers Casino 400 to make it one of the most entertaining races in recent Michigan memory. Cars were closer together, passes were happening through the field and pit strategies were playing out. It added up to a compelling first of two visits to MIS.

Black Flags

Clint Bowyer
His up and down season continued in the wrong direction on Monday. Last year’s race winner crashed trying to avoid a spinning Erik Jones and left Michigan frustrated and with more choice words for this year’s rules package.

Erik Jones
After a strong qualifying run and a stay near the front of the field, Jones had his day end with a thud. He had another spin and subsequent unscheduled trip to pit road that added up to a 31st-place finish for Jones.

Kevin Harvick
Déjà vu for Harvick who once again appeared to have a car capable of winning but pit road miscues thwarted any opportunity. He rallied back to finish sixth but Harvick’s frustration level bubbled to the top in his post race comments or actually lack of comments would be a better description.

Driver Complaints
I get it and understand it. Several drivers are still not fans of the rules package impact and how it has changed what they do behind the wheel. I respect it and appreciate the explanations of just how much things are different. But you know what? Nothing is changing anytime soon. Others have adapted and been successful. Several drivers and teams are actually excelling. Now that the regular season is creeping beyond the halfway point, maybe it’s a better idea to figure out how to adjust rather than lamenting how bad things are. A lot of people thought Monday’s race was pretty good so maybe this is another example of what’s not necessarily good for the drivers is good for the fans?

Weather
It’s beyond frustrating. Almost on a weekly basis the weather has interrupted the racing world and Michigan was the latest victim. The idea to start the race at 5:00 p.m. ET was done out of necessity given the circumstances but it was still heartbreaking to see so many people leaving the track Sunday night and Monday morning unable to remain at Michigan for the rescheduled race.

The opinions expressed here are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Motor Racing Network.