Joey Logano dominated Monday’s rain-delayed FireKeepers 400 for his third win at Michigan International Speedway and the 23rd of his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career.
Logano led 163 from the pole and held off Kurt Busch in an overtime finish to take his second checkered flag of the 2019 season.
“Man, this feels so good,” Logano said. “A day like that, you don’t get those days all the time. The best car, the best team. We executed perfectly all the way through. Ultimately able to bring the Shell Pennzoil Ford into Victory Lane.”
The win was the third consecutive for Ford at MIS.
Busch, who had some slight right-rear damage after hitting the wall on Lap 41 while battling Kevin Harvick for fifth, came home with his second runner-up finish of the season.
“That’s more than what I was hoping to see for damage,” Busch said. “I had a blast. Tightest I ever put my belts at the end of a race. We got enough stage points today, we said hell with it, we don’t need to get anything but the win.”
Martin Truex Jr., Daniel Suarez and Kyle Busch rounded out the top five.
Brad Keselowski, Harvick, Ryan Newman, Ryan Blaney and Alex Bowman completed the top 10.
Both Keselowski and Harvick had to battle back from a lap down in the race. Harvick fell a lap down on Lap 53 for a loose front wheel.
“We had a really fast Busch Light Ford and just made a lot of mistakes today,” Harvick said.
Keselowski’s trouble came on Lap 114 when he was issued a pass through penalty served on Lap 118 for a safety violation during a pit stop.
“We just didn‘t put it all together today,” Keselowski said. “We were in a really good spot and had the pit road penalty and lost the lap and it took us til about 70 to go to get it back. It is kind of a miracle that we got back up to sixth to be quite honest. We have to execute the entire weekend and we just didn‘t today.”
Logano and Austin Dillon won Stage 1 and 2, respectively. Stage Points
How Logano Won: He began the evening on the pole and led the race-high 163 laps with a fast car. A late caution sent the race into NASCAR Overtime where Logano stretched his lead far enough from Kurt Busch to take the race win at Michigan.
Who Had a Good Day: Daniel Suarez secured his second straight top-10 finish and sixth career top-five finish…Team Penske had all three cars finish in the top-10 for the second time…Martin Truex Jr finished third for his seventh top-three finish at Michigan.
Who Had a Bad Day: Clint Bowyer, last year‘s June race winner, showed pace during the entire weekend by finishing in the top five in both practice sessions and qualified fifth. However, he made an exit late in the race on Lap 129 after he tagged the wall on the exit of Turn 2…Chase Elliott finished 20th and ended his five-race streak of top-five finishes…Erik Jones had a rough day beginning with cutting down a tire on Lap 142, he would go on to spin to cause the last caution and finished 31st.
What Else Happened: Today‘s big topic of conversation was how would the 2019 Cup Series rules package fair out. With rain moving the race to Monday evening, the drivers were provided with a “green” race track which provided dicey racing throughout the pack. Michigan has always provided chaotic restarts and the current rules package amplified that. Many drivers made note of the difficulty of being able to pass the leader.
Quotable: “This one, outside of the crown jewel events I consider this the biggest race to win because it is Ford Motor Company‘s backyard and Roger Penske‘s backyard.” – Joey Logano
Notables: Logano took the points lead with his 23rd career win and leads Kyle Busch by nine points…Ford Motor Company has won half of the Cup events held at MIS as Ford (38) and Mercury (12) have combined to capture 50 of the 100 races…The win is Ford‘s 682nd all-time in Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series competition.