Kerry Murphey updates you on the Michigan race weekend, and we find out What is in Denny Hamlin’s house.
SHOW #467 – Guest: Brennan Poole – We recap an exciting Pocono weekend (no seriously) Dale Jr. reveals all, NASCAR Heat Evolution 2 gets awesomer (new word), Danica attacks, Kurt loves Kurt, Brad staying with Penske?, a full Michigan preview, and what does N’Sync have to do with this show? Hosted by Kerry Murphey and Toby Christie
SHOW #426 – We review Kyle Larson’s first win extensively, Dale Jr. freaked out social media, Kyle Busch wants the Chase to start, wanna be a pit crew member?, throwback paint scheme’s galore at Darlington, should Charlotte bring back ‘Beast of the southeast’ and put a giant asphalt beast out front? and more. Hosted by Kerry Murphey and Toby Christie
( Roughly 48:00 mins)
By Reid Spencer
NASCAR Wire Service
Coors Light Pole winner Joey Logano’s hopes for a second straight victory at Michigan International Speedway disappeared during his final pit stop on Lap 188.
Logano had to drive around Kevin Harvick’s car to reach his pit stall and parked it near the outer boundary. As Harvick exited his pit box, he ran over the hose attached to the air gun of the rear tire changer, sending the gun flying forward onto pit road.
The snafu cost Logano 10 positions. The driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford restarted 17th on Lap 192 and drove to 10th at the finish.
“We kind of ended on a down note there,” Logano said. “We came back down pit road there at the end to take four (tires), and somehow I guess the 4 car (Harvick) hooked our air gun and sent the rear air gun flying, and we lost time in the pits.
“We were the last car on the lead lap on that last run and got back to 10th so I’m proud of the effort this weekend. The pole was nice. We just weren’t as competitive as we were in the spring race. Our car drove the same—everyone just got better.”
By Reid Spencer
NASCAR Wire Service
Sunday brought an all-too-familiar story for Martin Truex Jr.
Fast car. Glitch on pit road. Disappointing finish.
On lap 58, Truex passed Kevin Harvick for the lead after advancing briskly from his 20th-place starting position. During a green-flag pit stop on Lap 65, however, the jack dropped before the rear tire changed had tightened the lug nuts, forcing Truex’s car to jack the car back up and finish the job.
In the process, the left rear quarter panel of Truex’s No. 78 Toyota was damaged, adversely affecting the aerodynamics of the car.
Truex finished a disappointing 20th in a car that could have contended for the victory.
“We were never the same after that pit stop,” Truex who has had a litany of difficulties on pit road this season. “We made a number of unscheduled stops to try to fix the problem, but the damage was just too severe to overcome.
“Let another strong performance slip away.”
By Reid Spencer
NASCAR Wire Service
BROOKLYN, Mich. – In the last few laps of Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway, tears began to well up in Kyle Larson’s eyes.
When Larson subsequently took the checkered flag to win the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race of his career, the emotion was all but overwhelming—and for good reason.
The victory came in Larson’s 99th start in the series, long after most observers expected Larson to record his first win. It also broke a 99-race drought for Chip Ganassi Racing, dating to Jamie McMurray’s victory at Talladega in October 2013.
With the triumph, Larson earned a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup for the first time in his career, moving winless Ryan Newman 15 points out of the last Chase-eligible position with two races left in the regular season.
With Brett Moffitt winning in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Michigan and Michael McDowell prevailing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis.—both on Saturday—Larson’s triumph capped the first weekend in NASCAR history that produced first-time winners in all three national series.
It also marked the first time a graduate of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity and NASCAR Next programs has reached Victory Lane in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
The emotions of the moment, however, were magnified by the recent death at age 27 of Bryan Clauson, who was fatally injured in a midget car accident on Aug. 6 in Belleville, Kan. Larson came to NASCAR from open-wheel racing, and he and Clauson were close friends.
“Parked it!” yelled Larson after he took the checkered flag, echoing Clauson’s signature victory cry. The driver of the No. 42 Chevrolet followed with a celebratory burnout that left a trail of rubber across Victory Lane.
Larson then exited his car, took the checkered flag from the flag man and leapt into the arms of his fueler, who had run out into the infield to congratulate his driver.
“I was teared-up that whole last few laps, because I could just feel it,” Larson said. “It was finally going to be it. This one is for the Clauson family. We really miss Bryan. We’re going to miss him. We parked it for him, so that’s really cool.
“We had a lot of work to do for that first third of the race, and got it done. Thanks to (sponsor) Target. Thanks to everyone on this team. (Crew chief) Chad (Johnston) and the pit crew and everybody. We messed up that last stop but we made it back.”
In fact, Larson lost the lead to race runner-up Chase Elliott when both drivers made their final pit stops under green on Lap 156 of 200. Elliott beat Larson out of the pits by a half car-length and began to pull away. But a caution on Lap 187 because of Michael Annett’s blown right front tire gave Larson the chance he needed.
With a hard push from third-place finisher Brad Keselowski, Larson took the lead on the final restart on Lap 192, as Elliott spun his tires and lost momentum in the outside lane. Larson crossed the finish line with a 1.478-second advantage over Elliott, who passed Keselowski for the second spot on Lap 193.
Still seeking his first victory in his rookie season, Elliott had an opportunity to win at Michigan in June but likewise fell victim to a late restart.
“Bummer again here,” said Elliott, making no attempt to hide his disappointment. “I hate to let my guys down is the biggest thing. For the second time, this has happened. I made a mistake early on in the race. I asked my guys to bail me out (on the final pit stop), and they did. Unfortunately, I didn’t do my part again.
“That’s a couple races in a row in just a few short months here at this place we had a really good car, had an opportunity. That’s one thing I try really hard to do is make the most of opportunities when they’re presented. Obviously I didn’t do a very good job of that here both trips. Need to do my restarts a little better. That’s obviously not a strong point, at least here at Michigan.”
The second-place finish, however, solidified Elliott’s position relative to the Chase. He’s currently 11th in the standings, highest among drivers without a victory and 27 points ahead of Newman, who finished 17th on Sunday.
Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Ryan Blaney finished fourth, holding off fifth-place Kevin Harvick and sixth-place Jimmie Johnson over the final nine-lap run.
Notes: Tony Stewart clinched a position in the top 30 in the standings and therefore a berth in the Chase with his 21st-place finish. … Pocono winner Chris Buescher lost a cylinder at the outset, finished 35th, and held onto a seven-point lead over David Ragan for the 30th spot in the standings. Buescher must remain in the top 30 after the next two races to parlay his Pocono victory into a Chase berth.
1. (12) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 200.
2. (5) Chase Elliott #, Chevrolet, 200.
3. (18) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 200.
4. (7) * Ryan Blaney #, Ford, 200.
5. (4) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 200.
6. (2) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 200.
7. (9) Carl Edwards, Toyota, 200.
8. (8) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 200.
9. (3) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 200.
10. (1) Joey Logano, Ford, 200.
11. (22) Greg Biffle, Ford, 200.
12. (19) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 200.
13. (13) Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 200.
14. (11) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 200.
15. (25) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 200.
16. (17) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 200.
17. (10) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 200.
18. (20) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 200.
19. (16) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 199.
20. (14) Martin Truex Jr, Toyota, 199.
21. (15) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 198.
22. (28) Casey Mears, Chevrolet, 198.
23. (23) Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 198.
24. (24) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 198.
25. (26) Aric Almirola, Ford, 198.
26. (31) Regan Smith, Chevrolet, 198.
27. (29) Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Ford, 198.
28. (30) Brian Scott #, Ford, 197.
29. (32) David Ragan, Toyota, 196.
30. (6) Alex Bowman(i), Chevrolet, 195.
31. (35) Michael McDowell, Chevrolet, 195.
32. (34) Matt DiBenedetto, Toyota, 195.
33. (36) Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 195.
34. (37) * Cole Whitt, Chevrolet, 194.
35. (21) Chris Buescher #, Ford, 193.
36. (39) * Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet, 193.
37. (40) Jeffrey Earnhardt #, Ford, 192.
38. (38) * Josh Wise, Chevrolet, 192.
39. (33) Landon Cassill, Ford, Suspension, 174.
40. (27) Clint Bowyer, Chevrolet, 160.
Average Speed of Race Winner: 162.73 mph.
Time of Race: 02 Hrs, 27 Mins, 29 Secs. Margin of Victory: 1.478 Seconds.
Caution Flags: 4 for 17 laps.
Lead Changes: 20 among 13 drivers.
Lap Leaders: J. Logano 1-22; R. Smith 23; J. Logano 24-25; K. Harvick 26-57; M. Truex Jr 58-64; K. Harvick 65; C. Elliott # 66; B. Keselowski 67-70; J. Johnson 71-107; C. Elliott # 108; B. Keselowski 109-117; C. Elliott # 118-124; K. Larson 125-155; B. Keselowski 156; M. Kenseth 157-164; A. Dillon 165; R. Newman 166; C. Edwards 167; G. Biffle 168; C. Elliott # 169-190; K. Larson 191-200.
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): K. Larson 2 times for 41 laps; J. Johnson 1 time for 37 laps; K. Harvick 2 times for 33 laps; C. Elliott # 4 times for 31 laps; J. Logano 2 times for 24 laps; B. Keselowski 3 times for 14 laps; M. Kenseth 1 time for 8 laps; M. Truex Jr 1 time for 7 laps; R. Smith 1 time for 1 lap; G. Biffle 1 time for 1 lap; C. Edwards 1 time for 1 lap; A. Dillon 1 time for 1 lap; R. Newman 1 time for 1 lap.
Top 16 in Points: K. Harvick – 799; B. Keselowski – 774; C. Edwards – 724; Kurt Busch – 721; J. Logano – 716; Kyle Busch – 696; D. Hamlin – 691; M. Truex Jr – 652; J. Johnson – 648; M. Kenseth – 633; C. Elliott # – 628; A. Dillon – 622; J. Mcmurray – 616; R. Newman – 601; K. Larson – 582; K. Kahne – 564.
1. (22) Joey Logano, Ford, 201.698 mph.
2. (48) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 201.523 mph.
3. (11) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 201.416 mph.
4. (4) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 201.382 mph.
5. (24) Chase Elliott #, Chevrolet, 201.303 mph.
6. (88) Alex Bowman(i), Chevrolet, 201.207 mph.
7. (21) Ryan Blaney #, Ford, 201.202 mph.
8. (1) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 201.039 mph.
9. (19) Carl Edwards, Toyota, 201.005 mph.
10. (31) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 200.462 mph.
11. (5) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 200.028 mph.
12. (42) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 199.341 mph.
13. (20) Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 200.390 mph.
14. (78) Martin Truex Jr, Toyota, 200.356 mph.
15. (14) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 200.323 mph.
16. (18) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 200.245 mph.
17. (3) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 200.106 mph.
18. (2) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 200.017 mph.
19. (41) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 199.253 mph.
20. (27) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 199.203 mph.
21. (34) Chris Buescher #, Ford, 198.912 mph.
22. (16) Greg Biffle, Ford, 198.791 mph.
23. (10) Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 198.747 mph.
24. (6) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 198.183 mph.
25. (47) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 198.265 mph.
26. (43) Aric Almirola, Ford, 198.178 mph.
27. (15) Clint Bowyer, Chevrolet, 198.129 mph.
28. (13) Casey Mears, Chevrolet, 197.553 mph.
29. (17) Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Ford, 197.509 mph.
30. (44) Brian Scott #, Ford, 196.105 mph.
31. (7) Regan Smith, Chevrolet, 196.084 mph.
32. (23) David Ragan, Toyota, 196.057 mph.
33. (38) Landon Cassill, Ford, 195.567 mph.
34. (83) Matt DiBenedetto, Toyota, 195.159 mph.
35. (95) Sam Hornish Jr.(i), Chevrolet, 194.458 mph.
36. (46) Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 192.838 mph.
37. (98) Cole Whitt, Chevrolet, 192.072 mph.
38. (30) Josh Wise, Chevrolet, 191.939 mph.
39. (55) Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet, 188.966 mph.
40. (32) Jeffrey Earnhardt #, Ford, 0.000 mph.
SHOW #425 – Guest: Martin Truex Jr. – We recap the rainy Bristol weekend, goo on other race tracks, latest from Dale Earnhardt Jr., testing at Chicagoland, Byron lands sweet gig, Sadler keeps his, Kyle Busch gets a time out in the corner, plus a full Michigan preview. Hosted by Kerry Murphey and Toby Christie
( Roughly 48:00 mins)