Joey Logano dominates to win FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan
Joey Logano dominated to win Sunday’s FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway.
Logano won for the second time in three years (August 2013) at the 2-mile oval, leading 138 of the 200 laps. It also was Logano’s first points win of the 2016 Sprint Cup Series season and 15th of his Cup career.
Logano took the lead for the final time on Lap 153 and never yielded the remainder of the way. It was also the 100th career Sprint Cup win for Roush Yates Engines.
Rookie Chase Elliott finished second, followed by Kyle Larson, Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick.
Two major incidents in the race stood out.
Misfortune struck Kyle Busch for the fourth consecutive race when his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry caught fire on the backstretch of Lap 54, after the engine expired, spewing oil that ignited. Busch managed to douse the fire with the onboard fire extinguisher, and his car limped to the garage.
“I had a 30-lap warning it was coming,” Busch told Fox Sports 1. “It was shaking real bad and going south for a while and building it’s own heat.”
Busch came into Sunday’s race having finished 30th at Dover International Speedway, 33rd at Charlotte Motor Speedway and 31st at Pocono Raceway. He finished a season-worst 40th.
On Lap 62, coming off Turn 2 and three-wide, Chris Buescher made contact with the left-rear fender of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s car, sending it up into the outside retaining wall and collecting A.J. Allmendinger’s car in the process.
“(Buescher) just drove into the left-rear quarter panel, man,” Earnhardt told Fox Sports 1. “I don’t know. On restarts and all that, you’ve got a responsibility to take care of everybody out there, even when you’re three-wide. I’m disappointed in that.”
Earnhardt finished 39th.
HOW LOGANO WON: Logano’s Ford was the class of the field. He led five times for 138 laps, including regaining the lead on Lap 153 and staying there for good.
WHO ELSE HAD A GOOD DAY: Elliott had an excellent run and nearly captured his first career Cup win. The rookie carried the torch for Hendrick Motorsports, as Kasey Kahne (13th), Jimmie Johnson (17th) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (39th) struggled. … Tony Stewart (seventh) posted a good finish that provides hope potentially being able to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
WHO HAD A BAD DAY: Kyle Busch (engine, 40th), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (crash, 39th), A.J. Allmendinger (crash, 38th), Jeffrey Earnhardt (car fire, 37th), Brian Scott (crash, 36th), Regan Smith (crash, 35th), Denny Hamlin (crash, 33rd) Casey Mears (crash, 32nd) all were involved in incidents.
NOTABLE: Team Penske’s next victory in Sprint Cup will be its 100th. … Logano is the 10th driver to win a Sprint Cup race in 2016. He’s also the seventh different winner in the past seven races. … It was Logano’s third career win from the pole, and the second time at MIS.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “We’ve been knocking on the door for a win all season. It’s nice to get that win and lock ourselves into the Chase. To see the execution that this team had throughout the day, having a perfect weekend like this, starting on the front row with the pole, being able to have good pit stops and stay up in the top 2 the whole race is a lot to say about this team.” – Race winner Joey Logano.
WHAT’S NEXT: The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is off next weekend. The next Sprint Cup race is the Toyota/Save Mart 350 on June 26 at Sonoma Raceway.