Joey Logano dominates to win FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan

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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.

MORE: Results of FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan

MORE: Sprint Cup points after Michigan — Dale Jr. loses ground, Tony Stewart gains

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.

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Kyle Busch Motorsports announces 2020 driver, crew chief lineup

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Kyle Busch Motorsports announced its driver-crew chief roster for the 2020 Gander Outdoors Truck Series season on Wednesday. It includes the addition of veteran Danny Stockman.

Stockman will be in charge of the No. 51 Toyota, which will be driven by Kyle Busch, Chandler Smith and more drivers to be announced at a later date.

Stockman was a long-time crew chief at Richard Childress Racing, most recently working with Austin Dillon in the Cup Series this season. He was Dillon’s crew chief when he won his titles in the Truck Series (2011) and Xfinity Series (2013).

Ryan “Rudy” Fugle will be paired with Christian Eckes on the No. 18 Toyota. Fugle worked on the No. 51 this year as it won six races, including all of Busch’s five wins and Greg Biffle‘s victory. Fugle has led KBM teams to five owner titles (2013, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2019) and two driver titles (2015 and 2017).

Mike Hillman Jr. will be the crew chief for Raphael Lessard‘s rookie season in the No. 4 Toyota. Hillman has two Truck Series titles, including Toyota’s first in 2006 with Todd Bodine.

 

DGR-Crosley switches from Toyota to Ford beginning in 2020

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Ford Performance is strengthening its driver development program by joining forces with DGR-Crosley, which announced its move from Toyota to Ford Wednesday.

The multi-year agreement will see team co-owner David Gilliland, a former Cup Series driver, lead the team’s driver development program as it field entries in late models, the ARCA Menards Series and NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series.

“We’re very excited to have DGR-Crosley come to Ford as part of our long-term efforts to develop drivers for NASCAR,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director of Ford Performance Motorsports in a press release. “We have just scratched the surface of what is possible in developing the next generation of Ford drivers with people like Chase Briscoe, and we believe a coordinated effort with a team like DGR-Crosley will help move that process forward successfully.

“David Gilliland was a trusted and valued Ford driver in NASCAR for many years, and we look forward to renewing that relationship with him in this new effort.”

Said Gilliland: “I’m super excited about the partnership with Ford and how things are lining up for 2020. I spent a lot of time racing Fords throughout my career, and it’s really special to now be able to bring them into our race shop. A lot of time and consideration was spent on this decision, and internally we know that this is the move that we needed to make in order to advance our program to the top level. We have a great group of hard-working, talented people at DGR-Crosley, and with Ford coming on board, our future is really bright. We’re excited for all the things ahead.”

DGR-Crosley will announce its driver lineup at a later date.

The team first entered the Truck Series in 2018. Tyler Ankrum won its first race this year at Kentucky Speedway, qualifying for the playoffs in the process.

It fielded a team record five entries in the playoff race at ISM Raceway.

Brennan Poole to compete full-time for Premium Motorsports in Cup Series

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Former Xfinity Series driver Brennan Poole will compete full-time in the Cup Series in 2020 with Premium Motorsports, Poole announced Wednesday on social media.

Poole, 28, will drive the No. 15 Chevrolet and would make his Cup debut in the Daytona 500.

He joins a rookie class that includes Tyler Reddick, Christopher Bell and Cole Custer.

“I’ve been working towards this moment since I was 5 and feel blessed to have the caliber of people surrounding me that I have in this next chapter of my racing career,” Poole said in a press release. “I look forward to the opportunity to showcase our sponsor partners, both new and existing, who are supporting me at the highest level of NASCAR competition.”

Poole takes over the car that was driven by Ross Chastain in a majority of his Cup starts in 2019.

A native of The Woodlands, Texas, Poole drove for Chip Ganassi Racing in the Xfinity Series from 2016-17. His best finish was second in the 2017 race at Kentucky Speedway.

He made 13 starts in the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series in 2019, driving for On Point Motorsports. His best result was second in the May race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“I’m very happy to welcome Brennan and his group to the Premium Motorsports family,” team owner Jay Robinson said in the press release. “Brennan is a very talented and dedicated young man, I believe he has a very bright future in the NASCAR Cup Series.”

Bojangles’ ends sponsorship of Southern 500

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The fast food chain Bojangles’ will no longer sponsor the Southern 500.

Bojangles’ has sponsored the event at Darlington Raceway since 2012.

Since 2015, the Southern 500 has been the site of NASCAR’s Throwback Weekend, with Cup and Xfinity Series teams fielding retro paint schemes celebrating the sport’s history.

DarlingtonRaceway.com

“We’ve enjoyed a terrific relationship with Bojangles’ since 2012 and we look forward to their continued involvement in NASCAR for many years to come,” track president Kerry Tharp said in a statement. “Like Darlington, they are truly an authentic Southern brand.”

A logo for the race on Darlington’s website does not include a sponsor.

“Bojangles’ has enjoyed a long and successful partnership with the team at Darlington Raceway,” Bojangles’ said in a statement provided to NBC’s Myrtle Beach-affiliate WMBF. “While we will no longer be the title sponsor for the Southern 500, NASCAR remains an important part of our sports marketing strategy, and we look forward to announcing our plans for 2020 in the near future.”

The 2020 Southern 500 is scheduled for Sept. 6 on NBCSN.