FireKeepers Casino 400

NASCAR official: Nothing wrong with Joey Logano’s overtime restart

4 Comments

There was nothing “out of bounds” about Joey Logano‘s overtime restart Monday at Michigan International Speedway, according to Elton Sawyer, NASCAR’s vice president of officiating.

Sawyer discussed the controversial restart Tuesday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “The Morning Drive.”

Martin Truex Jr. was unhappy about the restart by Logano. Truex restarted to the inside of Logano. Truex, who finished third, accused Logano of jumping “a whole car length before the restart zone” as the field took the final green.

Kyle and Kurt Busch, who restarted in the second row, also questioned Logano’s restart.

But Sawyer cleared Logano of any wrongdoing.

“We review all starts and restarts from the tower and we looked at it and felt like he was in the restart zone,” Sawyer said. “Looking back at all the data it looked like Joey and Martin both fired at about the same time, although Joey had a little bit of wheel spin there, but we didn’t see anything that was out of bounds there.”

Logano defended his final restart, which led to his second win of the year and his third Michigan win, all of which have come from the pole.

“I did it when I got there (to the restart zone),” Logano said. “That was a good start wasn’t it? That was a good one. That one felt good.”

Martin Truex Jr. displeased with Joey Logano’s overtime restart in Michigan

16 Comments

Martin Truex Jr. didn’t like what he saw from race leader Joey Logano on the overtime restart at Michigan International Speedway on Monday.

Truex, who restarted second on the inside of the Team Penske driver, accused Logano of jumping  “a whole car length before the restart zone” as the field took the green.

“I don’t know how you get away with that,” Truex said after he finished third to Logano and Kurt Busch. “I thought we were supposed to go in the box.”

Truex, who earned his seventh top-three finish at Michigan, added, “I guess they don’t enforce those rules anymore. We’ll have to remember that for next time.”

The accusation is the latest chapter in the Truex-Logano rivalry, which began last year in the playoffs at Martinsville Speedway and Miami and has taken center stage this year with late-race battles at Richmond, Charlotte and again Monday in Michigan.

When asked by Jeff Gordon on FS1 about the restart, Logano replied, “I don’t know what I did” with a laugh.

Logano also said, “I did it when I got there (to the restart zone). That was a good start wasn’t it? That was a good one. That one felt good.”

Truex did admit his “second gear was off a little bit all day” on restarts.

Truex’s third-place finish continued a roller-coaster stretch for the Joe Gibbs Racing driver.

In the last seven races, Truex has three wins in addition to his result on Monday. But when not finishing in the top five, he’s had results of 19th (Talladega), 20th (Kansas) and 35th (Pocono, DNF – engine)

But in a race where Logano led 163 of 203 laps, Truex though he was “going to finish second no matter what” before the overtime finish bunched the field back up.

“I don’t know if we could have done anything with (Logano),” Truex said. “We were going to need one heck of a push from behind – a shove down the straightaway. I could get a little bit of a run but never enough to get next to him and surely not enough to get next to him and clear him getting in the corner.

“His car was really good. They were really fast obviously qualifying first and then as good as they raced. Hats off to those guys. I thought we’d rack them up there, you know green-white-checkered. I thought ‘Hey, maybe we do have a shot at this thing’ and then he jumped the restart by over a car length.”

Joey Logano wins at Michigan in overtime finish

4 Comments

Joey Logano held off Kurt Busch in an overtime finish to win Monday’s rain-delayed Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway.

Logano claimed his second win of the year and his third Cup win at Michigan. He dominated by leading 163 of 203 laps. All three of his Michigan wins have come from the pole position.

The win continues Team Penske’s best start to a season in 25 years, with the team earning its fifth win in 15 races.

“You race this whole race, and you keep building that notebook up,” Logano told FS1. “What a great execution day. Our race car was obviously fast. Our pit crew was amazing. T.J. Majors, my spotter, worked his butt off up there. … We love coming up to Michigan.  Nothing like bringing a Ford to Victory Lane in their home turf, Roger Penske cars as well. This is a big win for us.”

The top five was completed by Martin Truex Jr, Daniel Suarez and Kyle Busch.

The overtime finish was set up by an Erik Jones spin.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Joey Logano

STAGE 2 WINNER: Austin Dillon earned his first career stage win

MORE: Race results and point standings

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Kurt Busch earned his second runner-up finish of the season and first since Bristol two months ago … Martin Truex Jr. has finished in the top three seven times at Michigan without a win … A sixth-place finish by Brad Keselowski and a ninth-place finish by Ryan Blaney put all three Team Penske cars in the top 10 for the second time this year.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Jimmie Johnson finished 15th after he had to make multiple pits stops under separate cautions to repair damage suffered from contact on pit road … Defending race winner Clint Bowyer wrecked in Turn 2 with 71 laps to go after he made contact with Erik Jones. He finished 35th … Austin Dillon placed 26th after he made contact with William Byron and hit the Turn 2 wall with 65 laps to go … Chase Elliott finished 20th after he pitted with 45 laps to go after contact with the wall. It is his first finish outside the top 10 in seven Michigan starts.

NOTABLE: Joey Logano’s 163 laps led are the most ever by a driver at Michigan … Logano is now tied with Kurt Busch and Kyle Larson for most wins by active drivers at Michigan with three.

QUOTE OF THE DAY NO. 1: “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.’ ” – Kurt Busch after his runner-up finish in overtime

QUOTE OF THE DAY NO. 2: “I mean, it is not racing. I am sorry. I am biting my tongue. I have never been penalized for trying to make a pass in my whole life since I was 4 years old. You get a run on somebody, and you can make a complete pass and by the time you get to the next corner, you have been passed by four people. It is really, really frustrating.” – Clint Bowyer on the racing at Michigan after being eliminated in a wreck.

WHAT’S NEXT: Toyota/ Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway at 3 p.m. ET on June 23 on FS1

Weekend schedule for NASCAR at Michigan, Texas

Getty Images
Leave a comment

All three NASCAR national series will be competing this weekend but they’ll be doing so in two different parts of the country.

Cup and Xfinity Series teams will race at Michigan International Speedway, and the Gander Outdoor Truck Series holds its first standalone weekend of the year at Texas Motor Speedway.

The wunderground.com forecast for this weekend at Michigan calls for high temperatures in the mid to high 70s all weekend. There’s a small chance of rain throughout the weekend.

The wunderground.com forecast for Thursday and Friday at Texas will see high temperatures in the mid to high 80s.

Here’s the full weekend schedule for both tracks with TV and radio info.

(All times are Eastern)

Michigan International Speedway

Friday, June 7

10 a.m. – 9 p.m. – Xfinity garage open

11 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. – Cup garage open

1:05 – 1:55 p.m. – Xfinity practice (NASCAR.com, Motor Racing Network)

2:05 – 2:55 p.m. – Cup practice (NASCAR.com, MRN)

3:05 – 3:55 p.m. – Final Xfinity practice (FS2)

4:05 – 4:55 – Final Cup practice (FS2, MRN)

Saturday, June 8

7:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. – Cup garage open

9 a.m. – Xfinity garage opens

10:30 a.m. – Xfinity qualifying; single car/one lap (FS2)

11:45 a.m. – Xfinity driver-crew chief meeting

12:05 p.m. – Cup qualifying/impound; single car/one lap (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

1 p.m. – Xfinity driver introductions

1:30 p.m. – LTI Printing 250; 125 laps/250 miles (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Sunday, June 9

10 a.m. – Cup garage opens

Noon – Driver/crew chief meeting

1:20 – Driver introductions

2 p.m. – FireKeepers Casino 400; 200 laps/400 miles

 

Texas Motor Speedway

Thursday, June 6

Noon – 9 p.m. – Truck Series garage open

3:05 – 3:55 p.m. – First Truck practice (No TV)

5:05 – 5:55 p.m. – Second Truck practice (No TV)

7 – 7:45 p.m. – Final Truck practice (No TV)

Friday, June 7

1 p.m. – Truck garage opens

5:35 p.m. – Qualifying; single truck/one lap (NASCAR.com)

7 p.m. – Driver-crew chief meeting

8:30 p.m. – Driver introductions

9 p.m. – SpeedyCash.com 400; 167 laps/250.5 miles (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Chase Elliott looks to continue hot streak with first Michigan win

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Chase Elliott is in the midst of the best stretch of his Cup Series career, earning five consecutive top-five finishes, beginning with his win at Talladega on April 28.

That streak is the active leader for top fives.

What’s the best possible track the series could visit to give Elliott a chance to keep his streak alive and possibly deliver his second win of the year?

Well, it’s clearly Dover International Speedway, where Elliott has finished worse than fifth just once in seven starts.

But what about the track after that?

That would be Michigan International Speedway, site of this weekend’s FireKeepers Casino 400.

In six previous starts Elliott has never finished worse than ninth.

Thanks to three consecutive runner-up finishes to start his Cup career at the 2-mile track, Elliott has a series-best average finish of 5.3 at MIS.

Among the drivers included in NASCAR’s stat update book for this week, the next closest driver in terms of average finish – since 2005 – is Kevin Harvick at 10.8.

“I feel like we’re really close,” Elliott said in a media release. “I’ll go to work and try to do a better job, and we’ll see what we can do next week.”

But since his last second-place finish, Elliott has results of eighth and ninth (twice) in Michigan. The only laps he’s led there came in his first two starts.

Here are other stat categories Elliott leads in at Michigan ahead of Sunday’s race:

  • Driver rating: 104.5 (Harvick is next at 98.1)
  • Average running position: 9.3
  • Average spots gained: four
  • Average speed early in run: 167.128 mph (Daniel Suarez is second at 166.350)
  • Green flag speed: 181.717 mph (Kyle Larson is second at 181.431)