Chase Boost: Joey Logano wins the Pure Michigan 400
On a sunny Sunday afternoon the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returned to Michigan International Speedway for final time this season.
Joey Logano earned the pole in record time. In fact the top 25 topped 200 miles per hour.
Jimmie Johnson would drop to the rear after a practice wreck sent this team to a backup. Jamie McMurray was also starting at the rear when he blew an engine in practice on Friday.
It wasn’t even one lap into the race when Clint Bowyer got loose and spun. The caution flag would wave and the field would be brought back together. Some of the leaders would hit pit road including Johnson.
On the next restart, Logano would take back the lead from Kurt Busch. The battle mid-pack was tight as drivers were taking it three wide.
David Reutimann had some trouble and hit the outside wall causing damage and bringing out the caution again.
It didn’t take very long but the yellow flag waved again when Austin Dillon who was filling in for Tony Stewart spun out and J.J. Yeley in attempt to avoid made contact with the wall. Drivers were saving fuel since the pace laps but these early cautions saw teams already planning out strategy for pit stops.
Finally the field could begin to get into a rhythm as the battle for the lead began to get close between Busch, Logano and Earnhardt. Busch would take over the lead but during green flag pit stops a mistake cost Busch the lead and Earnhardt took the lead after taking just two tires.
After starting at the rear Johnson took the lead during pit cycles but an engine issue sent the team behind the wall.
The caution came out again for Ricky Stenhouse Jr. who lost a tire and the pit road strategy would be mainly right sides and fuel.
Prior to the next round of green flag stops the caution flag waved for debris and brought the entire field to pit road. Strategy was mixed but expected as many of the leaders took two tires and some of the guys at the back took four.
Hendrick Motorsports who dominated here in the spring and saw issues for all of their cars in that race saw the similar issues in this race. Johnson's engine expired and Earnhardt got into the wall bringing out the caution on lap 135.
Earnhardt who had once again one of the best cars today found himself in the garage. The field went back to green and Logano would take back the lead and hold off a charging Kevin Harvick.
The seventh caution waved on lap 149 when Bobby Labonte spun on his own to bunch the field back up. The caution-filled race saw more cautions as Kyle Busch spun out after running just inside the top 10.
He then went on and spun out again and brought out the caution.
Fuel mileage would be a factor and as the caution came out for Busch, leader Keselowski hit pit road but it would be Martin who would run out of fuel and forced to pit as the laps wound down.
Logano was able to hold off Harvick and win his first race with Roger Penske.
The rest of the top 10 were Harvick, Ku. Busch, Paul Menard, Bowyer, Marcos Ambrose, Kahne, Jeff Burton and Greg Biffle.
Next up is Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday night on ABC.