Late Pit Call Helps Bowyer Win Rain Shortened FireKeepers Casino 400 In Michigan

Clint Bowyer went 190 races without a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory. But, in a weather delayed race at the Martinsville Speedway back on March 27, he finally went to victory lane. Now, 10 races later, he’s back.

Bowyer, was declared the winner in Sunday’s rain marred FireKeepers Casino 400 at the Michigan International Speedway. The race was delayed several hours for rain but late in the afternoon, the race was able to start. Unfortunately, 67 laps before the scheduled distance, rain began falling again and ended the race for good. 

Bowyer, took a gamble on pit road after the second stage ended when they made a crucial two tire stop. Everyone else behind took four Goodyear tires. He likely was a sitting duck if the rain didn’t fall when it did. Luckily for he and his Stewart-Haas Racing team, mother nature helped them.

It started raining just after we went back to green to begin the third and final stage and Bowyer held off his teammate Kevin Harvick in the rain shortened race. Coincidentally enough, back in May at Dover, Bowyer was leading Harvick when rain fell late in that race too. But, track officials were able to get the track dried in plenty of time to get back to racing. On Sunday, the rain kept falling as NASCAR made the right call to end it early.

This was the second time in four years that the June Michigan race was halted early for rain. The 2015 race ended 62 laps short with another SHR driver in Kurt Busch being awarded the win that day. Busch, started on the pole for this weekend’s race and brought his No. 41 Ford home third for a 1-2-3 finish for SHR.

The only other times that the race was ended early due to weather was 2006 (June), 2001 (August), 2000 (June) and 1969 (August). This is the second shortest race run to completion as 2006 saw only 129 laps run that day.

For Harvick, it was his sixth runner-up finish at Michigan since 2013 (11 races). He’s now had six top five finishes in his No. 4 Ford in the last seven races on the season. Busch, earned his first Michigan top five finish since that 2015 victory and his fifth top eight finish in the last six races on the season.

That trio combined to lead 103 of 133 laps on Sunday.

Kyle Busch was the best in the next class as he brought his No. 18 Toyota home fourth. It was his ninth top four finish in the last 13 races.

The Penske foursome of Paul Menard (Wood Brothers alliance), Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Paul Menard finished fifth through eighth respectively.

The race was stopped eight times for cautions with one of them seeing Kyle Larson spin through the infield grass. He had a rough weekend after starting 26th and finishing 28th. His three race win streak at Michigan now comes to an end.

FireKeepers Casino 400 Results

  1. 14 Bowyer
  2.  4 Harvick
  3. 41 KuBusch
  4. 18 KyBusch
  5. 21 Menard
  6.  2 Keselowski
  7. 22 Logano
  8. 12 Blaney
  9.  9 Elliott
  10.  1 McMurray
  11. 10 Almirola
  12. 11 Hamlin
  13. 24 Byron R
  14.  3 A Dillon
  15. 20 Jones
  16. 88 Bowman
  17. 47 Allmendinger
  18. 78 Truex Jr.
  19. 43 Wallace Jr. R
  20. 48 Johnson
  21. 13 T Dillon
  22. 31 Newman
  23. 95 Kahne
  24. 37 Buescher
  25. 34 McDowell
  26. 15 Chastain R
  27. 72 LaJoie
  28. 42 Larson
  29. 17 Stenhouse Jr.
  30. 19 Suarez -1
  31. 23 Gaulding -1
  32. 00 Cassill -1
  33.  6 Kenseth -1
  34.  7 Kennington R -1
  35. 66 Hill -1
  36. 32 DiBenedetto -2
  37. 51 McLeod -2
  38. 38 Ragan OUT
  39. 99 Smithley R OUT

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