June 17th, 2013
“Alliance Truck Auto Parts 250”
BROOKLYN, MICHIGAN- The NASCAR Nationwide Series brought the drivers to Michigan International Speedway, One of the fastest tracks in the circuit. The race was scheduled for 125 laps, 250 miles. Austin Dillon (3) was able to take the Pole in his fourth consecutive race, creating a new record for NNS. Six drivers had done three in a row in the past. Teammate Paul Menard (33) would start beside him on the front row. Another teammate Brian Scott (2) started third. This was the first one-two-three start for RCR.
In other news this week, Jason Leffler passed away after an accident in Sprint Series race on June 12, 2013. He was 37 years old, and drove anything and everything he could throughout his career. Numerous drivers have special stickers and hats to memorialize Leffler, as they have made stickers of “Lefturn” as this was his nickname in the driver’s camp.
In opening ceremonies, Father Goeff Rose provided the Invocation. Calynn Green sang the National Anthem, and Sabastian Baumann was the Grand Marshall. Austin Dillon was the In-Race Reporter.
Kyle Busch (54) and Joey Lagono (22) were the only two Cup Drivers in the race. Ford will be trying to get their 1000th win in NASCAR in this race.
The first caution came out on lap 1, when Brian Vickers (20), Travis Pastrana (60), Alex Bowman (99) and Jeffrey Earnhardt (79) were involved in a spin out. Vickers and Earnhardt both went behind the wall for repairs. Brian Scott and Kyle Busch both had minor damages from the incident. Pastrana had severe damage as he hit the wall, and Vickers had plenty of front end damage from going through the grass.
The second caution flew on lap 8, when Dexter Stacey (92) had a tire failure and he ran into the outside wall.
On lap 64, a debris caution came out for parts coming off Justin Allgaier’s (31) race car. During the caution, the top four cars stayed on track, due to rain being in the area. Dillon had led every lap to this point, and took the bonus for leading the most laps in the race. During the restart, Dillon had a tire start to go down, and he was forced to pit and lose a lap. Richard Childress was not real happy with the decision of the crew chief, keeping Dillon on the track.
The fourth caution flew at lap 80, for debris falling off of Brian Scott’s race car. At the same time, Sam Hornish Jr.(12) had an engine issue begin. His car began smoking heavily and he went to the garage. His day ended as the engine was done. Again, the top four cars stayed out, due to the threat of rain in the area.
The fifth and final caution came out on lap 98, when debris was seen on the track once again. Dillon finally was able to get back on the lead lap at this time. With only four laps remaining, Dillon had a tire failure that sent him to the pits again, dropping him out of the top ten for the race. He had worked his way back to a top ten position before the tire failed.
Point’s leader Regan Smith (7) was able to hold off a hard charging Rookie Kyle Larson (32) for the win at Michigan.
The rest of the top ten were: Paul Menard (33), Kyle Busch (54), Trevor Bayne (6), Brad Sweet (5), Chris Buescher (16), Elliott Sadler (11), Nelson Piquet Jr. (30) and Brian Scott (2).
The next race will be at Road America (Elk Hart Lake, WI) on Saturday at 5 PM EST on ESPN.
“Quicken Loans 400”
BROOKLYN, MICHIGAN- The Sprint Cup Series also ran their race for “Father’s Day” weekend, at the Michigan Track. The Pole Sitter was Carl Edwards (99), with Kurt Busch (78) starting second. A 400 mile race was scheduled with 200 laps being completed. This is the second of six races televised by TNT. They have labeled this six race session as the “Summer Series.” They stated that pit stops will be made every 34-38 laps.
In opening ceremonies, a moment of silence was held for Jason Leffler. Father Goeff Rose provided the Invocation. Larry Gallahan and a selected choir sang the National Anthem. The “Screamin Rebels” T-6 Texans did a fly over of the track. The Grand Marshall was Niklas Kronwall, and the In-Race Reporter was Matt Kenseth (20). A “Competition Caution” due to rain overnight, was scheduled for lap 20.
On lap 5, Jeff Gordon (24) and Bobby Labonte (51) crashed after Labonte lost the rear end coming through the corner. Gordon had nowhere he could go, as Labonte came across in front of him, sending him hard into the outside wall. Both cars were heavily damaged. When the green flag came out to start the race, Clint Bowyer (15) got into the back of Trevor Bayne (21) causing damage to the front of Bowyers car. Edwards was also tagged lightly by Busch on the start, and listening to the radio, he has stated plans on returning the hit to Busch when he gets the chance.
The “Competition Caution” came out on lap 21. David Gilliland received the “Lucky Dog” to get back on the lead lap. Kyle Busch (18) was penalized for passing on pit road. He was sent back to thirty-fourth from ninth place.
On lap 29, the third caution flew for Kurt Busch (78), who spun and hit the wall. He stated over the radio that the car simply snapped lose on him.
On lap 43, the fourth caution came out for debris on track. The top five cars did not make a pit stop. (McMurray, Dillon, Patrick, Martin and Ambrose). On lap 66, Mark Martin (55) made a green flag pit stop. McMurray, Patrick and Dillon all made their stops near lap 75. At this point in the race, Team Hendrick held the top three spots.
On lap 77, another debris caution (5) flew. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (88) was able to get off pit road first. Earnhardt Jr.’s last win was one year ago at this track, when he sported a special scheme on his car for the “Batman” movie that premiered that week. This year, he is sporting a “Superman” scheme on his car.
At the halfway mark, Kasey Kahne (5) had the lead. Earnhardt Jr. (88), Johnson (48), Kenseth (20), Harvick (29), Biffle (16), Lagono (20), Almirola (43), Stewart (14) and Truex Jr. (56) were the top ten cars.
The sixth caution flew just after half way, for Kahne blowing a tire and slamming the wall. He had over a three second lead when his wreck happened. Earnhardt Jr. was able to come off pit road first again. Thirty-one cars remain on the lead lap. By lap 125, Earnhardt’s engine began to fail, as one cylinder was gone in the car. Teammate Jimmie Johnson took over the lead.
On lap 131, Earnhardt Jr.’s car blew the engine to bring out the seventh caution. During the pit stop Johnson took four tires, while the rest of the field only took two. He fell from the lead back to nineteenth. On lap 150, Greg Biffle took the lead away from his teammate Carl Edwards and Joey Lagono. At this point, three fords led the field.
On lap 165, Carl Edwards and teammate Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (17) made their final pit stops. On lap 167, Jamie McMurray blew a right front tire, to bring out the eighth caution. He was running seventh when his tire blew. That jumbled the running order once again, making some teams only take two tires when they wanted/needed four on their final stops. Edwards was caught a lap down by the caution, but received the “lucky dog” to be placed back on the lead lap. There were nearly thirty cars on the lead lap though, costing him all that ground. He would restart in twenty-fourth spot after pitting in second.
The fastest car on track today was Aric Almirola (43) at 219mph. Greg Biffle led the most laps with 48 laps. With just three laps left, Johnson had a tire failure that sent him to pit road. On the final lap, Brad Keselowski (2) fell from fifth to twelfth, due to running out of fuel. Greg Biffle was able to hold on for his fourth win at Michigan. He also got “FORD,” their 1000th win in NASCAR.
The rest of the top ten are: Kevin Harvick (29), Martin Truex Jr. (56), Kyle Busch (18), Tony Stewart (14), Matt Kenseth (20), Clint Bowyer (15), Carl Edwards (99), Joey Lagono (22) and Jeff Burton (31). Other notables, Rookie Austin Dillon (33) finished eleventh and Danica Patrick (10) finished thirteenth. Johnson finished thirty-eighth.
The next race is on Sunday at a Road Course in Sonoma, CA at 2PM EST on TNT, for the Save Mart 350.