The good and bad from Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway:
His daring move in overtime will be a staple of highlight reels for years to come. Larson got by Martin Truex Jr. and Erik Jones when the race was sent into overtime to score his third win of the year and third straight at Michigan to cap off a weekend that included a second-place run in the Knoxville Nationals.
Furniture Row Racing
Sure, it could have been a one-two finish for Truex and Jones. But Larson put an end to that possibility with his dramatic pass. But still, finishing second and third is nothing to hang your head about.
You may remember Newman ... you know, the guy that won at Phoenix earlier in the year? The Richard Childress Racing driver is in the playoffs but hasn’t done much since securing his berth with that Phoenix victory. Sunday in Michigan, he was at the front of the field with a well-earned fourth-place finish.
His Roush Fenway Racing teammate, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., is in the playoffs thanks to his first two career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series wins. Bayne is hoping to join him in Victory Lane over the last three races of the regular season and has Sunday’s fifth-place run to build on.
The second-year Cup Series driver is outperforming his veteran teammate AJ Allmendinger at JTG Daugherty Racing this year. Sunday at Michigan was another example. While Allmendinger was languishing in 20th place, Buescher had the best finish of his season with sixth place.
His Brickyard 400 win probably feels like a million miles away. In a week that started with the official news of Kahne not returning to Hendrick Motorsports in 2018, his Michigan day ended in an incident with Daniel Suarez and subsequent 38th-place finish.
It’s getting close to "Hail Mary" time for Logano with only three races left in the regular season and still on the outside looking in on the playoff race. He had a great starting spot - outside Row 1 on Sunday, but that didn’t help overcome challenges that added up to finishing 28th.
Was in position to challenge for a much better finishing spot than the 24th he wound up with on Sunday. But contact on the final restart got him out of shape.
Is this what the sport has come to? Instead of rivalries on the track and hard racing against one another, when drivers don’t agree with each other on any particular target, they take to social media to voice their displeasure. Red Byron is spinning in his grave.
Late Start Times
OK, I’ll say it – I’m not a fan. Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Mid-Ohio took the green flag at 3:48 p.m. ET while Sunday’s Michigan Cup Series race started at 3:18 p.m. I’m admittedly an old-school guy who grew up on "church, chicken and checkers" back in the day. If it helps the sport find a larger audience, I’ll ultimately support it. But right now, I’m having a hard time starting races at times that not too long ago were when the checkered flag flew.
The opinions expressed here are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Motor Racing Network or CarNut Heaven.
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