Kyle Busch edged out Daniel Suarez to win the pole for tonight’s Alsco 300 with a speed of 187.318 mph to clinch a new track record. Joe Gibbs Racing was able to take the top-three positions with Suarez qualifying second and Erik Jones qualifying third. Austin Dillon, and Elliott Sadler rounded out the top five. This is the fourth pole in 2016 for Kyle Busch.
In the first round of qualifying, Brandon Jones was the first car out on the track, but his time was disallowed for a blend line violation. Daniel Suarez led this session with a speed of 186.361 mph, followed by Kyle Busch, Ty Dillon, Austin Dillon, and Erik Jones.
In the second round of qualifying, the red flag flew due to Ty Dillon hitting the marbles and launching to the outside wall. The team is going to try and repair the contact. However, Suarez was the fastest with a speed of 188.819 mph. Busch, Austin Dillon, Jones, and Ryan Reed rounded out the top-five. Notables who did not advance were Justin Allgaier in 13th, Brennan Poole in 14th, Brendan Gaughan 18th and Ty Dillon in the 24th position.
The third and final round of qualifying went without a hitch.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series will take the track for the race at 8:30 pm eastern on NBCSN and Performance Racing Network.
Kyle Busch was upset after Thursday evenings Buckle Up in Your Truck 225 at Kentucky Speedway.
Busch and Spencer Gallagher were racing each other, when Busch was sent into the wall, ending his night.
“It was self-inflicted, I guess. Got back in traffic and I don’t know. Going down the back stretch I thought I had enough room on the inside, but I know who I crashed with. That doesn’t surprise me, now I know how John Wes Townley feels. It’s just a shame. Brand new truck and really good piece – destroyed,” said Kyle Busch after the wreck, bringing out the fourth caution of the evening.
Busch was running 13th at the time of incident. Gallagher did apologize post-race for the accident.
“I know how John Wes Townley feels,” stated Kyle Busch.
The jab at Gallagher comes after the last NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Gateway Motorsports Park when he and John Wes Townley wrecked and fought.
Gallagher and Townley were both fined for the incident.
This is Kyle Busch’s first DNF since Texas in 2013.
At the beginning of the second and final practice at Sonoma Raceway, the red flag flew early in the session due to an unsuspected killing of a rabbit by Kyle Busch, leaving a bloody smear on the left front. At the time of the incident, Busch was second on the charts.
“That [explextive] came out of nowhere”, said Busch in an interview with Fox Sports 1, “I seen it for a second, then i moved a little bit right. I said ‘keep going, keep going’, but then he stopped and turned, we looked eye to eye, and then it was over."
The team will have to replace the brake duct at the point of impact from the rabbit. However, the team was able to make repairs, and returned to the track for practice.
Busch was 14th in the first practice with a speed of 93.702 mph. In the final practice session, Busch ended up P5 with a speed of 95.144 mph.
With eight restarts on the afternoon, Logano controlled all but one, when he got passed by Chase Elliott. That was the only stint of the race in which the No. 22 Ford was not out front for a significant amount of laps, other than green flag pit stops.
Winning from the pole at Michigan is something that Logano has done in the past. In 2013, he started out front, finishing out front, in what was his first victory with Team Penske. The triumph came in Ford's backyard, as their headquarters are in the Detroit area and Adsel Ford II was in attendance for the victory.
"Everyone did a good job at understanding what this package was going to do and put together a great racecar for me," Logano said of his victory. "It was a lot of fun racing with Chase [Elliott] there at the end and [Kyle] Larson. They had the restarts figured out down on the bottom pushing each other. We've been knocking on the door of a victory all season, but it's nice to get that win and lock ourselves into the Chase."
This is Team Penske's 99th career victory in the Sprint Cup Series and the third victory of 2016 for the organization.
The 400-mile event was a bit unusual compared to Michigan standards. NASCAR brought a new aerodynamic package, hopeful of using this package in 2017. Most of the drivers throughout the field liked it, as like most races this season, it put the racing back in the drivers hands.
Elliott recorded a career-best second-place finish at Michigan. The No. 24 car was out front for 35 circuits, after leading 51 laps last week in Pocono.
Logano got around Elliott on a restart with around 50 laps to go. He slid out of the groove and fell back to fourth. On the resuming restart, he pulled his Chevrolet back up to second, where he would remain the rest of the race.
"You can't do dumb stuff to win these races," Elliott said post-race. "It was completely my fault. The guys gave me a fantastic car today. That one was on me."
Kyle Larson remained in the top five for the majority of the event in Michigan. Coming home third is the No. 42 team's second top-three finish in the past four races and now sits 19th in the championship standings, 23 points outside of the Chase cutoff.
"I'm not sure that there was anything I could have done there," Larson said of finishing third. "I was pretty tight there for two or three laps, sometimes for a full run. Staying out front the whole time was a big key. The Target Chevrolet was definitely a third or fourth-place car."
Brad Keselowski finished fourth at his hometown track and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top five after starting in 29th.
Carl Edwards finished sixth, while Tony Stewart came home seventh, after spending much of the day inside the top five. Austin Dillon rebounded after a possible left rear tire failure passed halfway to finish eighth. Jamie McMurray was ninth and Kurt Busch completed the top 10.
Many of the big name drivers, including Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Kyle Busch all faced difficulties on Sunday.
On Lap 54, the No. 18 car was on fire. On the next restart, Chris Buescher got loose and up into Earnhardt who smacked the outside wall, finishing 39th. Hamlin brought out the final caution with under 10 laps to go when he cut down a left rear tire and spun to the inside wall.
The Cup Series is off next week, but will resume in two weeks at the first road course of the season, Sonoma. The younger Busch is the defending winner at that event, which was his first of five victories in 2015.