Wednesday, Jun 29
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

Follow us on Twitter @SpeedwayDigest

A first lap incident sent RAB Racing's No. 99 St. Jude Children's Research Hospital/Toyota Care Camry piloted by Alex Bowman into survival mode for the rest of the Alliance Truck Parts 250 at Michigan International Speedway. In turns three and four on the first lap found Bowman and Brian Scott making contact, sending the No. 99 spinning, but with heavy right side damage. The RAB Racing crew pitted numerous times to repair the damage in the early stages, but it was extensive enough that it effected the cars handling the rest of the race. Bowman restarted the race in 35th position but at the end of the race fought his way back up to get a 14th place finish, the team's seventh top 15 finish in 13 races. The No. 99 RAB Racing Toyota Camry showed some serious speed earlier in the day with a fifth place qualifying effort, the fastest rookie and the fastest Toyota in the field.

 

Alex Bowman: Definitely a disappointing race for us, we had a great car, and one that could have challenged for a win. Brian Scott and I were racing hard in the opening lap when he came down on me on the entry of turn 3, taking the air off my spoiler, and from there the car just pushed up into his and we made contact, something that could have been avoidable by the two of us. I'm very thankful to have a crew in RAB Racing, and a crew chief in Chris Rice, they never gave up on me all race long and we continuously fought hard for a good finish. Right side downforce is so important at a track like this, and with the contact it took the side skirt off, and pulled up the sheetmetal on the door, which meant we couldn't seal the right side of the car to the race track. From there we were tight all race long because we didn't have the downforce as all the other cars, so it definitely made the rest of the race extremely challenging but again, very thankful we got a top 15 out of a day like that.

 

Bowman held on to the 11th position in driver's point standings and Robby Benton also maintained 15th place in the owner's point standings. Next race on the NASCAR Nationwide schedule is Road America on Saturday, June 22nd.

 

RAB Racing PR

Greg Biffle brought home Ford Racing’s 1000th win across NASCAR’s three national series with an impressive finish in the Quicken Loans 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday.

Ford drivers started the weekend off fast, with Roush Fenway Racing driver Carl Edwards putting down an impressive lap during qualifying with a speed of 202.452 mph to start on the pole for Sunday’s race. Edwards led 16 laps, but in the end it was Biffle who held off Kevin Harvick and Jimmie Johnson to claim his 19th career victory and give Ford Motor Company a second consecutive win at their home track.

“It’s really exciting to see all the racing heritage and to be able to be a part of the 1,000th win,” said Biffle. “I think I contributed to over 50 of those, which is a small number compared to 1,000, but I’m still excited. I was worried about the 48 [Jimmie Johnson] towards the end, but when I got in clean air, it was over.”

Of Ford Racing’s 1,000 wins, 715 were won in the Sprint Cup Series, 200 were won in the Nationwide Series, and 85 were won in the Camping World Truck Series. The Roush and Yates families combined have contributed to 414 of these victories over the years.

“I have been with Ford Motor Company and they have been supporting me for almost 50 years now,” said Jack Roush, owner of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion. “We expect to be our best when we come to MIS and I am glad we could pull it off and give Ford their 1,000th win. I was no less proud to have helped Ford win its 1000th race in NASCAR as I was to win the race here at the 100th anniversary of Ford Motor Company. Both are great milestones that I’ve been honored to be a part of.”

Biffle’s win on Sunday came on the exact 110th birthday of Ford Motor Company. Jamie Allison, Director of Ford Racing, couldn’t think of a better birthday present than to celebrate in Victory Lane.

“First I want to congratulate the winner Greg Biffle and his team. What a great moment that is. Thanks to all the Ford teams and Roush Fenway, Penske, the Wood Brothers, Germain Racing, Front Row Motorsports, and Richard Petty Motorsports and all those that have accumulated these wins throughout the years,” said Allison. “We couldn’t be prouder to have this moment come here today at Michigan in front of so many of our Ford friends. What a great race and a great day for Ford.”

Biffle’s win comes with only 11 races left until the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. Three Fords remain in the top 10 in points with Carl Edwards second, Greg Biffle eighth, and Brad Keselowski in ninth.

Roush Yates Engines saw additional Ford wins in the grassroots series this weekend.

Jason Johnson won his fourth Lucas Oil ASCS race of the season with his Roush Yates Sprint 360 engine at Kennedale Speedway Park in the Real Sizzlin Summer Speedweeks feature. Johnson, driver of the Stenhouse Jr. Motorsports No. 41, started on the front row and was able to get past pole sitter Ryan Hall within a couple of laps to take the win on Friday night.

“My guys have been working their tails off these past few weeks. We’ve kind of been off. We haven’t won a race in a month, and for us that’s a long time,” said Johnson. “They built a brand new car and Chris Moss with Roush Yates has been working on our engines trying to get them faster.”

Rick Eckert captured his third straight victory in Paul Crowl’s No. 7 with his Roush Yates Ford Dirt Late Model engine at Winchester Speedway on Saturday. Eckert won the 35-lap Paul Johnson Memorial, his second win of the season in Winchester and fourth win in seven starts.

“This place was real racy tonight. I was able to move around a bit and the car was working really well up top,” said Eckert. “I have to thank Paul for giving me the opportunity to drive his car and I’m glad to be able to get another win for him here tonight.”

RYE PR

Before David Ragan climbs into his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car for Sunday's race at Sonoma Raceway, he's going to climb into the driver's seat of the 18-wheeler that will carry that race car 2,700 miles from North Carolina to California.

 

The driver of the No. 34 Taco Bell Ford will be at the wheel of the team's 80-foot, 80,000-pound transporter early Tuesday morning when it pulls out of the Front Row Motorsports race shop for the cross-country trip. Team truck driver Mike Smith, the rig's primary operator throughout the season, will accompany Ragan and split the seat time during the 42-hour journey.

 

"I've always had a fascination with big trucks," Ragan said. "I wanted to get my CDL (commercial driver's license), so I got that a little while ago. And I thought it would be fun to take a trip across the country on the open roads and see everything, and at the same time get to spend some time with my truck driver."

 

Smith had his doubts when Ragan first told him he wanted to drive the hauler to one of the race venues, much less the farthest one on the Sprint Cup Series map.

 

"At first, he didn't really believe me," Ragan said. "But I showed him my license and told him I'd been driving the transporter for my late model team a little. Now, I think he's excited. It's going to be something different and something fun. Although he's probably going to sleep with one eye open just to make sure I'm not driving too crazy."

 

The 27-year-old Ragan, who has been racing within NASCAR's top three series since he was 18, received his commercial learner's permit last year and earned his full provisional CDL several months ago.

 

"I was surprised when he said he wanted to do it, but it should be neat," truck driver Smith said. "I think he's the first driver to ever do this. But we're going to have a good time and he's going to be just fine behind the wheel."

 

Ragan is known for rolling up his sleeves and getting involved with the various operations of his race team. An experienced mechanic, car builder and engine builder in his own right, Ragan can relate to the work done by most members of his Front Row Motorsports crew. But taking on the role of the hauler driver is one job he hadn't tried yet.

 

"It will be fun to see what he has to go through on a weekly basis," Ragan continued. "I think a lot of people don't respect truckers enough, especially in our sport, where they're gone for days and put in a lot of hours on the road."

 

On Sunday, Ragan will strap into his No. 34 Taco Bell Ford Fusion to drive 219 miles on the winding Sonoma Raceway road course. After 110 demanding laps on the twisting terrain, will he have to climb back into the hauler for the 2,700-mile trip back to North Carolina?

 

"I'll be taking a plane home."

 

Track Ragan and Smith's journey on Twitter by following @DavidRagan and @MikeS702.

 

FRM PR

Race Highlights:

  • Richard Childress Racing teammates finished second (Kevin Harvick), 10th (Jeff Burton), 11th (Austin Dillon) and 14th (Paul Menard).
  • Following the event at Michigan International Speedway, Harvick is now fourth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, trailing leader Jimmie Johnson by 62 markers, while Menard ranks 11th, 123 points back, and Burton sits 17th, 27 points out of the top 10.
  • The No. 29 team ranks fourth in the Sprint Cup Series owner championship point standings, with the No. 27 team 11th and the No. 31 team 18th.
  • According to NASCAR's Post-Race Loop Data Statistics, Harvick earned the fifth-best Driver Rating (104.30) and ranked eighth for Laps In The Top 15 (163).
  • Harvick's Average Running Position (9.77) ranked him seventh overall in the 43-car field.
  • Menard completed 59 Green Flag Passes and ranked third in the Closers category, gaining five positions in the final 20 laps of the 200-lap event.
  • Burton posted his fourth consecutive top-15 finish of the season.
  • Burton made 57 Green Flag Passes, 25 of which came while running in the top 15 (Quality Passes).
  • Dillon ranked third in the Closers category, advancing five positions in the final 10 percent of the race and was the sixth-Fastest Driver Late in a Run (187.392 mph).
  • Greg Biffle earned his first victory of the 2013 Sprint Cup Series season and was followed to the finish line by Harvick, Martin Truex, Jr., Kyle Busch and Tony Stewart.
  • The next Sprint Cup Series race is at Sonoma Raceway on Sunday, June 23. The 16th race on the 2013 schedule is slated to be televised live on TNT beginning at 2 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio.
2011 CC Team Icon 27 NSCS Menards

Menard Earns 14th-Place Finish at Michigan International Speedway

 

After his best qualifying effort of the season, Paul Menard started the No. 27 CertainTeed/Menards Chevrolet from the fourth position and captured a hard-fought 14th - place finish at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday. The early laps of the race looked promising as Menard quickly made his way to the second position on the first lap. The Eau Claire, Wis., native remained inside the top 10 until a lap-42 pit stop for right-side tires, fuel and a track bar and packer adjustment. Multiple cars elected not to take tires, or not pit at all, and Menard was forced to restart in the 22nd position. Starting mid-pack, Menard fought a loose-handling condition in traffic and the crew made a variety of chassis adjustments during the ensuing pit stops to help remedy the issue. The driver of the No. 27 Chevrolet steadily worked his way back toward the front and was running in 12th on lap 165 when crew chief "Slugger" Labbe called him onto pit road for a routine green-flag pit stop. Three laps after pitting, the caution flag flew for the final time causing Menard to fall a lap down to the leader, who had not yet come to pit road. Taking the "wave around" under caution, the 32-year-old driver was able to return to the lead lap restarting in 26th. On a mission to get back inside the top 15, Menard gained 12 spots in the remaining 27 laps to finish 14th. Menard now sits in the 11th spot in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings heading to Sonoma Raceway next weekend.

 

 

Start - 4thFinish - 14thLaps Led - 0 Points - 11th

 

PAUL MENARD QUOTE:

"We had a fast CertainTeed/Menards Chevrolet at the start of the race and began to battle handling issues as the laps wore on. We got caught behind later when the caution came out after we had just pitted under green-flag conditions and had to restart at the tail end of the lead pack. I have to give my guys credit, they never gave up and we were able to fight back and come home with a top-15 finish."

 

 

Kevin Harvick Hangs Tough to Finish Second at Michigan International Speedway

 

When the 200-lap, 400-mile race at Michigan International Speedway began on Sunday afternoon, Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet team lined up 21st for the initial green flag. The first pit stop on lap 22, for a pre-determined competition caution, allowed the team to make multiple adjustments to help the car's loose-handling condition. Throughout the race, crew chief Gil Martin called for pit stops taking on two and four tires at various times. This allowed the team to manage their tires during the race and avoid flats like other teams endured. For the last caution restart with 27 laps remaining, Harvick came off pit road in third with four tires, chassis adjustments and was topped off with enough fuel to go the remaining distance. During the final green-flag run, Harvick radioed in that he was feeling another vibration and didn't want to push the car and lose valuable track position. He jumped to second place, then lost the position and regained it to earn the runner-up finish. This was his fifth consecutive top-10 finish and moved the team up to fourth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings.

 

Start - 21stFinish - 2nd Laps Led - 0Points - 4th

 

KEVIN HARVICK QUOTE:

"We had a few vibrations during the race and you just have to ride them out and stay in the race. Gil (Martin, crew chief) and the Budweiser Chevrolet team did a great job on pit road managing stops during the race. They just kept making good adjustments, with the biggest ones coming on the first pit stop. It was a good day for us, we fought through the vibrations to stay out there and came up with a good finish."

 

2011 CC Team Logo NSCS 31 CAT

Jeff Burton Collects Third Top-10 Finish of 2013 Season at Michigan International Speedway

 

Jeff Burton and the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team collected their third top-10 finish of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, finishing 10th in the 400-mile event at Michigan International Speedway. After starting the 200-lap affair from the 18th position, the South Boston, Va., native maintained a top-20 running position while battling with a loose-handling condition on his black and yellow machine. Burton was able to find speed in the latter stages of long green-flag runs, but the loose-handling condition plagued the Richard Childress Racing driver from passing other competitors on the track. Crew chief Luke Lambert directed the Caterpillar pit crew to make chassis and air pressure adjustments under multiple two and four-tire pit stops through the course of the event. As the race progressed, Burton began to showcase speed by posting top-five lap times. With just under 50 laps remaining, the 21-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race winner worked his way into the top 15 and caught a break on lap 168 when the caution flag was displayed after many competitors had already made green-flag pit stops. Burton capitalized on the next restart and benefited from other competitors running out of fuel in the waning laps before crossing the finish line 10th for his fourth-consecutive top-15 result of the season. With the solid finish, Burton gained four positions and now sits 17th in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings.

 

Start - 18th Finish - 10th Laps Led - 0 Points - 17th

 

JEFF BURTON QUOTE:

"The No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team fought hard all day to bring home another solid finish. It turned out that tires made a huge difference and Luke (Lambert, crew chief) made all the right calls with adjustments as the track conditions changed. We continue to make progress with our 1.5-mile and two-mile track programs. Overall, it was a good points day for us."

 

Austin Dillon Earns Career-Best NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Finish at Michigan International Speedway

 

Austin Dillon drove the No. 33 American Ethanol Chevrolet SS to an 11th-place finish in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Michigan International Speedway, posting his career-best finish in his seventh series start. The Richard Childress Racing driver started the 200-lap race from the seventh position, his best starting position in NASCAR's top tier division. The Welcome, N.C. driver spent the beginning of the race battling a loose-handling condition on his black and green Chevrolet. Working with crew chief Dr. Eric Warren, Dillon & Co. followed a pit strategy off-cycle from the race leader during the beginning and middle stages of the race. The team opted not to pit when the race leader and several front runners visited pit road under caution on lap 42, positioning Dillon in the second spot for a lap-45 restart. The rookie Sprint Cup Series driver was fast at the front of the field, maintaining pace within the top five for the next 30 circuits until he was pinned one lap down when the caution flag was displayed while pitting under green-flag conditions on lap 72. Dillon opted to take the "wave around" to gain his lap back and restarted 26th on lap 80. Although his car handled loose during the next run, Dillon continued to post fast lap times and move forward in the running order. He was scored in the 13th position when the caution flag was displayed on lap 168, prompting Dr. Warren to direct him down pit road for the final pit stop of the day. When entering his pit box, Dillon overshot his pit stall and had to be pushed back into his box, costing valuable seconds on pit road before the RCR team changed four tires and added Sunoco Green E15 fuel. Dillon was relegated to the 22nd position for the lap-173 restart, but assured his crew he planned to drive as aggressively as possible during the remaining laps of the event. Not to disappoint, Dillon gained 11 spots to finish a career-best 11th in the No. 33 American Ethanol Chevrolet.

 

Start - 7th Finish - 11th Laps Led - 0Points - N/A

 

AUSTIN DILLON QUOTE: "I'm very proud of the No. 33 American Ethanol team. The guys on the team did a great job all day. I'm looking forward to our next race together."

 

RCR PR

The Wood Brothers and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew didn’t get to drive their No. 21 Ford Fusion to Victory Lane at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday, but they did feel like a big celebration was in order.

While Trevor Bayne scored a 15th-place finish, fellow Ford driver Greg Biffle captured the win in his No 16 Ford Fusion, giving Ford Motor Company its 1,000th NASCAR victory.

Over the years, the Wood Brothers have played a large role in Ford’s NASCAR success, winning 98 races in both Fords and Mercurys, including some of the sport’s marquee events. Among the Woods’ victories are five in the Daytona 500 and 11 at Michigan International Speedway, where their win total is second only to Sunday’s winning team, Roush Fenway Racing, which now has 13 at the home track of the U.S. auto makers.

“We’re proud to be a part of Ford’s celebration of 1,000 NASCAR victories,” said Eddie Wood, co-owner of the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion. “We want to congratulate Ford Motor Company, Jack Roush and Greg Biffle for getting this milestone win and for getting it here at Michigan. It caps off a great week here.”

Wood, his brother Len and their driver Trevor Bayne took time this past week to visit their Ford friends in Dearborn and on Sunday, Edsel B. Ford II, the great-grandson of company founder Henry Ford, and his son Albert watched the Quicken Loans 400 from atop the Wood Brothers’ pit box.

“That’s truly an honor for us,” Eddie Wood said, adding that Mr. Ford is a huge supporter of racing.

On the track, Bayne was involved in a minor dust-up on the start, but quickly moved inside the top 15 from his 25th starting spot. A later incident caused some aerodynamic damage to the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion, but quick pit work by the Motorcraft crew and good race strategy by crew chief Donnie Wingo helped Bayne bring the No. 21 Ford Fusion home for a top-15 finish.

“Considering the damage to the car, we were fortunate to wind up 15th,” Eddie Wood said.

Bayne and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew return to the Sprint Cup Series next month for the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 6.

Wood Brothers Racing PR

 

 

 

Ryan Newman and the No. 39 Quicken Loans team looked like they were on their way to “bringing home” a solid finish in the Quicken Loans 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, but their luck ran out before the checkered flag. With less than 30 laps to go, a flat tire halted Newman’s forward progress and resulted in an 18th-place finish.

The tire issue came under the final caution of the race at lap 166. Newman pitted for right-side tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment to tighten the handling of his Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS. Thanks to quick pit work and the team’s strategy, Newman gained 10 spots on pit road and was set to restart the race in seventh place.

But that plan was thwarted when Newman radioed that his left-rear tire was going flat. While still under caution, teammate Tony Stewart, who was beside Newman on the track, was able to look at the tire and told the crew the tire was definitely going flat and Newman needed to pit.

Still under the lengthy caution period, Newman was able to bring his car back down pit road to his crew, where it changed left-side tires and got him back on track before the race restarted. Upon examination, the crew confirmed that Newman’s tire had been punctured.

But Newman fell from seventh to 25th in the running order. And with track position crucial at Michigan, Newman couldn’t regain all the places lost due to the flat tire. He made up seven spots in the closing laps and finished 18th.

“That was a tough break for our Quicken Loans team,” Newman said. “When we came out seventh after that pit stop, and we finally had some track position and the clean air that we needed, I really thought that we were going to ‘Bring It Home’ for Quicken Loans and get another top-five finish and pay five people’s mortgages for a month. I really wanted to have a strong run for Quicken Loans in their race, in their backyard, so I’m pretty disappointed right now.”

Stewart led the way for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) by finishing fifth. Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, scored his 12th top-five in 29 career Sprint Cup starts at the 2-mile oval. It was also his third top-five this season.

Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 13th to score her third top-15 finish of the season.

Greg Biffle won the Quicken Loans 400 to score his 19th career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his fourth at Michigan.

Kevin Harvick finished 2.989 seconds behind Biffle in the runner-up spot, while Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch and Stewart rounded out the top-five. Matt Kenseth, Clint Bowyer, Carl Edwards, Joey Logano and Jeff Burton comprised the remainder of the top-10.

There were eight caution periods for 38 laps, with seven drivers failing to finish the 200-lap race.

With round 15 of 36 complete, Stewart continues to lead the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He moved up three spots to 10th and has 417 points, 121 back of series leader Jimmie Johnson and two points ahead of 11th-place Paul Menard. Newman maintained his 18th-place standing and has 389 points, 149 out of first and 28 behind Stewart. Patrick picked up one spot to 27th place in the standings and has 277 points, 261 behind Johnson and 140 away from Stewart.

Eleven races remain before the 12-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Only the top-10 in points are locked into the Chase. Positions 11 and 12 in the Chase are wild cards, awarded to the two drivers between 11th and 20th in points with the most wins. If multiple drivers have the same number of wins, a driver’s point standing serves as the tiebreaker.

Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished three spots ahead of Stenhouse, who placed 16th.

The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Toyota/Save Mart 350k on Sunday, June 23 at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway. The race starts at 3 p.m. EDT, with live coverage of the road-course event provided by TNT beginning with its pre-race show at 2 p.m.

TSC PR

 

 

 

Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. But Tony Stewart was a little bit of both Sunday afternoon at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, where he earned a hard-fought fifth-place finish in the Quicken Loans 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Driving a backup car, Stewart started 14th and overcame a weekend full of handling issues in the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) to score his 12th top-five in 29 career Sprint Cup starts at the 2-mile oval.

“I think we definitely got a lot of luck there at the end, but we’ll definitely take it because we haven’t had much to this point in the year,” said Stewart, the 2000 winner of the June race at Michigan. “A caution came out at the right time, and we got a good restart. Two of the guys ahead of us – one had fuel trouble and one had a tire issue – so we got some breaks going our way today. It was a good weekend for me (after) putting us in a hole as far as I did on Friday crashing our primary car. But I’m proud of these guys, and I’m definitely proud of the effort this week. I thought our guys did a good job.”

Stewart was forced to the backup car after wrecking during the opening minutes of Friday’s lone practice session. The No. 14 team spent the rest of the weekend massaging the handling on the Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevy. The effort paid off as Stewart raced his way into the top-10 in the opening laps of the 400-mile race Sunday, climbing to seventh-place by lap 15.

Despite the forward progress, the handling on the No. 14 Chevy wasn’t quite right as Stewart kept reporting the car felt “down in the left rear.” Further complicating the situation was a tight-handling condition in the center of the turns that persisted regardless of adjustments. But three-time Sprint Cup champion Stewart dug in and never ran lower than 15th throughout the race. 

Green-flag pit stops had started taking place when the last caution of the race was displayed on lap 166 for an incident that involved Jamie McMurray pounding the outside retaining wall. Stewart was one of a handful of drivers who had yet to make their stop, placing the No. 14 Chevrolet in seventh-place for what would be the final trip down pit road. Quick pit work placed Stewart in fourth for the final restart. Although he lost a few positions when green-flag racing resumed, Stewart was the benefactor of some misfortune that befell a few of his peers in the closing laps. The result was a fifth-place finish, giving the driver/owner his third straight top-five in Sprint Cup competition.

Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 13th to score her third top-15 finish of the season.

Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet for SHR, finished 18th.

Greg Biffle won the Quicken Loans 400 to score his 19th career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his fourth at Michigan.

Kevin Harvick finished 2.989 seconds behind Biffle the runner-up spot, while Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch and Stewart rounded out the top-five. Matt Kenseth, Clint Bowyer, Carl Edwards, Joey Logano and Jeff Burton comprised the remainder of the top-10.

There were eight caution periods for 38 laps, with seven drivers failing to finish the 200-lap race.

With round 15 of 36 complete, Stewart continues to lead the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He moved up three spots to 10th and has 417 points, 121 back of series leader Jimmie Johnson and two points ahead of 11th-place Paul Menard. Newman maintained his 18th-place standing and has 389 points, 149 out of first and 28 behind Stewart. Patrick picked up one spot to 27th in the standings and has 277 points, 261 points behind Johnson and 140 away from Stewart.

Eleven races remain before the 12-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Only the top-10 in points are locked into the Chase. Positions 11 and 12 in the Chase are wild cards, awarded to the two drivers between 11th and 20th in points with the most wins. If multiple drivers have the same number of wins, a driver’s point standing serves as the tiebreaker.

Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished three spots ahead of Stenhouse, who placed 16th.

The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Toyota/Save Mart 350k on Sunday, June 23 at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway. The race starts at 3 p.m. EDT, with live coverage of the road-course event provided by TNT beginning with its pre-race show at 2 p.m.

TSC PR

Roush Fenway Racing’s Greg Biffle powered his way through the field, took the lead and drove away en route to his second consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup win at Michigan International Speedway. The win marked the landmark 1,000 NASCAR victory for Ford. It was the 314 NASCAR win for Roush Fenway Racing and Biffle’s 19th career Sprint Cup Victory. It also marks Roush Fenway’s 23rd win at Michigan and its 13thin the Sprint Cup Series.

“It is a pretty special day for us all together,” said Biffle. “It is (daughter) Emma’s first victory lane on Fathers Day. I am thinking about my dad that couldn’t be here who is hopefully watching. We are thinking about little Charlie Leffler that doesn’t have a father today. It is a hard fought battle. It wasn’t easy. I kept working on this car and working on this car. The guys did a great job. The pit stops were flawless. You know, we beat the 48 today and that says a lot. He was really, really fast. Once we got out in clean air we could match up fairly well with the 48. He made a small mistake trying to catch us.” 

Carl Edwards started on the pole, led 16 laps and was in strong contention to challenge Biffle for the win, before getting caught on pit road during a caution. He was able to battle back to an eighth-place finish. RFR rookie Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was putting together a solid top-10 effort as well, before getting derailed during the same late-race caution. He went on to finish 16th; just behind Trevor Bayne in the Wood Brothers’ No. 21.

“I have been with Ford Motor Company and they have been supporting me for almost 50 years now and we expect to be at our best when we come to MIS and I am glad we could pull it off,” said RFR team owner Jack Roush. “I was a little nervous for a minute there, but I am glad it worked out and glad we could give Ford their 1,000th win.”

Roush Fenway’s Trevor Bayne scored Ford’s 200th NASCAR Nationwide Series win at Iowa last week.

Biffle started the race 19th, but saw his 3M Ford come to life at the front of the pack.

“Once my 3M Ford Fusion gets out front the thing really goes,” said Biffle. “It loves clean air and once I could make it past those guys that thing really set sail. I knew (Kevin) Harvick was going to have some trouble and I was taking it easy on the beginning of that run on those tires. I didn’t think he would be able to hang for 25 laps.”

It is Biffle’s fourth Sprint Cup victory at Michigan and his sixth NASCAR win at the track.

Biffle moved up two spots to eighth in the Sprint Cup point standings; 95 out of first. Edwards remains in second and move to within 31 points of first. Stenhouse moved to 19th in the standings.

Roush Fenway and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series return to action next week at the road course of Sonoma. RFR has won 13 times in NASCAR road course action.

RFR PR

Danica Patrick drove a smooth, clean race and finished a respectable 13th in the Quicken Loans 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event Sunday at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. 

Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), scored her third top-15 finish of 2013. She finished eighth in February in the season-opening Daytona 500 and 12th in April at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.

“I think we caught some breaks out there,” Patrick said. “Yellows definitely helped us be able to get track position as far as closing up the gaps and being able to pit a few times. We tried to take right side (tires) and get track position early on. It just didn’t go well, and we just hadn’t gotten ourselves to a good place with the car that I could carry the speed that I needed to run with the (pack). It didn’t work out so well.

“We worked on it and got it better. At the end of the race, the last run was the best run I felt as far as the balance of the car, which I was surprised because we had fallen off a little bit at the end of the run before. We had only taken right-side tires again for a second time. It’s nice to just get a decent finish for the team and for GoDaddy. It’s been rough going since Martinsville. This will hopefully get everyone’s head up a little bit, and we will go on. I think we have been strong lately. We just needed to have days like today where we finished it off.”

Crew chief Tony Gibson was pleased with Patrick’s first Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan.

“We had a really good car all day,” Gibson said. “She did a really nice job. We were a little loose to start, but once we got that fixed, we were definitely a top-15, top-20 car. We tried to stay on the same track position as all the other leaders and make sure we didn’t get ourselves in a bad position. And then we let her do the rest. It was a good day for us. She drove hard. Johnny (Klausmeier, race engineer) and all the guys did a great job with the fuel. It all worked out. It was good team work today. I’m proud of Danica and everybody on the GoDaddy Chevy. It’s a good weekend to build on to head to Sonoma.”

Patrick’s teammate Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, finished fifth to score his 12th top-five in 29 career Sprint Cup starts at the 2-mile oval. It was also his third top-five this season.

The third member of SHR, Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet for SHR, finished 18th.

Greg Biffle won the Quicken Loans 400 to score his 19th career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his fourth at Michigan.

Kevin Harvick finished 2.989 seconds behind Biffle in the runner-up spot, while Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch and Stewart rounded out the top-five. Matt Kenseth, Clint Bowyer, Carl Edwards, Joey Logano and Jeff Burton comprised the remainder of the top-10.

There were eight caution periods for 38 laps, with seven drivers failing to finish the 200-lap race.

With round 15 of 36 complete, Stewart continues to lead the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He moved up three spots to 10th and has 417 points, 121 back of series leader Jimmie Johnson and two points ahead of 11th-place Paul Menard. Newman maintained his 18th-place standing and has 389 points, 149 out of first and 28 behind Stewart. Patrick picked up one spot to 27th-place in the standings and has 277 points, 261 behind Johnson and 140 away from Stewart.

Eleven races remain before the 12-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Only the top-10 in points are locked into the Chase. Positions 11 and 12 in the Chase are wild cards, awarded to the two drivers between 11th and 20th in points with the most wins. If multiple drivers have the same number of wins, a driver’s point standing serves as the tiebreaker.

Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished three spots ahead of Stenhouse, who placed 16th.

The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Toyota/Save Mart 350k on Sunday, June 23 at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway. The race starts at 3 p.m. EDT, with live coverage of the road-course event provided by TNT beginning with its pre-race show at 2 p.m.

TSC PR

Roush Fenway Racing’s Trevor Bayne flirted with first place several times throughout today’s Alliance Truck Parts 250 before securing his third NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) Top-5 finish in as many races.  Bayne and the No. 6 team battled to the end in the ROUSH CleanTech Ford Mustang, crossing the finish line in fifth place at Michigan International Speedway.

“I thought we were going to get that 1,000th win for Ford Racing to be honest,” said Bayne after climbing out of the car. “The car just got too loose. A couple guys got by me and it got real sketchy, otherwise I think we would have had a shot at the No. 7 car of Regan Smith.”

Bayne challenged for the lead early, before dropping back as the car’s handling freed up.  Just before the 100-lap mark, Bayne was running in ninth-place when the caution flag flew.  The team earned him a spot with a fast two-tire stop, and Bayne was able to rally up to third place on the restart.

As the laps wound down, the chassis got looser and Bayne fought to hold his position.

“They were better than us at the end of the run but (crew chief) Mike Kelley did a good job getting our track position back after we got loose there that one time,” said Bayne. “It stinks we didn’t get the win this weekend but we will keep fighting hard.”

Fighting earned Bayne another 39 points for his fifth-place finish and moved him up two spots in the NNS standings, leaving him 88 points behind NNS leader Regan Smith.

Bayne will return to the track for the first NNS road course of the season next week in Wisconsin where they No. 6 car will be sporting the Valvoline NextGen paint scheme for the second time in 2013.

RFR PR

X

No right click

Please link the article.