Thursday, Aug 11
Early in Happy Hour on Saturday afternoon, Austin Dillon put a speed up of 194.301 mph, a half-tenth of a second quicker than second place. 

Michigan is Dillon's "favorite racetrack." The last time the Cup Series sped around the 2.0-mile oval, the No. 3 car was out front for 19 laps after starting in the back and picking up a fourth-place finish. 

Brad Keselowski, hometown driver, was second on the leader board in the final  session at 194.013 mph. He has never recorded a victory at his home track. 

Jimmie Johnson was third on the board at 193.851 mph. Trevor Bayne led Roush Fenway Racing in fourth at 193.778 mph and Pocono winner, Kurt Busch completed the top five at 193.741 mph. 

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Martin Truex, Jr. Kyle Larson, pole-sitter Joey Logano and AJ Allmendinger rounded out the top 10. 

Ryan Blaney was the fastest rookie on Saturday, while his nemesis, Chase Elliott was 21st on speed, running 47 laps, the most of all drivers. The 20-year-old got into the wall with about 10 minutes remaining, scuffing up the right rear of the car. The No. 24 car got back out on track to complete more laps. 

After posting the fastest time in opening practice Saturday morning, Carl Edwards was mired down in 17th at 192.947 mph. 3All four of the Joe Gibbs Racing cars were outside the top 10 with Denny Hamlin leading the train of drivers in 11th. 

38 cars took time in Happy Hour. Truex led the way on best 10 lap averages at 191.991 mph. He had a pair of third-place finishes last season at Michigan.

The 400-mile race is scheduled to begin shortly after 1:00 p.m. ET on Sunday. Last year, Busch was victorious in a rain-shortened event.
For the second time in his Sprint Cup Series career, Joey Logano will start from the pole at the Michigan International Speedway. The last time he did so was in 2013, he went on to lead 51 laps to secure his first victory with Team Penske. 

On Friday, Logano swept all three rounds of qualifying. The No. 22 car pole-winning speed was 199.557 mph, almost two-tenths of a second faster than second-place. 

"It just feels really good because the last couple weeks we've come in second in the final round," Logano said of his fast lap. "We've been qualifying really well with this No. 22 car, we just haven't had the pole. It's nice to finally pull through and get a pole with this new package. It really goes to show how good Team Penske is at preparing cars from the shop and really not knowing what they're coming to and we have great adjustability and a fast car." 

Logano started first at Martinsville in April when he was lapped in the opening segment of the race.

Martin Truex, Jr. turned the second fastest lap at 199.016 mph. Struggling in qualifying last week in Pocono, the Furniture Row Racing team made sure they put down a hot lap for Michigan. 

In his best start of 2016, Tony Stewart will start third. At 198.950 mph, it's his best start since Watkins Glen last season. 

Denny Hamlin will start from fourth at 198.774 mph with rookie Ryan Blaney rounding out the top five at 198.588 mph. The No. 21 car needed two attempts to even get out of round one, but rebounded to pick up his first top-five starting spot of 2016. 

Ryan Newman, Kyle Larson, Austin Dillon, Kyle Busch and Chase Elliott make up the top 10. 

Pocono pole-sitter, Brad Keselowski will start from 15th at his home racetrack. The defending winner of this event, Kurt Busch, will start in the next row at 17th. 

After having the fourth quickest time in the opening practice, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. qualified 27th on Friday. It's his ninth time this season that the No. 88 car had started the race from outside the top 20. 

Kevin Harvick was on the track twice when the session was paused is Round One, putting three cycles on his tires by the time he complete a timed lap. The first stoppage was for Jamie McMurray leaking a piece of debris. David Ragan brought out the second caution when he spun in Turn 3 and hit the outside wall. 

"The common sense was pretty low there on when to throw the caution," Harvick said of being out on track twice when the yellow flag flew during his qualifying run. "I think we were the only racecar on the racetrack and debris came up out of the groove. It is what it is. There's not much you can do about that. 

The No. 4 Chevrolet will begin the 400-mile event from 29th. 

There are two practice sessions on Saturday, the first beginning at 9:00 a.m. and Happy Hour starting shortly after noon.
After looking like he was going to pick up his first XFINITY Series victory last weekend in Charlotte, it took Kyle Larson just 53 laps to get it done in Pocono in the inaugural race at the venue in the series. 

In what was supposed to be the rain free day of the weekend, rain halted the racing 53 laps into the 100 laps race and by the NASCAR rule book, once the race is passed halfway it is deemed official if weather comes. Pole-sitter Erik Jones was closing in on Larson when the rain hit the race track. 

NASCAR waited an hour and 35 minutes before calling the event due to rain. Once the track was near dry it began to pour, which led the series director to call the remainder of the race. 

Larson led on several different occasions for a total of 27 circuits. It marks the Chip Ganassi Racing drivers' fourth career win in 82 XFINITY Series starts, and his second career win at Pocono, winning an ARCA event two years ago. 

"I'm happy with it," Larson said of the rain coming in and ending the race. "We were good, a little bit better than i thought we would be. We were more comparable to the Gibbs cars than I thought we would be based off practice and qualifying." 

Jones finished second on the afternoon after starting from pole, but never leading a lap. For the majority of the 53 laps the No. 20 car was in the runner-up position, first chasing his teammate Kyle Busch then chasing Larson. He felt like this race was another race that she let slip away. 

"We had by far one of the best cars in the field today, so it's unfortunate," Jones said of his second-place effort. "Our Camry was good, but just not enough time t get back to the lead and have a shot at it. It's pretty frustrating because this whole year has been a season of just missing it by that much. We missed it in a couple races by penalties and circumstances and today was another one of those days where we had another good shot at the win, but with the way it played out it just didn't work out for us." 

Ty Dillon finished third, posting his fourth top-five finish of 2016. 

After leading the opening 16 laps, Busch couldn't get back through traffic to take the lead back after making a pit stop under the first caution flag. Finishing fourth on the afternoon, he felt that the team was a step behind. 

Joey Logano rounded out the top five after getting off-sequence with the competition. 

Elliott Sadler, Paul Menard, Brandon Jones, Daniel Suarez and Alex Bowman rounded out the top 10. 

Brennan Poole finished 12th, ending a streak of four consecutive top 10 finishes, which is a career-high in his rookie season. 

On Lap 20, Justin Allgaier made contact with the wall in the "Tunnel Turn" which resulted in a 39th-place finish. The No. 7 team dropped to seventh in the points after starting the race third in the standings. 

The series is set to return to action next Saturday at Michigan, where Busch is the defending winner of the event, which was his first race back in the XFINITY Series after his leg injuries last February in Daytona. .
The inaugural XFINITY Series qualifying session at Pocono Raceway was held Saturday morning where it was broken into two rounds of single-car runs, much like the restrictor plate tracks of Daytona and Talladega. 

For the fifth time in 2016, Erik Jones will start from the pole in an XFINITY Series race. In the second round of qualifying he laid down a lap of 175.926 mph, which was much faster than the rest of the field. In the first round of qualifying the No. 20 Toyota was over a half-second faster than second-place. 

Kyle Busch has been fast since the No. 18 team unloaded on Thursday. He was second overall at 175. 203 mph. His only win at Pocono in NASCAR came last summer when he won in the Camping World Truck Series. 

The third Joe Gibbs Racing driver, Daniel Suarez was third quick at 174.784 mph. It his 12th top-10 start of 2016, in 12 events. 

Kyle Larson was fourth at 173.568 and Joey Logano rounded out the top five at 172.781 mph. 

Elliott Sadler was sixth, Paul Menard seventh, Ty Dillon eighth, Justin Allgaier ninth and Alex Bowman rounded out the top 10. 

The top 12 cars in the second round of qualifying were separated by two seconds. 


Notable drivers to miss the top 12 cutoff were a pair of rookies led by Brennan Poole who posted the 13th best lap, with Brandon Jones 14th, Cup Series driver Aric Almirola 16th and Brendan Gaughan 17th. 

Darrell Wallace, Jr. was the second to last car to attempt a qualifying lap in the opening round. The No. 6 Ford got loose getting into the corner and went for a long spin, keeping it off the wall. In doing so, Bowman was on track for his warm up lap and had to pull his car into the pits to cool the engine down.

Bowman posted the eight fastest lap even with a hot engine, while Wallace will have to come from the rear as he never made a full lap. 

The green flag is set to wave shortly after 1:00 p.m. ET.
The theme of the NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Charlotte was hot and slick. Denny Hamlin outlasted all the chaos to record his first victory of 2016. 

With less than 40 laps to go Hamlin had to go to the rear for an uncontrolled tire during a pit stop under caution. 
It took the No. 18 car just over 30 laps to get up to third after restarting 14th.

Then a caution flew with under two laps to go and changed the entire outcome of the 300-mile race. 

Hamlin's JGR teammate and pole-sitter Erik Jones brought out a caution when he cut down a right front tire, pounding the outside wall. The No. 18 team decided to come down and put four tires on their machine, while the two race leaders stayed out. 

On the green-white-checkered finish, Hamlin grabbed the lead coming to the white flag where he wouldn't look back en route to JGR's seventh win of the season in the series. 

"It was a second opportunity," Hamlin said of his victory. "I was hoping  for that caution there and the end and we got it. We were able to get four tires and took off. It was a little closer than I thought, we were just really right in those last couple of laps."

Austin Dillon was the first off pit road taking just two tires after the final caution. He gained one position in the final two laps, finishing in the runner-up position.

After leading 58 laps and being one of two drivers to stay out under the late race caution, Joey Logano came home third. This is his second top-five finish in five races this season in the No. 22 car, which is still looking for its first victory as a team.

"We had a car that was capable of winning if circumstances were right," Logano said of his third-place effort. "I thought I was going to have a good restart next to [Kyle] and I thought if we cleared him, like we did, we would have a shot. It was just really hard to hold off those four tires." 

In his second career start Cole Custer came home with a fourth-place finish. His JR Motorsports teammate, Justin Allgaier rounded out the top five. 

Kyle Larson made a bold move in Turn 3 of the final lap going for the win, but came up short and hit the outside wall. It cost him dearly as he finished sixth after leading 46 laps. 

Larson was the leader of the race when the final caution flag flew and the No. 42 team decided to stay out. Going into the final set of corners he had a shot at the victory, but came up short of his third career XFINITY Series triumph. 

"I didn't get a great take-off and Joey [Logano] got around me and was sucking on my door," Larson said of the final restart. "Denny [Hamlin] gave me a shot and i was surprised at how much grip I had. It's pretty hard to beat four tires." 

Rookie Brandon Jones finish seventh, with RCR teammate Ty Dillon eighth, Brennan Poole ninth and Brendan Gaughan rounded out the top 10. 

There were eight cautions in the race for 54 laps. In the two races combined at Charlotte in 2015, there were just six cautions total in 600 miles of competition. 

On Lap 25, a caution flew and took out three of the first six drivers in the running order after they slid through some oil on the track in Turn 3. 

It started when pole-sitter, Jones was making a move on race leader Hamlin, but slid in the oil and made contact with the wall. From there his JGR teammate, Daniel Suarez slid and had his car saved until coming back up the track into the wall where he was met by Elliott Sadler. All three drivers went at least one lap down

Suarez rebounded to finish 12th, while Sadler came home 28th and Jones 31st. 

Next weekend, the XFINITY Series will tackle Pocono Raceway for the first time in series history. 
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