>>Announcer: Earlier this week NASCAR lost
one of its true legends with the passing of buddy baker, a NASCAR hall of fame nominee
his career spanned seven decades thrilling fans with on-track excellence and later as
a broadcaster — educating and entertaining with passion, knowledge and unparalleled story
telling. Whether behind the steering wheel or a microphone baker’s genuine love for the
sport endeared him to generations of NASCAR fans. We ask that you please join us in a
moment of silence as we honor the gentle giant, buddy baker. [ Silence ] Please remain standing as father
Jeff rose offers our invocation.>>We thank you for a beautiful day at M.I.S.
As we gather for the race we pause to honor three race staff who are with us in June and
have since died. Duane Barnes, BOB dowd and Steve Lyle. Over 35 years of service to this
great track. We pray for their family and friends. Keep our drivers and teams safe as
they compete today. We ask this with faith, hope and love, amen.
>>Amen!>>Here to perform the star-spangled banner
welcome Michigan’s very own Gina Irene aschuto. other the ramparts we watched
were so gallantly streaming and the rocket’s red glare
the bombs bursting in air Gave proof through the night
that our flag was still there O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
oer the land of the free and the home of the brave>>>An incredible crowd on hand. That man,
Kyle Busch, just on top of the top 30 in points. But he has not had success here. The last
four races he finished outside the top 30.>>And the weekend itself hasn’t gone the
greatest. Practice, accident. Had to start last in the backup car. Going to be a tall
tale starting from the rear.>>Another guy who looked good in practice
but has to go to the back because of an engine change, Austin Dillon.
>>He did a good job qualifying. Change the engine, back of the back.
>>Kyle Busch and Austin Dillon, we’ll watch to see if they can make it from the back to
the front to potentially get a win in Michigan. The command coming up next.>>Time for sprint cup series racing from
Michigan international speedway. A gorgeous afternoon in the Irish hills as the drivers
have strapped into their race cars and getting ready for the most famous words in auto racing.
Getting a few last minute reminders and notes as to what will take place on the track. Before
they fire the engines we have to hear the command. Let’s go trackside now.
>>Now for the most famous words in motor sports please welcome executive director for
the Michigan chapter of the paralyzed veterans of America, Michael Harris.
>>On behalf of the paralyzed veterans of America it’s with great honor that I say the
three most famous words in motor sports — drivers, start your engines!
[ Cheers ] [ Radio traffic ]
>>The high drag race package on question. What will it look like on the restarts or
the main start?>>>Welcome to Michigan international speedway. 70 miles
from motor city, Detroit, Michigan. Getting ready to go 400 miles here around this two-mile
racetrack. Take a look at the starting grid. Up front Matt Kenseth wins the pole alongside
his teammate. His first in Michigan.>>Row two, we have two time winner.
>>Kyle Busch has to go to the rear of the field. He’ll start in the backup car.
>>In four, Kevin Harvick has been runner up in four of the last five races here. He
has a win. It was way back in 2010.>>In row five we have two drivers with past
wins, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., and Joey Logano. Row six, two drivers staring at the chase
bubble cut line. Kasey kahne below and Clint bowyer above. Both looking for a win to secure
a spot in the playoffs.>>In row 7, Brad keselowski. No michigan-born
driver has ever won at Michigan. He wants to change that today.
>>Row 8, Sam Hornish, Jr., and the winner in June here, Kurt Busch.
>>Row 9, ryaman and Jamie Mcmurray.>>In 10, a four-time Michigan winner, Greg
Biffle looking for a win to get in the chase. Let’s talk to him.
>>Hi, Greg. Jeff Burton in the NBCSN booth. You with us?
>>Got you, Jeff.>>There’s been a lot of talk about the package.
What do you think will happen today?>>Like you said, we haven’t been grouped
up yet with 20 cars around us. We don’t know what to expect. We think it will be a little
bit loose in traffic and tight by ourselves. I have been around a few cars, but not this
ma many. It will be exciting.>>Tell us your thoughts for today and the
team.>>I feel good about it. Our final practice
we were decent on speed. Ran around the 20 car on the pole. We felt we hung with him
on the new set of tires. We think for track position we may be able to run with the guys.
>>Good luck. Have a good day.>>Thanks.
>>We’ll be riding along with different drivers including Greg Biffle. Also, 13 of Casey Mears
carrying the in-car camera. That’s the Geico car. He’ll start 40th on the field. Greg Biffle,
we just heard from. Starting 20th with the sprint on board. Starting 12. The 15 of Clint
bowyer and the 5-hour energy on board camera. Joey Logano in the 22 starts tenth with the
Coca-Cola in-car camera. Dale Earnhardt, Jr., carrying a camera. That’s the Chevrolet camera.
He’ll start ninth today.>>Kevin Harvick starting 7th, has the Jimmy
Johns in-car camera. Second row, starting third with the Toyota on board driven by Carl
Edwards. The field is working their way around Michigan international speedway. To find out
more of the storylines we are going to be following let’s go to pit road and Mike macero.
>>It’s been a rough couple of weeks for Kasey kahne. A finish of 43rd in pocono, 42nd in
Watkins Glen. He’s dropped way down the chase grid. So much he said his only chance of making
the chase is to win a race. To do it today will take a total team effort. Not just the
5 team. He said they were practiced Saturday, so much that they went to the 48 team, the
hen trick motor sports teammates, Jimmie Johnson. They took their set-up information Abt and
put it in the car today. Kasey kahne hopes that will lead to pure Michigan glory today.>>A.J. Allmendinger didn’t win a chase winner
last week. He said today isn’t out of the question. It’s the best race car this weekend
and he said we have listened to A.J. And put things on the car he was asking for even if
they were way outside the box. I said how far out? He said way out. Kelly?
>>Four wins and a runner-up finish in the last seven races. Tile bush is 30th in points
and chase-eligible. After damaging his car Kyle was forced to move to the backup. He
qualified sixth and will start from the rear of the field. The team works hard to do a
wholesale rebuild to the car. The crew chief said there is no excuse for a bad day. He
said, if we are clean on pit road and stay out of trouble on track there is nothing preventing
us from a top 5 finish. Marty?>>This morning in prerace inspection the
splitters on the front of the car for Brad keselowski and Joey Logano didn’t pass inspection.
Both teams were forced to replace the splitters. Talked to Paul wolf. He said it won’t be a
factor for the team at all. Brad keselowski told me, what will be a factor today is the
heat. He told me it might be the hottest they have seen inside a race car this afternoon
with this new high drag package. Also passing. He said it might be more difficult than it’s
been in 15 years keselowski told me which will make restarts critical, crazy and chaotic.
Restarts should be fun to watch. We get to see one in a moment.
>>Absolutely. Right at the top of the race. We saw a speedy drive going down. The track
looking at that. Want to look at the particles of Michigan international speedway. Two miles
in length, 18 degrees banking on the corners, 12 on the front stretch. Relatively flat back
stretch at 5 tigers. The frontstretch length 3600 feet. The backstretch, 2242. Want to
look at today’s sunoco fuel strategy. 200 laps, 400 miles. 45 miles per hour on
pit road. The sunoco fuel window between 39 and 42 laps.
>>I think 39 to 42 laps is important here. You think of Michigan, track position and
stretching the fuel mileage. The teams have to decide early. We have a competition caution
at lap 20.>>Competition caution. There was fluid on
the track during the truck race yesterday. They had to clean it. Now there was fluid
put down by the 98 once they started rolling he rolled around the apron. They will want
to clean that up. They will add a couple of pace laps before we get the green. We’ll take
a break. We’ll be right back.>>>A little bit warmer today than the past
two days in Brooklyn, Michigan. Because of that, we are going to see elevated temperatures
as we look at the thermometer in the 13 car of the Geico thermometer. The 13 car of Casey
Mears. We have seen temperatures upwards of around
120, 125 degrees, probably going to be a little bit higher once the race gets under way. They
have done a few things to try to keep it cooler in the cockpit for the drivers.
>>Let’s keep in mind with the package, the cars in the path don’t have the air going
to them they have had in the past. It’s not intentionally to make the drivers hot. But
because of the rear fascia extension, the spoilers the cars are hot, sealed off to the
ground. Looking at the 13 you see the green splitter in the front, how close it is to
the ground. There is no air under the cars. The cars will be really hot. Marty?
>>The highest temperature seen in the cars yesterday was 125 thanks to our thermometer.
Remember we had it in at Indianapolis. We saw temperatures around 140. Certainly warm
inside the car for the guys. You mentioned the extra cooling. They have added what they
call naca ducts on the windows. Two little holes and Casey said it helps to flow air
to the driver. Crew chiefs don’t like to do that but NASCAR mandated they be open this
week. That made a tremendous difference for the drivers inside the car.
>>Crew chiefs don’t want that. That’s why NASCAR took it out of their hands, made it
the same for everyone. That’s the best way to address the issue. Make everyone run more
air to the driver because the crew chiefs are selfish. If we thinwe can have an advantage
we would take the gamble and seal them up.>>We are watching the 3 and the 18 drop to
the back of the field. The reason for these two going to the back, the 3 had an engine
change. The 18, it was this yesterday in practice.>>Turn four.
>>Coming off turn four, everything’s fine, gets loose. Similar to what we saw in the
first race where he overcorrected and got into the wall. He let it spin. When it got
to the grass it destroyed the front end of the car. Forced him into a backup car.
>>Because of them going to a backup and having to go to the back of the field at the start
of the race he’ll be outside the top 30 in points again which means he’s not in the chase
anymore.>>It’s something we’ll watch today and for
four weeks through Richmond. It’s that close. Close for all the guys. Don’t think he’s the
only one looking at it. Guys around the bubble are watching Kyle Busch’s progress. He moves
the bubble line. That’s what makes it. You win, you’re in. You guaranteed a spot in.
You have to be in the top 30.>>I know we are ready to drop the green flag
on the race. Talking to all the drivers you heard Greg Biffle say they are nervous about
driving into turn one. They will span out all over the place. They haven’t been in this
many — around this many cars. They are all nervous about it. He went from row 3 to the
back.>>Looks like he’ll give him a little extra
room. He’s way back behind the field. His teammates are on the front row. Hamlin on
the inside. Pole winner, Matt Kenseth. The green flag is in the air. We are racing in
Michigan. Around early into the apron is the 55, David Ragan slides to the apron back in
front of the field.>>Just spun around here. And the caution
comes out before they get out of turn one.>>Wasn’t that bad.
>>There he is. Kyle Busch was so far behind the pack. He was a half a straight away behind
the last car. He anticipated the wreck. He said, Jeff, they will wreck on lap one. I’m
telling you. That’s why he was so far back. Smart move.
>>He knows there is a competition caution. He’s confident he won’t lose a lap. We talk about the points and making the chase.
He has the wins. He needs a point. A crash early would be devastating to the 18.
>>Look what happened through turn one. David Ragan in the 55.
>>He’s on the bottom of the racetrack. Car comes around. The car on the outside of you
is always pulling air off. When you have great big spoilers, rear fascia, the change between
being behind and next to somebody is really big. It pulled all the downforce off the car
and Ragan lost it.>>With the big rear spoiler you depend on
side force which is the right rear quarter panel. You are leaning on it like a crutch
in the corner. When a car goes to the outside they kick that crutch out from under you.
You lose the grip, the right rear slides and that’s what happened with Ragan.
>>He was loose almost before the corner. Really early in the corner he was loose. Think
about it. This is on a start. They are not running 199, 198 miles an hour yet. This is
at the start of the race. As speed picks up it will get worse.
>>There you go. Spin on the bottom there. Nice job.
>>David Ragan bringing out the fist caution.>>All four tires are up. David said it felt
bad like I had a flat but as he came to pit road the crew said they could see the tires
weren’t down. So there is a feeling that a lot of guys didn’t know what they would have
when they got all 43 cars together. That was a two by two incident, the air he took off
that you talked about may have been a big factor.
>>Without a doubt. The air is the big factor. It’s the unknown. Kyle Busch had a plan from
the start of the race. He was on the radio a moment ago.
>>You won that bet.>>All righty.ów1 we mentioned he was way
back there. Look how far back Kyle Busch was at the start.
>>This is Kyle Busch. He’s famous for three wide, getting into turn one on restart. He’s
half a straight away behind on the drop of the green flag. I disagreed with him last
night. I said, man, it’s the first lap. Everybody’s going to take their time. He was right.
>>What will the next lap at 145 be like? This will be interesting to watch.
>>The banking in the turns is 18 degrees. But right down — you mentioned this when
you were driving around in the Toyota car for NBCSN. You said down right next to the
white line there isn’t much banking. There is less banking.
>>There is less banking at the bottom of the racetrack. Definitely less against the
white line than a groove up the racetrack.>>Kyle Busch will obviously restart in the
back again. We’ll try again when we return. Matt Kenseth in front of the field.
>>>Welcome back to the pure Michigan 400. NASCAR mobile is the best way to follow your
favorite drivers, watch live in-car cameras and listen to driver in-car audio. Go to nascar.com/mobile.
Marty Snyder.>>Told you before the race Brad keselowski
promised the restarts would be crazy. The start of the race was that. Joey Logano with
the conversation with his spotter tab Boyd about keeping him updated on the starts and
restarts.>>And the people in front of you how much
of a gap they have and whatnot.>>I’m backed up. Pushed itself on. I can’t
see. Just like daytona. White track. Be ready.>>Jeff, they talk about not being able to
see. The spoiler on the car in front is so big it’s hard to see through it especially
on the restarts when the cars are packed together like that.
>>Absolutely. Two by two once again. This time it’s Jimmy Johnson on the inside. Kenseth
on the outside. Trying it again. Green flag back in the air. Great restart by the 48.
He stays on the inside of the 20. He looks to the inside of Joey Logano. Edwards. Trying
to keep it right on the white line. Difficult to do already, we are seeing.
>>You’ve got to know the drivers are nervous driving under somebody. Harvick made a bold
move getting into turn three. Got about three cars in the corner.
>>Bowyer on the outside. Edwards down low again. Behind him, the 14, Tony Stewart. Edwards making the pass on Clint bowyer. Two
wide down the back stretch. The high drag package punching a hole in the air for guys
behind, especially those going two by two.>>The fut back you are in the pack the worst
it drives. The guys out front, their cars aren’t driving great. The guys in the middle,
the cars aren’t driving well at all. There is no air put on the cars.
>>Matt Kenseth in front of Jimmie Johnson. Hamlin, Logano and Edwards the top five. The
18 of Kyle Busch in the mix. Behind Alex bowman in the 7. This time on this restart he was
closed into the back of the pack.>>He wanted to lay back and be safe. Can’t
lay back all day. He has to overtake some dars. He’s working through the field slowly.
>>The big advantage is he knows there Is doesn’t want to be a lap down. With the caution
coming in the near future he knows it and uses it to his advantage.
>>Harvick to the inside of Tony Stewart, teammates racing for position. Harvick continues
to move forward. Now up to 7th for Kevin Harvick. He’ll be chasing after the 15 of Clint bowyer
who is just in front of him. The 2 of Brad keselowski closes the gap between himself
and Tony Stewart. Multiple lines here. Jeff, you mentioned it with the good on-track report.
Many lines to choose from. You have to decide when you enter the turn.
>>If you try to run the top you have to enter on the top. Can’t run the middle and let the
car go up. We have debris on the track. I’m not sure what that was. You have to commit
if you are running the top, bottom or middle on corner entry. You can’t do it at the corner. You have to
hold a constant radius.>>A little bit of debris on the track but
we stay green. See if NASCAR will make a decision about that piece on the track.
>>Debris at turn three, gang.>>They called it debris. Caution called now
for the second time.>>A lot of them hope to get to the competition
caution without another restart. Now that they have been around other cars they can
go in and make a change to the car. They were planning to do it with the competition caution.
I don’t think they will pit at this point.>>The competition caution scheduled for around
lap 20. This is the second caution of the day already.>>>You can get news, results and highlights
in your in-box. Subscribe to the official NASCAR newsletter at nascar.com/newsletter.
Initially it was the 98 of Timmy hill that put fluid on the apron. Through turns one
and two and down the backstretch. That’s the 98 of hill and there is the oil drain pan.
That’s not attached to a race car, by the way.
>>I don’t think NASCAR will be happy with that.
>>A couple drivers took advantage of the caution and came to pit road. Kelli?
>>Kyle Busch was one of them. Why not? They have nothing to lose. They brought them down
pit road. They took their measurements, made sure everything is. They noticed wear on the
right rear skirt. Kyle asked them to tighten it up a little
bit. No tires, no fuel. Just a couple of adjustments, Mike.
>>Austin Dillon pitted on the stop. He had to go to the back of the field. Made it to
36. Good job by slugger to bring him in, put on fresh tires. See what sets up when the
caution comes up. Maybe two tires, maybe no tires and fuel only.
>>Or every at lap 20. I wouldn’t be shocked if we didn’t see the 3 come in. Trying to
break up the race a timpbt way. When you start at the back you have to do something off sequence
to get to the front. Slugger is an aggressive guy. Wouldn’t shock me.
>>One of the rule about Koch technician caution is you can’t put in fuel until the competition
caution. That changes the strategy of some of the teams which we saw the 3 and 18 on
pit road. Final checks once again. We already completed 12 laps. Starting the 13th. Green
flag back in the air.>>You already see how important it is with
the drag package to have help. The 22 pushed the 20 into turn one. Look at the lead the
20 will have off turn two.>>Hamlin was on the inside. He continues
to fall back. The inside line on the restarts, very difficult. Hamlin started the race second.
Now has fallen back to fourth. He’s fighting back now on the bottom of the track. Three
wide. Coming out of turn number four. They stay three wide across the stripe and into
turn number one. Will they sort it out or stay three wide? They do.
>>It’s so hard where Newman was to get into the corner. He did the right thing falling back in line.
It’s like racing if you lose the momentum the top lane, you could lose three to five
spots.>>Bowyer able to get by the 11 of deny Hamlin.
Holding onto the fourth spot. Hamlin all over his back bumper. We saw the car behind another
car affect the way the front car handled. We saw it earlier in practice. The 15 of Clint
bowyer. Potentially a win to get into the chase, Mike.
>>Speaking with the crew chief they were optimistic with the package they can get the
job done. He knew everybody would be loose. He felt, relative to the competition, the
car was less loose than most. We can see as he navigates that might be the case. Meanwhile
the guy in front of him, Jimmie Johnson is saying he’s been loose throughout the course
of the run. Jack got on the radio to say keep the car as close to the front as possible.
The farther you go back the looser the car will get.
>>Good strategy by the crew chief, keep it to the front.
>>It’s obvious you want to be toward the front but especially with this package. Cars
are talking about how loose they are. Track position could mean more today than Normal.
If you are third versus 15th that’s a huge difference in how the car drives. The other
thing is how do you adjust the car? If you are in 15th you have a handling problem you
won’t have in third. If you have adjusted the car running third and you fall back you
have a completely different problem.>>The battle between the 78 of martin Truex,
Jr., and the 11 of Hamlin is a perfect example of Michigan. Unlike Indianapolis when there
is only one way through the corner there are at least two, possibly later three lanes as
it widens out toward the top. The 78 is faster. He continued to chase the white line. Hamlin ran the middle line allowing the 78
to complete the pass.>>We heard drivers talk about it being possible
to pass. Truex was 22nd. If you have a fast car you can pass. Not that you can’t but you
have to have a better race car. That’s one of the things so hard about passing. The cars
are equal in speed. Truex started 22nd and he’s running 5th in 18 laps.
>>Greg Biffle just in front of Kyle Larson. Two drivers really need to get a win to make
it into the chase. Jeff Gordon already in the top 16 in points, but not locked in.
>>I love the point you made about someone is out there passing. I believe every time
you come to a track with a rules change, any sort of adversity, anything different for
the field. What’s the mindset coming in? Someone will leave Michigan a winner. Someone today
at the end of 400 miles will be a winner. These guys, Greg Biffle in the 16. Kyle Larson
in the 42. They need it to be them to punch a ticket into the chase. Jeff Gordon also
looking for the win. The mindset, approach to the race needs to be that someone will
win. Why not you? Be open-minded and continue to work on the car.
>>Kyle Larson with the restart. Moves ten spots. Now make it 11 if he gets by the 16.
Excuse me. Was at 9. Now moves up to 10. He and almirola have passed ten cars. There are
guys making a move to the front.>>No question. It’s difficult. The race is
supposed to be difficult. These are good cars you have to pass. There are cars making it
happen. Ten spot, ten spot, seven spot. That’s a lot of people to pass since the restart
and not many laps.>>Matt Kenseth in front with a two-second
lead over Logano, Johnson, bowyer, Truex the top five. Hamlin back to sixth. Carl Edwards,
Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., the top ten. You see Jeff Gordon — the
competition caution comes out. Now the teams have to decide if it’s way too
loose how to fix that, crew chief.>>That’s really the challenge. The challenge
is why are you loose? If you’re loose because you don’t have enough wedge or dynamic set-up
in the car crank on the wedge to fix it. If you are loose because of aerodynamics tough
to adjust that. If I go to pit road and tighten it up and next thing you know you have clean
air and the car won’t make the corner because it’s tight, that’s the challenge. Today is
about compromise. Who has the best car in and out of traffic. Even the leaders will
be lapping cars and will find traffic. It’s only two miles and 43 cars out there. They
will all have somebody in front of them.>>Even if you think four tires are better
than two or two better than none, are you better off with track position or a better
handling car? Track position fixes a lot of things. The drivers have to communicate. I
have to tell the crew chief this is a problem I’ve got. Don’t get me in 15. Put four tires
on the car will hurt me, not help me. That’s a communication the truck driver and crew
chief have to have. Every car is different. No formula works for every car.
>>If you pit now you will not start on the front row. Someone is staying out to get the
track position. Maybe Austin Dillon. They put tires on. He’s in 42nd. Maybe slugger
stays out to try to get track position.>>Who will gamble and stay on? Quite a few
are ducking to pit road. Mike?>>Jimmie Johnson says the car is loose off
turn two into three. It appears to be a right sides only. The 15 of bowyer going right sides
only. The balance is neutral.>>Joey Logano, bottom left of the screen
says the car is tight, especially in three and four. It gets worse every lap. Planning
on a two-tire stop for Logano. Bottom right is Matt Kenseth. Two tires for him as well. He said he needs more overall grip. Needs
to lean on the car more. Three and four looks like Logano wins the race off pit road.
>>We take a look at the race off pit road from Geico. Kenseth, Logano, keselowski, Hamlin,
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., the top five off pit road.>>>Welcome back to Michigan international
speedway as the competition caution has come out and was the third caution of the day already.
Austin Dillon in the 3 decided to stay on the track. They put tires on the car in the
previous caution. We’ll see if they can stay out front now. Back to racing in Michigan.
The 48 of Jimmie Johnson making it 3 wide as they go to turn one. Will the momentum
keep the 3 in front? Kenseth hanging onto the bottom. Not able to. He’s up the track
so Dillon hangs on to the lead on the restart.>>We have seen the dominant lane on the restarts.
>>They had to change a motor and went to the back to start. Now through pit strategy
they have moved into the lead. We have Lee wide for second.
>>Logano way up the track. Kenseth got around him. That slowed down the
momentum. He lost three or four spots.>>Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., second
and third. Brad keselowski falls behind the 15 of Clint bowyer. Clint bowyer, one of the
bubble drivers has to get into the top 16 and stay there or potentially a win to lock
him in.>>Jimmie Johnson carrying a lot of speed.
The 78.>>Big move by Truex to the bottom of the
track trying to get by the 4 and 48. What a move by martin Truex, Jr. Is that a product
of the high drag package?>>Absolutely. What you are seeing is a guy
with momentum. They stalled one another. That’s not only hurting the cars but giving a big
drag to the 78 behind him.>>Race followed by martin Truex, Jr., to
get by the two cars. Mike?>>You know, Rick, I spoke with the crew chief
for the 78 this morning. He was rather optimistic, despite the fact that they were starting 22nd.
He felt they adapted the package well throughout the course of practice on Saturday afternoon.
What he did tell me is if we can get to the front we can contend for the win. Seem it
is concerns can be put to rest. They are moving fast to the front.
>>Once again he’s behind two cars. Can he take advantage of this and slingshot by once
again? Looks like he’ll work by the 41 as they go by the 11. Can he continue to make
the pass? No, the 41 will stay in front of him. Looks as though he’s found some opportunities
to get by other drivers when they go side by side in front of him, Jeff.
>>No question. Look at Truex behind Johnson, Harvick. Side
by side. That slows them down. Makes the left and goes clear. Like Steve talked about, two
cars side by side creates a tremendous amount of drag. We have seen side drafting at daytona
and talladega. When you pull next to somebody you slow them down. Here you slow them down,
get a run and try to clear both of them.>>Looks like he has a run now on Kurt Busch.
Gets right up to the back bumper.>>Patience is key. If you take the run before
it’s ready and lose momentum you lose a tremendous amount of time. Truex is being patient, trying
to get an advantage. There is something he’s feeling, a certain amount of run he needs.
>>You can see the 78 behind the 41 he got loose. The car wiggled a little bit. Now you
see him catching back into the corner. Loose behind a car but you gain back on the straight
away. Ultimately trying to keep the cars closer together.
>>Talk about information. Not just for the drivers but the crew chiefs. Look at Dillon
and the lead he has over the 20 of Kenseth. Crew chiefs are paying attention. First of
all, this is a shot in the arm for a race team. You want a car that can lead. Slugger
and Austin Dillon are proving that now. They put four tires on at lap 11. Stayed out of
20. They are at a big disadvantage for fuel but not at a disadvantage for speed. If I’m
a crew chief I’m making a note, I’m racing backwards, getting aggressive. Whatever I
can do to get track position late, even on old tires.
>>We predicted this when we hitted on lap 11 that they could stay out at the competition
caution. Exactly what they decided to do. He made it clear to Austin, push as hard as
you can. Get as far as you can from second place. Don’t save fuel. Don’t worry about
that. They have to pit around lap 40. They are hoping
for a caution. That’s coming up quick.>>If he gets a big enough lead, I don’t think
he has it. Michigan used to be a track you wouldn’t lose a lap on. Now they have repaved
it and they are going around so fast. We see Logano, Edwards. He has to lose a lap. The
bubble guys, you can’t sit back and wait for the race to fall in your lap. You want to
take the race away.>>If the caution comes out he’ll be a lap
down but won’t have to pit the next time. He’ll get a free pass. He’ll get back in the
lead lap. When that rule was inducted years ago it changed the strategy at some of the
racetracks. The penalty for pitting early and going a lap down isn’t near as big as
it used to be. When you have to win a race to get in the chase it’s a gamble worth taking
T. Risk isn’t that big.>>Austin Dillon a driver that’s outside the
top 16. If he can get a win, he could be in the chase. A car that’s classic in front of the field
has been Austin Dillon. They used pit strategy. He now has almost a three-second lead over
Matt Kenseth. We noticed heat might be an issue today because of the way the high drag
package works. We’ve got a thermometer on the 13 of Casey Mears. We look inside the
cockpit. Already, 154 degrees in the cockpit.>>You see here against the headrest, 154
already. It’s only 38 laps in the race. This will be a story as the race wears on. To continue
to run long green flags in the high heat will take a lot out of the drivers.
>>And it’s climbing. We have been watching for a while. It was 151 and in a few minutes
it’s 155. It will be interesting to see how high it gets. The drivers have to be in shape.
Find a way to get the water in, any fluid that’s good for them. Every driver has a different
opinion about what’s good for them. Got to put in fluids on this day.
>>He turned to the right there. Not a good sign. That has to get you warm under the collar
when Casey Mears has to turn back to the right going through the turn. Carl Edwards just
in front of the 78 of martin Truex, Jr. Truex had been really forging his way through the
field. Now looking to the inside of the 19. Trying to take that spot away. Out of the
front stretch. He has the advantage when they get to the start-finish line.
>>Trying to get as far as from the 19 as he can to create a buffer so he doesn’t try
to slow him down. The negative is the angle at which he has to approach the corner is
wrong. He enters low. He wants to enter the corner where Edwards did but he’s low. He
has to make a sharp corner turn in the middle of the corner.>>Look how big of a difference that is. He
goes all the way back about three car lengths. We see the 3 of Dillon has to come down to
pit road. He didn’t come to pit road during the competition caution. This is for fuel.
He’ll give up the lead to Matt Kenseth. Marty?>>As predicted Labbe said this is within
their window. It should be fine as long as this cycles out. They have to go two tires
for Dillon. He said the car handles so differently in front. Kelli?
>>Dale Earnhardt, Jr., in the 88, trying to hold off bowyer for the second position.
He’s having a hard time figuring out how to drive into the corners. We talked about the
dominance. I asked the crew chief where Hendrick motor sports has been coming up short. He
said this is cyclical. It’s the nature of the beast. I don’t know they always have the
best cars but they are executing and taking advantage of the opportunities when they present
themselves. He said, we just need to improve the drivability of the cars. They will be
back on track.>>Follow up on the strategy for the three.
We heard Marty Snyder say they took on fuel. That allowed a second and a half or two second
shorter pit stop. It put them out of the racetrack behind the leader of the 20. He lost a lap
but he’s in the lucky dog position. If the cooler tires prevail perhaps he can unlap
himself.>>And he’s out of the same pit cycle as everyone
else on the track. Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Clint bowyer, Joey Logano and Brad keselowski
the top five. Mike?
>>A moment ago, Rick, Eddie Dehaan radioed saying you have a little bit of trash on the
grill now. To which Alan gustavsson asked for temps. 240 water, 250 oil. They are watching
it closely. With this package and these situations when a driver normally wants to do is get
as close to a driver in front of them and have the debris blowing off. It’s difficult
with this package. Jeff may have an issue to pay attention to.
>>The 27 car is making progress. He’s passing cars for position since the restart. Isn’t
there an alliance between the 78 of Truex and the 27, rcr? They have made gains before
they got here in terms of how they will work the package. Looks like they have hit on something.
Menard is going the right way.>>Just a couple spots behind martin Truex,
Jr., running eighth. As you look at the chase bubble, points ahead of 17. Menard has a 76-point
lead. Newman in the 16th spot, 62 points ahead of 17. Right up against — the 20 against
the 47. The 47 got loose, came back down the racetrack.
>>You can see how loose the 47 is. Gets right behind, blows air on him. You can see how
much he had to work to keep the car straight. This is the story Steve talked about. Austin
Dillon is right behind Kenseth. If Austin could get in front that’s huge. That would
put him in the lead lap. He could pit on the same sequence as everybody with a caution.
That would be a big deal for Austin Dillon’s ability to win the race.
>>This excites me, Jeff. Dillon came out of pit road to the track a second and a half
or two behind the 20. He’s been able to run it down. Looks like
he’ll pass the 20. That’s more speed than I thought fresh tires would have. This is
unique. I didn’t know if he’d have a chance to unlap himself. He’s working hard at it.
>>Got a slow car on the back. It’s the 48 of Jimmie Johnson. The right rear tire looks
to be down. Right at the bottom of the track. Looked like the right rear tires would be
low.>>Jimmie Johnson has a tire going down. He’ll
come down pit road to make a change. Wiggle as he locks up the brakes going down pit road.
Hit hit mark and the team goes to work to make the change. Last time down pit road they
changed right sides only. They will go to the right and now to the left. A four-tire
change for Johnson and an airplane change. He was loose during the course of the run.
Although he didn’t tighten it up quite enough.>>You see them jumping over to see if there
was clearance on the tire. And they will check the right rear to find out what happened,
why it went down.>>You’re going to look for a hole in the
tread of the tire that was flat. Hit maybe on the side wall of the tire. When you ride
as far as Johnson did on the flat it does damage to the tire. Sometimes the evidence
isn’t as clear as you hoped it would be.>>Race leader Matt Kenseth working by some
of the slower cars on the track, putting Moore a lap down. Now the 3 of Austin Dillon, not
in the lucky dog position.>>>Welcome back to the Irish hills. Today’s
aerial coverage provided by our partners at smithfield foods. Biggest mover of the day
since the start of the race, Kyle Busch. He’s already made up 26 positions presented by
sprint. Big move. Kyle Busch, 26 spots. Marty, what’s
going on with the 13?>>It’s really hot inside the car. Casey Mears
upset because the engine had an issue. First he said the water pressure went to zero but
the car was running fine. Then the radiator hose was knocked off. They will try to replace
it but it looks like the damage probablile is done to the 13. Casey put the window net
down. Barker trying to salvage the day. Looks like it could be an early end for Mears. David
Reagan said at beginning I was a 4 to 5 loose. Now 2 to 3. He gets fuel and four tires. He’s
out of here.>>You see the green bars below some of the
drivers. On the top of the screen. Some of them will be yellow if they have a win. They
are in the top 30 in points they will have a green bar. If they are in the top 16 in
points without a win they will have a yellow bar under their names. As they run on the
track that means Kyle Busch is running in the 14th position. He’s in the top 30 in points
so he’ll have a green bar under his name being in the chase with four wins. Carl Edwards
in the 19. Another one of the drivers with a win and in the chase. Kelli?
>>He took two tires on the first stop. He started okay but says I am loose, loose and
getting worse in traffic. That’s what he said to the crew chief. They will give him four
new tires, pack him full of sunoco fuel.>>A little bit early, Steve, for coming in. They came on pit road on lap 22. We would
have expected them to go 40 laps. Five laps early.
>>Maybe a little bit early. How about 5? This is a perfect example of a mistake. Lost
track position. Doesn’t seem too early. Here’s the 78, Mike.
>>Martin Truex, Jr., saying he was loose in turn two over the course of the run. Only
two tires on the last stop. They will go in four here. Trying to get Truex off pit road
as quick as possible. Just over 13 seconds.>>For Kevin Harvick he said the car is erratic.
When by himself it feels one way. In traffic it feels a different way. Because of the fuel
load they will take four tires here. A patcher on the front and one wheel on the back. Kelli?
>>He said I can’t turn the wheel. It’s too tight. They will make an adjustment to help
out. Four fresh Goodyear tires and sunoco fuel. The 41 of Kurt Busch said it’s plowing
through. Using the track bar inside the car. The crew chief said it’s killing your center
but you need it. Four tires for Kurt Busch.>>Brad keselowski in the top ten. You will
see an adjustment for him. Four tires for the 2 car. Here comes Matt Kenseth down pit
road. He said when he was out front the car was fairly good. In traffic he felt loose.
He lapped a lot of traffic during the run for Kenseth. Four Goodyear tires for the man
who LED much of the run for Matt Kenseth.>>Dale Earnhardt, Jr., was running second.
He was just loose entering the turns. They talked about going back on an adjustment made
on the previous stop. They might leave it as is. Four tires for the 88.
>>Joey Logano said it is not as tight on this run as it was on the first run. Four tires going on. He said the front end
wouldn’t turn the longer they went in. A wedge adjustment to loosen up the 22 car, Rick.
>>.>>They race off pit road. Logano in front
of Ricky stenhouse, Jr., as we cycle through the pit stops. We’ll see how many end up on
the lead lap. Menard in as well as Larson. Dave?
>>Paul Menard is on pit road. Tight, early center. He had an rpm fluctuation and was
watching that. We’ll monitor that. He’ll get four Goodyear tires and full of sunoco fuel.
Marty?>>Larson said his car was loose like everybody
else in traffic. You see the big wedge adjustment for Kyle Larson and four tires for the 42
car. He said a little bit snug as the run went on.
>>Once again, cycling through green flag pit stops. This will help Austin Dillon move
up to the front as Jeff Gordon comes in. Mike?>>We saw a big piece of debris on the grill.
There is some there sticking to the grill. They will try to clean that. A four-tire change
expected for Gordon saying the car has been decent. They missed it. They missed it. The
debris is on the grill as he pulled away.>>You see that little bit of paper that’s
underneath at the lower part of the grill opening.
>>The crewman tried too quickly. I don’t think it is enough to hurt anything. It’s
not optimum. But the way it is, it’s thin and long. I don’t think it will block much.
>>Couple more cars on pit road including the 18 of Kyle Busch. Kyle once scored the
race leader. Kelli?>>Our big mover of the race. He had to start
from the rear. He had four front tires. This time Kyle saying I’m free on the exit but
not bad as you see the team goes to work. It will be four tires again. A full load of
sunoco fuel.>>The pit stop for the 18 as they are working
their way off pit road. Austin Dillon, Matt Kenseth, fighting for the lead. Matt Kenseth
trying to get back by the 3. After he had his green flag pit stop, Kenseth
back to the front.
>>Austin wants the lead. He’s in second place. No damage, right? At some point the caution
will come out. The strategy they used, they have them running second. That strategy is
perfect.>>We talk about the opportunities on green
flag pit stops. When you’re coming down pit road and you see a guy in the stall before
yours it has to concern you.>>You see Dale Earnhardt, Jr., coming in.
It’s all the way in the stall. Junior has to stay out or he’ll hit the crew members.
He has to stay way out which gets him long in the pit box. He’s locked up. That’s very
difficult. Scary because you don’t want to hit somebody but it messes up the pit stop
for everybody.>>That definitely cost time. Dale Earnhardt,
Jr., running third before the pit stop. He was only eight and a half seconds behind the
leader. Now ten and a half. He lost two seconds to the leader having to come around the car
in the pit.>>Different pit strategies and cycles for
the top two. Matt Kenseth and most of the field came on lap 59. Austin Dillon running
second. He’ll have to be on pit road the next 15 laps.>>>Welcome back to the pure Michigan 400.
Get the ultimate pass every moment of today’s NASCAR sprint cup series race with race buddy.
Choose from multiple HD feeds. Follow the race action with a live leaderboard. Tune
in to nascar.com/racebuddy. Let’s go to Marty Snyder with today’s subway fresh take.
>>Kevin Harvick has been in the top ten all day. Observations from him throughout the
day. He said when he’s by himself — and he said this when he pitted. This car is perfect,
fine. He’s happy with the handling. When he gets behind somebody it’s, quote, terrible.
A different car. It gets extremely loose. He’s trying to get around cars. That’s tough
to to. My question to you is how do you fix that? What do you do in the race car? Can
you fix it? How do you make this more manageable when it’s one car with clean air and a different
car when a car is in front of you.>>This won’t be the popular answer. I wouldn’t
touch it. If the car handles well you have a goods balanced car. Aerodynamics and the
effect of the car by other cars isn’t going to be fixed with a wedge wrench. You will
take speed out of the car. As much as the driver doesn’t want to hear it he has to find
a way to — I won’t say make it drive good but overcome it and manage it all day.
>>And get out front. Do something unorthodox the way Austin Dillon did. Do something different
to get the car up front.>>Can you choose a different line in this
situation? Like he’s right behind the 19. Good battle between Clint bowyer in the 18.
Could they choose a different line for a better handing car?
>>That was a hope coming into Michigan that the groove would get wider and the cars could
go in different grooves. We haven’t seen that so far. We have a caution.
>>A little bit of debris in turn two. The caution comes out. How does this play into the hands of the top
five or ten. Austin Dillon on a different pit cycle. Will everybody come to pit road?
>>Everybody will. Austin Dillon requires more fuel. He won’t come off pit road in second.
He’ll lose a few positions on pit road. He’ll be a net huge gain. Remember, he was 42nd
when he did this strategy. Now he’ll cycle toward the front.
>>This was a huge break for these guys. Maybe — I say maybe because they just told him,
spotter Andy Houston said I need max save from you now. We are stretched as far as we
can go. They want to get back to pit road. They were coming down pit road this time.
As long as he can limp back to pit road it should be a huge break for slugger Labbe and
Austin Dillon.>>The 20 car of Matt Kenseth lapped so many
cars there could be spacing between the 3 and the next car. There are a lot of lapped
cars between Austin Dillon and the 3 car and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. That could play into helping
Austin Dillon come off pit road better than he would have been.
>>Come on, is that new information this year or did you know it when you were a driver?
>>I have been paying attention for a while.>>I like that. That’s a great point. It’s
not just where you are running position-wise. It’s where you are on the racetrack. There
are a ton of lapped cars behind the 3 of Austin Dillon.
>>The caution came out. Mcmurray was the last car on the lead lap, running 18th. There
are quite a few cars that are a lap down. Fuel tucking in behind the 20. Is pit road
open? It must be. Here comes the 3. Austin Dillon chose to come to pit road. Quite a
few are staying out. Kelli?>>Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Makes his way down
pit road. He said he got really loose behind another car. It was the first time that it
happened, this race. It was experiencing something a little bit different. It was going over
with the crew chief going over adjustments so far. It will be fuel only for the 88.
>>A little bit of a splat strategy. For tires for Austin Dillon up front. Made it to pit
road fine. Pack it full of sunoco fuel if they can. They want to clean the grill as
well. Slugger Labbe said it a couple of times. A number of cars stayed on the racetrack.
>>Absolutely. That almost foils the plan of the 3 staying on the track. Or coming in
this time but staying out earlier.>>I still like the plan, Rick.
>>They have to restart deeper in the field.>>>You see the sun flowers in the Irish hills
of Michigan. Restart coming up. They have been interesting to say the least. You guys
both mentioned that would be one of the things we have to focus on today with the new high
drag package.>>We have seen restarts right here. One of
the early starts. Nobody is pushing anybody. Everybody is staying side by side. Nobody
is gaining an advantage.>>Later you see the 22 pushing the outside
lane. That’s a huge advantage for the 20 of Matt Kenseth. He easily takes the lead into
turn one.>>The next restart, the 3 of Austin Dillon
on the outside with no help. Has the preferred line and is able to stay outside.
>>Pretty much all day, able to carry momentum on the outside. Nobody taking air off the
car. If you’re on the outside of the car on the bottom, the car on the bottom is having
air pulled off the bottom of the car, taking down force away and side force. The outside
line, I believe, will be the preferred line all day.
>>Once again we need to keep eyes on the chase grid, especially the bubble drivers.
Those 12 through 16, even down into 20 of Kyle Larson as they run. Ryan Newman with
a 60-point advantage over Aric almirolale. If Dillon wins the race everything changes
by 60 points. You move all of the drivers down there are in by points. Newman would
be on the outside looking in. And a lot of changes about to take place. That’s why we’ll
keep an eye on it with four to go before the chase. We are back to racing in Michigan. On the outside. Maclint bowyer has the advantage
into one. Can he hold onto it?>>Look at the three wide racing. Four or
five roads of three cars trying to get off the exit of turn two.
>>Three wide down the back stretch as they head into turn three. Kenseth back in front
of bowyer. Is the track widening out? Is that why we are seeing three wide?
>>Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Getting loose in the middle of the corner. Gave up a lot of ground
on guys behind him.>>The track not widening out but the laps
are running out. This is getting more crazy as the race progresses. Restarts are somewhat
important at the start. They will be vital in the last 50 laps of the race.
>>Who will make the biggest gamble to try to get a win? Potentially here to lock themselves
into the chase or gamble to get a win so someone doesn’t have the opportunity to lock themselves
into the chase.>>Ryan Newman with the 19 and the 6 side
by side. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Still loose on the outside.
>>Continues to get loose. Three wide in front of him. All the way to the bottom of the track.
Kyle Larson in the middle. Kurt Busch on the outside.
>>Look at the momentum. The 27 had the momentum to get three wide. Then the car just stalled
out when he was pushing air. Not drafting anyone. That allowed the 42 and 41 to go around
on the outside.>>Looks like the 31. Slower is the 3 of Austin
Dillon. Working by Ryan Newman. Clint bowyer running second. Now has martin Truex, Jr., behind him.
>>We talked about people in and out of traffic. Truex gained a ton of spots and they have
all been on the racetrack. No creative pit strategy from the 78. It’s just a fast racecar.
He continues to pass his way through the field.>>Look who’s behind him. Kyle Busch started
dead last. He’s up in fourth.>>That’s a big win in pocono earlier in the
season. Almost plateaued after that. Seems as though the 78 of martin Truex, Jr., has
a little bit of resurgence. Looking stronger as we close in on the chase.
>>Clint bowyer and his team have really improved over the last several months. Also running
second. This is a team earlier in the year that couldn’t get in the top 20. They have
a chance now to get a good finish. It’s important for them. One of the teams that’s back into
the chase by having good finishes, they can’t afford bad ones.
>>Down the back stretch they go. 196 miles an hour as they go to turn three.
>>They can enter at the middle of the racetrack but turned down under the 15. You heard the
15 barely with the throttle letting the 78 in front. He doesn’t want to go into turn
one side by side. Wants to get back in lane and lose as little time as possible.
>>Was that how you have to orchestrate a pass? We saw martin Truex, Jr., on the back
bumper of the 15. Waited for the perfect moment and able to get by to take the position.
>>I think so. I don’t know if that’s a lot different from what we have seen in the past.
Ultimately they have to find a way to be low, higher and try to get side by side with them.
>>We have seen the restarts. Talked about this package. Leaving the corner. You see
them trying to make a move. When he lost the momentum, he lost three spots. Watch the 31. The 19 takes advantage and the
3 takes advantage also.>>After the restart, Austin Dillon up to
the 12th spot. Joey Logano in front of Kevin Harvick. One of the stronger cars once again.
Only so many second place finishes here at Michigan. Looking to get back to victory lane
after winning two races early in the season. Kevin Harvick is so strong. Multiple second
place finishes but hasn’t been able to get back to victory lane since the beginning of
the year.>>Showing earlier the 4 Kevin Harvick able
to enter. Basically in line with the 22 but turns underneath him. Makes it handle through
the corner.>>We have talked about this. What we have
to understand is we really need to see this compared to other Michigan races. We hear
drivers complain about how bad the cars handle in traffic. Is this worse than times before?
I’m not a driver. I have to because of the high speed to over take the car in front of
you.>>You have way up the racetrack. Off of turn
two. The 22 just didn’t handle well. Got up the racetrack and the 4 rolled underneath
him.>>Matt Kenseth still in front of the field
at Michigan. Martin Truex, Jr., bowyer, bush and Harvick the top five.top five>>>Welcome back to Michigan. Fastest average
laps. It was Austin Dillon, Matt Kenseth and Joey Logano with the top three fastest average
laps of the race. Lap 26 for Austin Dillon. Almost 190 miles per hour the average. Matt
Kenseth in front of the field. We want to go through the field, brought
>>That would be 9 laps from now when Matt Kenseth plans to get around and talk to Jason
about that. He said a moment ago, bring it up half a number a little bit. That’s it.
Mike?>>Marty, at the beginning of the season nobody
was more consistent than martin Truex, Jr. 14 top tens in the first 15 races. Then something
changed. Over the last seven only one top ten. They told me this morning it was bad
luck and taking risks, knowing they were already in the chase. He said with four races remaining
in the regular season they are going back to front. Kelli?
>>30 laps since the 18 of Kyle Busch came to pit road. He started from the back. Now
running in the top three. He got his first win here at Michigan and now has a win in
all three major series or NASCAR. He said I’m on the splitter. It’s been the Toyota
sticker and the right side.>>You see Kevin harrick stalking Kyle Busch.
He’s the highest of the runners who pitted in the last 73. He took on two tires at that
time. Childers said we are seven laps short on the
window. They are going around turn one to move Kevin Harvick to the third position now.
I want to get off sequence with the leaders. That’s what Jeff and Steve talked about. Harvick
trying to play strategy ouu front.>>Clint bowyer has given up three positions
on the track. He’s awfully tight. Being forced to back up the corner. Crew chief said we
have a plan. Be smooth and be smart.>>He said this week the team is so much better.
They have better speed than last year. I can’t wait for Chicago. You see Hamlin looking to
go around him. He does it. Logano said he’s losing the front tires the longer they run
Dave.>>That’s a good sign for the 11 of deny Hamlin.
He was glad with the way they unloaded here. The preparation, he said, by the team and
with the motor was second to none.>>Remember, Kurt Busch won this race. The
crew chief said it felt good to come back.>>The 73 stopped. Austin Dillon took the
tires. Gave up track position. He restarted 14th. Surged back up so far in this one. I asked Austin what’s the difference. He said
the coaching of Labbe. He said he challenges me. He wants me to do better and makes me
be better. He’s made him much better over the last few weeks. He said he thought he
had a vibration from a loose wheel earlier in the run. It was not a loose wheel. The
vibration still there for Brad keselowski.>>Talked to David Alexander this morning.
He said, I think we’ll do well. We always run here. A confident driver who got two right
side tires on the last time down pit road. It was under caution in lap 73.
>>Larson started earlier today. Didn’t have a good qualifying effort. He made his way
up to the field to 13th. He said he’s tight. Late exit there coming off turn two. Fuel
only.>>The 35 of Newman but he has the name buddy
baker above his door. Buddy was a friend and mentor of Newman. Helped him establish himself
as a super speedway racer. Ryan said it was an honor to have a guy of that caliber help
him. He will be a pall bearer at the funeral on Tuesday. Saying now the car is way too
tight.>>Remember the first caution of the day?
David Ragan does. It was him. He was spinning in turn one of the first lap of the race.
The car is still loose and bouncy. Ragan said it is better than earlier.
>>Michigan has been a tremendous track for Jeff Gordon. He has three wins here. He’s
LED over a thousand laps. But this high drag package has given the team fits. Spoke with Alan gustavsson. Said they struggled
in Indianapolis with it. They have changed so much but it has not taken. Kelli?
>>Now Kurt Busch comes to pit road. He’s got his hands full. Trying to work the track
bar inside to make the handling position better. They are getting four tires and sunoco fuel
on this.>>Matt Kenseth, the race leader will relinquish
the lead as he comes to pit road. Pit road speed has to be maintained. Mike?
>>Martin Truex, Jr., maintains the pit road speed. Comes to a stop. His last stop of 57.
They will make a chassis adjustment on the left side. A four-tire change from Truex.
He’s been quick all day.>>I talked to them this morning. The car
seeing a little less fuel mileage. Not much than the other car for Matt Kenseth. He doesn’t
want much. A little bit freed up. Four tires for the leader for much of the day.
>>Once again on the top of your screen, you are going to see either a green line or a
yellow line under truck drivers either locked into the chase or in the top 16 in points.
The green line is they have a win. They are in the top 30 in points. The yellow line in
the top 16 in points only without a win as we ride along with the 22. Marty?
>>Riding down pit road with Joey Logano. He said again to Kyle Gordon we lost front
tires meaning the car was too tight. Didn’t want to turn. Four goodyears for Logano. You
see the wedge adjustment to loosen him up a little bit. Good stop so far. Running in
the top five the entire day.>>Just a little bit tight right now. That’s
it early on the run. I heard him give a big whoo hoo out on the radio. Kyle said he’s
having fun. It will be four tires yet again for the 18 car sunoco fuel. You see the adjustment
there as well.>>It figured itself out. In the back of the
pack as he has been much of the day. It’s dirty air T. Handling hasn’t been good. He
hope it is adjustments in sunoco fuel will help his day a little.
>>The most encouraging thing Jeff Gordon has said is the car is decent. No higher praise
than that. They are trying to make it better. Airplane adjustment, four-tire change on Gordon’s
car to give him the magical feel he’s had for the three victories at the speedway in
the past. A quick update on the 78. We saw martin Truex, Jr., come down pit road. He
came down slow. He ran into the end of the fuel window. He was out of fuel as he came
down pit road.>>Potentially a loose wheel for the 78. We
saw him go by Burton. He’s at speed. Kevin Harvick. The race leader after green flag
pit stops have cycled through. Carl Edwards, Austin Dylan, Menard, the top five.
>>>Saturday at 5:30 P.M. Eastern sprint cup series racing from Bristol presented by “No
escape.” Friday, XFINITY series racing from the last great colosseum. Out in front of
the field, Kevin Harvick, the top nine have either come to pit road at lap 73 or 74. So
they are looking at about six more laps before they will have to come to pit road to cycle
through their pit stops.>>You have to see here at the top of the
screen. We have put town the last pit stop. It seems early with 92 to go. Why talk about
the last pit stop? All of the teams that pitted at 73 or 74. They are looking ahead at making
this entire race only two more stops. We saw earlier in the race when Dillon stayed on
the track he held the lead. So track position will be key here.>>Not bad. You saw the wedge adjustment.
Four Goodyear tires. To your point, it will be short. Other teams are on the edge like
Kevin Harvick. About 117. They put him in the game where they can get very dicey on
pit road. Very interesting as well.>>This isn’t the race package making fuel
more important. This isn’t Michigan. This is a crew chief on pit road taking every angle
possible to win a race. Even before halfway, Jeff, these guys are looking at trying to
get on a winning race strategy.>>The guys are in the window looking to get
a win that haven’t got one. Austin Dillon is running third. Kyle Larson is fifth. Paul
Menard is sixth. Another driver Sam Hornish, Jr., running eighth on the same strategy.
>>This is what we talked about all year long. We get to five, eight races ago, why not gamble,
make something happen. Give yours yourself a chance. If you get in the chase anything
can happen. He’ll go to turn six. Wished he would have saved more fuel but a couple of
laps at Watkins Glen is a ton of fuel.>>Last week you could think about Kevin Harvick.
He was leading the race and having to save fuel. Everybody else on his strat by the weren’t
leading the race at the end. They were able to back up and save a lot of fuel. He had
to manage the lead with Joey Logano coming from behind. He came within, what, 400, 500
yards in the race. He did a great job managing fuel. He had it tougher because he was leading
the race.>>Once again he’s leading at Michigan. He’s quite a few second place finishes. He
won here in 2010. A guy who almost won in June on the same pit strategy as Kevin Harvick
is Kyle Larson. Gambled in June on weather. It didn’t work out.
>>I was talking to them about it this morning. He said I have been gambling all year long
since Larson missed martinsville. Kyle said the car has grip but a little bit tight on
the run. There is an air pressure adjustment to free him up. All the sunoco fuel. That
will likely put them a little bit short from making one more stop.
>>The reason he missed the race in martinsville actually fainted before the race. We heard
the 4 is out of gas. Kevin Harvick pushed it too far. Slow on the track. Will he make
it back around in time? Marty?>>Just to judge his speed on entry. You see
Brad keselowski on pit road. This will be tough for them to stretch it to here. Kevin
Harvick limping down pit road, trying to keep it going. They are trying to decide whether
to take two or four tires here. They have the fuel issues. Kevin clearly not up to speed,
rolling down pit road slowly. This will cost him likely their shot at a win today. Childers
coaching the team through it. Calling for four tires. This is excruciating for Kevin
Harvick. Comes to pit road. The car absolutely silent for Kevin Harvick. It will be four
tires. They will try to fire it back up. He does it. Harvick has the car re-fired but
ran out of fuel trying to get to pit road and stretch the next to last window.>>Still has to come back one more time.
>>The interesting question is we have Edwards and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. On the track who pitted
the same time as the 4 did who ran out of gas.
>>What’s up with the 48?>>Jimmie Johnson just missed his pit box.
They are trying to get him back in the box. This is not what the team wanted to have happen
here. The team can finally go to work. A four-tire change and a wedge adjustment. This is a huge
hit for the 48 team trying to battle back. Kelli?
>>Carl Edwards coming down pit road. He started off loose at the adjustment they made. About
70% of the way. He’s still a little bit free getting into turn free. Four new good it is
year tires and sunoco fuel for the 19.>>Kasey kahne having service on his car now.
Team on the left side. They will clean the grill. He’s away. Kelli?
>>Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Said it’s taken a long time for the car to come in. Started way too
loose. He’s moved the draft bar inside the cockpit down two. You say four Goodyear tires.
Sunoco fuel and can make an air pressure adjustment for the 88.
>>Matt Kenseth back in front. Sam Hornish running second. He’ll have to be on pit road
here shortly and actually is on now. Kelli?>>Sam Hornish, Jr., said he couldn’t get
it through the corners. He’s been battling it. It’s getting better but he still needs
help on the turns. They felt they got a good grasp of this aero package here at Michigan.
They had a solid qualifying effort. Now it will be four Goodyear tires and sunoco fuel.
>>Why it’s important is the 9 is on the last strategy. He stretched it most. There are few cars in
the field that want to win more than Sam Hornish, Jr.
>>Oh, yeah. Jeff, I have to ask. This surprises me. The 48 team missed the pit stall. He’s
the number one stall. How do you miss it?>>You saw him behind the 32. I think his
vision was blocked behind the 32. He got in there deep. Knew he was in trouble. You see
the rear cars hopping, trying to slow it down. Because of how close he was and the fact he
was in the first pit box he didn’t have time to react to the situation he was in. All of
it LED to him missing the pit box.>>I saw the 7, stalled in front of him. Didn’t
look like he thought he could stop. He had to get out of the way of maybe running into
the back of it.>>He knew he was in trouble when the rear
tired were locked up.>>Matt Kenseth continuing to lead laps in
Michigan international speedway.>>>Fifth caution has come out at Michigan
international speedway for debris. There it is. Metal on the racetrack. So the caution
has come out. That will reset the field and reset some of the pit strategy. Pit road is
open. We see Matt Kenseth and martin Truex, Jr., ducking onto pit road. That was one and
two. Mike?>>Clint bowyer is saying he’s been more free
over the course of the run. A two-tire change on the right side. Also sunoco race fuel.
The 78, a little bit tight. Just over six seconds, Kelli.
>>Kyle Busch saying not bad. I have not adjusted the track bar at all. It’s free in traffic.
Yet another four-tire stop for the 18, Marty.>>Matt Kenseth already gone. Two tires. He
said all he did was a little right rear grip. He was happy with it. Kenseth with a strong
run continuing. Strong on pit road as well.>>Rewe look at the race off pit road. Matt
Kenseth winning the race off pit road. Truex, Jr., holding position. Hamlin and Logano,
two good stops as well as Harvick.>>>Want to take a look at the lead changes
presented by sprint. 11 lead changes and the reason we are showing you the 19, Carl Edwards
will restart up front. He didn’t come to pit road. You can follow thereat misssprintcup
for a chance to win an autographed hat from today’s victory lane. Could it be from Carl
Edwards? It’s possible. Let’s listen in to the 19.
>>Hoping for that clean air.>>Just remember to be aggressive here on
the savings. Leading we’ll get worse mileage than we have before.
>>10-4.>>We’re looking at fuel mileage.
>>Absolutely.>>Everybody has to now. Don’t they, Steve?
>>Not everyone. Carl Edwards and Austin Dillon have to. Last time they were on pit road versus
the rest of the field at 122. They are definitely the only two at the moment playing the fuel
mileage game. So, you know, it’s really a pretty tight stretch. Let’s look at the McDonald’s
I’m Lovin’ it. That’s who I’m loving. Carl Edwards at lap 16 did a great job playing
the fuel strategy game to get the clean air. Austin Dillon as well proved he could lead
when he had track position. Matt Kenseth has better fuel starting behind him. Has LED the
most laps today at 82. One of the three, you have to look at your favorites. There are
76 to go.>>I just talked to slugger Labbe, Austin’s
crew chief. He said we are right on the number. I don’t think that includes the green and
white checkered. They plan to pit around 156. They think they can make it on one more is
stop. You look to the heavens and say a prayer. They think they can do it on one stop.
>>They use the word “Think” because they thought he could go a couple laps earlier
when he ran out of gas. Fuel mileage is hard to figure. More difficult
with the draft. The mileage goes up and down each run.
>>Carl Edwards choosing the outside line. Austin Dillon on the inside line. At the restart
zone, Carl Edwards spins his tires. Ti Lon will have the lead when they cross the stripe.
He has help. Kenseth moves to the inside. He’ll try to take the lead away from Dillon.
>>Talk about restarts at the top of the show. You can work all the strategy you want. You
have to be good at the restarts. They are still three wide.
>>That was odd. Looked like Edwards didn’t get going for some reason.
>>Behind him they are sliding around. The 15 of Clint bowyer can’t afford to have a
bad finish. Kicks into the inside wall.>>Get it over when you can.
>>A little damage to the back of the 15. He cannot afford to have a bad finish. In
the top 16 in points but barely. Look what happened out of turn two. They were staying
three wide through the turns.>>Here in the middle of the pack. The 15
car trying to find room. Trying to make it three wide. Thinks he’s clear up to the right.
Starts to move up against the wall. Ryan Newman catches him. Turns him to the outside wall.
From there it’s a slide back to the inside.>>You try to let off the brakes. Inside wall.
Tried to get it off. He’s back on the gas there. Couldn’t keep it off the inside wall.
The 15 car of Clint bowyer, they don’t need a bad race. The performance was good. This
wreck is going to hurt their opportunity to make the chase.
>>He was running 11th when the accident happened. 63 points ahead of 17th. He’s got a little
bit of cushion. But he’s way too close to the cut line.
>>Little bit underneath. I think they hit. I don’t think he tried to
go to the outside. I think they made contact and that moved him. You saw him turn the wheel
the other way after he was hit. Mike?>>Guys, you can see the work being done to
the rear of the race car. Lots of sheet metal damage at least. Meanwhile crew members looking
underneath to assess suspension damage. They are working on the right side first. There
is a lot of damage on the race car that needs to be fixed. They Wille try to do it on pit
road. It could be quite the repair job. They are giving it a good effort. Trying to rip
the rear fascia off. Trying to get it back to the track without losing very much time.
It looks like a big project. Kelli?>>The 31 of Ryan Newman cannot afford to
have a bad finish. He’s one of the bubble drivers. Got caught up. There is damage to
the right front. There is a hole. They needed to bring him to pit road to try to seal the
hole. You see them giving him tires as well. While they try to repair the damage. One over
Clint. The other involved in the incident, the two of them, 50 points above the cut-off
line.>>I think that’s the point. Without a doubt,
Kelli. 50 seems like a lot. With the point system and only one point for 43, two for
42. You can lose 20, 30 points quickly when you have a problem on the racetrack. 50 points
could go away quickly.>>Just ask Kasey kahne over the past couple
of races. He’s lost an incredible amount of points. Let’s listen in to the radio.
>>Did hit the 15 there. I didn’t know where to go.
>>That was the 31 of Ryan Newman. Dave?>>David Ragan with a new piece on the front
of the car, right on the nose area. Just to try to get the aero correct on the front. The crew chief reminded them this is the one
shot. Make sure it’s tight so we can go back to work. He restarted in the 16th position.
He was in the middle of it.>>Might want to watch the 15 again. It was
interesting to me. You can see Clint is trying to follow the 42 up the middle. Watch his
hands. It looks like there was contact. He didn’t look like he was turning to the right.
Looked like there was contact and he tried to react to it. It happened quickly.
>>The 15 behind the wall and in the garage.>>>Welcome back to Michigan international
speedway. Fweding ready for another restart. The last one, the lead is the 3 car.
>>The restart zone, the 3 car goes an the 19 doesn’t go. We had a conversation with
NASCAR. There is no penalty on the 3 car.>>There’s the double and the single red line.
That’s the restart zone. It’s time for another one. This time Matt Kenseth on the outside
of Austin Dillon as they get to the restart zone. We are back to racing in Michigan. Big move by Carl Edwards to the inside of
the three. Trying to take second away. Down to the bottom of the racetrack. Can he hold
on? He will move up into the second spot. Joe Gibbs racing one and two. Hamlin trying
to make it one, two, three. Dillon trying to hang onto the third start in turn three.
Clear of the 11. Dillon takes third away from Denny Hamlin. Kenseth, Edwards, Dillon, Hamlin
and Menard the top five.>>Kyle Busch with an aggressive move under
his brother Kurt Busch in the 31. A big wiggle by Kurt Busch puts Kyle three wide with the
78.>>The 78, almost contact with the 18 of Kyle
Busch. Now Kyle Busch drops back after losing a little momentum.
>>You see the 78 was so close to him. I’m sure that had Kyle loose. Now the momentum
of all the cars from behind are coming. He lost three spots.
>>Brad keselowski goes by in the two. Jeff Gordon tries to get by in the 24. Jeff Gordon’s
final Michigan start.>>Moving past Kasey kahne. That’s the race
for the lucky dog position. The guys will be racing hard. The caution comes out, whoever
is between those two cars gets back in the lead lap.
>>19 cars on the lead lap. Last car on the lead lap is Aric almirola. Dale Earnhardt,
Jr. Down the middle.>>You mentioned it. These guys are racing
for their race really at this point. With 68 laps to go they have to work their way
back on the lead lap. Kasey kahne trying to beat Stewart and Johnson. Three guys we expect
to race for the win. Here they are battling for the lucky dog.>>Bowyer is 41st off the track working on
the car. Kasey kahne, every spot he can pick up is a point he gains on Clint bowyer. This
restart could be huge when the caution comes out. He would be in the lead lap. He could
gain a tremendous amount of points on Clint.>>Clint bowyer in the garage. Almirola, 29
points back out of the 16 spot.>>Aric is in the lead lap now. Currently
in 19th.>>Kasey kahne a spot out of the lead lap.
He’s 20th but a lap down. For the caution to come out. Mike?
>>Repairs continue on the 15 car. It goes well beyond the rear end damage. They are
concentrating on the right front suspension. There are bent control arms to give you an
idea how important it is to get the 15 car back on the racetrack. I counted the number
of people working on the race car. I counted unofficially 19 people. It seems like that
crowd has gotten bigger since I counted. It’s important to get the car back out there.
>>Possibility of a championship. Tony Stewart out of turn number 4. The caution comes out
again.>>This is one of the cars that were running
hard for the chase spot. He was 21st when he spun. Not the chase but the lucky dog.
The 20th was the free pass car. He had to get up in front of Kasey kahne.
>>To the 5 of Kasey kahne. It’s now going to get the free pass and will be back on the
lead lap.>>That will help the points. A lot more in
front of them now that he’s on the lead lap.>>He’s got to take advantage of it. They
have to find a way to get a good finish out of this. Bowyer is having trouble. They have
to take advantage of the opportunity.>>There’s what’s happening with Clint bowyer.
The 15 car in the garage as they continue to work not only on the front but the rear
of the car. Here’s Tony Stewart coming through three and
four.>>The racetrack gets loose. Car comes around.
Stays in the throttle to keep it coming against the wall. Then they lock it down. Never did
hit anything.>>No one hit him. One cardin that brings
out the 7th caution of the day. Ten is the record number of cautions in Michigan. We
still have 64 laps to go.>>There is a skill to this. Once he got out
of control he didn’t quite driving. He saw 21 in the wall. Tony didn’t quit driving.
He stayed on the throttle. Once he had the car in a position where it wasn’t a go back
up against the wall he locked it down. When the car went low he turned the wheel to right,
let off the brakes. There is a skill to that. You are not just along for the ride. He department
hit anything because of what he did inside the race car.
>>Still driving it while you are wrecking.>>Never quit, never give up.
>>The 14 is on pit road. We need at least four fresh tires. Who will come to pit road
now? Matt Kenseth was at lap 122. We have only gone 14 laps since he was on pit road.
Carl Edwards, 116 for him. That’s 20 laps, half a fuel run.
>>I expect everybody in the top 10 or 12 to stay on the track. Everybody like it is
position they are at on fuel. You see the first taker, Brad keselowski was in the tenth
position.>>Brad keselowski bringing a few of the guys
who were behind him with him on pit road. Booting Kyle Busch. Trying to stay in the
chase. Mike?>>Kasey kahne real happy with the racecar.
No adjustment is the call. They will do a four-tire change and they may stay longer
to get every ounce of fuel in it. Kelli?>>Kyle Busch is happy with the race car.
This is a fuel only stop to top him off, Marty.>>Brad keselowski, the top of the cars to
come down. He was running tenth. Four tires, pack it full of fuel. Paul wolf said make
sure they get all they can in. Maybe for the last stop fuel only. Who knows?
>>So Matt Kenseth still out front. They stayed on the racetrack. The reason for the caution,
a wild ride for Tony Stewart.>>>The seventh caution from Michigan international
speedway. Want to go to the Camry on-track car and talk about adjustments the drivers
can make.>>We talked about the cars handling in clean
air versus in traffic. One tool the drivers have is the steering wheel. They can move
the track bar up and down on their own. They no longer have to come to pit road for the
adjustment. That’s new. That’s what the truck drivers are using as the car gets free. They
have to lower the track bar, secure the car and get it handling at least closer to how
it handled when it was in clean air.>>You heard the spotters saying they have
move it more today than ever. Moving it from the beginning of the run, end of the run and
based on where they are in traffic. They are wearing the things out trying to help the
cars through different situations.>>Matt Kenseth back in front. He’s LED 95
laps of this race. This is what they had to say on the radio moments ago.
>>Still approximately the same thing. Might do it a little bit different. Not a lot. I’m
sure after the last one.>>So a little strategy among teammates. Letting
him know or –>>Which teammate? The 19 to the inside of
him and the other is behind him. There are a lot of Joe Gibbs teammates in the fist few
rows. As much as the 20 cares about his teammates he cares about himself. He knows how important
track position is. Both understand the fuel windows. Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth understand
how important every one of the restarts are. That’s a perfect example of how it’s not luck.
There is strategy. He’s discussing it.>>We are on lap 140 of the pure Michigan
400. One driver who tried strategy quite a bit in the race has been the 3 of Austin Dillon. Here’s what they have to say.
>>Man, this is important to win a race. Got to take every inch we can get. Be aggressive.
>>We can do it.>>A game of inches when we talk about the
two-mile racetrack.>>That sounded like Andy Houston trying to
give the driver motivation. That’s good. He’s been running well. Had a good race so far.
They were just pumping him up, making sure he stayed in the game.
>>I can’t tell. Andy and slugger are so — what’s happening to the 19? He’s on the apron. I
don’t understand.>>Coming back.
>>Trying to come back up and take his position.>>You have to maintain a cautious pace or
cautious speed. The lights come back on. Now they are saying potentially the 19 has to
get behind the 31.>>If you slow down and don’t maintain position
they will put you back. The cars can pass you. Once you slow down that’s what you are
told to do, pass. You see a car have a problem — go ahead, Kelli.
>>He said no electric. One of the batteries has gone dead or something. That’s the issue
with the 19.>>Doesn’t matter if the car is running. I’m
sure Carl Edwards who is saving fuel shut the car off much like LE wau last week at
Watkins Glen. You have to have battery juice to crank it back up. That’s the one scary
part about saving fuel.>>Ride along. He shuts it down. Saving fuel.
>>Took it a long time to fire back up. You can see what he did. He wasn’t using the starter
switch. He put the ignition on. He’s got it in gear letting the rear tires turn the transmission
and the engine. That fire it is engine. But the engine didn’t fire. If you don’t maintain
a reasonable speed under caution you lose those spots.>>We saw Marcus am broez lose a race because
of that situation. Trying to save fuel. Shut the car off. Now we see Carl Edwards lose
five positions on the inside line which means he’s losing almost ten spots.
>>Everyone knows there is a risk. Why shut the car off? It saves a ton of fuel. Easy
to say, well, you can’t do that. If you didn’t do that, you have one arm tied behind your
back versus everyone else trying to fuel race.>>You have to. Absolutely have to do it.
>>We heard the spotter say to Austin Dillon it is a game of inches. Get what you can.
Be aggressive. He’s on the inside line as the fans are back on their feet in Michigan.
Green flag back in the air. Can Austin Dillon clear the 20 through one and two? Dillon with
a great restart. He’ll take the lead at Michigan.>>Send a thank you basket to Harvick for
that restart.>>Here’s the 20 of Matt Kenseth. Trying to
find a way around. He goes to the high line. Can Kenseth take the lead back? Kenseth back
in front. Matt Kenseth. What a run by the 20. Austin Dillon will look to the inside
once again. Kenseth out front. Dillon in second. Harvick, Hamlin, Truex, Jr., the top five.
58 laps to go at Michigan.>>That’s the idea of that package. Give them
an opportunity to have an advantage somewhere.>>Way up the racetrack is Kurt Busch
in the 41.>>Mechanical issues. Trying to get to pit
road. The 20 of Kenseth. Hangs onto the lead. Trying to get momentum back.
>>Using the side trans-fat perfectly. Here comes Kenseth on the high side. Once again
clears him. Tried to keep the three car from pulling up on him. The 3 to the rear bumper
again.>>That’s what I keep seeing. The 20 has momentum.
In the past we would see the 20 pull away. He gained some momentum back and stayed close.
>>You saw flames shoot out. He had to get into turn one. There is a big gap between
the two.>>If you can break even in the corner. It’s
hard to do. You are losing air in second. Use it to your advantage.
>>The 27. Of Paul Menard has been dropping back.
>>This is the shot I want to see. Now the 3. We see martin Truex. We talked about the
3 today completing the pass, trying to get track position back.
>>Restarted 11th. Back up to 4th.
>>On the straight.>>Race leader Matt Kenseth has a .7 of a
second lead over Harvick. Edwards up to fourth. Truex, Jr., fifth. Talk about restarts. Watch
on the outside. Look how loose he is here. He ended up getting the right rear. A lot
of spots but it could have been worse.>>You call it loose. I call it crashed.
>>Trying to get by the 11th. Hamlin. As the laps continue to wind down it seems as though
these drivers are figuring out this high drag package. We saw it with Austin Dillon able
to get up next to Kenseth, make the pass. Kenseth able to return the favor and get back
out in front. Waiting for two to get side by side. Slingshooting past the drivers.
>>That was a perfect example. We can talk about the package and the air. Hamlin hasn’t
run the white line in three and four. The 27 looked low in turn three. The 11 rolls
all the way down to the white line. Shut off the air to 27. That’s what he’s doing to pull
away from Paul Menard.>>Paul Menard running 7th. You get to see
all the action as we go NASCAR nonstop on NBCSN.>>>Welcome back to the Irish hills of Michigan
international speedway as Matt Kenseth remains out front. The most laps LED presented by
sprint will go to Matt Kenseth. He’ll lead the most laps here at Michigan. Matt Kenseth
continues to add to his laps LED. Let’s go through the field starting with Marty Snyder.
>>Matt Kenseth LED 110 laps. Sort of jokingly for excitement on the restart. He said once
he got out front, quote, I’m out of here. He’s checked out so far trying for his third
Michigan win. Dillon gave it a good run on the restart. I talked to slugger Labbe. He
said it’s been a main focus between he and Austin Dillon. On Sunday, he hands them a
drive. He has to watch the video all week long and learn what he did on restarts and
how he can do it better. Big point of emphasis is he can keep it up front. How about the
recovery in third for Harvick. Ran out of fuelle earlier. 31 seconds behind. They have
rallied now to third. Harvick said the build-up takes a while to go off. Now the car is coming
nicely. Happy with the way the four car is handling.
>>No one wants to win more than the crew chief. He’s from nearby London, Ontario. This
is his home track. He remembers coming as a child to watch races. He hopes to fulfill
a dream by winning today. They are inside the top five. He’s still within striking ’tis
tans. This is as loose as the car has within all day.
>>Carl Edwards restarted 11th. He couldn’t get the car to refire under the last caution. Now Carl came on the radio and said I feel
I have picked up a bunch of drag or something. Telling the crew chief he feels like he’s
lost 25 horsepower going down the straight away. I don’t know what’s causing it yet,
Dave.>>That battle between Denny Hamlin and Paul
Menard has been decided now. They said the car will have decent speed and will be comfortable
to trooi. That’s one reason Hamlin got the advantage for now. I asked Dustin Alexander
why he was good here. He said I think the cars are good with the racetracks. You don’t
use a lot of braking on these. I guess you can call Paul Menard the gas man.
>>Joey Logano has been in the top ten. He’s been working the track bar inside the car.
He’s three quarters tight in the center. Three quarters loose off the corner. He’s tight
and loose in the 22 car, trying for another top five. The team continues their strong
roll.>>He came in 30th in points and barely chase
eligible. Now inside the top ten. He has a win at Michigan. It has not been good in recent
years. He wanted to come here. He’s running inside the top ten now.
>>Just like Kyle Busch or Brad keselowski. They said they can go shorter. Two tires,
maybe fuel only. They said they feel the car is on the longer run. They would love to see
the car go green if they can.>>They have both come on. They said we don’t
need a win but it would be nice for confidence. Dale, Jr., high on the track. Said it’s too
loose. Too much there.
>>Jeff Gordon is 14th on the chase grid. 58 points to the good. He was asked this week
about that particular cushion in points. He said he would love to have a win. He said
we don’t necessarily need a win but we want one. He said we can’t get a win, a top ten
as we approach the goal.>>15 in points. That’s 51 points ahead. He
said he’s comfortable with the team’s afwregs. The team is headed. They had a mid season
slump. He feels they are getting better week by week.
>>We started the day talking to Jamie Mcmurray. The highest runner of the guys who haven’t
won this year in the chase grid. I asked him, are you worried about the restarts? It was
predicted to be crazy. They were crazy. Mcmurray said we have to stay aggressive to lock ourselves
into the chase. It would be the first final Mcmurray has done it in his career. Really
loose now on the track.>>Since getting back on the lead lap there’s
renewed energy. They feel they can make a charge and gains here. They are going to play
the track position game. That’s exactly what they want to do. They want to stay close to
the front, cash in on as many as possible.>>15 was in the garage. They made it back
on the track. Turned a couple of laps but they want to make sure everything is holding
up.>>You can see there is attention being paid
to that area of the track now. In particular the fenders.
>>Pit road getting busy. Could be probably his last stop of the day. We’ll see. 38 laps
to go. Four tires and fuel for Truex.>>Edwards said he lost 25 horsepower. He
said the 19 is tight. It’s four tires and fuel.
>>Said the car is a little bit looser toward the end of the run. Very happy with how it
handled. Pitting a little bit earlier. Not taking chances on running out of fuel again.
>>Austin Dillon giving up second to come to pit road. He was last on pit road on 122.
Marty?>>Austin Dillon and Joey Logano coming down
at the same time. Austin has been on the radio. Just needs to turn a little bit more. You
can see what he does here. Trying to loosen them up a little bit. Not much. He’s happy
with how the car is handling. Four tires for Austin Dillon. Joey Logano behind him on pit
road. He said it was a little too tight in the middle. A little too loose off the corners.
They made a wedge adjustment earlier and air pressure and cleaning the grill. Nice job
for the 22.>>Hamlin is five laps further into the window
than he thought they might need to go. This is a good sign. They should have plenty of
fuel. Far into the pit box is Hamlin. He’ll get an air pressure adjustment and sunoco
fuel.>>Really happy with the car out front. No
changes on the stop for Kenseth. Four tires for him as well. A fairly quick stop for Matt
Kenseth and this group as well. Leading for much of the race. The dominant car. They have
had a good day on point road, Kelli.>>The 9 car of Sam Hornish, Jr., he’s been
battling a tight car for most of the today. They have been working to loosen him up throughout
the day. You see this is the four-tire stop for the 9 car. Sunoco fuel.
>>Sam Hornish wants to be a spoiler, potentially steal a win at Michigan. You see the 48 come
in front of the pit stall, Mike.>>It’s been an adventure for Jimmie Johnson.
He over shot his pit box at one point. Looks like a good stop. A four-tire change on the
48 team. No adjustment. He’s off the jack.>>Any strategy playing out you guys are seeing
as we stay green?>>Pretty straightforward at this point. All
of the guys that pitted felt they are in the final fuel window. Even has taken four tires.
>>They will make a chassis adjustment. Right side service complete. They swing around to
the left side. A four-tire change. Also an air pressure adjustment for Kasey kahne.
>>Kyle Larson coming down pit road. They said he’s extremely loose on the front. Two
tires only for Kyle Larson. Again, this is his lap 137. Four earlier. This is a long
one for two tires. They took four earlier. Thought they could take a shorter stop this
time around. They took two here.>>Seems like a long stop for two tires. Remember
it’s dictated off fuel. It didn’t look like the cleanest two-tire stop. They have to put
in enough fuel. In ten and a half seconds it was still two and a half, three, three
and a half seconds faster than perhaps the four tire stop would have been.
>>With 33 laps to go they have to have that much fuel on board in case we do go green
the whole way.>>A big loser. The 3 car came in running
second. He wentle all the way back to 4. They had
a slow pit stop. Now Hamlin around him. When the opportunity was there to gain on the 20
they had a little bit of a slow one and lost on the 20.
>>Jeff Gordon’s last stop was 122. Alan fwus tav son calling for four tires on the stop.
As much fuel as they can get for the final run. He’s away.
>>12.8 seconds for the 24 team. We mentioned the three of Austin Dylan. Not the stop they
were hoping for.>>He comes in. The right side goes up. Everything
looks good. The right side is slow. Took a while to get the right front out. The right
rear is changing tires and the right front is just coming around. Trouble on the right
front.>>Dillon dropped back to 12th now after the
stop. Still to come to pit road though will be Kyle Busch, Brad keselowski, almirola,
Mcmurray, Ragan, Matt Kenseth. He’s the first one that’s come with the idea of being able
to making it on fuel. Matt Kenseth running in eighth position. A lot of strategy playing
out as well as the guys up front. Brad keselowski, Kyle Busch. But the 88 on pit road now, Kelli.
>>Here comes the 88 of Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Said it was loose but he didn’t want it tightened
up. He said I won’t be able to drive at all. The call has been for right side tires only
and fuel for the 88.>>You can see the advantage, 9.4 seconds
on the pit stop for Dale Earnhardt, Jr. That’s a little bit quicker than the other guys,
Dave.>>Biffle off the pace today. A tough day
for the 16 bunch. Haven’t done what they wanted to accomplish
here at a track where they have won four times in the past. Big chassis adjustment to get
Biffle to the end. Marty?>>Guys, a lot of debate on 2 car of Brad
keselowski. Didn’t think two tires would fwan them much track position. What’s more important?
Tires or the important track position? That’s it for Brad keselowski.
>>Ryan Newman saying he’s too tight. They will add pace to the fwril. It was two tires
and fuel. An air pressure adjustment for the 31.
>>Brad keselowski pit stopped 7.1 seconds. That could be the difference. We stay green.
Kyle Busch, still out front. He came in the last time at 137. As did Aric almirola, Ragan,
Mcmurray. The 1 on pit road.>>Mcmurray coming down pit road. Said it
feels like the motor bogs down in the high line. He had to run low. Needs to be freed
up a little bit. Matt Mccall said go on me. It will be two tires and all the fuel they
can stand to get to the finish of the race. Back on the track.
>>Kyle Busch also is on pit road now, following after Mcmurray who is leafing pit road. Kyle
Busch coming in for his service.>>Saying get the balance of the fuel. We
should be good to go for four tires. It paid off. He can work his way to the back of the
field.>>It has to be a different mentality for
the 18 team. Instead of just doing a two-tire stop, trying to save as much time, get out
there. Do they have to be more cautious because they are right on the line of finishing 30th
in points. They have to be inside the top 30 in points if they want to make the chase.>>They have to be deliberate. Doesn’t appear
they have had to pass car today. Matt Kenseth is in the lead. Kevin Harvick at the 4. Chopped
into the lead a little bit. The 18 needconservative. The 43 of almirola is the example of a guy
who needs to win a race. He definitely needs to come in for fuel. Looking for a caution.
Maybe something to open up his opportunity, Dave.
>>David Ragan on pit road. He said I don’t know what to tell you to make it better. It’s
good now. Two right tires and get fuel to the end.
>>Still 16 cars on the lead lap. As Aric almirola stays on track. You mentioned he’ll
have to come to pit road soon.>>Behind him, about 13 seconds behind is
Matt Kenseth who has already pitted. The race at this point is between the 20 of Matt Kenseth
to the 4 of Kevin Harvick. Running second and third on the track. With almirola needing
fuel the assumption will be that’s the race.>>Those two are separated by three seconds
now. There’s Matt Kenseth. You see the 15, Clint bowyer back out on the racetrack. They
have to make sure they maintain 43.19 seconds. That’s the minimum speed to be on the track
as we see Aric almirola come to pit road now.>>He said we have worked hard to get where
we are. Let’s not be too aggressive on fuel. They bring him in early. They changed everything
on the race car from practice and went from a 30th starting position to running the top
ten most of the afternoon. It may not be the win almirola needs but it was a bile improvement
over where they started the week in Michigan.>>The green flag pit stops cycled through.
Matt Kenseth back out front. Harvick, 3.7 seconds back in second. Truex, Jr., Hamlin
and Dylan your top five at Michigan.>>>20 laps remaining in Michigan. We completed
180. 127 of those have been LED by Matt Kenseth. How does this affect the chase grid with how
people have run today. Especially Clint bowyer after getting into the inside wall after coming
off turn two. You look a lot closer at the cut line.
>>If we get a new winner Clint bowyer would be knocked out. He’s now almost 30 points
behind Ryan Newman. To me that’s a bigger issue. You have to protect not only from behind.
You have to protect the guys coming back to you because of a new winner coming in.
>>He is praying there are no new winners. For there not to be a new winner and he continues
to race for points, he’ll be okay F. Not he could be in trouble.
>>At the top of the screen when we talk about chase, under the truck drivers’ names — around
goes the 48. Jimmie Johnson around again. The caution comes out for the eighth time.
Damage to the right front of the 48. He was running 22nd. And into the first stall which
is their stall. David Ragan in the 55 will receive the free
pass. They will go to work on the 48.>>The bar is tough. Takes a lot of force
to bend it back toward the tire. You see how much harder it was to get the tire out. Really
hard.>>The splitter bent back over beneath the
car as well. Take a look at what happened.>>Got in the grass and the grass is what
damaged the nose. Lost it all by himself. The penalty for being in the grass. It just
destroyed the front end like we saw with Kyle Busch in practice. But you know this team
isn’t in synch. They are not running well. They don’t have speed. They are making mistakes.
They have found a way every year to be better when the chase started. They are not in synch
now.>>As we look forward, just four races including
this one to go. They have to start getting into synch. They have drivers onto pit road
LED by the 22 of Joey Logano. Kelli?>>You can see Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Making
his way down pit road. He has been happy with the car. This is going to be a four-tire stop.
For the 88 to give him fresh rubber for the last 16 laps of the race, Marty.
>>Kellily, with 18 cars on the lead lap, Joey Logano and the team decided to take tires.
Two for Logano. He said he gets so tight he loses speed toward the end of the run. They
made a wedge adjustment on the 22 car.>>The 48 and 41 will be penalized for pitting
too soon. The 48 needing to do the repairs, but the 41 penalized for pitting too soon. With just 15 laps to go because they had to
go to a backup car, the 18 of Kyle Busch goes to the back to start the race. Decides to
stay there. That’s probably a good move as David Ragan on lap one turned around. He moved
up quickly.>>Once he thought it was safe and understood
what the car would do he took off.>>Both running out of gas. Trying to extend
their fuel window.>>Clint bowyer has looked here. A little
contact between him and the 31. He gets to the outside wall. Spins down. Also collects
the inside wall. Currently 41st. A little over 30 laps behind.
>>In the garage. Had a lot of work to do. How about the restart? Carl Edwards on the
outside.>>Looks like the 3 takes off.
>>There was no penalty.>>The 19 trying to save fuel. Get it is car
fired back up again. He drops back recently. Getting loose on his own through three and
four into the grass and all the damage to the right front.
>>It’s been an eventful day for Childers and Harvick. Looked like he was out of fuel.
I’m sure you feel good with where you are. How good do you feel about the restart? Can
he pass the 20?>>It’s been really hard to pass. All the
guys have done a good job to come back from the mistake and be here on the front row with
a shot is all we can ask for. We’ll see what we’ve got. If anybody can do it he can.
>>We all know, the drivers know it comes down to this restart. Going to be exciting.
>>Some drivers are talking to their crew chiefs and spotters. The 11 had this to say.
>>With the 20, please tell him to give me a signal out the window. I’m trying to push him here. I’ll have a better
chance when we can see where he’s going to go.
>>Trying to help him get the to turn number 3, jockeying for position. Keselowski lost
momentum. Jeff Gordon gets by him as does the 31 of Newman. Down to the apron goes Dale
Earnhardt, Jr. In the 88. Matt Kenseth, Harvick, Truex, Jr., Austin Dillon your top five. 12
laps to go in Michigan. A big move by the 88. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Trying to get by that.
Joey Logano makes the same move at the same time. Stalls the 88. He’s not able to keep
going.>>Now junior again to the bottom of the track.
Trying to get by the 2. Here comes the 18 of Kyle Busch.
>>Had a big run on junior. Being pushed by Mcmurray. Making the move inside. Couldn’t get there.
Kenseth has .7 of a lead over Harvick. High drive package at Michigan. Will it give Harvick
the opportunity to catch up? Austin Dillon trying to get by. The 11 of Hamlin to take
the fourth spot away. Hamlin trying to hold on.
>>Austin was four inches from having it pull up in front of him. Didn’t quite clear him.
Getting into the one. It’s the first lap. Harvick ran faster than the leader, Matt Kenseth.
>>Trying to reel him back in. Under ten laps to go. Austin Dillon able to make the pass.
It looks like they are using side drafting to try to slow the car down in front to make
the pass or complete the pass.>>It’s just so much drag on the car. We talked
before. Two cars side by side. If a car is underneath you, the thing you want to do is
get as close as you can to slow his momentum down.
>>You look at speeds at the line. Kenseth with the fastest lap. Harvick, Truex, Jr.
Second and third. With the second and third fastest laps. Big move for the 22. Trying
to get by Paul Menard. Separating themselves by a great distance to see if they can keep
their momentum up. Logano will complete the pass. .7 of a second separating the two that
time by Harvick was faster.>>You see Paul Menard trying to catch Joey
Logano. Trying to make a chase. Right behind him is Ryan Newman. Good runs from both cars trying to make their
way into the chase.>>Almirola.
>>I’m amazed at how good of a job they do in the 31 at being in the best track position
they have had all day. A little bit of a pit. This is the highest they have run all day
long. It’s seven laps to go. They might get a top ten out of this. Everything they do
is about fwaning points. — Gaining points. In my eyes they do better
than everybody on the racetrack.>>24 points in front of almirola is Clint
bowyer. Bowyer, 41st. He’s 34 laps down. Won’t be able to make up any of those laps. On anyone
in front of him. He’ll finish 41st today.>>The average running position in the race
is 14th. He just passed for 8th. That’s an example of how it isn’t always the fastest
car. It’s pit strategy. Newman doing a great job on restarts, not giving up spots. There
are good ways to get good finishes. That’s the way this team does it.
>>Newman gets by. In the 8th position. Kenseth, a little bit more distance now between himself
and Harvick. We have under six laps of racing to go. Matt Kenseth has been dominant. He
LED 141 laps today.>>Menard is racing the guys. Lap 164. Busch
on 173. Keselowski 171. They have fresher tires. Newman pitted on 184 also. This group,
without a doubt, Paul Menard has the oldest tires.
>>How about the job that the 3 of Austin Dillon has done. After having an engine expire on him in practice.
They have to go to the back to start the race. Running in the top five here at Michigan.
>>It’s the work they have been doing over the last month, six weeks. They are not going
to run well today. They have been running better for the last month. That’s what you
want to see. I said it earlier, this is the most improved team on the track. They are
starting to get top tens, consistently run in the top ten. That’s what you want to see.
That’s real improvement. You could get a good race now and then. You string good runs together.
That’s when you know you are starting T éh have lasting improvement.
>>Only one career top five for Austin Dylan to make it 2 today. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Passed
by the 2 of Brad keselowski. Kevin Harvick running second here at Michigan. Five times
before he has finished second.>>Kenseth extended the lead. Just managing
it with three to go.>>1.3 seconds separating Harvick from Truex,
Jr. Another great run for martin Truex, Jr. That’s what the team needed to get back into
the positive. Moving in the right direction. A top five finish would be a big win for the
team. Getting momentum going as we have just three races to go before the chase after this
wuchblt — one.>>Brad keselowski up to ninth. Menard tenth.
In the top ten. Martin Truex, Jr., under two laps to go at Michigan. It’s been a dominant performance
today by Matt Kenseth.>>Matt Kenseth, think about the last several
weeks. They won pocono. Has not been historically good. They sat on the pole here. Now in good
shape to win the race. This team is hot. It’s not just Kyle Busch
at Joe Gibbs racing. It’s Matt Kenseth in the 20 car.
>>He’s not the type you want to wake up.>>No, you don’t.
>>The white flag is out
for Matt Kenseth. The last time we were talking about Matt Kenseth up front it was based on
fuel mileage. Today it’s been based on domination. Down the back stretch after leading 145 laps
trying to lead his 146th lap and the most important as he works his way out of 3 and
4. Twice a winner at Michigan before. He makes it a third. Matt Kenseth will win in Michigan!
>>Way to work. On the restarts. Good job all weekend. And
the domination for Joe Gibbs racing continues.
was all Matt Kenseth today. 146 laps started on the pole. Not just a win but a very impressive,
dominant performance out of the 20 team.>>I will say this tongue in cheek but penske
dropped the ball today. The last five races it’s been one-two Joe Gibbs racing-penske.
Logano finished 7th today.>>You will hear people say you couldn’t pass
today because of the package. We’ll hear Matt Kenseth had an advantage because he started in front. He took advantage of
he sat on the pole, took advantage of it. He had the best car all day long. Yes.