FireKeepers Casino 400 2016: Five takeaways from Michigan

Jun 10, 2016; Brooklyn, MI, USA; Sprint Cup Series driver Joey Logano (22) during qualifying for the FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 10, 2016; Brooklyn, MI, USA; Sprint Cup Series driver Joey Logano (22) during qualifying for the FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /

The fast speeds of Michigan International Speedway led to a wild day at the 2016 FireKeeprs Casino 400.

On Sunday, the drivers of NASCAR’s sprint cup series had to deal with the high speeds of Michigan International Raceway and a rules package that didn’t allow them to get the desired downforce on the track that they wanted.

The 2016 FireKeepers Casino 400 was yet another wild day at Michigan and many heavyweights built the dust, while Chase Elliott tried to win his first race as a rookie in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

The race started with Joey Logano on the pole and the race would unfold from there. Business got started when Martin Truex Jr. spun out and took some damage. The exceptional speeds got everyone loose and this led to issues with handling.

Kyle Busch would soon leave the track, but not for getting loose. He would blow an engine and his day would come to an end early. Back at the front, the lead would shuffle around a little bit, as Jimmie Johnson eyed Logano and Brad Keselowski.

Those three and Kyle Larson would battle for the lead, but Chase Elliott would make a tremendous restart and take the lead. With 50 laps remaining, each of the drivers made furious pit stops to take the lead and Elliott would hold serve and be first off pit lane.

With 33 laps to go, Logano would get Elliott on a restart and take back the lead in the race. After Denny Hamlin suffered a hard wreck with 10 laps left, it would be time for another late restart in the race.

On the restart, Logano would take the lead again, but both Elliott and Larson were right behind him ready to chase him down. Logano would hold on the rest of the way and would win the 2016 FireKeepers Casino 400 to win his first race of the season.

1. Tony Stewart had the race he needed

Over the past two seasons, Tony Stewart has had struggled massively and has had to deal with personal issues and injuries. On Sunday, Stewart once again looked like the champion driver that everyone was used to at Michigan.

It all started on Friday, when Stewart qualified third for the 2016 FireKeepers 400. On Sunday, Stewart was a factor in most of the race and competed. It’s not a win, but it’s momentum to keep doing what he’s doing on the track going forward.

2. Kyle Busch’s bad luck continued

Believe it or not, Kyle Busch is indeed human. After dominating most of the season to start the year, Busch has had four straight bad weeks.

On Sunday at the FireKeepers Casino 400, his latest rendition of bad luck came when he blew an engine.

As a result, it’s the fourth straight week where he has finished 30th or worse. In terms of points, things are going his way right now.

3. Dale Earnhardt Jr. needs to figure something out soon

Another driver that had bad luck on Sunday, was Dale Earnhardt Jr. After Chris Buescher appeared to get in his quarter panel, Earnhardt Jr. got loose and hit the wall.

He would end up taking A.J. Allmendinger with him.

The difference between Earnhardt Jr. and Busch is that Earnhardt Jr. has not won a race yet this season. If he’s going to get into the Chase on points, he can’t afford to have days like this when he doesn’t have a win to fall back on.

4. Everybody loves Jim Harbaugh

Jim Harbaugh is everywhere. Ever since becoming the head football coach at Michigan, Harbaugh has gone all around the world and has gotten to do some of the coolest things.

With NASCAR being in Michigan this week, Harbaugh decided to catch the action.

He even busted out the khakis for this very special occasion!

5. Joey Logano is in the Chase

At long last, Joey Logano has finally won his first race of the season. After having some bad luck earlier in the year, Logano has overcome the odds and he will now be once again competing for a Sprint Cup Championship.

With the win, Logano is the seventh different winner in the last seven races. He is now the 10th entrant into the Chase and now only six spots remain.

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