Photo: Stewart Haas Racing
Date: June 10, 2018
Event: FireKeepers Casino 400 (Round 15 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn (2-mile oval)
Format: 200 laps, broken into three stages (60 laps/60 laps/80 laps)
Start/Finish: 1st/ 3rd (Running, completed 133 of 133 laps in a rain-shortened race)
Point Standing: 7th (493 points, 171 out of first)
Race Winner: Clint Bowyer of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Ryan Blaney of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-60):
● Kurt Busch started first and finished seventh to earn four bonus points.
● Busch started on the pole and led the first 25 laps until the competition caution. Busch said the car was good but a little tight.
● The No. 41 Monster Energy/Haas Automation Ford Fusion pitted on lap 27 for right-side tires, fuel and a tire pressure adjustment. He came out in the first position.
● Ryan Blaney passed Busch for the lead on lap 47.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 61-120):
● Started 10th and finished third to earn eight bonus points.
● Busch pitted on lap 62 for four tires, fuel and a wedge and tire pressure adjustment.
● Busch pitted on lap 87 for right-side tires and fuel and came out in third place.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 121-133):
● Started fourth and finished third.
● The No. 41 Monster Energy/Haas Automation Ford Fusion pitted on lap 122 for four tires and fuel.
● Busch worked his way up to third place and finished behind two of his Stewart-Hass Racing (SHR) teammates, winner Clint Bowyer and second-place Kevin Harvick. Rain began falling after lap 133, and the race was ended 67 laps before the scheduled 200.
● This was Busch’s third top-five of 2018.
● Busch earned his sixth top-five in 34 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Michigan.
● Busch finished seventh in Stage 1 to earn four bonus points and third in Stage 2 to earn eight bonus points.
● Busch led the first 46 laps to increase his laps-led total at Michigan to 494.
● The FireKeepers Casino 400 was completed under caution, with rain ending the race after 133 of its scheduled 200 laps.
● There were eight caution periods for a total of 30 laps.
● Twenty-nine of the 39 drivers in the FireKeepers Casino 400 finished on the lead lap.
● Clint Bowyer’s victory in the FireKeepers Casino 400 marked the 51st overall win for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR). It was the organization’s 46th points-paying Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win and its second at Michigan.
● Sunday’s win marked SHR’s seventh victory in the first 15 races of the 2018 season.
● This was SHR’s 10th Cup Series victory with Ford. The team won its first race with Ford when Kurt Busch captured the 2017 Daytona 500.
● Harvick finished second and Busch came home third to secure the first 1-2-3 finish in SHR history.
Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Monster Energy/Haas Automation Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We had an excellent day all the way through; no big mistakes, no rough moments. Pit stops were solid, adjustments were solid. Restarts, I’d say three-quarters of the time I was on the inside lane, so that might have been a little bit where we were pinned down. But you have to make do with what you have, how the chips fall. I’m happy with our effort today. To finish third, rain-shortened, of course you always want to go back racing again, but to see the two cars in front of me at the end, the 4 and the 14, that’s a big day for Stewart‑Haas Racing. It’s very special to finish 1‑2‑3. Tried to get to your outside when we were on the track, maybe get a picture with the 14, 4 and 41 to symbolize such a special day at Michigan. To win at Stewart‑Haas for Ford 1‑2‑3, it’s a huge day. Big thanks to Monster Energy, Haas Automation and Ford. Great day for all of our partners.”
The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Save Mart 350 on Sunday, June 24 at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway. The race starts at 3 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1.