When the racecars are going 204 mph, you know the race is going to be exciting. The Pure Michigan 400 didn’t disappoint, nearly breaking the track’s record amount of 10 cautions and bringing out the best in Penske Racing driver Joey Logano. The No. 22 visited victory lane after Mark Martin ran out of fuel with three laps to go.
Logano started the race from the pole, wavered within the top ten, and came through at the right moment. This win now throws him into the Wild Card mix and revives his Chase chances.
The points are the biggest story coming out of Michigan. Let’s run through some sub-storylines, beginning with our points leader, Jimmie Johnson.
Johnson had just come in to pit after leading a lap when his engine began to lay down, a huge red flag. He ended up not finishing, his backup car not holding up. As many know, the No. 48 wrecked in final practice Saturday, forcing the team to use the machine they planned to use in the first Chase race at Chicagoland. This wreck didn’t affect his rank in the points (he’s still first), but his lead shrunk from seventy-five points to forty-one.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. was the fan favorite to win this race (shocking, I know), and it was looking possible until tire issues came about. Then, it began to look bleak. A win would’ve made the team feel much better about their championship hopes, since their driver currently has none.
The Comeback of the Year award should be handed out now, because Kurt Busch has definitely earned it. Everyone loves it when a one-car can run with the big dogs, and this little puppy finished third. Making The Chase is a huge deal for him and the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing team, and they’re gaining ground fast.
So, with all these happenings and his win, where does this leave Logano? He’s seven points behind Martin Truex Jr., who fell out of the top ten and now holds the second Wild Card. In the points below, Logano is added for reference to where he is compared to the top ten.
If he can hopscotch into the top ten, then he would get bonus points for his win. He is only seventeen points behind, and the standings are flip-flopping constantly throughout races. However, him and his team need to buckle down and focus.
The Michigan race was thrilling, with a Race to The Chase battle to match in gusto.
Point Standings after Michigan
1. Jimmie Johnson (–)
2. Clint Bowyer (-41)
3. Carl Edwards (-51)
4. Kevin Harvick (-64)
5. Kyle Busch (-107)
6. Matt Kenseth (-125)
7. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (-134)
8. Brad Keselowski (-146)
9. Kurt Busch (-148)
10. Greg Biffle (-150)
11. Kasey Kahne (-154)
12. Martin Truex Jr. (-160)
13. Joey Logano (-167)