NASCAR: First Time Winner in Pure Michigan 400

Only three races remain before The Chase begins.

The final race of this triple header weekend is the Pure Michigan 400 from Michigan International Speedway. The drivers will reach over 200 miles per hour as they make 200 laps around the two mile track.

After the rain on Saturday, NASCAR has planned a competition caution on lap 20.

During qualifying on Friday, Joey Logano earned the pole for the third straight time at Michigan. He won the Michigan race in June after starting from the pole. No driver has ever won three consecutive races from the pole at Michigan.

After winning the Xfinity race at Road America on Saturday, Michael McDowell makes his way to Michigan and will have to start the race from the back of the field after making a driver change.

The starting lineup for the Pure Michigan 400:
Joey Logano
Jimmie Johnson
Denny Hamlin
Kevin Harvick
Chase Elliott
Alex Bowman
Ryan Blaney
Jamie McMurray
Carl Edwards
Ryan Newman
Kasey Kahne
Kyle Larson
Matt Kenseth
Martin Truex Jr
Tony Stewart
Kyle Busch
Austin Dillon
Brad Keselowski
Kurt Busch
Paul Menard
Chris Buescher
Greg Biffle
Danica Patrick
Trevor Bayne
AJ Allmendinger
Aric Almirola
Clint Bowyer
Casey Mears
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Brian Scott
Regan Smith
David Ragan
Landon Cassill
Matt DiBenedetto
Michael McDowell
Michael Annett
Cole Whitt
Josh Wise
Reed Sorenson
Jeffrey Earnhardt – in a backup car

Joey Logano chose the outside lane to bring the field down for the green flag and the start of the race. The cars fan out two or three wide behind the leaders.

On lap three Chris Buescher radios in that he is having engine issues, says that the engine is flat. He may have a spark plug down.

On lap eight Joey Logano has over a half a second lead over second place driver Kevin Harvick.

The first caution flag of the race was the lap 20 competition caution flag. Josh Wise gets the “lucky dog”.

Joey Logano wins the race off of pit road. Christ Buescher’s team chose not to take on fresh tires so that they could address the engine issues. Brian Scott was penalized for his jackman coming over the pit wall too soon.

On lap 26 Joey Logano brings the field down for the green flag restart but Kevin Harvick passes him to take the lead in turn one.

On lap 27 Kyle Busch brings out the second caution flag of the race when he gets very loose and spins out ending up in the grass. Busch has not had much in the way of good luck at Michigan.

Kevin Harvick brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 30 and takes over the lead of the race. Kyle Busch and Chris Buescher are the only drivers who are not on the lead lap.

On lap 37 Kevin Harvick lead the field by over half a second. Alex Bowman is reporting a possible engine issue as he drops back through the field.

On lap 40 Denny Hamlin reports that he is having electrical issues.

On lap 47 Kevin Harvick leads the race by 1.5 seconds over second place driver Martin Truex Jr. AJ Allmendinger reports that he is having sterring issues.

On lap 50 Kevin Harvick continues to lead the race; there are 35 cars on the lead lap.

On lap 58 Martin Truex Jr passes Kevin Harvick to take over the lead of the race and pulls away from the field.

On lap 63 Ryan Blaney comes down pit road for fresh tires after having a tire come apart. The drivers begin making green flag pit stops. Alex Bowman takes his car to the garage for repairs.

On lap 67 race leader Martin Truex Jr’s jackman drops the jack before the left rear tire is changed. The incident causes damage to the left quarter panel of the car and a slow pit stop.

On lap 68 Alex Bowman returns to the track.

While green flag pit stops cycle through Brad Keselowski is in the lead but gives it up to Jimmie Johnson when he makes a pit stop.

On lap 85 Jimmie Johnson has a lead of over two seconds.

Lap 100 – halfway through the race – Jimmie Johnson is still in the lead but it is down to less than one second, there are 21 cars on the lead lap, and there are no cars off of the track or out of the race.

On lap 103 Jimmie Johnson passes Tony Stewart leaving only 19 cars on the lead lap.

On lap 107 David Ragan makes an unscheduled pit stop and another round of green flag pit stops begin. Jimmie Johnson’s team has issues with the gas can causing a slow pit stop.

On lap 108 Chase Elliott takes over the lead of the race.

On lap 109 Brad Keselowski takes over the lead.

On lap 110 Kyle Larson says that he has another right front tire coming apart.

On lap 117 Brad Keselowski finally pits giving up the lead to Chase Elliott.

On lap 118 Clint Bowyer has to make a second trip down pit road with a loose tire.

On lap 119 NASCAR brings out the third caution flag for debris on the track. Greg Biffle is the “lucky dog”. Jimmie Johnson reports that he has a tire going down and has to come down pit road for fresh tires.

On lap 122 Martin Truex Jr’s team is working on repairing his car.

On lap 123 Clint Bowyer takes his car to the garage.

Chase Elliott brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 126 but Kyle Larson takes over the lead of the race. There are 19 cars on the lead lap.

The teams are monitoring the weather radar after reports of bad weather approaching the area.

On lap 132 Kyle Larson has increased his lead to over one second over second place driver Chase Elliott.

On lap 140 Kyle Larson still maintains a lead but it has come down to less than one second.

On lap 152 Joey Logano is the first driver down pit road for green flag pit stops.

Lap 157 Brad Keselowski takes over the lead when leader Chase Elliott comes down pit road. Elliott beats Kyle Larson off of pit road after Larson has a tire get stuck in the wheel well.

On lap 158 Matt Kenseth takes over the lead of the race.

Aric Almirola gets a penalty for having an uncontrolled tire on pit road.

Austin Dillon takes over the lead of the race when Matt Kenseth makes a pit stop.

As pit stops continue to cycle through, Ryan Newman, Carl Edwards, and Greg Biffle all take over the lead. After the pit stops have cycled through, Chase Elliott takes over the lead of the race and on lap 171 he has a lead of nearly three seconds.

On lap 180 Kyle Larson cuts Chase Elliott’s lead to less than two seconds; but on the next lap he loses time trying to work his way around lapped traffic.

On lap 184 Landon Cassill takes his car to the garage and returns to the track on lap 185.

On lap 186 Michael Annett brings out the fourth caution flag when Michael Annett blows a tire. While the leaders stay out, some of the drivers comes down pit road for service.

Chase Elliott brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 191 but Kyle Larson takes over the lead on the restart after both drivers spin their tires.

On lap 195 Kyle Larson holds on to a lead of over one second.

Kyle Larson takes the white flag.

Kyle Larson takes the checkered flag to win his first ever Sprint Cup race to become the 13th different winner of the 2016 racing season. Kyle Larson is now eligible to participate in The Chase.

NASCAR has told the teams that their cars must be able to pass post race inspection after their celebrations. A very excited Kyle Larson jumped on the roof of the car and had pieces of his car flying off during his burnout near victory lane. In victory lane many of Larson’s fellow drivers stopped to congratulate him on the win.

Kyle Larson’s Michigan win was only the second time a Sprint Cup driver has won his first race at Michigan. The first driver to get his first Sprint Cup (then Winston Cup) win was Dale Jarrett in 1991.

In his post race interview Kyle Larson said, “this one’s for the Clauson family,” adding that they really miss him.

Larson’s win broke a 99 race winless streak for Chip Ganassi Racing.

This was a weekend of firsts for NASCAR; all three of the winners Brett Moffitt in the Camping World Truck Series, Michael McDowell in the Xfinity Series, and Kyle Larson in the Sprint Cup series were all first time winners.

The unofficial results of the Pure Michigan 400:
Kyle Larson
Chase Elliott
Brad Keselowski
Ryan Blaney
Kevin Harvick
Jimmie Johnson
Carl Edwards
Jamie McMurray
Denny Hamlin
Joey Logano
Greg Biffle
Kurt Busch
Matt Kenseth
Kasey Kahne
AJ Allmendinger
Austin Dillon
Ryan Newman
Paul Menard
Kyle Busch
Martin Truex Jr
Tony Stewart
Casey Mears
Danica Patrick
Trevor Bayne
Aric Almirola
Regan Smith
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Brian Scott
David Ragan
Alex Bowman
Michael McDowell
Matt DiBenedetto
Michael Annett
Cole Whitt
Chris Buescher
Reed Sorenson
Jeffrey Earnhardt
Josh Wise
Landon Cassill
Clint Bowyer


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