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Home Sports NASCAR results: Chris Buescher holds off Martin Truex Jr. to go back-to-back, extends Ford’s streak at Michigan; full results

NASCAR results: Chris Buescher holds off Martin Truex Jr. to go back-to-back, extends Ford’s streak at Michigan; full results

by nytime
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Chris Buescher had to sweat it out, but he managed to hold off a much stronger Martin Truex Jr. to win a rain-delayed FireKeepers Casino 400 on Monday afternoon in Michigan.

For the first 2/3 of the race, Truex was unmatched. The Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota driver swept both of the first two stages, including an incredible final 14 laps of Stage 2 in which he ran down and passed 14 cars that had stayed out for track position after a late caution.

Buescher found himself in the lead after not pitting during the Stage 2 break and had a great final pit stop to stay in front of Truex on track midway through the stage. He held off two stiff challenges from Truex with 12 and two laps to go, respectively to claim his second straight win.

Ford has now won the last nine races at Michigan.

Firekeepers Casino 400 results

  1. Chris Buescher (17), RFK Racing Ford

  2. Martin Truex Jr. (19), Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

  3. Denny Hamlin (11), Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

  4. Brad Keselowski (6), RFK Racing Ford

  5. Kyle Larson (5), Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

  6. Daniel Suárez (99), Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet

  7. Ross Chastain (1), Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet

  8. Kevin Harvick (4), Stewart-Haas Racing Ford

  9. Ryan Blaney (12), Team Penske Ford

  10. Erik Jones (43), Legacy Motor Club Chevrolet

  11. Ty Gibbs (54), Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

  12. Austin Cindric (2), Team Penske Ford

  13. Christopher Bell (20), Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

  14. Joey Logano (22), Team Penske Ford

  15. Corey LaJoie (7), Spire Motorsports Chevrolet

  16. Aric Almirola (10), Stewart-Haas Racing Ford

  17. Harrison Burton (21), Wood Brothers Racing Ford

  18. Bubba Wallace (23), 23XI Racing Toyota

  19. Austin Dillon (3), Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet

  20. Ty Dillon (77), Spire Motorsports Chevrolet

  21. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (47), JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet

  22. Ryan Preece (41), Stewart-Haas Racing Ford

  23. Justin Haley (31), Kaulig Racing Chevrolet

  24. Michael McDowell (34), Front Row Motorsports Ford

  25. Cole Custer (51), Rick Ware Racing Ford

  26. A.J. Allmendinger (16), Kaulig Racing Chevrolet

  27. J.J. Yeley (15), Rick Ware Racing Ford

  28. Austin Hill (62), Beard Motorsports Chevrolet

  29. Todd Gilliland (36), Front Row Motorsports Ford

  30. Tyler Reddick (45), 23XI Racing Toyota

  31. Chase Briscoe (14), Stewart-Haas Racing Ford

  32. Josh Bilicki (78), Live Fast Motorsports Chevrolet

  33. Alex Bowman (48), Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

  34. Josh Berry (42), Legacy Motor Club Chevrolet

  35. William Byron (24), Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

  36. Chase Elliott (9), Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

  37. Kyle Busch (8), Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet

Truex steamrolls Stage 2

The FireKeepers Casino 400 finally restarted 19 hours after the initial red flag flew, and about 45 minutes after the rescheduled start time. The delays didn’t matter for Martin Truex Jr., who won the first stage Sunday before the rains came.

Truex briefly lost the lead on the race restart to Bubba Wallace, but he overtook Wallace on lap 99 before Ryan Preece brought out the yellow flag on lap 102. Truex, along with about half of the field pitted at lap 105 in an attempt to make it on one more fuel stop. On the ensuing restart, Truex picked off the 15 cars that stayed out over the final 14 laps of the stage.

Truex wins Stage 1 at Michigan

Martin Truex Jr. won the first stage of the FireKeepers Casino 400 ahead of Bubba Wallace and Ty Gibbs.

Truex took the lead on a restart on lap 19, breezing around Gibbs on the outside following the first caution flag of the day. Kyle Busch spun in turns 1 and 2 while attempting a pass of Ryan Blaney on lap 14. Richard Childress Racing was forced to retire the car.

Chase Elliott suffered right-rear tire failure on lap 34, resulting in a spin and hard smack against the wall, bringing out the second caution of the day. Truex, Wallace, Gibbs and three others stayed out, opting for track position and stage points.

Race start delayed by rain

Rain delayed the start of the FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan Speedway by a more than an hour. Initially, cars had made it off out for the pace laps, but rain began to fall forcing them back to pit road.

The re-command to fire engines came at 4:05 p.m. ET and the green flag dropped at 4:13 p.m.

FireKeepers Casino 400 starting grid

  1. Christopher Bell (20), Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

  2. Ross Chastain (1), Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet

  3. Ty Gibbs (54), Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

  4. Chris Buescher (17), RFK Racing Ford

  5. Martin Truex Jr. (19), Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

  6. Joey Logano (22), Team Penske Ford

  7. William Byron (24), Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

  8. Kyle Busch (8), Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet

  9. Ryan Blaney (12), Team Penske Ford

  10. Chase Elliott (9), Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

  11. Bubba Wallace (23), 23XI Racing Toyota

  12. Brad Keselowski (6), RFK Racing Ford

  13. Denny Hamlin (11), Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

  14. Daniel Suárez (99), Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet

  15. Tyler Reddick (45), 23XI Racing Toyota

  16. Austin Dillon (3), Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet

  17. Kyle Larson (5), Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

  18. Aric Almirola (10), Stewart-Haas Racing Ford

  19. Chase Briscoe (14), Stewart-Haas Racing Ford

  20. Alex Bowman (48), Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

  21. Austin Cindric (2), Team Penske Ford

  22. Kevin Harvick (4), Stewart-Haas Racing Ford

  23. Michael McDowell (34), Front Row Motorsports Ford

  24. A.J. Allmendinger (16), Kaulig Racing Chevrolet

  25. Erik Jones (43), Legacy Motor Club Chevrolet

  26. Justin Haley (31), Kaulig Racing Chevrolet

  27. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (47), JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet

  28. Ryan Preece (41), Stewart-Haas Racing Ford

  29. Harrison Burton (21), Wood Brothers Racing Ford

  30. Austin Hilll (62), Beard Motorsports Chevrolet

  31. Corey LaJoie (7), Spire Motorsports Chevrolet

  32. Todd Gilliland (38), Front Row Motorsports Ford

  33. Cole Custer (51), Rick Ware Racing Ford

  34. Ty Dillon (77), Spire Motorsports Chevrolet

  35. Josh Berry (42), Legacy Motor Club Chevrolet

  36. J.J. Yeley (15), Rick Ware Racing Ford

  37. Josh Bilicki (78), Live Fast Motorsports Chevrolet

FireKeepers Casino 400 TV/streaming schedule

All times Eastern

Saturday
12:30 – 1:20 p.m.: Practice (USA, NBC Sports app)
1:20 – 2:30 p.m.: Qualifying (USA, NBC Sports app)

Sunday
2:30 – 3 p.m.: Pre-race show (USA)
3 – 6:30 p.m.: FireKeepers Casino 400 (USA, NBC Sports app)

FireKeepers Casino 400 details

Track: Michigan International Speedway (2-mile, D-shaped superspeedway), in Brooklyn Michigan
Length: 200 laps for 400 miles
Banking: Turns – 18 degrees | Tri-oval – 12 degrees | Backstretch – 5 degrees
2022 winner: Kevin Harvick (4), Stewart-Haas Ford

Truex returning to JGR for 2024

Amid rampant speculation that he may retire at the end of the season, Martin Truex Jr. announced Saturday that he will remain with Joe Gibbs Racing at least through 2024. The current Cup Series points leader and 2017 champion has been with JGR since 2019.

Gragson suspended indefinitely

Legacy Motor Club announced Saturday that it had indefinitely suspended Noah Gragson, driver of its No. 42 Chevrolet for “actions that do not represent the values of our team.” Josh Berry, who has filled in for Hendrick Motorsports’ Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman at different points this season, will drive the No. 42 this weekend.

A screenshot captured by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette showed that Gragson liked a meme on Instagram that made light of the death of George Floyd while in custody of the Minneapolis police department in 2020.

“I am disappointed in myself for my lack of attention and actions on social media,” Gragson wrote in a statement. “I understand the severity of this situation. I love and appreciate everyone. I try to treat everyone equally no matter who they are. I messed up plain and simple.”

Shortly after Legacy announced its suspension, NASCAR suspended Gragson indefinitely as well.

Top drivers and best bets for the FireKeepers Casino 400

Despite having won the last seven races in their backyard, a Ford driver is not among the top four favorites coming into the weekend and only two of the top 10. Kevin Harvick, who has won five of those last seven, has the fifth-best odds to win Sunday at 10-to-1. Denny Hamlin is the favorite headed into Michigan.

Best odds to win
Denny Hamlin +500
William Byron +600
Kyle Larson +700
Kyle Busch +900
Martin Truex Jr. +900
Kevin Harvick +1000

Yahoo Sports’ Nick Bromberg took a deeper dive on the odds earlier in the week and suggests good mid-tier value in Joey Logano (+1400) and Chase Elliott (+1600). Logano has won at Michigan three times in his career, and Elliott, while winless at Michigan, sports the best average finish (8th) there of anyone in the field. If you like living dangerously, Bromberg suggests last week’s winner Chris Buescher, who is +6000 to win.

Kevin Harvick has won five of the last seven races at Michigan International Raceway. Can he get another in his final visit to the track? (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

FireKeepers Casino 400 entry list

Ross Chastain (1), Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet
Austin Cindric (2), Team Penske Ford
Austin Dillon (3), Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
Kevin Harvick (4), Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
Kyle Larson (5), Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Brad Keselowski (6), RFK Racing Ford
Corey LaJoie (7), Spire Motorsports Chevrolet
Kyle Busch (8), Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
Chase Elliott (9), Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Aric Almirola (10), Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
Denny Hamlin (11), Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Ryan Blaney (12), Team Penske Ford
Chase Briscoe (14), Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
J.J. Yeley (15), Rick Ware Racing Ford
A.J. Allmendinger (16), Kaulig Racing Chevrolet
Chris Buescher (17), RFK Racing Ford
Martin Truex Jr. (19), Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Christopher Bell (20), Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Harrison Burton (21), Wood Brothers Racing Ford
Joey Logano (22), Team Penske Ford
Bubba Wallace (23), 23XI Racing Toyota
William Byron (24), Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Justin Haley (31), Kaulig Racing Chevrolet
Michael McDowell (34), Front Row Motorsports Ford
Todd Gilliland (36), Front Row Motorsports Ford
Zane Smith (38), Front Row Motorsports Ford
Ryan Preece (41), Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
Noah Gragson (42), Legacy Motor Club Chevrolet
Erik Jones (43), Legacy Motor Club Chevrolet
Tyler Reddick (45), 23XI Racing Toyota
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (47), JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet
Alex Bowman (48), Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Cole Custer (51), Rick Ware Racing Ford
Ty Gibbs (54), Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Austin Hilll (62), Beard Motorsports Chevrolet
Ty Dillon (77), Spire Motorsports Chevrolet
Josh Bilicki (78), Live Fast Motorsports Chevrolet
Daniel Suárez (99), Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet

FireKeepers Casino 400 weather

It being the summer in the Midwest, atmospheric unpredictability is the norm. As of Friday afternoon, the forecast calls for partly cloudy conditions with a 40% chance of rain during Saturday’s practice and qualifying and a 60% chance of rain looms for race day.

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