In the second-to-last race of the NASCAR Cup Series, fans were treated to quite an event. With crashes, rain, and a tight race among the season leaders.
By the time the checkered flag waved over the Michigan International Speedway, up-and-comer Ryan Blaney came away with the surprise win at the FireKeepers Casino 400. The top-5 finishers mostly consisted of Chevy drivers, save for Blaney’s Ford and Hamlin’s Toyota finishing out that top 5.
This season, Kyle Larson has five wins while regular-season second place holder, Denny Hamlin has none. However, Hamlin has 13 top-5 finishes this season. William Byron, Kurt Busch, and Joey Logano make up the chase pack in the standings.
With this win, Ryan Blaney has helped their case heading into the final race of the season before the playoffs begin. He was ranked 8th in the standing prior to the win today, this is his second victory on the season.
Unfortunately, the final stage could not be finished without an accident. While racing four wide, the middle of the pack got caught up with one another and multiple cars were spun out. Tyler Reddick, Christopher Bell, and Joey Logano were all caught up in the incident.
NASCAR is a battle of skill and strategy. Prior to the yellow caution flag for a rain delay in the final stage, Larson was riding in first. However, with a green flag over the track, he pulled into the pit to fuel up. That move proved to be risky, and Larson finished in third place.
Ryan Blaney took control of the race once Larson pulled off to the pit and took full advantage. William Byron finished second followed by Larson and Kurt Busch. Hamlin rounded out the top-5 with a chase pack behind him consisting of Matt DiBenedetto, Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski, and Martin Truex Jr., in that order.
NASCAR: Brad Keselowski Hooked Austin Dillon into Wall
The third and final stage of NASCAR’s FireKeepers Casino 400 almost went off without incident. However a caution flag for rain and a wreck with Joey Logano and others with 15 laps to go changed all that. However, the second stage also ended with a big accident. As Austin Dillon and Brad Keselowski finished in 6th and 7th, the two got caught up with each other. The #3 driver thought he had cleared his rival and drove up towards the apron. The end result was disastrous for Dillon.
With the NASCAR Cup Series regular-season ending in a week, this could spell D-A-N-G-E-R for Dillon. Prior to the race, he sat at 13th in the standings. The playoffs start with the round of 16 soon. Those last few points to be earned are valuable. Every race counts for those sitting around the 12-18 range.
With Kyle Larson and Denny Hamlin leading the way this regular season, everyone else is competing for third. However, when the playoffs begin, it is a whole new game…or race, rather. While Larson and Hamlin have separated themselves in the regular season, other drivers such as Kyle Busch and Chase Eliott are ready to take a stab at the top spots. Keep watching as the regular season ends in Daytona with the Coke Zero Sugar 400.