NASCAR at Michigan: Track, starting lineup, how to watch


Tyler Reddick celebrates after winning a NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Sunday, July 31, 2022, in Indianapolis.  (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Tyler Reddick celebrates after winning a NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Sunday, July 31, 2022, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

AP

For two straight Cup races now, the order in which drivers crossed the finish line did not reflect official results.

Will Michigan buck the trend?

The NASCAR Cup Series arrives at Michigan International Speedway for the FireKeepers Casino 400 on Sunday. The race’s green flag will drop a little after 3 pm and be broadcast on the USA Network with radio coverage from MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR radio.

The two-mile, 200-lap, D-shaped track offers a return to normalcy after two wild weeks of racing: The first week, at the “Tricky Triangle” at Pocono, made decades worth of history when top finishers of Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch (both of Joe Gibbs Racing) were pushed to the back of the pack after their cars failed post-race inspection. The second, at the perilous 14-turn Indy road course, saw Ross Chastain cross the finish line second but doing so only after using the access road and avoiding Turn 1 entirely in overtime, a move NASCAR later deemed illegal to the tune of a 30 – second penalty.

Will MIS see something similar?

Drivers have since weighed in on the penalty-defined Cup races. Brad Keselowski, part-owner of Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing who commands the No. 6 car, told local media earlier this week that he doesn’t know what to expect out of the race in Michigan. But he added that NASCAR “needs more penalties” and that “the sport needs to be handing them out like candy right now to get control of the garage.”

“The reality is that NASCAR is setting precedents that needed to be seen,” he said on Tuesday, “that we support being seen, that are important to the future of our industry.”

Other drivers have shared similar sentiments. On the Door Bumper Clear podcast, Hamlin said that he expects more penalties will be levied this season: “I think they’ve set a precedent,” Hamlin said of NASCAR on the podcast hosted by Casey Boat and veteran spotters Brett Griffin, TJ Majors and Freddie Kraft. “I’ll say this: Hopefully others get DQ’ed this year. I believe that will be the case. I think that they’re really laying down the law here.”

In qualifying on Saturday afternoon in Brooklyn, Mich., Bubba Wallace took the pole for the first time in his career. He’ll lead the pack on Sunday alongside Christopher Bell and just in front of Kyle Busch — all three of whom are driving Toyotas.

Kurt Busch, for a third straight week, will not race after sustaining a concussion in a crash during qualifying at Pocono Raceway. Ty Gibbs will replace him in the Toyota for 23XI Racing for his third Cup series start.

Kyle Busch and his family were reportedly in the Mall of America in suburban Minneapolis on Thursday evening when someone fired gunshots. The family escaped safely, according to the social media of Busch’s wife, Samantha.

Ryan Blaney won the last time the Cup Series descended on MIS, and Kevin Harvick won the three races there before that (2018-20).

The 200-lap track has its three stages ending in Lap 45, Lap 120 and Lap 200.

NASCAR_Indianapolis_Auto_Racing_13678.jpg
Kevin Harvick waits in the pits before during for the NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Saturday, July 30, 2022, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings) Darron Cummings AP

How to watch NASCAR race at Michigan

  • Race: FireKeepers Casino 400
  • Distance: 400 miles, 200 laps
  • Where: Michigan International Speedway
  • When: 3 p.m
  • TV: USA Network
  • Radio: Sirius XM NASCAR Radio
  • Purse: $7,125,085

Starting lineup: FireKeepers Casino 400

Order Driver Car no.
1 Bubba Wallace 23
2 Christopher Bell 20
3 Kyle Busch 18
4 Joey Logano 22
5 Austin Cindric 2
6 Tyler Reddick 8
7 Martin Truex Jr. 19
8 Kyle Larson 5
9 Denny Hamlin 11
10 Eric Jones 43
11 Shut up Gibbs 45
12 Noah Gragson 16
13 Chase Elliott 9
14 Michael McDowell 34
15 Daniel Suarez 99
16 Kevin Harvick 4
17 Cole Custer 41
18 Aric Almirola 10
19

Chris Buescher

17
20 William Byron 24
21 Justin Haley 31
22 Ross Chastain 1
23 Chase Briscoe 14
24 Ryan Blaney 12
25 Shut up Dillon 42
26 Austin Dillon 3
27 Harrison Burton 21
28 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 47
29 JJ Yeley 15
30 Alex Bowman 48
31 Austin Hill 33
32 Corey LaJoie 7
33 Brad Keselowski 6
34 Cody Ware 51
35 Josh Bilicki 77
36 BJ McLeod 78
37 Todd Gilliland 38

Alex Zietlow writes about NASCAR, Charlotte FC and the ways in which sports intersect with life in the Charlotte area for The Observer, where he has been a reporter since August 2022. Zietlow has won nine SC Press Association awards in his career, including First Place finishes in Feature Writing and Sports Enterprise Writing. He also received two Top-10 awards in the 2021 APSE writing contest and was nominated for the 2022 US Basketball Writers Association’s Rising Star award back when he wrote for The Rock Hill Herald from 2019-22.

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