In a race where the leaders were running away from the pack and the cautions were few and far between, it was easy to predict who would win. That is until the final 4 laps.
There isn’t much to say about the Pure Michigan 400 as Stage 1 was dominated by Brad Keselowski in the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford, as he pulled ahead of the field at the very start. Without any cautions, Keselowski won his 4th stage of the season.
Stage 2 played out basically the same as Stage 1. However, due to pit-strategy as Keselowski headed in for new tires, Martin Truex Jr assumed the lead and went on to win his 15th stage of the season. Again, there were no cautions to speak of in the segment. As of Stage 2, the No.88 Axalta Chevrolet of soon-to-retire Dale Earnhardt was seen pitting as Earnhardt commented that it was handling as he needed it to in order to get the front. In the end, he quietly finished 14th as his final run on the Michigan super speedway.
It truly wasn’t until the middle of Stage 3 that things started to heat up. On Lap 139, Kasey Kahne came up the track too soon and clipped the nose of the No. 19 Arris Toyota of Daniel Suarez. This caused Kahne to turn right into the SAFER barrier. The impact was so forceful at 200+ mph that Kahne’s rear tires lifted off the ground and slammed back down on the hood of the No.19. Suarez was then sent flying into the inside wall, which he hit twice before coming to a stop. Although it took both drivers a few minutes to catch their breath, luckily neither was hurt. Nevertheless, in his post accident interview, Suarez was clearly upset, especially as he had been running well all day, at one point in 2nd place right behind Keselowski.
The caution flag flew again with 4 laps to go, this time for Michael McDowell who was spun by Paul Menard in Turn 2. The red flag was displayed as track workers dried the oil laid out by McDowell’s car. Cleanup then caused the race to go into overtime.
Kyle Larson, who was running consistently in the Top 10 all day, suddenly found himself in 4th with an opportunity at the win. When the race restarted with Truex in the lead, Larson pushed in between the leading cars and shot forward.
Without much of a battle, Larson sailed away for the remaining 2 laps of the race and went on to capture his 3rd win in a row at Michigan International Speedway.
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