BROOKLYN, Mich – Sunday’s Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway was full of both excitement and disappointment for fans and drivers alike. Greg Biffle, driver of the No.16 3M Ford Fusion for Roush Fenway Racing took home the trophy capturing Ford Racing’s 1,000 career victory, while drivers such as Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Jeff Gordon dealt with some bad luck at the 2 mile oval in the Irish Hills of Michigan. Winners and losers for this week are plentiful once again, as we see quite a few repeats grace our list.
RELATED: Michigan race results
Greg Biffle outraced drivers at Michigan to claim his 19th career victory, and second consecutive win at the track. Biffle moves to 8th in the points, from 10th.
With Biffle’s win, Ford Racing captured it’s 1,000 career win in NASCAR’s top three series. Carl Edwards, who started on the pole came away with a solid 8th place finish at Michigan. Rookie of the Year contender, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished 16th, grabbing his 12th top twenty finish.
Tony Stewart is on fire. Since his win at Dover, his last two finishes have both been inside the top five. Stewart finished 5th at Michigan and moved up three spots in the points, from 13th to 10th. With some of Stewart’s better tracks coming up on the schedule, watch this Indiana native lock in a few more top fives to hold steady his spot in the Chase.
Rookie of the Year contender, Danica Patrick finished 13th at Michigan in her first ever start at the track. Patrick started the race 37th. On the final pit stop, the team took two tires, while other drivers opted for four and that gave Patrick the track position to grab her third best finish this season.
Denny Hamlin’s paint scheme
Only his paint scheme ends up in the winners column this week. Hamlin’s team made a last minute re-wrap of the No. 11 to pay tribute to the late Jason Leffler who died last Wednesday in an unfortunate short track incident from blunt neck trauma. The car featured the old school FedEx paint scheme from when Leffer drove for the team back in 2005.
Hendrick Motorsports had a rough weekend at Michigan to say the least, all four Hendrick drivers finished outside the top 25, something that has not happened in eight years for the powerhouse team.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.,who won last years June race at Michigan and led 34 laps in his Superman themed Chevrolet on Sunday suffered an unfortunate 37th place finish when his engine let go on lap 132. It was the second time in four races that Earnhardt Jr. lost an engine.The loss for Earnhardt Jr. was daunting, causing him to lose three spots in the point standings, he moves back from 4th to 7th.
Jeff Gordon totaled his No. 24 Chevrolet very early into the race — on lap 7, when the No. 51 of Bobby Labonte lost control and slid in front of him, causing Gordon to make contact, ultimately sending him to the garage. Gordon finished 39th, 148 laps down and lost five spots in the point standings, moving from 11th back to 16th. The finish put Gordon in serious risk of missing the Chase.
Kasey Kahne had a contending race car and led 14 laps, blew a right front tire on lap 105 and hit the turn 2 wall. Kahne’s car caught on fire but was quickly extinguished. Kahne lost four spots in the Chase, falling to 12th.
Jimmie Johnson had his sights set on the No 16 Ford of Biffle, but with two laps to go, popped a tire and limped home to a 28th place finish. He remains the point leader with a 31 point advantage over Carl Edwards.
Kurt Busch started the race second and led the first 21 laps but ended up finishing 35th after losing control of his car and smacking the wall on lap 27. Busch blamed the wreck on a broken part. He lost five spots in the point standings – going from 15th to 20th. Ouch.
Denny Hamlin’s chance of making the Chase has dropped to nearly zero without conjuring up some wins. Hamlin, who has been attempting a comeback after an early-season back injury took him out of the car, finished 30th at Michigan, losing another place in the standings. Hamlin sits 26th in the points.
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