Logano Wins at Michigan, Gives Ford Bragging Rights in Manufacturer’s Back Yard

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Joe Logano was dominate at Michigan International Speedway Sunday capturing the checkered flag in the FireKeepers Casino 400. Logano led 138 of the 200 laps to take his first points race victory of the season and lock-in a playoff spot in the 16-car Chase for theJoey Lagano Winner FireKeepers Casino 400 Spring Cup RaceSprint Cup field. The win was even more significant considering MIS in less than 100 miles from Ford’s World Headquarters in Dearborn, MI and the fact that Edsel Ford II, great-grandson of Henry Ford, was on-hand to witness the victory. Logano survived several late-race cautions and easily sped away on the restarts to outpace the field of 40 cars.After capturing the pole, Logano was just one of many drivers who were unsure of what to expect when the green flag dropped due to NASCAR changing the spoiler height for MIS in an effort to reduce downforce and produce more competitive racing. On the first lap, Logano raced off into turn one and “almost wrecked” as the car washed up the track. Several cars passed the number 22 Team Penske Fusion going down the backstretch. Logano was not the only driver to experience slick conditions in the turns as Dale Earnhardt Jr. wrecked on lap 62 when exiting turn two and was unable to repair his race-car enough to continue.For all the talk about the new aero package maybe Dale said it best “It’s not much different than packages in the past, we talk too much about packages.”Earnhardt Jr.’s wreck was more about being in the wrong place than losing grip from a shorter spoiler and higher splitter. While the much-anticipated possibility of pack racing never materialized, drivers were able to jockey more for positions when they did get together on restarts. Competitive cars were able to track down and pass cars in front of them while others choose to hang back and ride out the laps. Now that crew chiefs and suspension tuners have seen what to expect from the rule changes it is likely the cars will be better suited to accommodate the “package” when the Sprint Cup series returns to MIS in August.Brad Keselowski had another solid day finishing 4th, the only other Ford in the top 10. Ryan Blaney and the Wood Brothers had a less than stellar outing finishing 17th, but managed to hold onto 16th place in the playoff standings, just ahead of Kasey Kahne who is only 11 points out of the last playoff spot. Next week is Father’s Day and the series goes on vacation, resuming on Sunday, June 26th at Sonoma Raceway for the first road-course contest of the year.

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Steve Sweitzer
Steve is the Sports Editor for the Lasco Press and highlights our coverage of the NASCAR Cup Series. Steve is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association and a nationally published author of automotive related articles for industry trade magazines. He is also a freelance technical writer and accomplished photographer. A 25-year resident of Southeast Michigan, Steve’s passion for reporting on our community, it’s residents, and our automotive connections allow us to use his skills to cover a number of events. Steve’s ability to seek out the unique behind the scenes accounts that tell the often-overlooked aspect of a story makes for entertaining reading. Follow Steve at thelascopress.com with weekly NASCAR updates and featured articles.