Michigan International Speedway August 11, 2017, 5:05 pm
Qualifying for the Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway rolls off under partly cloudy skies and a fair amount of wind. Ryan Blaney(21), fastest in the morning practice, will try and grab the pole for this race in Ford Motor Company’s backyard. Two of the three manufacturers represented in NASCAR are based just down the road from Brooklyn and the Irish Hills. This is an important race for the teams that receive financial and technical support from Detroit.
Joey Logano(2) and Clint Bowyer(14) currently sit below the playoff cut line. Both could use good qualifying runs to earn a starting position near the front of the field Sunday. The fastest qualifier has the first choice of pit road location. A premium pit stall provides an advantage when exiting pit road. Every possible benefit helps a team fighting to go to the post season.
First Round-24 Cars Advance
The 24 fastest qualifiers advance to the second round. With 39 cars set to compete Sunday, the 15 slowest speeds fill spots 25 to 39 at the rear of the field. On a speedway where track position is paramount, a poor qualifying effort only makes it more difficult to get to the front of the field.
Six drivers broke the 200 mph barrier. Blaney again tops the speed chart at 201.686 The next five are Chase Elliott(24), Kyle Larson(42), Kevin Harvick(4), Erik Jones(77), and Joey Logano(22). Notable drivers not to advance out of Round one, Paul Menard(27) and Ryan Newman(31).
Michigan International Speedway August 11, 2017, 5:45 pm
Clouds cover the entire Speedway for the start of Round Two. Speeds are sure to go up in the ideal conditions.
Second Round-12 Cars Advance
Speeds are definitely up with 19 cars over 200 mph. Blaney is still the fastest at 203.120. Brad Keselowski second with a speed of 203.069 and Harvick third running 202.674 mph. Ford’s 1-2-3, will that stand up in the final round?
Notables not advancing. Aric Almirola(43) 24th, defending NASCAR Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson(48) 22nd, Dale Jr.(88) 19th, Kurt Busch(41) 15th, and last week’s winner Martin Truex Jr.(78) will start 13th.
Michigan International Speedway August 11, 2017, 6:00 pm
The final round of qualifying runs with the sun peaking in and out of the clouds. Will times go up? NO, and Ryan Blaney goes from 1st to 12th. Keselowski wins the pole with a speed of 203.097. Logano jumps to second at 203.063 and Harvick third runs 202.788 miles per hour. Still 1-2-3 for Ford. Five of the top 12 drivers are in Ford Fusions with Clint Bowyer in 11th.
Michigan native, rookie Erik Jones starts eighth on the track just south of his hometown, Byron, Michigan. More live coverage tomorrow from The Lasco Press. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers are back on the track for two more practices. The NASCAR Camping World Truck series runs the LTi Printing 200 at 1:00 pm.