Ryan Blaney only led eight total laps during Sunday’s FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway, but fortunately for the driver of the No. 12 Ford, those were the last eight laps of the race.
Blaney jumped to the front of the field on a late restart and never relinquished the lead on the way to his second win of the NASCAR Cup Series season. William Byron and Kyle Larson made a hard push down the stretch, but Blaney managed to take the checkered flag by a margin of 0.077 seconds.
“We got a great push by [Kyle Busch] on the restart and was able to get clear there,” Blaney said during his postrace interview. “Michigan’s a matter of pretty much run it wide open and just trying to play the air game. I hate that you have to race that way, but that’s how you have to run, worked out for us. I’m proud of everyone on the 12 team. We weren’t great to start the day off, but we kept working and working and got a lot better.”
Byron, Larson, Kurt Busch and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top five. Kevin Harvick, who had won his last three races at Michigan International Speedway, finished 14th and clinched a playoff berth via points. There is only one playoff spot remaining with one race left in the regular season.
Sporting News tracked live updates and lap-by-lap highlights from NASCAR’s race at Michigan International Speedway. Check out the complete results from the FireKeepers Casino 400.
MORE: Watch Sunday’s NASCAR race live with fuboTV (free 7-day trial)
NASCAR at Michigan live updates, highlights from FireKeepers Casino 400
(All times Eastern)
6:30 p.m. — And the latest playoff standings:
6:20 p.m. — The unofficial top 10:
- Ryan Blaney
- William Byron
- Kyle Larson
- Kurt Busch
- Denny Hamlin
- Matt DiBenedetto
- Kyle Busch
- Chase Elliott
- Brad Keselowski
- Martin Truex Jr.
6:10 p.m. — Ryan Blaney wins the FireKeepers Casino 400! Wow, what a finish.
6 p.m. — You just knew that restart wasn’t going to be clean.
5:45 p.m. — With less than 20 laps to go, the caution flag is out because of some light rain.
5:35 p.m. — Kyle Larson runs out of fuel before he pulls into pit road. How much will that hurt him?
5:20 p.m. — Austin Dillon reacts: “I was just trying to get as many stage points as I could get right there. Did a good job side drafting, came down to the apron. I saw just one quick replay, but I mean, it was after the start-finish line. I was starting to come up off the apron because it’s so rough down there. I figured by that point [Brad Keselowski] would have given me a little room. … That was a heck of a wreck, but I feel fine.”
5:10 p.m. — So, uh, that’s not what you want to see.
5 p.m. — Kyle Busch takes Stage 2. The rest of the top five: Christopher Bell, Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin. Austin Dillon finished sixth in Stage 2, then crashed after appearing to make contact with Brad Keselowski.
4:45 p.m. — We are past the halfway point here at Michigan International Speedway. Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson are battling hard for the lead. Kevin Harvick, meanwhile, is…
Kevin Harvick from 18th: “Lack of stability. Driving like shit.” #NASCAR
— Kelly Crandall (@KellyCrandall) August 22, 2021
4:25 p.m. — Whoa, that was close.
4:10 p.m. — Chase Elliott wins the opening stage. Kyle Larson, Austin Dillon, Denny Hamlin and William Byron rounded out the top five.
4:05 p.m. — Well, that explains the damage to Martin Truex Jr.’s car.
3:50 p.m. — The caution flag comes out after Joey Gase hits the wall in Turn 2.
3:45 p.m. — It’s going to be difficult for Kevin Harvick to win if his car is, as he so eloquently described it, “complete garbage.”
#NASCAR … At competition caution, Kevin Harvick is 16th and describes the car as “complete garbage”
He’s won 4 of the last 5 races at Michigan.
— Dustin Long (@dustinlong) August 22, 2021
3:35 p.m. — Yikes. Not an ideal start for Martin Truex Jr.
3:25 p.m. — The green flag is out.
3:15 p.m. — Engines have been fired. Here we go…
2:50 p.m. — A quick breakdown of what you need to know ahead of Sunday’s race:
green flag 3:16p ET … stages 60-60-80 (200 laps) … comp caution Lap 20 … 7 sets tires … fuel run 46-51 … NWS: mid-80s, 20% rain. … to the rear for driver changes after lineup set: 7-Berry, 15-Gase. Nbcsn. pic.twitter.com/c4m1GnBZvc
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) August 22, 2021
2:30 p.m. — Pistons forward Saddiq Bey pulls off the rare NBA-NASCAR jersey swap with Bubba Wallace before the FireKeepers Casino 400.
NASCAR start time today
- Time: 3 p.m. ET (TV time)
- TV channel: NBCSN (TSN5 in Canada)
- Live stream: NBCSports.com | fuboTV (7-day free trial)
The green flag for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race on Michigan International Speedway’s 2-mile oval is scheduled to drop at 3:16 p.m. ET.
There is a slight chance that weather will be a factor. The National Weather Service’s forecast for the area near the track in Brooklyn, Mich., is for mostly sunny skies and a high temperature in the mid-80s, but there is also a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2 p.m. ET.
NASCAR starting lineup at Michigan
Here is the complete NASCAR starting lineup for Sunday’s race at Michigan International Speedway, the FireKeepers Casino 400.
|Start pos.||Driver||Car No.||Team|
|1||Kyle Larson||5||Hendrick Motorsports|
|2||Chase Elliott||9||Hendrick Motorsports|
|3||Ryan Blaney||12||Team Penske|
|4||Matt DiBenedetto||21||Wood Brothers Racing|
|5||Martin Truex Jr.||19||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|6||Kurt Busch||1||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|7||Kyle Busch||18||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|8||Kevin Harvick||4||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|9||Denny Hamlin||11||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|10||Alex Bowman||48||Hendrick Motorsports|
|11||Chris Buescher||17||Roush Fenway Racing|
|12||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||47||JTG Daugherty Racing|
|13||Erik Jones||43||Richard Petty Motorsports|
|14||Tyler Reddick||8||Richard Childress Racing|
|15||Bubba Wallace||23||23XI Racing|
|16||Ryan Newman||6||Roush Fenway Racing|
|17||Justin Haley||77||Spire Motorsports|
|18||William Byron||24||Hendrick Motorsports|
|19||Joey Logano||22||Team Penske|
|20||Brad Keselowski||2||Team Penske|
|21||Chase Briscoe||14||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|22||Ross Chastain||42||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|23||Aric Almirola||10||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|24||Corey LaJoie||7||Spire Motorsports|
|25||Michael McDowell||34||Front Row Motorsports|
|26||Austin Dillon||3||Richard Childress Racing|
|27||Cole Custer||41||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|28||Christopher Bell||20||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|29||Josh Bilicki||52||Rick Ware Racing|
|30||Daniel Suarez||99||Trackhouse Racing|
|31||Quin Houff||00||StarCom Racing|
|32||Ryan Preece||37||JTG Daugherty Racing|
|33||Garrett Smithley||53||Rick Ware Racing|
|34||James Davison||15||Rick Ware Racing|
|35||Anthony Alfredo||38||Front Row Motorsports|
|36||BJ McLeod||78||Live Fast Motorsports|
|37||Cody Ware||51||Petty Ware Racing|