For only the second time since 1971 and the first time since mid-June, the NASCAR Cup Series will race on back-to-back days. This has been a caution-filled race weekend at Michigan International Speedway and the first Cup Series race yesterday was no exception.
Rookie John Hunter Nemechek brought out three cautions. His third with 26 laps to go would cause him to retire from the race. This started a string of late cautions as Ryan Preece and Cole Custer crashed as well.
Kyle Busch looked like he could possibly win his first Cup Series race of 2020 but Busch got loose after battling with Kevin Harvick, dropping him to ninth place before the last caution prompted an overtime restart. Busch would finish in fifth place.
On the overtime restart, Harvick would hold off Michigan-native Brad Keselowski to pick up his fifth win of 2020, tying Denny Hamlin for the most wins of any driver this season. This was the third win in four races for Harvick at Michigan and the fifth consecutive win at Michigan for Fords.
The starting lineup is the order of the top 20 drivers from Saturday’s race inverted. This means 20th place driver Chris Buescher is the pole-sitter followed by Clint Bowyer, who won at Michigan in 2018, and Tyler Reddick, who suffered a flat tire along with Martin Truex Jr. early in Saturday’s race.
Harvick will start 20th due to his victory and will look to keep his lead in playoff points ahead of Hamlin.
The playoff race is continuing to heat up as Erik Jones, the driver right below the cutline by 16 points, finished 11th on Saturday and will start 10th for Sunday’s race. As for the two drivers ahead of him, William Byron and Matt DiBenedetto, they finished 14th and 15 respectively. They will start seventh and sixth on Sunday.
Coverage for the Consumers Energy 400 will begin at 4:30 p.m. EST. The stages end on lap 40, lap 85, and the finish on lap 156. You can catch the race on NBC Sports Network.
Pit stall assignments:
Goodyear tire notes: https://www.jayski.com/2020/08/04/goodyear-fast-facts-michigan-and-road-america/