Here are five storylines from Sunday’s NASCAR race at Michigan International Speedway….
1. The winner….and new points leader is….. That would be “The Biff” – Greg Biffle. He held off Brad Keselowski in a green-white-checkered finish. It was a wild finish to a bizarre race, in which Jimmie Johnson seemed to have the victory all locked up with the laps ticking down. But that changed with six laps to go.
2. From the back….to the front…to the garage. Johnson qualified third, but had to start at the back as the result of his team changing the engine prior to the race. In typical No. 48 fashion, he worked his way through the field, and eventually into the lead. But with six laps to go – and victory seemingly in sight – Johnson’s engine went “poof.” An apparent win turned into a 27th place finish.
3. Speaking of engine trouble…. There was plenty of it for those who use Hendrick Motorsports engines. Aside from Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart both suffered similar fates early in the race. It was not a good day for either the 14 or 24 teams.
4. Scary crash for Martin. Mark Martin started this race on the pole, and dominated the early portion of the vent. But his day ended viciously when Bobby Labonte spun out, and Martin went sliding into pit road, slamming into a barrier right at the entrance to the pits. Fortunately, the driver of the No. 55 walked away.
5. Solid performance for Junior. Like his teammate Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. had to start this race from the back after crashing in practice on Saturday. But he turned in a solid 4th place finish. Remember, he won the first race at M.I.S. earlier this summer. His performance should make his legion of fans happy.
Next week: They’re off to Bristol. It’ll be the first Cup race there since they reconfigured the track due to public outcry. This should be interesting.