NASCAR Driver Clint Bowyer Can Thank Rain and Tires for Win at Michigan

Conquering weather-shortened races is becoming familiar territory for the NASCAR driver.

Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

The weather was a challenge for NASCAR drivers before the kickoff of the FireKeepers Casino 400 race at Michigan International Speedway. Ryan Blaney won Stage 1 of the race and Kevin Harvick Stage 2, but the race belonged to Clint Bowyer. Thanks to a gutsy call by Bowyer's crew chief on lap 133 of the scheduled 200 laps, he won the rain-shortened race. Bowyer was the leader on the last lap when NASCAR ended the race early.


“When he said, ‘two tires,’ I was like, ‘I dunno,’ especially when you look in your mirror and everyone else is taking four,” Bowyer said when discussing his crew chief’s race-winning pit strategy. Aside from Bowyer's win, the top storylines from the FireKeepers Casino 400 included the Stewart-Haas Racing team finishing in the top three positions and Ford’s domination.

Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

BROOKLYN, MI - JUNE 10: Clint Bowyer, driver of the #14 Haas 30 Years of the VF1 Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway on June 10, 2018 in Brooklyn, Michigan.


Seven of the top eight race finishers were behind the wheel of a Ford Fusion including Bowyer, who secured his second win of the season. His Stewart-Haas teammates rounded out the top three. Kevin Harvick was the runner-up and Kurt Busch, the race pole sitter, finished third. Ford has won eight of the 15 races this season. Bowyer's other race win came at Martinsville earlier in the season which was a weather-delayed race.


The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway Results

(Position Finished, Driver, Manufacturer, Laps Completed, Laps Led)


1. Clint Bowyer, Ford, 133, led 8
2. Kevin Harvick, Ford, 133, led 49
3. Kurt Busch, Ford, 133, led 46
4. Kyle Busch, Toyota, 133
5. Paul Menard, Ford, 133, led 3
6. Brad Keselowski, Ford, 133
7. Joey Logano, Ford, 133
8. Ryan Blaney, Ford, 133, led 15
9. Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 133
10. Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 133
11. Aric Almirola, Ford, 133
12. Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 133
13. William Byron, Chevrolet, 133
14. Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 133
15. Erik Jones, Toyota, 133
16. Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 133
17. AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 133
18. Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 133
19. Bubba Wallace, Chevrolet, 133
20. Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 133
21. Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 133
22. Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 133
23. Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 133, led 11
24. Chris Buescher, Chevrolet, 133
25. Michael McDowell, Ford, 133
26. Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 133
27. Corey LaJoie, Chevrolet, 133
28. Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 133, led 1
29. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 133
30. Daniel Suarez, Toyota, 132
31. Gray Gaulding, Toyota, 132
32. Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, 132
33. Matt Kenseth, Ford, 132
34. D.J. Kennington, Chevrolet, 132
35. Timmy Hill, Toyota, 132
36. Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, 131
37. B.J. McLeod, Chevrolet, 131
38. David Ragan, Ford, 35, Accident
39. Garrett Smithley, Chevrolet, 1, Transmission

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is taking a much-needed break. The Series will take a week off for Father’s Day and return the following week in Sonoma, California for the Toyota / Save Mart 350. NASCAR Cup drivers will have two weeks to prepare for the first road course race of the season. Qualifying for the race will take place Saturday, June 23 at 11:45 a.m. ET. The green flag for the 110 lap Toyota / Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway will drop on Sunday, June 24 at 12:00 p.m. ET.