Michigan International Speedway is quickly becoming Joey Logano’s favorite track. He used numerous flawless restarts to win the FireKeepers Casino 400 on Sunday.
The race featured action all over the track throughout the day as the drivers were forced to use all of their skills to control the car. Cars were sideways coming out of turns throughout the day, a product of NASCAR new aero package.
Logano used near perfect execution to secure his second career victory at Michigan International Speedway.
“Everyone knows that this is Ford’s backyard and Roger’s (Penske) backyard,” Logano said. “It’s a great place to win.”
The race featured a new aerodynamic package that reduced the downforce and sideforce in the cars. The intense action only added to the drama of the day of each driver was faced with the challenge of understanding how the cars would react around others.
It certainly did not take long for the drivers to test the limits. On the first lap drivers went four wide and the action did not stop. And it was Logano who showed his dominance throughout the race.
The victory was of even more importance because it was in Ford’s backyard. The win also meant that Ford is the winner of the Michigan Heritage for the second time since its inception in 2013. Ironically, Logano was the winner both time.
The Michigan Heritage trophy is a recognition and celebration of the automobile and its importance to the race track and the manufacturers competing in NASCAR.
“Yeah, obviously racing is hugely important to us at Ford; it's part of our DNA,” said Dave Pericak, global director of Ford Performance. “So to be able to win in our backyard means a lot to us, and then obviously to take this trophy home and share it with all of our employees ‑‑ we have 1,400 employees here today sharing this win with us today, so obviously that's really special to us, and obviously to be able to do all of this and celebrate Roush Yates' 100th win in Cup is just absolutely phenomenal. It just means the world to us."
In a race that saw solid performances from young drivers like Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson, it was Logano that came out on top at Michigan. Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick also made strong cases for the lead the whole race but could not quite make the move they needed to jump in front.
Logano was able to take advantage by taking the lead on the restart all but one time. Logano did not know exactly what the one mistake was that he made on that restart, but that didn’t affect him as he finished the race strong.
“I don’t want to know too much while inside the car,” Logano said. “The bare necessities is what I need to know as a driver to get the most out of the car,” Logano said after the race.
The race featured the young stars in NASCAR with Logano, Elliott and Larson finishing in the top three spots.
Logano ended up having 138 laps led with Elliott having the second most with 35. Logano would hold on the majority of the race to beat Elliott by almost a second to lock up the win and Logano’s position in the chase.
This is Logano’s 15th victory in 271 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. It is also his first victory and ninth top-10 finish in 2016.