Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Larson, Truex take top 2 spots in Michigan qualifying


I knew the Penske cars took off good, so I was happy to see him behind me. Larson's No. 42 Chevrolet has a Cars 3 paint scheme to coincide with the release of the animated movie. "I had my elbows locked and all of a sudden I got hit in the right rear and shot into Daniel". "It's not like we're out to win races, but we're running consistently". This is our second Cup win of the year, but we've had six second-place finishes (including the All-Star Race).

"I'm not sure we had a third-place vehicle today, but the team executed like they needed to get the Shell-Pennzoil Ford into the top three".

After a restart with five laps left, Logano traded paint with Denny Hamlin to secure the third spot and felt fortunate to get it. Proud of the effort. "He uh, he said "Daddy good job!" which was really cool and said "ka-chow" which was awesome as well". His biggest competition came in the form of Martin Truex Jr. for most of the day. The last run before we put tires on, the last one, we were actually pretty good. After 25 minutes session one ends and the fastest 24 cars, based on single lap speeds, advance to round two.

"Ryan Blaney gave me a heck of a push", Larson said, "so I've really got to thank him a ton". But, really, you're never shocked. "Just had to keep fighting all day".

Larson made a two-tire start and retained the lead when the race returned to green on Lap 29.

Then Clint Bowyer went into the wall, bringing out a caution.

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Truex got back up to sixth by the finish. Busch ended up seventh, followed by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Larson's three Cup victories have all come at 2-mile tracks, although there are some differences between racing at MIS and Fontana.

"We had the best auto out there, without a doubt", Truex said. Just didn't have track position then, but we made our vehicle better. We are balancing our cars better and trying to get to where we can get into the corner better.

"We had a 10th-place auto".

Larson is second in points. Busch also passed Larson near the end of the second stage, relegating Larson to third. It will be the third consecutive front-row start for Truex. Truex won the first 2 stages of the race.

The finish was similar to the race at MI last August, when Larson took the lead on a restart with nine laps left en route to a Cup win. Larson won the race off pit road to begin stage two and was able to start the stage from the front.

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Truex is first in the points standings despite being without a pole this year. "I thought we had it there, but Kyle went out late and beat us". Not once, not twice, but three times he had to execute on restarts over the final 15 laps to score his second victory of the season.

A former NASCAR driver who made 602 starts at the Cup level, Hylton owns the ARCA vehicle driven by Shelby Township resident Smith. Absolutely not. We had tires, all that, and I still couldn't keep up on the last run.

A year ago, Joey Logano was celebrating in Michigan's Victory Lane, and he felt like celebrating again Sunday afternoon following a third-place finish in the FireKeepers Casino 400.

The race is scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday on FS1.

At the conclusion of Cup Series qualifying the ARCA Series drivers prepared to race. No Michigan-native driver has ever won a Cup Series race at Michigan. Busch's Ford sits one position behind local favorite Erik Jones (unfortunately not a Ford driver).

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