Sunday, June 17, 2018

Ford Motor dominates home track at Michigan International Speedway

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Clint Bowyer won the FireKeepers Casino 400, a race shortened by weather at Michigan International Speedway on June 10, 2018.
George Sipple, Detroit Free Press

BROOKLYN, Mich. — Rain, rain, go away.

Well, at least that’s what Toyota and Chevy was thinking Sunday.

Roughly 72 miles from the home of Ford Motor Company in Detroit, four Ford cars finished in the top five of the FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway, despite the rain.   

It was complete domination.

“We come here to Michigan for bragging rights,” said Kurt Busch who finished third. “I’ve always driven that way. … We put in a full effort here and it’s bragging rights to win Michigan.”

Clint Bowyer, Kevin Harvick and Busch — all members of Stewart Haas Racing — took the top three spots while Toyota’s Kyle Busch finished fourth and Chevy’s Chase Elliot finished ninth. 

“It’s just unbelievable, the start to the season with the wins and the success we’re having,” said Mark Rushbrook, Global Director of Ford Motor Company. “To come here to our home track with our employees here watching, their friends and family — to have this performance and strength across all our teams and to win the race, it’s just tremendous for all the company.”

David Ragan upset with Bubba Wallace

On lap 36, Bubba Wallace lost control and tapped David Ragan who spun out of control.

Ragan was not happy.

“I wish he wasn’t able to drive away because he just kind of ran in over his head and wrecked us,” Ragan said on the radio broadcast after the wreck. “You’ll have that sometimes. Guys make mistakes. He just made a mistake. It was unfortunate. I felt our car was going to be OK.” 

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Wallace would return to race and finish 19th. Ragan would not return, finishing 38th — second to last. 

Olympian Megan Keller doesn’t wreck pace car

One week after GM executive Mark Reuss wrecked the pace car at the Detroit Grand Prix, Olympian Megan Keller had no problems. 

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The 2018 gold medalist had a smooth ride around Michigan International Speedway as she expected a couple hours before the race. 

“I think I should be OK,” Keller said. “I had some practice, so we’ll see how that goes. I know my parents, they’re nervous for everything. I don’t know if they were more nervous for my gold medal game or for this.” 

Keller won the gold medalwith the U.S. women’s hockey team in February at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. 

Rusty Wallace, Walt Czarnecki to join Team Penske Hall of Fame

Roger Penske announced Rusty Wallace and Walt Czarnecki will join the Penske Hall of Fame.

Wallace ranks third all-time on Penske’s win list, with 37 of his 55 victories coming with Team Penske. He was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2013. 

Czarnecki has been a part of Team Penske since 1970 and served as track president when Penske bought Michigan International Speedway. He now serves as the vice chairman of Penske. 

“I didn’t expect this was going to happen at all,” Wallace said. “I’m really honored to be in the Team Penske Hall of Fame, but even more honored to have driven for Roger. I always wanted to be a Penske driver. Even when I had other offers, I wanted to drive for Penske. To be in a club with the likes of Roger, Rick Mears, Mark Donohue, Walter and Karl Kainhofer is a real honor.”

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