Everything you need to know for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race in Michigan, the 23rd regular season event of the 2022 campaign.
Race day info
Estimated start time: 3 p.m. ET | Full weekend schedule
Television/radio: USA, NBC Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio | Full TV schedule
The handbag: $7,125,085
Forecast: A small chance of showers, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2 p.m. ET, according to NOAA.gov | Weather tracker
Race distance:200 laps | 400 miles
Stages:45 | 120 | 200
Pit road speed:55 mph
Note car speed:65 mph
Michigan-101: Get the full overview
Starting grid: where drivers will start
Pit stalls: Where drivers will pit
UPDATE: Kurt Busch out for third week
Main things to watch
Ford has been sputtering a bit lately, having a scoreless streak going back to Joey Logano’s World Wide Technology Raceway win at Gateway eight races ago. Heading to a track in the manufacturer’s backyard, a track it has historically dominated, is the perfect week for them to pick up the pace. Kevin Harvick is still fighting for a guaranteed playoff berth and has five wins and nearly 700 laps ahead in his 41 races here. Defending race winner Ryan Blaney is also chasing that elusive win in a team where he is the only scoreless driver. These two drivers each have a strong case for winning on Sunday, and Ford hasn’t lost a race here since 2017, on an impressive seven-race track. Will the Blue Oval continue the streak with the debut of the Next Gen cars?
Who shot? Who not?
Has early season aggression finally caught up with Ross Chastain? His last two races have finished 27th or worse, including the controversial encounter with Denny Hamlin at Pocono Raceway. The reality is that drivers on the track just don’t give him many breaks. Nevertheless, the No. 1 car was one of the most consistent cars this season based on sheer speed. A major 2 mile track like Michigan should give Chastain and his Trackhouse Racing team a little more comfort this weekend as they strive to get back on track.
For the past three weeks, Bubba Wallace has been on fire. Wallace and the No. 23 Toyota team have achieved three consecutive top eight finishes, marking the first time Wallace has achieved this feat in his Cup Series career. After some bad runs and early misfortune, Wallace and his company have found a groove in the final stretch of the regular season. But based on the points standings, they need to secure a win to get into the playoffs. With the opportunities to make it to Victory Lane dwindling, look to see if they will be more aggressive in Michigan this weekend.
Driving under the radar
When you first tuned in last season, it can be easy to forget how capable Kevin Harvick is. Still looking for a result to end his 65-race winless run, Harvick was rarely the favorite going into a recent race weekend. But pump the brakes. The stats show the No. 4 team is starting to take shape, with four top 10s in the last seven races and a bit of bad luck at Pocono and the Indy Road Course, costing the group a solid finish there too. Michigan is arguably Harvick’s best track. And it’s also arguably his best shot at winning in this latest round of regular season promotions. Before Blaney’s win in 2021, Harvick won three in a row and three of the last four. Don’t count him out yet.
It was the Toyotas that stole the show in Saturday’s two round qualifying session, led by Bubba Wallace who earned his first career Busch Light Pole Award. Joe Gibbs Racing drivers Christopher Bell and Kyle Busch found out, followed by Martin Truex Jr. and Denny Hamlin seventh and ninth to round out a strong top-10 show. Ty Gibbs, who started his first Cup Series on a traditional oval, flashed excellent speed and will roll away in 11th place. Joey Logano and Austin Cindric put together the best showcase for the Blue Oval group, earning fourth and fifth starting places respectively. Defending race winner Ryan Blaney starts in 24th. | Full Qualification Summary
Race day staples
Our biggest stretches of the week – get you covered from all angles for race day.
Example paint scheme: Check out the latest colors for Michigan | Pick a favourite
Power Classifications: Logano jumps up the ladder | Updated driver rankings
NASCAR Betting: BetMGM odds for Sunday’s race| Underdogs, value bets
Fantasy Fast Lane: Ford looks to continue dominant streak on home turf | Top plays, sleepers
calling watch: Which drivers are close to the cutline?| read more
Stacking tokens: Denny Hamlin joins the podcast |Listen to the full interview
get the suit
Read the top headlines from the week leading up to Sunday’s race.
Downward trend: no. 48 crew chief Greg Ives talks about summer struggles | read more
It is over?: Denny Hamlin talks about feud with Ross Chastain | Listen now
Kyle Busch: Two-time champion opens family, more | read more
Keselowski’s committed: Driver-owner stands strong due to the renovation of RFK | read more
Cup series debut: Austin Hill is set to drive the No. 33 for RCR in Michigan | read more
No profession: Front Row Motorsports drops fine appeal | read more
Sad news: Old driver Buddy Arrington dies aged 84 read more
Fire suits: Within technological progress and security | read more
eNASCAR: Wilson wins All-Star Race at Chicago Street Course | Race summary
ICYMI: Erik Jones returns to Petty GMS in 2023 | read more
Think you know NASCAR? Test your courage with gaming, fantasy.
betMGM: Despite form, Reddick comes in on Sunday as an underdog |read more
The action network: Sunday’s race favorite bet|read more
More gambling insight: Guide to betting on the Surez vs. Wallace matchup|Learn more
Play it LIVE: Full Guide to 2022 NASCAR Fantasy Live Game |Ask the frequently asked questions
Go all the way: 2022 Cup Series Championship Odds |View them here
The auto industry has strong ties to Michigan, so it’s not surprising that NASCAR has a stake in that.
Do you remember?: Most Memorable Moments in Michigan | Relive them here
Last year: Ryan Blaney stops Kyle Larson, William Byron |Full race summary
Rewind Race: Video highlights, key moments from the 2021 race | Watch now
Hard, race-relevant stats, brought to you by the experts at Racing Insights.
Kevin Harvick has won four of the last six races in Michigan.
JGR has eight victories in Michigan, but the last one came in August 2015 with Matt Kenseth (11 races since).
Bubba Wallace is on a career-best three-race top-10 streak.
Ford leads all manufacturers in Michigan with 42 wins, 16 more than Chevrolet’s 26; Toyota has five.
Current points leader Chase Elliott has 10 top 10s in Michigan; are most on any circuit.
What do you say?
Notable quotes from the stars of the sport heading into Sunday’s race.
We approached it just the same as we have all year. Our goal is to get there and win the race. If we can’t, we need to get the best possible finish. I’m confident going to Michigan based on how our cars have been trending on the bigger tracks lately. I feel like the Toyotas as a group have gotten a lot stronger lately, so we should have a chance. We just have to make the best of it. — Martin Truex Jr., driver of the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
“Every race weekend for NASCAR is a big weekend, but especially Michigan as our home race, as our manufacturer, with our employees, our families, our executives. There is a lot of pressure on us to win every race, but especially here in Michigan for all those people. It’s also important for our teams. They know it too, so I’m looking forward to having everyone there and having a good race. — Mark Rushbrook, Global Director of Ford Performance Motorsports
You always want to run well when you go home and I think if we look at the remaining tracks, Michigan is one where we feel like we can win. So there are several reasons why it is important to us. I feel it will be a chance for us to win and also a chance to win at home. We want to take advantage of both. Every time I go to Michigan I just want to be good to friends, family, everyone there. Hopefully good have a good show.” — Erik Jones, director of the No. 43 Petty GMS Motorsports Chevrolet
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