The NASCAR Cup Series jumps from Indianapolis to the Irish Hills this weekend, running their only race of the season at Michigan International Speedway's two-mile oval. The 2022 FireKeepers Casino 400 marks the 23rd race of the season and one of four regular-season events left on the schedule.
Related: FireKeepers Casino 400 Preview
It’s the first Cup race at MIS with the sport’s new Next Gen chassis but there’s a good comparison already for this track: Auto Club Speedway. Like that oval out in California, horsepower takes center stage where the pole-winning speed (190.703 mph) was on average nearly 10 miles per hour faster than February’s Daytona 500.
Unlike ACS, though there will be fewer concerns about tire wear with a track that was just recently repaved. If anything, fuel mileage could come into play during the final stage with a track that’s got a history of long green-flag runs.
Bubba Wallace earned the pole position for this race, his first career pole in the Cup Series as Toyota pulled off a 1-2-3 sweep. Joey Logano was the fastest Ford in fourth as the Blue Ovals look to continue their seven-race Cup winning streak at this track.
The difference between Wallace’s pole-winning run and last-place Todd Gilliland was just 1.562 seconds. It takes around 37.5-38 seconds overall to run a lap around MIS.
Thirty-seven cars showed up to attempt the FireKeepers Casino 400, three short of a full 40-car field. Just one “open” team entered the race without a guaranteed spot in the field: a new, part-time No. 33 car fielded by Richard Childress Racing and driven by Austin Hill.
1. Bubba Wallace
2. Christopher Bell
3. Kyle Busch
4. Joey Logano
5. Austin Cindric (R)
6. Tyler Reddick
7. Martin Truex Jr.
8. Kyle Larson
9. Denny Hamlin
10. Erik Jones
11. Ty Gibbs (i)
12. Noah Gragson (i)
13. Chase Elliott
14. Michael McDowell
15. Daniel Suarez
16. Kevin Harvick
17. Cole Custer
18. Aric Almirola
19. Chris Buescher
20. William Byron
21. Justin Haley
22. Ross Chastain
23. Chase Briscoe
24. Ryan Blaney
25. Ty Dillon
26. Austin Dillon
27. Harrison Burton (R)
28. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
29. JJ Yeley (i)
30. Alex Bowman
31. Austin Hill (i)
32. Corey LaJoie
33. Brad Keselowski
34. Cody Ware
35. Josh Bilicki (i)
36. BJ McLeod (i)
37. Todd Gilliland.
(R) – Rookie
(i) – Ineligible to collect Cup Series points
- Bubba Wallace (first) earned his first career Cup pole and his first at any NASCAR level since Dover Motor Speedway in May 2015. Wallace is looking for his second career Cup win and is riding a streak of three straight top-10 finishes.
- Joey Logano (fourth) was the fastest Ford in the field, looking to give Team Penske its second straight Michigan victory.
- Austin Cindric (fifth) was the highest-qualifying rookie for this race.
- Tyler Reddick (sixth) was last week’s winner at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. He’s also the highest-qualifying Chevrolet.
- Kyle Larson (eighth) has three career victories at this track and led the most laps (70) last summer.
- Ty Gibbs (11th is running a third straight race for Kurt Busch while the 2004 Cup champion continues his recovery from concussion-like symptoms.
- Noah Gragson (12th) replaces AJ Allmendinger behind the wheel of the No. 16 for Kaulig Racing. Gragson is running a limited schedule for this team, sharing the ride with Allmendinger and Daniel Hemric.
- Kevin Harvick (16th) has won four of the last six races at Michigan.
- Ryan Blaney (24th) is the race’s defending winner.
- JJ Yeley (29th) replaces Joey Hand behind the wheel of the No. 15 Rick Ware Racing Ford. Yeley is running a limited schedule for the team this season.
- Austin Hill (31st) is making his Cup Series debut in a new, third part-time effort for Richard Childress Racing. Sponsorship will be provided by Bennett Transportation.
- BJ McLeod (36th) replaces Josh Williams behind the wheel of his No. 78 Live Fast Motorsports Ford. McLeod is running the majority of races for a team he co-owns.
NASCAR Race Breakdown
Race: FireKeepers Casino 400
Track: Michigan International Speedway (Brooklyn, Mich.)
Date: Sunday, Aug. 7
TV: USA Network, 3 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SIRIUS XM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 200 laps (400 miles)
Stage 1: 45 Laps
Stage 2: 75 Laps
Stage 3: 80 Laps
Daniel Hemric stops by The Frontstretch Podcast with Bryan Nolen to chat about his NASCAR Xfinity Series season with Kaulig Racing. Does the reigning NXS champion think he can defend his title and when might we see him back at the Cup level full-time? Then, host Bryan Nolen and Michael Massie break down the upcoming race at Michigan and who might be the favorite to win this weekend’s Firekeepers Casino 400.