Rain forces postponement of FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway
Rain forced the postponement of the FireKeepers Casino 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway from its originally scheduled Sunday afternoon start to 5 p.m. ET Monday.
When the race gets underway Monday, Joey Logano will start from the pole with Aric Almirola next to him on the front row.
“Well the rain got the best of us today race fans...stay safe, stay dry and see you all tmw [tomorrow] race fans,” Logano [@JoeyLogano] tweeted.
Fords will start in four of the top-five positions and eight of the top-10 spots on the starting grid. Almirola’s Stewart-Haas teammates Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer will start third and fifth, respectively. Toyota driver Denny Hamlin also will start in the top-five in fourth, sharing the second row with Harvick.
SHR swept the two Michigan races last year. Bowyer is the defending winner of the FireKeepers Casino 400. Harvick won there last August. Prior to their wins, Kyle Larson won three-straight Michigan races.
Monday’s race is scheduled for a 200-lap distance to be divided into two 60-lap stages and an 80-lap third stage.
Normally, NASCAR races postponed until Monday are rescheduled for a midday start, but the combination of Monday’s weather forecast and FOX Sports 1’s television coverage Women’s World Cup soccer pushed the new scheduled start time to Monday evening. FOX Sports 1, on which the race was expected to appear Sunday, will broadcast the race live Monday.
NASCAR made attempts to get the FireKeepers Casino 400 underway throughout the afternoon on Sunday. The race nearly took the green flag about an hour after its originally scheduled 2 p.m. start with cars on the track making pace laps, but rain returned within a lap of NASCAR’s plan to wave the green flag.
Sprinkles continued as track-drying equipment made laps, preventing the track from getting completely dry. Rain, then, intensified around 4:30 p.m. Michigan International Speedway doesn't have lights to allow for racing after dark.
During the delay, drivers Corey LaJoie and Darrell Wallace Jr. kept themselves and fans in the grandstands occupied by throwing a football. The drivers would throw the football over the catchfence, and fans would throw it back over to the drivers.