Story By: REID SPENCER / NASCAR – BROOKLYN, MI – Persistent rain forced postponement of the completion of Sunday’s FireKeepers Casino 400 until Monday at noon ET, after 74 laps had been run and four drivers had fallen out because of accidents.
Three drivers expected to contend for the victory—Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott and William Byron—exited with wrecked cars in the first 46 laps of the race and will not be on track for the resumption on Monday, which will be broadcast on USA, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Josh Berry, subbing for suspended Noah Gragson in the No. 42 Legacy Motor Club Chevrolet, spun into the wall in Turn 4 on Lap 51 and joined Busch, Elliott and Byron on the sidelines.
Tyler Reddick had taken the lead after a Lap 70 restart, but rain soon started to fall in Turn 2 and gradually moved across the entire track, forcing the interruption.
Elliott’s Playoff position gained clarity if not comfort on Lap 35 when his No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet blew a right rear tire and rocketed into the outside wall in Turn 2.
Elliott was credited with a 36-place finish, putting the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series in a probable must-win position over the next three races if he hopes to make the Playoffs.
Despite absorbing a hard hit and taking moment to catch his breath before keying his radio immediately after the accident, Elliott seemed unhurt when he exited the infield care center.
“Yeah, I feel good,” he said. “I hate that it happened. It was really early in the day to have a tire blow like that. It was really weird. It’s a bummer, but not surprised… Add it to the list.”
Kyle Busch, a three-time winner this season, had fallen out of the event 20 laps earlier. Running underneath Ryan Blaney on Lap 15, Busch felt his No. 8 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet snap loose in Turn 2. Hard contact with the outside wall damaged the car beyond repair.
“I put myself in a bad spot,” said Busch, who exited in 37th place. “I really hate that I did that. I wish the results were better for the day for our entire RCR team. They work so hard and do so much for me to put myself in a bad spot like that and get crashed. Hate it for (sponsor) Kwik Trip and everybody involved—it was a really short day.”
Notes: FireKeepers Casino, located in Battle Creek, has extended its entitlement with Michigan International Speedway in a multiyear deal, track president Joe Fowler announced Sunday. Specific terms were not delineated.