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3 months agoLeavine Family Racing driver Matt DiBenedetto will move to Wood Brothers Racing and behind the wheel of the No. 21 Ford Mustang full-time for the 2020 Monster Energy Cup Series season. DiBenedetto will take over for Paul Menard, who will retire from full-time Cup racing following the 2019 season. "All of us at Wood Brothers Racing are excited to welcome Matt DiBenedetto to the team beginning next season. Matt has shown a lot of promise on track and everyone has seen it in his results this season, especially over the past several months. We want to continue to build on that success together as we gear up for 2020 and the future of Wood Brothers Racing," President and Co-Owner Eddie Wood said.--Daniel E. Dobish - RotoBallerSource: WoodBrothersRacing.com
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3 months agoWood Brothers Racing driver Paul Menard plans to retire from full-time Monster Energy Cup Series racing after the conclusion of the 2019 season. With Menard's departure, the No. 21 Ford Mustang will be driven by Matt DiBenedetto next season. "I've enjoyed every moment of my career racing in the NASCAR Cup Series and I'm so thankful for all the great memories and friendships I've made through this sport. But I'm looking forward to spending more time at home with my wife Jennifer and our two young children while moving forward with the next chapter of my life," Menard said.--Daniel E. Dobish - RotoBallerSource: WoodBrothersRacing.com
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4 months agoHendrick Motorsports driver and seven-time series champion Jimmie Johnson limped home to a 34th-place finish at the Consumers Energy 400 at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday. It wasn't the finish he was hoping for, as he slipped further back in his pursuit of a spot in the Chase. "My aggression early in the race led to a mistake... this one is on me. Eyes forward and bring on Bristol," Johnson said on his official Twitter account. He was 10th in the first stop at BMS back in April. Johnson's win drought now dates back to June 2017, and he is in serious danger of missing the Chase for the first time in his career. --Daniel E. Dobish - RotoBallerSource: Jimmie Johnson on Twitter
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4 months agoStewart-Haas Racing driver Clint Bowyer was involved in a wreck, ending his day early at Sunday's Consumers Energy 400 at Michigan International Speedway. Bowyer ended up 37th out of 38 drivers, completing just 139 laps while racking up three points in the standings. It wasn't the day Bowyer was hoping, as he battles for a playoff spot. He'll try to bounce back at Bristol where he finished seventh in April at the first Thunder Valley race. Bowyer has never won at BMS, but he has seven top-5 finishes, 14 top-10 showings and a 14.3 Average-Finish Position in 27 Cup starts.--Daniel E. Dobish - RotoBallerSource: FOXSports.com
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4 months agoThe Penske Racing stable of drivers Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski and Ryan Blaney ended up finish 17th, 19th and 24th in Sunday's Consumers Energy 400 at Michigan International Speedway. Logano ended up leading 52 laps, while Keselowski had a race-high 66 laps led. Even Blaney was in the mix with three laps led. The Michigan native Keselowski was probably disappointed the most, as he had a tire go down in the third stage, ruining what looked like it was going to be a huge day. The pole sitter still has never won at his home track in the Irish Hills. Next up is a trip to Bristol where Logano was third, Blaney was fourth and Kes finishes 18th back on April 7 in the Food City 500.--Daniel E. Dobish - RotoBallerSource: NASCAR.com
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4 months agoHendrick Motorsports drivers Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman finished ninth and 10th respectively at the Consumers Energy 400 at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday. Neither Elliott nor Bowman were able to lead a lap, but the playoff-bound drivers were still able to post solid runs in Michigan. They'll try and keep it going in Bristol next Saturday. Elliott was 11th back on April 7 at Bristol, and he has a 13.6 Average-Finish Position in five Cup starts while Bowman was not as fortunate in 23rd back in April. Bowman has a solid 12.0 AFP in three career Cup starts in Thunder Valley, however.--Daniel E. Dobish - RotoBallerSource: NASCAR.com
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4 months agoHendrick Motorsports driver William Byron posted an eighth-place finish in Sunday's Consumers Energy 400 at Michigan International Speedway. Byron has been enjoying a solid run lately, posting four top-10 finishes over his past seven points races, and he ended up posting a 13.0 Average-Finish Position in his two stops at Michigan this season. He was 16th back on April 7 in the first stop at Bristol, which is where the series heads on Saturday night. In three Cup starts at BMS, Byron has finishes of 16th, 18th and 23rd.--Daniel E. Dobish - RotoBallerSource: NASCAR.com
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4 months agoJTG Daugherty Racing driver Ryan Preece went from a starting spot of 29th to a seventh-place finish in Sunday's Consumers Energy 400 at Michigan International Speedway. It was an amazing run for Preece, as he stacked up plenty of Place-Differential points to help many DFS owners to solid paydays. He'll look to carry over the momentum into Bristol Motor Speedway next Saturday where he finished 25th back on April 7 in his Cup debut at the short track.--Daniel E. Dobish - RotoBallerSource: NASCAR.com
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4 months agoJoe Gibbs Racing driver Kyle Busch struggled in practice and qualifying, going off 22nd for Sunday's Consumers Energy 400 at Michigan International Speedway. He ended up winning the second stage while leading a total of three laps to help himself to a solid finish despite some troubles finding speed early on. Now, Busch heads to Bristol Motor Speedway for the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race where he has eight victories in 28 career Cup starts, including the Food City 500 back on April 7.--Daniel E. Dobish - RotoBallerSource: NASCAR.com
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4 months agoStewart-Haas Racing driver Daniel Suarez posted a fifth-place finish in Sunday's Consumers Energy 400 at Michigan International Speedway, and he was the second-best Ford in the field. It was a nice run after Suarez started 11th, ticking off several Place-Differential points although he did not lead any laps. He moved to within just six points of the cutline for the Chase with this solid showing. Next up is a trip to Bristol where he was a solid eighth-place back on April 7. He has never finished lower than 18th in five Cup starts while posting a 14.0 Average-Finish Position at BMS.--Daniel E. Dobish - RotoBallerSource: NASCAR.com
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4 months agoJoe Gibbs Racing driver Martin Truex Jr. won the first stage at Sunday's Consumers Energy 400 at Michigan International Speedway and he ended up leading a total of 43 laps before finishing in the fourth position. MTJ went for it at the end on his final pit stop, taking fuel only in an attempt to shave time and go for the victory but he ended up coming up a little short. It's off to Bristol next week where Truex was a very marginal 17th back in April. It's a track he has struggled, posting zero wins, just two top-5 finishes and only three top-10 showings with a 20.93 Average-Finish Position in 27 Cup starts.--Daniel E. Dobish - RotoBallerSource: NASCAR.com
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4 months agoGanassi Racing driver Kyle Larson registered a much-needed third-place finish in Sunday's Consumers Energy 400 at Michigan International Speedway despite the fact he didn't lead any laps. He was able to pick up 34 points in the standings, and helped fantasy owners with plenty of Place-Differential points after starting out 17th. Next up is a trip to Bristol. He leads all drivers with a 108.9 Driver Rating over the past five stops in Thunder Valley, according to NASCAR's Loop Data. He has led a circuit-best 489 laps during the span while posting a 7.6 Average-Finish Position with 82.2 percent of his laps run inside the Top 15.--Daniel E. Dobish - RotoBallerSource: NASCAR.com
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4 months agoJoe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin registered a second-place finish at the Consumers Energy 400 at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday. He started 14th and scooted all the way up to second, leading four laps along the way while picking up 44 points in the standings. Hamlin, who kicked off the season with a win at the Daytona 500, has been running hot lately. Sunday marked his fifth consecutive top-5 finish, and Sunday's runner-up was his second in the past four outings which also includes a win at Pocono. Next up is Bristol, where he was fifth back on April 7 in the Food City 500.--Daniel E. Dobish - RotoBallerSource: NASCAR.com
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4 months agoStewart-Haas Racing driver Kevin Harvick picked up his second victory of the season at the Consumers Energy 400 at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday. It was just a few weeks ago everyone was wondering what was wrong with the No. 4 team, as he was without a win. He picked up checkers at New Hampshire, and now he has victories in two of the past four points races, and four consecutive finishes of seventh or better with 103 laps led. He'll surge into Bristol where he has led 379 laps over the past five starts with a 97.0 Driver Rating, according to NASCAR's Loop Data, ranking fifth among all drivers.--Daniel E. Dobish - RotoBallerSource: NASCAR.com
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5 months agoHendrick Motorsports driver Jimmie Johnson ended up in 15th place in Sunday's Gander RV 400 at Pocono Raceway, but he was able to secure a Stage 2 victory and one playoff point while leading a total of three laps. A sound pit strategy and late caution helped him win the stage under caution. Still, he hasn't picked up a victory since winning at Dover back in June 2017. Next up is the road course at Watkins Glen where the seven-time series champion has never won while posting just four top-5 finishes, eight top-10 showings and two DNFs with a so-so 17.06 Average-Finish Position in 17 career Cup starts.--Daniel E. Dobish - RotoBallerSource: Motorsport.com - Jim Utter
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