Matt Kenseth led Joe Gibbs Racing with a 14th-place finish in this afternoon’s Quicken Loans 400 from Michigan International Speedway. Meanwhile Denny Hamlin finished 29th and a broken left rear hub left Kyle Busch back in 41st.
Kenseth started his No. 20 Dollar General Toyota 21st and was able to race his way into the top 15 where he spent much of the afternoon. With clean air so important on the two-mile track the Dollar General team would use various pit strategies in an attempt to put the No. 20 Camry up front with the leaders, but the cautions didn’t fall exactly as needed to allow Kenseth to remain in the top five. He would use fuel strategy late in the race to grab a brief lead as the field cycled through stops on laps 189 and 190, but Kenseth would have to come down pit road eventually for a final splash of gas to make it to the checkered flag. He would go on to finish in 14th.
Hamlin started his No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota from the 29th position and battled handling conditions throughout the afternoon. He would fall a lap down to the leaders and was unable to benefit from the cautions to get back on the lead lap. Hamlin would get loose on lap 123 and make contact with the 43 car causing damage to the right side of the FedEx Camry. The FedEx crew was able to make the necessary repairs on pit road but he would fall another lap down in the process. Hamlin would go on to finish the day in 29th.
Busch qualified his No. 18 M&Ms Toyota in the 14th position and was able to race his way solidly in the top ten through the early portion of today’s race. On lap 72 Busch would report on the radio that he felt he might have a tire issue. A caution would follow just a lap later allowing the team to come down pit road to change tires. However as the race was set to restart with Busch in fifth, he would come back on the radio to let his team know something remained wrong with car. He would bring his M&Ms Camry to the garage with an issue to the left rear wheel hub. By the time Busch was able to bring the car back on the track he was 26 laps behind the leaders. He would go on to finish 41st.
Jimmie Johnson won the race followed by Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Paul Menard, and Kasey Kahne rounded out the top five. There were eight cautions for a total of 36 laps and 25 lead changes among 13 different drivers.