Friday, 19 April 2024

Denny Hamlin a favorite at MIS, but Chase Elliott has uphill battle

Posted On Sunday, 12 August 2018 15:55 Written by
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Denny Hamlin, who won the pole for today’s race at MIS with a lap of 210.590 mph, was happy to see some positive results after a bit of a rough stretch. He won all three segments of qualifying on Friday, and was seventh in final practice.

“These guys are really stepping up and we’re starting to make a little hay now. We love to see results when you work so hard,” Hamlin said. “The toughest part is when you work really hard and you don’t get the results and really we had unfortunate circumstances happen to us last weekend with that stop, but overall just been so happy with our performance.”

As far as the race, Hamlin knows he has to approach things a bit more measured than in qualifying.

“We have to get it driving just like it is right now – consistent and easy to drive at this point. You have to make sure you have that same sustainability in race trim for 200 laps around here.”

Kyle Busch doubtful

Though starting on the outside of the front row, Kyle Busch wasn’t sure how his day would go at MIS.

“This has always been a tricky place for me to be able to find the right setup and get it to where we need it,” Busch said. “Just missed it a little bit here today to be able to get that number one spot and that number one pit stop because that’s really important here at Michigan. We’ll see how Sunday goes, but typically I wouldn’t say that Michigan is one of our best places.”

Jones starting strong

Michigan native Erik Jones will be starting fourth at MIS, and is eager to add to his win total, which stands at 1 after his win at Daytona.

“It was good. I think overall in practice we were a little bit off and we got it better. The Doosan Camry had good speed and I think we kind of know where we needed to be a little bit better to contend for the pole, but top-five starting spot and being on the outside is good here. We’ve been qualifying well here all year and we’ve got that going and we’ll have good track position.”

Austin Dillon leads Chevys

Rounding up the top five is the top Chevy qualifier, Austin Dillon, with his teammate Ryan Newman right behind him in sixth starting position.

“Proud of the guys, this is our highest qualifying, I think, all year long,” Dillon said. “So, we are really pumped about that.  It’s good we’ve got to get this momentum going before the Playoffs start. This is a good place to do it.”

Most recent winner struggles

Chase Elliott couldn’t carry the momentum from his first win at Watkins Glen into qualifying at Michigan, as he’ll start 21st.

“It’s just wasn’t quite turning like I was hoping it would. But, we had a hard time here in the spring race, too. I’m not real sure why,” Elliott said after qualifying. “Hopefully we can get it worked out tomorrow and move forward because that was not good.”


Matt Myftiu can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and on Twitter @Matt Myftiu.


Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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