Live updates from Michigan NASCAR race: Chris Buescher outduels Martin Truex Jr. for win

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Live updates for this event have ended. Check here for what this win means to Chris Buescher, who is looking like a championship contender at the right time.

Charlotte Observer reporter Alex Zietlow will be providing live updates and analysis throughout Monday’s Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway — just like he had been doing Sunday. Read those musings below. Refresh this page as needed.

For full results, visit NASCAR.com.

Live updates from NASCAR at Michigan

Stage 3

Lap 200: Chris Buescher wins it! Outduels Martin Truex Jr.! The driver of the No. 17 car has gone back-to-back for his first two wins of 2023. Your Top 10: Buescher, Truex, Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Daniel Suarez, Ross Chastain, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Blaney, Erik Jones. More to come.

Here’s a critical moment in the Buescher-Truex duel, captured by NBC Sports:

Lap 190: What a display of racing between Chris Buescher and Martin Truex Jr.! The two trade blows as this has become a two-headed race. Ten to go.

Lap 158: Tyler Reddick and Chris Buescher, who were leading the field, head down pit road. That starts a slew of green-flag pit stops — which could be the last ones today. And Reddick’s right-rear tire goes down! We stay green, but he’s on pit road now and his winning contention chances might be gone. Martin Truex Jr. has another great pit stop, and he’ll have a chance to run down leader Buescher. Just about 40 laps to go here.

Lap 143: Checking in. Great racing throughout the field. Top 10: Chris Buescher, Tyler Reddick, Ryan Blaney, Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick, Austin Cindric, Denny Hamlin, Ross Chastain, Aric Almirola, Harrison Burton.

Lap 133: Alllllrighty we’re green again!

Lap 130: Ooof. Just as we go green, Alex Bowman spins out and knocks into the fence. That 48 team — which basically needs a win in these last four regular-season races to make this year’s playoffs — can’t catch a break. Michael McDowell and Todd Gilliland were also involved in some contact there. Here’s a nice look of what happened:

Lap 123: Pretty much the entire field came down pit road, but everyone was on a different strategy. Some teams, like the 19 with Martin Truex Jr., only took fuel because they changed tires about 20 laps ago. (Denny Hamlin was on the same strategy.) Others gambled with two tires. And others — like Bubba Wallace and Daniel Suarez — needed fuel and four tires after spending everything they had to get good Stage 2 results.

Resumption of Stage 2

Lap 120: What a run for the 19 team! Wow! Martin Truex Jr. heads down pit road on Lap 105 ... and still somehow wins Stage 2, passing Bubba Wallace and Brad Keselowski and Daniel Suarez (just barely!) on the final lap. Wallace, Keselowski and Suarez all stayed out on the last yellow. This 19 team is just better than everyone today — perhaps with the lone exception of Denny Hamlin, who bullied his way to a P11 finish despite a terrible trip down pit road a handful of laps ago.

Drivers earning stage points at the end of Stage 2: MTJ, Suarez, Keselowski, Wallace, Alex Bowman, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, AJ Allmendinger, Austin Cindric, Chris Buescher.

Lap 108: Green once more!

Lap 104: Got another caution before the end of Stage 2. Ryan Preece. The driver of the 41 car felt his right-rear tire going down, avoided running into the fence, and filed down pit road. A bunch of cars heading down pit road during the stage break, including Martin Truex Jr. and Erik Jones. Denny Hamlin also came down pit road and couldn’t get his car started ... tough break for the 11 car, which was running fifth before that blunder.

Lap 100: The race is officially official (meaning that if more bad weather comes into the area, then a winner will be named). The first half of this weekend’s Cup race has certainly been eventful. Per a note from NASCAR, there have been six cautions for 22 laps, with the red flag lasting 19:05:18. That’s substantial, don’t you think?!

Lap 88: Bubba Wallace, which rolled into the green flag racing in P2, uses a huge run to take the lead over Martin Truex Jr. Bunch of movement to start Monday — very similar to Sunday. Now that drivers have found a rhythm, here’s your Top 10: Wallace, Truex, Erik Jones, Austin Cindric, Daniel Suarez, Brad Keselowski, Chris Buescher, Denny Hamlin, Harrison Burton, AJ Allmendinger.

Green flag, 12:47 p.m.: Green green green!

Yellow flag, 12:45 p.m.: More rain reported on Turn 1. Pace car still out there.

Yellow flag, 12:34 p.m.: Cars are rolling off pit road. Pit road will be open once the field empties out onto the racetrack. Remember: Teams did not get the chance to refuel or change tires after Sunday’s postponement; their equipment is in the same state as it was just past 6 p.m. yesterday. But at least we’re back to racing.

Some of the main players heading down pit road: Christopher Bell (who’s still battling the damage from a spin-out yesterday), Michael McDowell (also damage to the vehicle nose), Ty Gibbs (fuel only) and Alex Bowman. Martin Truex Jr. stayed out, and he’ll be out front when we go green.

12:30 p.m.: Engines fired!

12:20 p.m.: Drivers are in their cars!

12 p.m.: NASCAR has told teams to uncover their cars at 12:10 p.m. to ready for engine refirings at 12:30. Noon also marks the start of Monday’s broadcast on USA Network.

11:59 a.m.: Drivers were scheduled to be by their cars at 11:50 a.m., but car covers remain on them. Still a slight mist in the air. A 12 p.m. green flag, obviously isn’t happening.

11:33 a.m.: We’re (supposedly) about 30 minutes away from going green again. Will the weather cooperate? Track-dryers have been out on the MIS track since 10 a.m. or so preparing the pavement under a light mist, but radars show there are light showers moving in from the northwest around noon, but the afternoon looks clear.

Here’s a look at the radar via the (exquisitely helpful) Twitter account @RaceWeather:

11:20 a.m.: So where were we? Oh, yes: The NASCAR Cup Series returns to Michigan International Speedway on Monday to conclude the race that started just past 4 p.m. on Sunday. Today’s green flag is set for 12 p.m./noon ET barring any more inclement weather. Local forecasts now show a 40% chance of rain.

Catch the race on USA Network (TSN1 for the viewers in Canada), MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. The race will start on Lap 75 with Tyler Reddick leading the way, followed closely behind by Alex Bowman, Kyle Larson, Martin Truex Jr. (Stage 1 winner) and Erik Jones.

Just because we only made it through 75 laps doesn’t mean we didn’t see a bunch of on-track action. Because we did. Among the most meaningful highlights: Kyle Busch wrecked within the first 20 laps and saw his day end for good. Chase Elliott followed suit; the sport’s most popular driver’s playoff hopes are growing thinner and thinner by the week. William Byron and Josh Berry also knocked themselves out of contention in separate incidents, too. (That’s four drivers out of the race before the end of Stage 2 — and they’re big names, too!)

If Sunday was any indication, this is MTJ’s race to lose. He took Stage 1 with ease and rose through the field with ferocity in Stage 2 after a pit-road miscue during the stage break forced him to start Lap 50 at the rear. Plus, for some reason, he loves racing on Mondays. Keep it here!

Driver Martin Truex Jr. looks on during practice for the NASCAR Cup Series Cook Out 400 at Richmond Raceway on July 29, 2023, in Richmond, Virginia. (Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images/TNS)
Driver Martin Truex Jr. looks on during practice for the NASCAR Cup Series Cook Out 400 at Richmond Raceway on July 29, 2023, in Richmond, Virginia. (Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images/TNS)

Quick details for NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan

  • Race: FireKeepers Casino 400

  • Place: Michigan International Speedway

  • Purse: $7,544,696

  • TV: USA

  • Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR (Channel 90)

  • Distance: 400 miles (200 Laps)

  • Stages: Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 45), Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 120), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 200)