Boyd Outlasts Adverse Conditions in Michigan
Michigan International Raceway marked the thirteenth race of the season for the NASCAR XFINITY Series. The new aero package was an unknown coming into Michigan, especially after last weekend in Pocono. The greatest unknown however, proved to be the weather. Heavy clouds surrounded Michigan International Speedway, which cancelled qualifying and caused a substantial delay to the start of the race.
After about a three hour delay, the green flag was finally displayed and it was time to go racing. Boyd would roll off from 34th position as the field was set by owner points. Boyd was cautious in the opening laps as he felt out his car in the draft. On lap 17 the first caution of the day was brought out when the 20 car of Christopher Bell spun making contact with the wall. Boyd came in for two right side tires and fuel. The remainder of stage one went caution free. Kyle Busch went on to win the first stage with Boyd in 33rd.
Crew chief Jason Miller decided to play a bit of strategy heading into the second stage by bringing Boyd down pit road for fuel only. The strategy call would move Boyd from 33rd to 24th for the start of stage two. With reports of rain in the area the action intensified throughout the second stage. After a few different incidents, Boyd found himself running as high as the 15th position with only a handful of laps remaining in the stage. An extremely aggressive restart in the closing laps of stage two shuffled Boyd back to the 27th position as Elliott Sadler took the green and white checkered flag.
Miller brought Boyd down pit road for four tires, fuel, and a track bar adjustment before the start of the final stage. On lap 67, caution was once again displayed for the 20 of Bell. With weather closing in on the Speedway, the intensity level was at an all-time high. Yellow flags were displayed for the 60 car spinning, as well as for a multi-car pileup directly behind Boyd. On lap 91 of the scheduled 125, the skies finally opened and the race was officially called for rain. Austin Dillon was declared the winner with Boyd bringing home the Grunt Style Chevrolet in a solid 22nd position (Boyd’s 2nd career best finish).
After the race Boyd reflected, “I wasn’t sure if we were even going to get this race started, but what a great job by NASCAR and the staff here at Michigan to get the race in today. We weren’t really sure how our car was going to be since we didn’t get much drafting practice yesterday, but what an effort by my guys. My crew chief Jason Miller made some great strategy calls to help us gain track position, and we were able to maintain it for the most part. I really enjoyed racing this aero package here. It was a lot of fun.”
With his 22nd place finish yesterday, Boyd moves back into the Top 30 in driver standings. Boyd will take the next few days to rest up before setting his sights on Iowa Speedway. Coverage of the Iowa 250 presented by Enogen, will begin Sunday June 17th at 5:00 p.m. ET on FS1 marking the final race of the season for coverage on the Fox network of channels.
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