Jeff Gordon may have had “hot” victory holding off Kevin Harvick and a late challenge by Joey Logano for his first win at Michigan International Speedway since 2001, but winter Olympic gold medalist skaters Charlie White and Meryl Davis got an icy reception by the crowd following their very underwhelming call to “start your engines at the NASCAR Pure Michigan 400 Sunday. Although the ice-dancing duo have virtually nothing to do with auto racing, they were asked to be grand marshals for the event since they are both natives of Michigan. Still, you might think that NASCAR would stop looking for people outside the sport after James Franco’s distasterous “Gentlemen and Danica start your engines at the Daytona 500 in 2013. Who knew that speaking four simple words, “Drivers, start your engines,” could be so hard to say!
In the meantime, Denny Hamlin had no problem voicing his anger to Dale Earnhardt Jr. on pit road, over they way he “edged him toward the wall in Turn 4.”
"It's just frustration from my part," Hamlin admitted. “I'm trying to do everything I can to keep up with the Hendrick engines. I'm side-drafting down the straightaway, trying to do everything I can. Not things I frown upon when I see other drivers do them. We're trying to do everything we can to keep our track position."
In the meantime, Earnhardt told Motor Racing Network, "I ran him up the track a little bit, didn't like it too much. I've been run up the track, too. I don't like it either, but I didn't want him hanging on my quarter panel all the way down the front straightaway and end up three- or four-wide. I just wanted to get on by him because I was flying. We were hauling."
The dominant cars in 2014 have been Hendrick Motorsports has had the dominant cars this season, with Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson winning three races each. Gordon, who won Gordon won Sunday, broke the track qualifying record on Friday, earning the pole with a 206.558 mph run. He came off the final restart at the Michigan 400 well and led the field with 16 laps remaining, and held onto beat Harvick by 1.4 seconds. In the meantime, his teammates, Earnhardt finished fifth and Johnson was ninth.