Chase Elliott William Byron Aug 6, 2023; Brooklyn, Michigan, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Chase Elliott (9) during the FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

It was treacherous in the early laps of the FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway. The NASCAR Cup Series race had a rain delay after 74 of 200 laps, but many top drivers were already caught up in single-car crashes.

This started in Lap 14 when Kyle Busch got tight and got into Ryan Blaney, causing Busch to spin into the Turn 2 wall. This continued a bad run of form for Busch after finishing 36th, 21st, and 3rd in the past three weeks.

Then on Lap 36, Chase Elliott blew his right rear tire and tagged the wall in about the same spot as Busch. While Busch is safely in the Playoffs with three wins, Elliott doesn’t have a win and is currently out. With this crash, he probably needs to get a win in the next three races.

On the ensuing restart, William Byron hit the Turn 4 wall coming to the stage finish. Byron was one of the early leaders, and he didn’t hit hard, but it was hard enough to knock him out of the race.

Just barely into Stage 2, Josh Berry got loose and hit hard in the Turn 3 wall. Berry recently filled in for Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman, and he was in his first race for the #42 Legacy Motor Club Chevy after Noah Gragson was suspended for “liking” a racist George Floyd meme on Instagram.

Last, but not least, Christopher Bell crashed right before the rain came while challenging Bowman for the lead. Bell went in hard trying to get in front of Bowman, but he got loose and hit the wall instead.

The race didn’t reach halfway, and because of the rain, the race will restart at noon et Monday. If it was this sketchy the first half of the race, imagine how it’ll be when they’re fighting at the finish.

About Phillip Bupp

Producer/editor of the Awful Announcing Podcast and Short and to the Point. News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. Highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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