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NASCAR Cup Michigan

Start of NASCAR Cup race at Michigan delayed by rain

The start of Sunday's NASCAR Cup race at Michigan International Speedway has been delayed due to persistent rain in the area.

Christopher Bell, Joe Gibbs Racing, Rheem Toyota Camry

The 400-mile race is currently on hold. The field did a handful of pace laps before the rain returned and forced the cars back down pitroad. 

Rain enveloped the area of Brooklyn, Mich., track on Sunday morning and continued to pepper the track with showers throughout the afternoon.

Christopher Bell, who won the pole in Saturday’s qualifying session, will lead the field to green when the race finally gets under way.

The pole is his second of the 2023 season, with both coming in his last four races. It’s also the sixth pole in the career of the driver of Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 20 Toyota.

“I feel excellent about what I have for sure. It was a pretty smooth Saturday,” Bell said. “In practice, it was very good off the truck and fast and balanced.

“That is what it is all about at Michigan – having the car comfortable and balanced so you can drive as hard as you need to, to create speed as you need to here in Michigan.”

Ross Chastain will line up second, Bell’s JGR team-mate Ty Gibbs is third, last week’s race winner Chris Buescher fourth and JGR driver Martin Truex Jr. will start fifth.

Completing the top-10 starting lineup are Joey Logano, William Byron, Kyle Busch, Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott.

With four races remaining in the regular season, Truex remains in control of the series standings, 39 points ahead of his JGR teammate Denny Hamlin.

Michael McDowell still holds the 16th and final spot in the playoff field, 18 points ahead of rookie Gibbs.

Kevin Harvick is the defending winner at Michigan, beating Bubba Wallace to the checkered flag last year.

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