The second half of today’s Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway has had a disjointed start.
On Lap 110, Alex Bowman went into the wall to bring out the caution. Then on the subsequent restart at Lap 114, Brett Moffitt spun out in Turn 3 to slow the race yet again.
The green flag came back out at Lap 120, but once more, the yellow came out almost immediately afterward as Denny Hamlin lost control and made contact with Aric Almirola in Turn 3.
Hamlin took a glancing hit off the wall, while Almirola slid down to the infield grass. There, the front bumper of his No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford got stuck; he eventually was able to get out of there and head to the pits.
That led to pit stops in which Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano stayed out, but a good portion of the field went in. Harvick and Logano took the Lap 128 restart in first and second respectively.
Gabby Chaves is set to return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Watkins Glen International later this month.
The Columbian-American driver, who last competed in IMSA in 2016 – with the DeltaWing outfit – will sub for the injured Joao Barbosa – he hurt his wrist in a cycling accident earlier in June – in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.
Chaves will partner Filipe Albuquerque and Christian Fittipaldi in the No. 5 Cadillac.
Chaves expressed gratitude for being asked to fill in, but kept his enthusiasm muted, noting that he is getting the opportunity ultimately because another driver got hurt.
“The first thing is of course that you never want to have an opportunity because someone got hurt, so this is an unfortunate circumstance with Joao having his injury,”said Chaves. “But I appreciate the opportunity to join the championship-leading team. Mustang Sampling Racing has had a strong start this year and hopefully I can help the team continue to have those kinds of results.”
Chaves added, “I love Watkins Glen, it is a great track and I am looking forward to racing the Cadillac Prototype there. I’m excited to be going back to endurance racing. With different classes all racing at the same time, there is a lot for the driver to deal with as you work through traffic. So I am looking forward to racing at the Glen again, and I really appreciate this opportunity with Mustang Sampling Racing.”
Chaves’ most recent IMSA event was the 2016 Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, when he finished seventh in the Prototype class.
The No. 5 Action Express Cadillac currently sits tied with the sister No. 31 Whelen Engineer Racing Cadillac of Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr atop the IMSA standings, though Barbosa’s hopes of a driver’s championship are set to take an enormous hit with him missing Watkins Glen.