FireKeepers Casino 400 underway at MIS after long delay

Gregg Krupa
The Detroit News
Austin Dillon, driver of the Bass Pro Shops/Cabela's Chevrolet, and Ryan Reed, driver of the Drive Down A1C Lilly Diabetes Ford, lead the field to a restart during the NASCAR Xfinity Series LTi Printing 250 at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday. Dillon won the race.

Brooklyn, Mich. -- Rain on Sunday delayed the scheduled 2:15 p.m. start of the FireKeepers Casino 400 for two and a half hours.

The first NASCAR Cup race of the 50th anniversary season of Michigan International Speedway finally took the green flag at 4:45 p.m

Drivers spent some of the delay giving interviews to media gathered to cover the 15th race of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup season.

More: Krupa: Tires must put NASCAR drivers in the groove

More: Austin Dillon wins Xfinity series race at MIS

Ford was strong in the qualifying field with seven of the top 10 and eight of the top 12 qualifiers, including the pole winner Kurt Busch (203.361) and Brad Keselowski (203.166), of Rochester, starting second.

Keselowski is looking for his first NASCAR Cup win at MIS, although he won Xfinity races here in 2009 and 2010.

Erik Jones, of Byron, Mich., will start from the last row after pre-race inspections Sunday morning revealed splitter violations on his car and those of two others from Joe Gibbs Racing.

NOAA is forecasting more than a 50-percent possibility of precipitation through about 9 p.m., and weather radars show a bit of a break, but no significant lack of rain or cloud cover until back over Lake Michigan.