NASCAR at Indianapolis results, highlights: Michael McDowell punches playoff ticket with dominant display at Brickyard

Michael McDowell had a feeling it was his day.

A certain sparkle trickled through the front of his windshield as he made his way through the mire at the Brickyard. Debris twirled through the air, dirty laundry flowing along the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway track.

And yet, McDowell was cool through it all: The No. 34 car flowed through the pack elegantly, thrusting his way into the front. Then, he held firm, outlasting the likes of Chase Elliott and Daniel Suarez to pick up Cup Series win No. 2 of his career. More importantly, he punched his ticket into the playoffs in the process.

“We cherry-pick, my family comes to the races we think we can win,” McDowell said. “We thought we could win this one. Just so proud.”

MORE: Watch the Verizon 200 at the Brickyard live with Fubo (free trial)

McDowell’s win turns the postseason chase on its head. Bubba Wallace strolled through calmly, picking up a top-20 finish. However, the strong displays by McDowell, Elliott and Suarez meant his spot above the cut line is far more precarious than it was pre-race.

This race, though, was about the No. 34. McDowell certainly has a tendency to win the big one; his only other Cup Series win came at the 2021 Daytona 500. But this one arguably means more: He not only etched his name in Brickyard’s storied history, but also did so with his family by his side.

And he made sure to seal the moment with a kiss — first of his wife, then of those rose-tinted blocks that line the Pantheon of American racing excellence. All in a day’s work for the Live Fast Motorsports talent.

The Sporting News tracked live updates from this year’s Verizon 200 at the Brickyard. Below are highlights and live results as NASCAR added another successful Nap City run to its growing collection.

NASCAR at Indianapolis results

(Results are unofficial)

Place Driver Car No. Team
1 Michael McDowell 34 Live Fast Motorsports
2 Chase Elliott 9 Hendrick Motorsports
3 Daniel Suarez 99 Trackhouse Racing
4 Tyler Reddick 45 23XI Racing
5 Alex Bowman 48 Hendrick Motorsports
6 Chase Briscoe 14 Stewart-Haas Racing
7 Martin Truex Jr. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing
8 Kyle Larson 5 Hendrick Motorsports
9 Christopher Bell 20 Joe Gibbs Racing
10 Shane van Gisbergen 91 Trackhouse Racing

NASCAR at Indianapolis live updates, highlights from 2023 race

(All times Eastern)

4:57 p.m.: McDowell nabs the checkered flag! He’s into the playoffs!

4:51 p.m.: Allmendinger goes twirling into the dust. However, he straightens himself up and reaches minimum speed.

4:40 p.m.: No. 34 car working its way through the lap cars as he seeks his first Cup Series win of the season. Just 11 laps to go.

4:31 p.m.: McDowell holding firm in the front. Just 16 laps remaining, but it’s already been quite the day for the No. 34 car. All he needs now is a win.

4:23 p.m.: Busch having some issues. He’s headed to pit road now. That will drop him down the rankings a bit.

4:08 p.m.: Horrendous pit stop for Suarez, who is going to fall back massively. Reddick, who was seconds behind the No. 99, ends up getting himself back to contention. The No. 99 team will be kicking itself.

4:07 p.m.: Race leaders heading to pit road. 34 laps remaining, but things should get interesting. Can anyone gain an edge away from the track?

4:04 p.m.: Elliott’s out in front at the moment. However, it looks like the No. 9 car’s lead is slipping. Suarez puts a serious bump on Elliott to displace him, sending him into the grass. Might’ve been excessive contact there. Then again, this is for the playoffs.

3:53 p.m.: Things not looking good for Wallace. A P15 finish would represent a solid return for the 23XI star. However, with McDowell, Elliott and Suarez 1-2-3 and having earned stage points, that gap between Wallace and the rest of the pack gets that much smaller.

3:47 p.m.: McDowell takes the lead as Hamlin and Keselowski head to pit road. 45 laps to go, but it’s been a wonderful day for the No. 34 car thus far.

3:44 p.m.: Final lap of Stage 2. No caution flag will be waved, meaning that Hamlin and Keselowski are running low on fuel. Suarez is pushing hard, as is McDowell. Keselowski and Hamlin are missing corners left and right, but it will be Hamlin who takes the stage win. Elliott and Suarez are making their way up the totem pole, though.

3:43 p.m.: Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski have filtered their way to the front. Looks like they’re both seeking that all-important playoff point reward that stage winners receive.

3:39 p.m.: A.J. Allmendinger goes spinning after a bit of contact with Ryan Blaney. Sounds like the No. 16 will be gunning for the No. 12 if he gets the chance.

3:35 p.m.: Stage 2 going much the way of Stage 1 at the moment. Suarez and McDowell thrashing back-and-forth as they attempt to take hold of first-place. At the moment, it’s Suarez with the lead. With six laps remaining in the stage, though, anything can happen.

3:20 p.m.: Bit of a frustrating day for Logano, who suffered through a second on-track incident in Stage 1. He’s back in P33.

3:15 p.m.: Smooth racing from road course savant Michael McDowell carries him to a crucial Stage 1 win. Suarez finishes second, followed by fellow playoff hopeful Chase Elliott in third. van Gisbergen reels in a solid ninth-place showing in the first period of the race.

2:51 p.m.: CAUTION! Joey Logano gets into Justin Haley, sending him flying into the tire barrier. Gnarly collision for the No. 31 car. Things already getting testy and we’re only two laps in!

2:49 p.m.: We’re under green at Indianapolis! Suarez and Tyler Reddick spearheading the squad to start.

2:41 p.m.: Shane van Gisbergen looking to secure win No. 2 of his Cup Series career. First race back since that famous victory at Chicago. He starts today’s race in P10.

2:35 p.m.: Speaking of playoffs, Bubba Wallace has his first-career playoff appearance in his sights. All he needs is an okay showing at IMS — road courses have long been his kryptonite, but he did snag a top-five finish here this time last year.

2:25 p.m.: American propaganda machine churning as always as we approach the start of today’s race. As expected.

2:15 p.m.: Big day for Daniel Suarez, who finds himself in the front of the pack to start Sunday’s race. Sitting on the outside looking in of playoff contention, Suarez is in desperate need of a win. He’s a noted road course enthusiast, having secured numerous top-five finishes amongst the chaos. He’ll need to do one better today as he attempts to make a last-gasp play at the postseason.

What channel is the NASCAR race on today?

The Verizon 200 will be broadcast on NBC in the United States. Canadian viewers can follow the action on TSN5.

MORE: Updated points, scenarios as drivers chase Cup Series championship

Veteran broadcaster Rick Allen will lead NBC’s coverage, serving as the race’s lap-by-lap announcer. He’ll be joined in the booth by Jeff Burton, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Steve Letarte.

Fans can watch online via Peacock or Fubo, which offers a free trial.

NASCAR start time today

  • Date: Sunday, Aug. 13
  • Start time: 2:30 p.m. ET

Sunday’s race has a 2:30 p.m. ET listed start time, but pre-race activities are expected to push the waving of the green flag to 2:45 p.m. ET.

NASCAR at Indianapolis starting lineup 2023

Starting pos. Driver Car No. Team
1 Daniel Suarez 99 Trackhouse Racing
2 Tyler Reddick 45 23XI Racing
3 Chase Elliott 9 Hendrick Motorsports
4 Michael McDowell 34 Front Row Motorsports
5 Kyle Busch 8 Richard Childress Racing
6 Kyle Larson 5 Hendrick Motorsports
7 Christopher Bell 20 Joe Gibbs Racing
8 Shane Van Gisbergen 91 Trackhouse Racing
9 Alex Bowman 48 Hendrick Motorsports
10 Ty Gibbs 54 Joe Gibbs Racing
11 Brodie Kostecki 33 Richard Childress Racing
12 Martin Truex Jr. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing
13 Chase Briscoe 14 Stewart-Haas Racing
14 Corey Lajoie 7 Spire Motorsports
15 Justin Haley 31 Kaulig Racing
16 Ryan Blaney 12 Team Penske
17 Chris Buescher 17 RFK Racing
18 Joey Logano 22 Team Penske
19 Bubba Wallace 19 23XI Racing
20 Austin Cindric 2 Team Penske
21 Ross Chastain 1 Trackhouse Racing
22 Brad Keselowski 6 RFK Racing
23 Todd Gilliland 38 Front Row Motorsports
24 Harrison Burton 21 Wood Brothers Racing
25 Denny Hamlin 11 Joe Gibbs Racing
26 A.J. Allmendinger 16 Kaulig Racing
27 Austin Dillon 3 Richard Childress Racing
28 Kamui Kobayashi 67 23XI Racing
29 Andy Lally 51 Rick Ware Racing
30 Ryan Preece 41 Stewart-Haas Racing
31 Jenson Button 15 Rick Ware Racing
32 Josh Bilicki 78 Live Fast Motorsports
33 Aric Almirola 10 Stewart-Haas Racing
34 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing
35 Ty Dillon 77 Spire Motorsports
36 Erik Jones 43 Legacy Motor Club
37 Mike Rockenfeller 42 Legacy Motor Club
38 Kevin Harvick 4 Stewart-Haas Racing
39 William Byron 24 Hendrick Motorsports

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