Late on Saturday, in the final Qualifying session of the Michigan 400 there could be heard a distinct popping sound. Mathew Thunhorst knew that sound all too well, twice previously in the week he heard that awful sound, the sound of his engine expiring. This session, was his last chance to put in a time fast enough to make the Pro Split and hopefully at least maintain his championship lead. This time though, it wasn't Mathew's engine that gave out, he made a conservative run
and qualified 32nd, back of the pack, but at least he had made the show. No, this time that wretched sound belonged the 2018 Champion, Blake Reynolds. Leading up to this week Blake's repeat effort was on life support, but if there was one place he could right the ship, it had to be at this track, in these cars. A win here would draw him closer, but more importantly it would send a message to everyone in the garage... "I'm not dead yet, look out!" It wasn't meant to be though as the champs hopes disappeared with a "pop".
Just one day later, Thunhorst would complete a beautiful drive through the field, win the race and put a strangle hold on the championship. Perhaps the next popping sound Mathew will hear is the champagne cork in early November.