Kahne claims victory in record-setting Brickyard 400
By Matt Courson
July 23, 2017
INDIANAPOLIS— Kasey Kahne claimed victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, snapping a 102 race-winless streak that began after Atlanta in 2014.
Kahne held off a hard-charging Brad Keselowski during an overtime finish.
“The career is big, for sure; but the win and the history here,” Kahne said. “To win at this track is unreal. We used to always be really close. We lost to Jeff (Gordon) and we lost to Tony (Stewart); just some fast cars back then. Today’s strategy got us here.”
STAGE ONE (LAPS 1-30)
Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick led the field to the green flag.
Busch had a 1.9 second lead by the fifth lap.
The first caution flag waved on lap nine, when Corey Lajoie spun in Turn 2, hitting the inside SAFER barrier.
The race would not go back green, because of an impending thunderstorm. NASCAR brought the field down pit road, and the red flag waved.
After a delay of over 1 hour, 45 minutes, the yellow flag came back out, with Kyle Busch in command.
Nobody could catch the driver of the No. 18 Skittles Camry, as he had a 2.6 second lead eight laps after the restart. The Las Vegas native went on to win stage one, followed by Truex Jr., Blaney, Harvick, and Logano.
A competition caution occurred on lap 30, with Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. winning the race off pit road after pit stops.
STAGE TWO (LAPS 31-60)
Kyle Busch led the field to the green flag to begin stage two. Busch was no match for any of his competitors.
A multi-car accident in Turn 1 involving Jeffrey Earnhardt, David Ragan, and JJ Yeley brought out the third caution of the afternoon.
The green flag waved, but not for long before J.J. Yeley’s day turned from bad to worse.
A right-front tire went down as a result of the earlier accident, sending the No. 7 machine into the wall. Yeley was evaluated and released from the infield care center.
Varying strategy resulted in rookie Erik Jones leading the field at the 2.5-mile speedway.
On the restart, an accordion effect resulted in Dale Earnhardt Jr. slamming into the back of Trevor Bayne. The damage resulted in Earnhardt Jr. falling out of the race.
The remainder of stage would remain caution free. Kyle Busch went on to win the second stage.
STAGE THREE (LAPS 101-167)
The eighth caution came out on lap 107, after Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Jimmie Johnson made contact coming off Turn 2.
Stenhouse slid down the track into the inside SAFER barrier. The damage was too extensive to return to the race, and Stenhouse was credited with a 35th-place finish. Stenhouse was evaluated and released by track medical personnel.
Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. restarted alongside each other on lap 112, and made it no further than Turn 2.
Neither driver was willing to give an inch, and Truex Jr. got loose alongside Busch in Turn 1, and contact was made. Both drivers slid up into the outside wall, and the No. 78 machine went up in flames.
“I just got loose and wrecked him,” Truex said after being released from the infield care center.
Varying pit strategy resulted in Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson, and Trevor Bayne leading the race, with the goal trying to stretch the race on fuel.
On lap 150,contact between Erik Jones and Clint Bowyer resulted in both cars getting into the outside wall.
Bowyer bounced off the inside wall, and went up the track, collecting Kurt Busch.
Another caution flag came out on 155. Ty Dillon squeezed Larson down into the inside wall, and Larson bounced off the wall all the way down the front stretch.
After the restart, Jimmie Johnson took Keselowski and Kahne three-wide into Turn 3 with smoke coming out of the back of the Lowe’s Chevrolet.
On an overtime attempt, Kasey Kahne spun his tires alongside Brad Keselowski. Michael McDowell got into the back of Kahne, triggering a eight-car accident.
Kahne was able to hang on to the second spot, despite the tap from the No. 95.
The red flag was displayed for the third time.
Kasey Kahne was able to hold off a hard-charging Brad Keselowski for the win.
This is Kahne’s 18th victory in 488 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts.
This is his third top-five finish in 2017.
Hendrick Motorsports now has 10 victories in the MENCS at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
A record 14 cautions slowed the event, the most ever in the Brickyard 400. This was also the third time the Brickyard 400 has finished in overtime.
16 cars finished on the lead lap. IMAGES Matt Sullivan/Getty Images Daniel Shirey/Getty Images Sean Gardner/Getty Images SOURCES Racing-Reference.info