ims_nscs_kybusch_celebrates_072416Kyle Busch makes history in final Brickyard run for Stewart and Gordon

July 24, 2016

By Reid Spencer
NASCAR Wire Service

SPEEDWAY, Ind. – Mission accomplished, a record set, and a torch passed to the next generation.

Kyle Busch set a Brickyard record for laps led and became the first driver to sweep both a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR XFINITY Series race from the pole in the same weekend, but the real symbolism of Sunday’s Crown Royal 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway didn’t come until the event was over. Continue reading “Kyle Busch makes history in final Brickyard run for Stewart and Gordon”

Advertisements

ims_nscs_kybusch_072216SPEEDWAY, Ind. – Defending Crown Royal 400 race winner Kyle Busch narrowly avoided a major catastrophe during opening practice on Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in preparation for Sunday’s race (3 p.m. ET on NBCSN). Continue reading “Kyle Busch Spins In Practice Accident at Indianapolis”

during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

July 26, 2015

By Reid Spencer
NASCAR Wire Service

INDIANAPOLIS—“This is awesome!” Kyle Busch screamed as he crossed the finish line at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and continued a run that has grown from extraordinary to downright other-worldly.

Holding off Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano during three late-race restarts, Busch beat Logano to the finish line by .332 seconds to win Sunday’s Crown Royal presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at The Brickyard.

The victory was Busch’s fourth in the last five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, all coming after an 11-event absence to start the season, the result of a broken right leg and left foot suffered in a crash during the Feb. 21 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway.

“I guess Kyle’s back,” a disappointed Logano said after he race, uttering perhaps the biggest understatement in the modern era of stock car racing.

Harvick finished third, followed by Martin Truex Jr. and Denny Hamlin. Clint Bowyer, Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch, Kyle Larson and Brad Keselowski completed the top 10.

To the suggestion that the accident may have provided additional impetus to his comeback, Kyle Busch replied, “I just think that maybe I’ve found my happy place.

“Happy Gilmore (a movie character) – he found his happy place and he just dominated at the end, so maybe I’ve found that, too. Nothing better than being in Victory Lane. Nothing better than being in Victory Lane for one of the biggest wins of my career.

“I just want to celebrate with my team, my wife and my family.”

A quick inventory of Busch’s accomplishments shows that the driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota:

· is the first to sweep both the Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series races at Indianapolis. Busch won the Lilly Diabetes 250 XFINITY race on Saturday with a last-lap pass of Ryan Blaney.

· gave Toyota its first victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, breaking a string of 12 straight wins by Chevrolet at the 2.5-mile track.

· won the 33rd NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race of his career.

· continued his relentless advance toward the top 30 in the standings and consequent eligibility for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs. In what now seems a foregone conclusion, Busch has six races to overcome a 23-point deficit to 30th-place Justin Allgaier.

“We’re a championship contending team,” Busch asserted. “We just have to be championship eligible. Thank the good Lord for bringing me back when he did. Obviously, thanking him for all the success I’ve had in my life, where I’m at and all my blessings.

“To get me back as quick as he did, to persevere through that and that deficit. We’re still continuing on. We can’t have bad days. I don’t know that any of that matters—we’re going to bask in this moment here.”

Perhaps most astounding is Busch’s ability to win three straight races at three different race tracks using three different competition packages: low-downforce at Kentucky with a 3.5-inch spoiler; standard 2015 rules at New Hampshire with a six-inch spoiler; and high-drag at Indianapolis with a nine-inch spoiler and one-inch wicker.

Logano fell just short of giving team owner Roger Penske, a 16-time Indianapolis 500 winner, his first Sprint Cup victory at The Brickyard.

“You come to Indy, and it’s all about the win,” said Logano, who took the checkered flag in the season-opening Daytona 500 this year. “You either win or finish last. It doesn’t really matter anywhere in-between. At least that’s the way I race when I come to a track like this. I feel like, at Daytona and Indy, it’s all about getting trophies and rings and making out with bricks.

“Overall, it was a good day, but second hurts. It always does.”

Jeff Gordon’s last race at The Brickyard as a full-time Cup driver—and his hopes for an unprecedented sixth victory at the 2.5-mile track—suffered an irreparable blow on Lap 50. Racing to the inside of Harvick, Bowyer’s Toyota got loose and spun.

Gordon checked up, trying to avoid Bowyer’s car, but the No. 24 Chevrolet swerved out of control into the outside wall in Turn 3. The resulting damage ended any hope of another Brickyard trophy for the four-time Sprint Cup champion.

“I was underneath Kasey Kahne and we were just racing for position,” Gordon said as his crew worked feverishly in the garage to repair the car. “I saw Bowyer get sideways. I don’t know what caused it. Me and Kasey were trying to check up to avoid it. I don’t know if he got loose or we just both got loose together. Then I just lost control and got in the wall.”

Gordon finished 42nd and lost one spot to 11th in the series standings. Without a win this season, Gordon is in jeopardy of missing the Chase and can ill-afford another day like Sunday.

IMS_NXS_Bricks_KyBusch_072515July 25, 2015

By Reid Spencer
NASCAR Wire Service

INDIANAPOLIS—With a relentless charge that forced Ryan Blaney into a mistake on the final lap, Kyle Busch grabbed the lead with a half-lap left at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and took the checkered flag in Saturday’s Lilly Diabetes 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race.

Blaney missed his mark in Turn 2 as Busch closed in, and with his momentum broken, the driver of the No. 22 Ford couldn’t stave off Busch’s winning pass on the backstretch. The No. 54 pulled away to win by .421 seconds, as Busch continued his white-hot run with his second XFINITY victory of the season, his second at The Brickyard and the record 72nd of his career.

Since returning to competition in May after an injury absence, Busch has won three times in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and twice on the XFINITY circuit.

Blaney led by more than .6 seconds when he crossed the stripe to complete Lap 97 of 100. But the lapped car of Derrike Cope slowed his progress on the following circuit, and Busch cut the advantage in half.

Busch had closed the gap to .279 seconds when he took the white flag, and constant pressure from the No. 54 Toyota finally forced Blaney into a mistake.

during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Lilly Diabetes 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 25, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

“I just got close enough to make him mess up and made him get tight off (Turn) 2, and then I was able to capitalize underneath him with him losing his momentum off of 2 and being able to get under him,” Busch said. “It was the class of the field. We should have won this thing going away, but I guess we had to make it exciting.

With the XFINITY Series running a higher-drag package this weekend, Busch tried in vain—until the final circuit-to get around Blaney in the closing laps.

“I was trying to back up so I could get some clean air and keep my tires as fresh as possible, but I got too far back and got out of the draft and then I couldn’t make up any ground anymore, so I was kind of stuck back there about eight or 10 car lengths and not really going anywhere,” he explained.

“Fortunately, a couple of lapped cars messed up his momentum and didn’t mess up mine as much, and I was able to get through there. Once I got back close enough to him, I pushed him into a mistake and that was all that it took.”

A despondent Blaney took the blame for the loss.

“It’s my fault, obviously,” Blaney said. “You saw it. I screwed up. This team doesn’t deserve that. I dropped the ball for them today, and I take full responsibility. It’s all my fault… I got tight and I got too deep and didn’t get off the long corner.

“It’s a pretty bad feeling to throw one away here at the Brickyard. There was no pressure for 24 laps, and the last one I just made a mistake.”

Blaney had taken the lead from Busch on a restart on Lap 76, after Busch’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Erik Jones, hit the wall on lap 70, and NASCAR called a caution because of fluid on the track.

Rookie Daniel Suarez ran third in his first visit to The Brickyard, collecting his third straight top-five of the season. Paul Menard finished fourth, followed by Elliott Sadler, Kevin Harvick and Kyle Larson.

Regan Smith came home eighth and claimed his second straight $100,000 bonus in the XFINITY Series Dash 4 Cash program, keeping his hopes alive for a $1-million payday. If Smith is the highest-finishing eligible driver at Bristol (Aug. 21) and Darlington (Sept. 5), he’ll earn a total of $1 million.

Blaney, Suarez, Sadler and Smith are the eligible Dash 4 Cash drivers at Bristol, having secured their spots as the top four finishing series regulars at Indianapolis.

NASCAR XFINITY Series Race – Lilly Diabetes 250
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Speedway, Indiana
Saturday, July 25, 2015

1. (1) Kyle Busch(i), Toyota, 100, $77539.
2. (11) Ryan Blaney, Ford, 100, $61023.
3. (2) Daniel Suarez #, Toyota, 100, $52131.
4. (5) Paul Menard(i), Chevrolet, 100, $39052.
5. (6) Elliott Sadler, Ford, 100, $42331.
6. (16) Kevin Harvick(i), Chevrolet, 100, $31957.
7. (10) Kyle Larson(i), Chevrolet, 100, $30321.
8. (14) Regan Smith, Chevrolet, 100, $35440.
9. (9) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 100, $34935.
10. (13) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 100, $35626.
11. (7) Brian Scott, Chevrolet, 100, $33247.
12. (20) Ryan Sieg, Chevrolet, 100, $32996.
13. (4) Brendan Gaughan, Chevrolet, 100, $32718.
14. (8) Aric Almirola(i), Ford, 100, $26365.
15. (26) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 100, $32564.
16. (12) Chris Buescher, Ford, 100, $32212.
17. (15) Alex Bowman(i), Chevrolet, 100, $25836.
18. (17) JJ Yeley, Toyota, 100, $31685.
19. (18) Dakoda Armstrong, Ford, 99, $31484.
20. (22) Ryan Reed, Ford, 99, $31857.
21. (25) Cale Conley #, Toyota, 98, $31207.
22. (30) Ross Chastain #, Chevrolet, 98, $31075.
23. (23) Darrell Wallace Jr. #, Ford, 98, $30924.
24. (36) Martin Roy, Chevrolet, 97, $30798.
25. (29) Harrison Rhodes #, Chevrolet, 97, $30898.
26. (37) Joey Gase, Chevrolet, 97, $30673.
27. (24) Timmy Hill(i), Toyota, 97, $24521.
28. (31) Stanton Barrett, Ford, 97, $30445.
29. (32) Eric McClure, Toyota, 96, $30344.
30. (38) Derrike Cope, Chevrolet, 95, $30569.
31. (19) Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, 92, $30168.
32. (28) BJ McLeod(i), Dodge, 90, $30042.
33. (40) Mike Harmon, Dodge, 87, $29982.
34. (3) Erik Jones(i), Toyota, 80, $29946.
35. (34) Peyton Sellers #, Chevrolet, Oil Leak, 77, $29875.
36. (27) David Starr, Toyota, Accident, 22, $27598.
37. (21) Blake Koch, Toyota, Accident, 22, $26598.
38. (33) Morgan Shepherd, Chevrolet, Handling, 18, $19598.
39. (39) Josh Reaume #, Dodge, Electrical, 8, $18598.
40. (35) Jeff Green, Toyota, Vibration, 2, $17598.

Average Speed of Race Winner: 136.529 mph.
Time of Race: 01 Hrs, 49 Mins, 52 Secs. Margin of Victory: 0.421 Seconds.
Caution Flags: 3 for 16 laps.
Lead Changes: 8 among 6 drivers.
Lap Leaders: K. Busch(i) 1-10; D. Suarez # 11-13; K. Busch(i) 14-17; P. Menard(i) 18-26; T. Dillon 27-34; K. Larson(i) 35-37; K. Busch(i) 38-75; R. Blaney 76-99; K. Busch(i) 100;.
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): K. Busch(i) 4 times for 53 laps; R. Blaney 1 time for 24 laps; P. Menard(i) 1 time for 9 laps; T. Dillon 1 time for 8 laps; K. Larson(i) 1 time for 3 laps; D. Suarez # 1 time for 3 laps.
Top 10 in Points: C. Buescher – 651; C. Elliott – 626; T. Dillon – 621; R. Smith – 600; E. Sadler – 594; D. Wallace Jr. # – 568; D. Suarez # – 558; B. Gaughan – 537; B. Scott – 527; R. Reed – 526.

–30–

IMS_NSCS_Edwards_Pole_072515NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Qualifying – Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Speedway, Indiana
Saturday, July 25, 2015

1. (19) Carl Edwards, Toyota, 183.464 mph.
2. (22) Joey Logano, Ford, 183.139 mph.
3. (55) David Ragan, Toyota, 182.886 mph.
4. (14) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 182.823 mph.
5. (42) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 182.634 mph.
6. (4) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 182.448 mph.
7. (15) Clint Bowyer, Toyota, 182.382 mph.
8. (88) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 182.308 mph.

THE FINAL LAP WEEKLY NASCAR PODCAST #368 BRIAN SCOTT / INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY BRICKYARD PREVIEW

9. (18) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 182.278 mph.
10. (1) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 182.238 mph.
11. (27) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 182.028 mph.
12. (48) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 181.987 mph.
13. (78) Martin Truex Jr., Chevrolet, 183.240 mph.
14. (41) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 183.072 mph.
15. (10) Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 183.001 mph.
16. (13) Casey Mears, Chevrolet, 182.667 mph.
17. (11) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 182.637 mph.
18. (9) Sam Hornish Jr., Ford, 182.482 mph.
19. (24) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 182.389 mph.
20. (16) Greg Biffle, Ford, 182.360 mph.
21. (51) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 182.238 mph.
22. (43) Aric Almirola, Ford, 182.113 mph.
23. (20) Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 182.079 mph.
24. (40) Landon Cassill(i), Chevrolet, 181.939 mph.
25. (3) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 181.928 mph.
26. (47) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 181.910 mph.
27. (5) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 181.386 mph.
28. (25) Chase Elliott(i), Chevrolet, 181.036 mph.
29. (17) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 180.963 mph.
30. (21) Ryan Blaney(i), Ford, 180.919 mph.
31. (2) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 180.854 mph.
32. (95) Michael McDowell, Ford, 180.777 mph.
33. (6) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 180.469 mph.
34. (46) Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 180.426 mph.
35. (7) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 180.325 mph.
36. (33) Brian Scott(i), Chevrolet, 180.022 mph.
37. (38) David Gilliland, Ford, Owner Points
38. (23) JJ Yeley(i), Toyota, Owner Points
39. (34) Brett Moffitt #, Ford, Owner Points
40. (83) Matt DiBenedetto #, Toyota, Owner Points
41. (35) Cole Whitt, Ford, Owner Points
42. (98) Timmy Hill(i), Ford, Owner Points
43. (31) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, Owner Points

3 drivers failed to qualify.

44. (32) Josh Wise, Ford, 178.941 mph.
45. (26) Jeb Burton #, Toyota, 176.170 mph.
46. (62) Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet, 174.540 mph.

–30–