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.

By Reid Spencer
NASCAR Wire Service

KAHNE SEES SILVER LINING
Sometimes the outcome of a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race comes down to something as simple as choosing the right lane for a restart.

Second-guessing himself after losing the lead on a restart with 17 laps left in the Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at The Brickyard and finishing sixth, Kasey Kahne said his choice of the inside lane was probably a mistake. Continue reading “Kasey Kahne Dominates Indy, Sees Silver Lining In 6th Place”

WRITTEN BY: Jonah Rens is 13 years old, and is a junior NASCAR reporter/writer for The Final Lap. His opinions are his own, and not necessarily those of The Final Lap. Follow him on Twitter @NascarRens

‘In twenty start’s at the brickyard Jeff Gordon has three poles, four win’s, (the last coming in 2004) eleven top five’s, and sixteen top ten’s.

So does Gordon have a shot at his fifth win at The Brickyard this weekend? Yes. Continue reading “Look for Jeff Gordon to run strong today at Indy”

288487July 29, 2013

By Reid Spencer
NASCAR Wire Service

It was a contrast worthy of Charles Dickens.

This historic week in NASCAR racing truly was a tale of two cities — or, more accurately, a tale of one city in the middle of Indiana and one whistle-stop town in the middle of nowhere.

It was a tale of Indianapolis, the state capital, home to upscale hotels and restaurants of renown.

It was a tale of Rossburg, Ohio, where, if you want a place to sleep, you drive it there, and if you want food to eat, you bring it. Continue reading “Epic Week Of NASCAR Racing Was A Study In Contrast”