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Archive for July 25th, 2017

Kasey Kahne ends 102-race dryspell, wins wildest Brickyard 400 in double-overtime as darkness sets in

 

POST-RACE PRESS CONFERENCE WITH KASEY KAHNE

61,973 Kasey Kahne 2017 Brickyard 400 winner On how special to win at Indy came to live there in 1999 dream come true 7 23 2017

61,974 Kasey Kahne 2017 Brickyard winner If you are the leader going into overtime, should you and have to win that race 7 23 2017

61,975 Kasey Kahne 2017 Brickyard 400 winner His team had not won for 2 years did he think he could win again 7 23 2014

61,976 Kasey Kahne He said three weeks ago he still had wins in you but did you think it would be at IMS 7 23 2017

61,980 Kasey Kahne His approach to the upcoming NASCAR Playoffs for the #5 car going forward 7 23 2017

61,983 Kasey Kahne Qwner Rick Hendrick is non committal on plans for the #5 car for 2018 His thoughts on it 7 23 2017

61,985 Kasey Kahne Being at Hendrick Motorsports you have to perform Who has he leaned on during the tough times while there 7 23 2017

61,986 Kasey Kahne He has had bad luck all season but the good luck was on him and his car all day coming from 19th to win 7 23 2017

 

Kasey Kahne #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet leading the race (photo credit Sean Gardner of Getty Images, courtesy NASCARmedia.com)

Kasey Kahne passing finish line to win (photo credit Daniel Shirey of Getty Images, courtesy NASCARmedia.com)

Kasey Kahne & his crew kissing the bricks (photo credit Brian Lawdermilk of Getty Images courtesy NASCARmedia.com)

 

Speedway, Indiana — In NASCAR or any of the professional motorsports series, it does not matter if you are popular with the fans, media or sponsors. The bottom line is you win or at least put your car consistently in the Top 5-10 spots every week and a driver should be fine.

But if your team goes 2 years without a win and are constantly having bad luck, not qualifying, not running up front and not finishing in the Top 5-10 spots, you are going to hear rumors that the car owner wants to dump you.

The case I just stated in this case pertains to NASCAR Monster Cup driver Kasey Kahne. One of the Hendrick Motorsports drivers, the 37-year-old Kahne has not won a race since Atlanta in 2014, a span of 102 races. He often wondered if he could win, would win a race ever again.

That stretch ended in Sunday’s Brickyard 400 race as Kahne took advantage of several restarts, accidents and key pit stops go from his starting spot of 19th to win the 24th edition of the event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He edged out Brad Keselowski in a key restart to kiss the bricks. That was the wildest Brickyard 400 ever with its double overtime finish and the race ending up just after sundown. Matter-of-fact, the race ended in almost total darkness as IMS does not have lights.

Early on in one of NASCAR’s jewel races, Kyle Busch looked like he would dominate and win again, building up big advantage leading 87 of the first 110 laps.

But he and Martin Truex Jr. got into an accident on a restart with 49 laps remaining.

Truex and Busch hit each other and crashed hard in Turn 1. With both leaders out of the race, it became anyone’s trophy to take home.

From there, the race became a collection of cautions, red flags and complete utter chaos.

Which set up the double-overtime finish.

In the second overtime restart, Keselowski was the leader and Kahne was running second. Kahne took control by blowing out front and down the backstretch before a multi-car crash caused a caution. However, Kahne had already passed the overtime marker before NASCAR threw out the caution flag. The 3-hour, 39-minute race had finally ended.

The chaotic, wacky, weird but exciting race had a little of everything — 14 cautions and 55 caution laps, both race records, three red flags and a 1-hour, 47-minute rain delay. Nineteen of the 40 cars did not see the finish line.

The 2018 edition of the Brickyard 400 will be moved to the month of September. Some ask why the change? To change things up a bit, to get more fan interest, to get the race away from the heat of the summer, et. al.

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Race – Brantley Gilbert Big Machine Brickyard 400

 

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

 

Speedway, Indiana

 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Final finishing order from the race

 

1. (19) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 167.

2. (11) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 167.

3. (8) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 167.

4. (7) Joey Logano, Ford, 167.

5. (14) Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 167.

6. (2) Kevin Harvick, Ford, 167.

7. (15) Daniel Suarez #, Toyota, 167.

8. (27) Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, 167.

9. (26) Chris Buescher, Chevrolet, 167.

10. (39) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 167.

11. (23) Danica Patrick, Ford, 167.

12. (34) Cole Whitt, Chevrolet, 167.

13. (29) Aric Almirola, Ford, 167.

14. (37) * Timmy Hill(i), Chevrolet, 167.

15. (3) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 167.

16. (17) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 167.

17. (5) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 166.

18. (24) Michael McDowell, Chevrolet, 166.

19. (28) Ty Dillon #, Chevrolet, 165.

20. (22) Trevor Bayne, Ford, Accident, 162.

21. (20) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, Accident, 162.

22. (31) Landon Cassill, Ford, Parked, 162.

23. (10) Ryan Blaney, Ford, Accident, 162.

24. (35) * Gray Gaulding #, Chevrolet, Accident, 162.

25. (38) Joey Gase(i), Chevrolet, Accident, 162.

26. (36) Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chevrolet, 162.

27. (4) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, Accident, 158.

28. (25) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, Accident, 154.

29. (12) Kurt Busch, Ford, Accident, 149.

30. (18) Clint Bowyer, Ford, Accident, 148.

31. (9) Erik Jones #, Toyota, Accident, 148.

32. (40) * BJ McLeod(i), Chevrolet, 135.

33. (6) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, Accident, 110.

34. (1) Kyle Busch, Toyota, Accident, 110.

35. (21) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, Accident, 106.

36. (13) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, Accident, 76.

37. (33) * JJ Yeley(i), Chevrolet, Accident, 70.

38. (30) David Ragan, Ford, Accident, 56.

39. (16) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, Engine, 43.

40. (32) Corey LaJoie #, Toyota, Accident, 9.

 

Average Speed of Race Winner:  114.384 mph.

Time of Race:  03 Hrs, 39 Mins, 00 Secs. Margin of Victory:  Caution.

Caution Flags:  14 for 55 laps.

Lead Changes:  10 among 7 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   Kyle Busch 1-71; E. Jones # 72-80; R. Blaney 81-86; Kyle Busch 87-102; M. Truex Jr. 103-110; M. Kenseth 111-131; E. Jones # 132; B. Keselowski 133-151; K. Kahne 152-161; B. Keselowski 162-165; K. Kahne 166-167.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  Kyle Busch 2 times for 87 laps; B. Keselowski 2 times for 23 laps; M. Kenseth 1 time for 21 laps; K. Kahne 2 times for 12 laps; E. Jones # 2 times for 10 laps; M. Truex Jr. 1 time for 8 laps; R. Blaney 1 time for 6 laps.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 18,78,21,4,22,20,1,42,48,88

Stage #2 Top Ten: 18,78,21,77,4,20,22,11,2,1

 

 

RACE NOTES:

 

* Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series

Next Race: Brantley Gilbert Big Machine Brickyard 400

The Place: Indianapolis Motor Speedway

The Date: Sunday, July 23

The Time: 2:30 p.m. ET

TV: NBC, 2 p.m. ET

Radio: IMS Radio Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 400 miles (160 laps); Stage 1 (Ends on lap 50),

Stage 2 (Ends on lap 100), Final Stage (Ends on lap 160)

*

Denny Delivers: Hamlin Sends Joe Gibbs Racing To Victory Lane For First Time This Season

Denny Hamlin led 54 laps in his backup car, beating second-place Kyle Larson to the start/finish line by .509 seconds to deliver Joe Gibbs Racing its first visit to Victory Lane this season in Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

 

The win was the 30th of Hamlin’s career and his third at New Hampshire. He had not won a race in 28 starts since taking the checkered flag in last year’s season finale at Richmond International Raceway. The No. 11 Toyota driver becomes the 25th driver to win 30 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races. Of note: All non-active drivers with more than 30 Monster Energy Series wins who have been eligible for enshrinement are in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

 

JGR’s struggle to get a win was perplexing considering the organization racked up a series-best 12 victories in 2016, and Martin Truex Jr. from JGR technical partner Furniture Row Racing has tallied three checkered flags and 14 stage wins this season.

 

Hamlin will attempt to continue the momentum for JGR in Sunday’s Brantley Gilbert Big Machine Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (2:30 p.m. ET on NBC, IMS and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). In 11 starts at Indy, Hamlin has four top fives, six top 10s and a 13.4 average finish. He placed fourth at The Brickyard last year and claims three consecutive top-five finishes there.

*

Triple Threat: Kyle Busch Tries For Third Straight Brickyard Win

Kyle Busch will try to capture the second straight win for Joe Gibbs Racing when he goes for his third consecutive victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Sunday.

 

In addition to winning the last two races at the Brickyard, Busch has placed in the top-two there in four of the last five races. In 12 career Indy starts, Busch has two wins, five top fives, 10 top 10s and a 9.0 average finish (second-best).

 

Among active drivers at Indianapolis, Busch has the second-best average running position (10.8) and driver rating (105.5).

Busch has won at least one race every season since he began running in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series full-time in 2005.

*

Hometown Hoosier: South Bend’s Ryan Newman Hopes For Another Indy Win

South Bend, Indiana’s own Ryan Newman returns to his home track for Sunday’s Brantley Gilbert Big Machine Brickyard 400. In 16 starts at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Newman has one win, two top fives and three top 10s.

 

The No. 31 Richard Childress Racing driver virtually secured a spot in the Monster Energy Series playoffs by winning at Phoenix earlier this season.

*

Larson Dazzles With Ability To Mow Through The Field

Starting from the back the last two races hasn’t been a problem for Kyle Larson. At Kentucky, he began the race 40th and finished runner-up. A week later, Larson placed runner-up again after starting 39th. In the two races, he completed a combined 177 green flag passes (90, Kentucky; 87, New Hampshire).

 

The No. 42 Chevrolet driver is enjoying a breakout fourth full-time season. Through 20 races, he boasts two wins, seven runner-ups, nine top fives and 12 top 10s. Larson sits second in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points standings, 38 markers behind leader Martin Truex Jr. He also ranks second in average running position (8.8), driver rating (106.2).

 

Larson has finished in the top 10 in all three of his starts at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, including a career track-best fifth-place showing last season.

*

Johnson Hopes To Pick Up Another Indy Win

Not many drivers in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series are better than Jimmie Johnson, period. Not many drivers are better than Johnson at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, either.

 

The No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet pilot leads active competitors at the 2.5-mile track with four wins. He also has six top fives, seven top 10s and a 14.6 average finish in 15 career starts at The Brickyard.

 

Johnson’s performance has trailed off lately with only two top-10 finishes (both 10th) since winning at Dover six races ago, but he still is tied for the series lead with three wins and ranks second with 16 playoff points.

 

He is one win away from tying Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip for fourth on the all-time list with 84 victories.

*

7 Races Left Until Playoffs

Seven races remain for drivers to earn berths in NASCAR’s playoffs.

 

The following drivers would get in if the season ended today: Martin Truex Jr. (three wins, 28 playoff points), Jimmie Johnson (three, 16), Kyle Larson (two, 13), Brad Keselowski (two, 13), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (two, 10), Kevin Harvick (one, eight), Ryan Blaney (one, eight), Denny Hamlin (one, seven), Kurt Busch (one, five), Ryan Newman (one, five), Austin Dillon (one, five), Kyle Busch (178 points above Joey Logano on the cutoff line, five playoff points), Chase Elliott (+115, two), Jamie McMurray (+100), Clint Bowyer (+54), Matt Kenseth (+42, two).

 

The first four out would be: Logano (42 below Matt Kenseth on the cutoff line), Erik Jones (-97), Daniel Suarez (-120) and Trevor Bayne (-155).

 

Remember, a win gets a driver into the playoffs. Below is a list of winless drivers who have visited Victory Lane at upcoming tracks:

Indianapolis: Ky. Busch, McMurray, Paul Menard

Pocono: Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne, Chris Buescher

Watkins Glen: Ky. Busch, AJ Allmendinger

Michigan: Ky. Busch, Earnhardt Jr., Kenseth, Kahne

Bristol: Ky. Busch, Kenseth, Earnhardt Jr., Kahne

Darlington: Ky. Busch, Kenseth

Richmond: Ky. Busch, Kenseth, Bowyer, Earnhardt Jr., Kahne

Jeff Gordon To Drive Pace Car For Brantley Gilbert Big Machine Brickyard 400: Four-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon will serve as the honorary pace car driver for Sunday’s Brantley Gilbert Big Machine Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Gordon is third on the all-time Monster Energy Series wins list with 93 victories.

Kyle Busch won the pole for the race photo taken April 19, 2010 by Raniel Diaz . Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

*Kyle Busch won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 24th Annual Brickyard 400 with a lap of 48.051 seconds, 187.301 mph.

* This is the 23rd pole in 446 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series races for him.

* This is his fourth pole  and 17th Top-10 start in 2017.

* This is his second pole in 13 races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

* Race started at 2:46 pm.

* The race was halted by a red flag at 3:00 pm due to threatening weather and lightning from the Northwest area of Brownsburg, Indiana. Rain finally fell at 3:21 pm.

* The race had 3 stages where a winner is named. Laps 50, 100, 160.

* The competition Lap to pit is #20.

* Three infractions before the race which put these cars to the end of the starting row: 48 Jimmie Johnson and 12 or 23 ? for a gear chance. #15 Joey Gase for an engine change.

 

 

 

Kasey Kahne celebrating on top of his car at (photo by Matt Sullivan of Getty Images courtesy NASCARmedia.com)

 

Kasey Kahne's pit crew before the race looking over his car (megasportsnews.com photo)