Kasey Kahne Captures First Brickyard 400 Victory In Overtime Finish; Earns Hendrick Motorsports’ 10th Win At Indyby Hunter Thomas July 24, 2017
SPEEDWAY, Ind. – Kasey Kahne survived NASCAR Overtime in the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday to win his first race of the season.
As three drivers crashed behind him, Hendrick Motorsports’ Kasey Kahne crossed over the Overtime Line before the caution came out for the 14th and final time, ending the race. The win comes as a sigh of relief for the driver of the No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet because it’s his first victory since Labor Day weekend in 2014. Kahne won the prestigious Brickyard 400 in his 14th attempt. Hendrick Motorsports now has 10 Monster Energy Cup Series victories at the track.
“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. This Farmers Insurance Chevrolet was great once I got out front. I just had to get there. I’m exhausted. But, an unbelievable win. The team just kept working. We had great pit stops.”
On the final restart of the afternoon, Kahne held off Brad Keselowski, who started alongside of him on the high side. Keselowski immediately fell into line behind Kahne as the field entered Turn 1 and before the Team Penske driver had time to make a move the caution came out. Keselowski, the driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford had to settle for a second-place finish, his 13th top-10 of the season.
“I think our best finish coming to this race here was ninth three or four times,” Keselowski said. “Kind of checked this one off as at least getting a top finish. Maybe not a win, but, you know, a top‑three, top‑two finish. So it’s nice to check that off and hopefully we can come back here next year and improve one more spot.”
Ryan Newman finished third on Sunday in the Richard Childress Racing No. 31 Velveeta Shells & Cheese Chevrolet. The finish marks only the third top-five at the track for the Indiana native.
“Just a lot of adrenaline going through the gearbox I guess,” Newman said. “Just guys running over each other. Good run for the Velveeta Chevrolet. I’ve got to thank them for jumping on board. We were close. We didn’t have the best race car, we had a good long run car, but we were horrible on restarts and that is what we needed there at the end.”
Joey Logano and Matt Kenseth finished fourth and fifth, and rounding out the top-10 was Kevin Harvick, Daniel Suarez, Matt DiBenedetto, Chris Buescher and AJ Allmendinger.
Kyle Busch led a race high of 87 laps, but on lap 112, he and Martin Truex Jr. crashed in Turn 1. The accident ended the day for both drivers. Truex Jr.’s car was engulfed in flames following the accident. Luckily he was able to escape unharmed.
“I just got loose and wrecked him (Kyle Busch) I guess, totally my fault,” Truex Jr. said. “Didn’t really know what to expect in that position and didn’t really realize that he was going to drive in that deep and suck me around. I will take the blame for that and obviously it was my fault. I hate it for Kyle (Busch), he had a great car and we did as well, but that’s racing. Glad I was able to get out, fire was bad. I had no brakes and I had to run into the wall a second time just to get it to stop so I could get out. Fortunately I’m okay and we’ll live to race another day.”
Although Truex Jr. had a disappointing 33rd-place finish, he continues to lead in the standings. Kyle Larson who also had a rough day at the Brickyard trails him by 48 points.
Throughout the afternoon, there were 14 cautions. Half of the cautions were for multicar accidents; however, there were three red flags during the race as well.
The first red flag came out at the beginning of the race, and it was for weather. The red flag waved for 1 hour, 47 minutes and 3 seconds.
On lap 151, the caution came out for a crash involving Clint Bowyer, his Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Kurt Busch, Erik Jones and Jamie McMurray. The accident began when Bowyer got loose out of Turn 4. He spun across the track and collected everyone else. Bowyer took a hard hit when he hit the inside wall and when Kurt Busch made significant impact. The red flag was displayed for 20 minutes and 20 seconds.
In the closing laps of the race, the red flag came out once again for an eight-car crash on lap 164. The accident was a chain reaction on a restart when drivers began pushing each other to gain an advantage before heading into Turn 1. Before the field even crossed the start-finish line, all chaos broke loose. Drivers involved included Ryan Blaney, Trevor Bayne, Gray Gaulding, Aric Almirola, Joey Gase, Denny Hamlin, Michael McDowell and Austin Dillon. The red flag was displayed for 24 minutes and 16 seconds.
Up next on the schedule for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is the Overton’s 400 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, July 30. The race will broadcast live on the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) and the Motor Racing Network (MRN) at 3 p.m. ET.
Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images