6 Hours, 3 Red Flags for a Wild Finish at the Brickyard

NASCAR comes to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Brickyard 400. For over 100 years open wheel racers have been racing around the two and a half mile track but it was a NASCAR driver who started the tradition of kissing the bricks after a win.
Ims_aerial
By Rick Dikeman – From English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=256941

In the very first Brickyard 400 23 years ago Jeff Gordon won the race but two years later after winning the race, Dale Jarrett and his crew gathered at the start finish line where there is one yard of the original bricks as a part of the track. Jarrett and the crew then bent over and kissed those bricks and a tradition was born.

Today Jeff Gordon drives the pace car for the race.

After three rounds of qualifying on Saturday afternoon, Kyle Busch won the pole and will bring the field to green.

The starting lineup for the Brickyard 400:
Kyle Busch
Kevin Harvick
Jamie McMurray
Jimmie Johnson -moved to the back of the field for an unapproved gear change
Denny Hamlin
Martin Truex Jr
Joye Logano
Ryan Newman
Erik Jones
Ryan Blaney
Brad Keselowski
Kurt Busch
Dale Earnhardt Jr
Matt Kenseth
Daniel Suarez
Chase Eliott
Paul Mendard
Clint Bowyer
Kasey Kahne
Austin Dillon
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Trevor Bayne
Danica Patrick
Michael McDowell
Kyle Larson
Chris Buescher
Matt DiBenedetto
Ty Dillon
Aric Almirola
David Ragan
Landon Cassill
Corey LaJoie
Cole Whitt – moved to the back of the field for an unapproved gear change
BJ McLeod
Gray Gaulding
Jeffrey Earnhardt
Timmy Hill
Joey Gase – moved to the back of the field for an engine change
AJ Allmendnger

Stages one and two of the race will be 50 laps each with stage three lasting 60 laps.

After some heavy rains overnight, NASCAR has called for a competition caution of lap 20.

From the outside lane Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag and edges out Kevin Harvick for the lead of the race. Drivers spread out three and four wide across the track.

Three laps into the race Kyle Busch has pulled out to a lead of over a second on Kevin Harvick and Jimmie Johnson has already moved up to 25th place after starting at the back of the field.

Lap seven Kyle Busch has increased his lead over Kevin Harvick to over two seconds. Jimmie Johnson is 24th.

Lap eight Martin Truex Jr passes Kevin Harvick for second place. Kyle Busch has a three second lead on Truex.

The first caution flag of the race comes out on lap nine after Corey LaJoie spins out and hits the wall hard. He takes his wrecked 23 car to the garage. Drivers can come down pit road but will not be allowed to fuel their cars until the competition caution.

Several drivers come down pit road for fresh tires.

IMS has announced that heavy weather is approaching the track. NASCAR brings the drivers down pit road for lightning in the area and will red flag the race at 3pm on lap 12. The race is not considered complete until it reaches at least the end of stage two.

At 4:06pm IMS is allowing fans to return to the stands. Track drying continues.

At 4:31pm NASCAR has called the drivers to their cars.

NASCAR has moved the competition caution to lap 30.

At 4:47pm the drivers fire up their engines in preparation to restart the race.

At 4:48pm the drivers are moving off pit road and back the track. The laps are counting under yellow.

Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 18 and pulls out in front of Martin Truex Jr for the lead of the race. Drivers get spread out across the track.

Lap 19 and Kyle Busch is already over a second ahead of Martin Truex Jr.

Lap 23 Kyle Busch has a lead of nearly two seconds on Martin Truex Jr. All drivers n the track are on the lead lap.

Chase Elliott is reporting possible power issues.

Lap 24 Chase Elliott is reporting smoke in the cockpit and is falling back through the field.

Lap 27 Kyle Busch has pulled out to a lead of two and a half seconds over Martin Truex Jr.

NASCAR put out the competition caution on lap 30 with Kyle Busch leading the field. Joey Gase is the “lucky dog”.

Drivers bring their cars down pit road for service. Teams are now allowed to fuel the car.

Kyle Busch won the race off of pit road. Chase Elliottt is on pit road with the hood up as the team tries to diagnose his power/engine issues; they suspect it may be a loose plug wire.

Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 35 and once again jumps out in front of the field for the lead.

Lap 36 Kyle Busch has pulled out to a half second lead on Martin Truex Jr. Chase Elliott is now one lap down in 39th place.

After making contact with Ryan Newman on pit road, Denny Hamlin had a hole in his front grille that needed repaired.

Forty laps into the race, Jimmie Johnson has moved up to ninth place after having to start the race at the back of the field for an unapproved gear change.

Lap 41 Kyle Busch is reporting a vibration, his lead is down to just over half a second.

Lap 42, Kyle Busch’s lead is back up to three quarters of a second over Martin Truex Jr with Ryan Blaney over three and a half seconds behind in third.

Lap 45 Kyle Busch maintains his lead of three quarters of a second on Martin Truex Jr with Ryan Blaney over five seconds behind. Chase Elliott takes his smoking car down pit road with a a blown engine. This is Elliott’s first engine related DNF – did not finish – in a race.

After lead 109 laps in the Brickyard race last year, Kyle Busch adds another 50 laps to the total. If he leads for one more lap he will have led for a total of 400 consecutive miles at the Brickyard.

Kyle Busch wins stage one.
1200px-Kyle_Busch_in_practice_at_Thunder_Valley By Nascarking – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=42858307

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Kyle Busch
Martin Truex Jr
Ryan Blaney
Kevin Harvick
Joey Logano
Matt Kenseth
Jamie McMurray
Kyle Larson
Jimmie Johnson
Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Jeffrey Earnhardt is the “lucky dog”.

Kyle Busch wins the race off of pit road.

Danica Patrick is penalized for having a crew member come over the pit wall too soon.

Dale Earnhardt Jr had a slow pit stop due to a lug nut issue when a lug nut gets stuck inside the lug nut gun itself.

Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 55 and once again gets out in front for the lead from the outside lane.

J.J. Yeley brings out the fourth caution flag of the race. David Ragan and Jeffrey Earnhardt are also involved. There is a lot of fluid on the track. Gray Gaulding is the “lucky dog”.

Even though they have been on pit road only a few laps ago, a number of drivers come down pit road for service and packing the fuel cells. The fuel window is around 40 green flag laps.

Again choosing the outside lane, Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 64 and gets out in front of the field to continue his dominance of the race.

Lap 65 Kyle Busch has already pulled out to a lead of over a second on Martin Truex Jr.

Lap 67 the top five is Kyle Busch with a one second lead over Martin Truex Jr; Joey Logano in third, followed by by Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth. There are 34 cars on the lead lap.

J.J. Yeley has a flat tire and his car is smoking bringing out the fifth caution flag of the race on lap 70 for debris he has left on the track getting down on pit road. Joey Gase is the “lucky dog”.

Joey Logano’s team is having difficulty hearing him on the radio.

Kyle Busch wins the race off of pit road but for the first time today he will not be the leader of the race since not all of the drivers came down pit road. Erik Jones is leading the race with Kyle Busch in seventh.

From the inside lane Erik Jones will bring the field down for the green flag restart on lap 75 and gets out in front of the field for the lead with drivers three wide behind him.

The sixth caution flag comes out on lap 76 when Dale Earnhardt Jr has a blown radiator after being hit from behind. If NASCAR deems the damage was accident related – which it appears to be – then the 88 team cannot make repairs to the car. If the issue had been mechanical, the team could have replaced the radiator.

Timmy Hill is the “lucky dog”.

Erik Jones brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 81 but it is Ryan Blaney who gets out in front for the lead off the race. Drivers are getting four wide across the track.

After Jimmie Johnson blocks Kyle Larson, Larson bumps Johnson out of the way and Johnson lost three spots.

Lap 85 Ryan Blaney is out in front by just under a second with Kyle Busch in second coming on hard.

Lap 86 Kyle Busch has caught Ryan Blaney and and on lap 87 Kyle Busch passes Ryan Blaney to retake the lead of the race, and pulling away.

Kurt Busch reports a possible voltage issue.

Lap 88 the top five is Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr, Ryan Blaney, Erik Jones, and Denny Hamlin.

Lap 89 Kyle Busch has a two second lead on Martin Truex Jr.

Lap 92 Kyle Busch has a lead of nearly two and a half seconds over Martin Truex Jr.

Lap 95 Kyle Busch has a two and a half second lead on Martin Truex Jr.

Lap 98 Kyle Busch has a Monster Energy lead of nearly four seconds on Martin Truex Jr. Third place driver Ryan Blaney is over eleven seconds behind.

Kyle Busch wins stage two.
TSM_-_Kyle_Busch_-_2015_-_Stierch_-_10(1) By Sarah Stierch – Own work, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=41404499

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Kyle Busch
Martin Truex Jr.
Ryan Blaney
Erik Jones
Kevin Harvick
Matt Kenseth
Joey Logano
Denny Hamlin
Brad Keselowski
Jamie McMurray

It has been a year since Kyle Busch has won a race. He has won the Brickyard 400 for the past two years. If he can hold on for the win at today’s Brickyard, he will become the first driver to wins three races in a row.

Martin Truex Jr wins the race off of pit road.

Gray Gaulding is the “lucky dog”.

Kyle Larson spent a lot of time on pit road making repairs to the nos of his car.

Martin Truex Jr brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 106 with Truex getting out in front of the field and the drivers three and four wide through the field.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr brings out the caution flag on lap 107 after spinning out and hitting the inside wall head on.

Joey Gase is the “lucky dog”.

Martin Truex Jr brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 111 and is nose to nose with Truex Jr before the two get into a big crash that leaves Truex’s car in flames. Martin Truex Jr bobbled and sent the two spinning into the wall.

Timmy Hill is the “lucky dog”.

There is an extended caution flag to get all of the fluid on the track cleaned up.

After crashing out of the race, Kyle Busch has his longest losing streak of his career.

Matt Kenseth is the new leader followed by Kevin Harvick, Ryan Blaney, Denny Hamlin, and Erik Jones.

A few weeks ago Matt Kenseth revealed that he didn’t believe he would be returning to the number 20 car next season, then Stewart-Haas Racing announced that they had signed Erik Jones to the number 20 car for next season leaving Kenseth without a ride. So far, Kenseth has not been signed to a new team.

In his post infield care center interview, Martin Truex Jr said that the crash was his fault, saying that he made a mistake.

Matt Kenseth brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 120 but it is Kevin Harvick who edges out for the lead of the race going into turn two. Kenseth comes back and passes Harvick to take the lead of the race.

The top 10 drivers were last on pit road on lap 102 – there are 160 laps in the race.

Lap 123 Matt Kenseth is leading the race with a lead of only a quarter of a second over Kevin Harvick.

Lap 127 Matt Kenseth has a quarter second lead on Kevin Harvick. Both drivers have to make one more pit stop.

Lap 130 Matt Kenseth has pulled out to a one second lead on Kevin Harvick.

Green flag pit stops have begun on lap 130.

Leaders come down pit road on lap 132, Erik Jones is the new leader.

Lap 134 Brad Keselowski is the new leader as green flag pit stops continue.

Lap 137 Brad Keselowski is still the leader, but he and second place driver Jimmie Johnson still need to make a pit stop. They were last on pit road on lap 102.

Lap 140 Brad Keselowski has a lead of a second on Jimmie Johnson.

Lap 142 Keselowski and Johnson have been out on the track for 38 laps.

Fifteen to go and Brad Keselowski is still out on the track leading the race.

Lap 148 still out in front, Brad Keselowski has a lead of over a second on Jimmie Johnson. Matt Kenseth is one of the fastest cars on the track, eleven seconds behind.

The tenth caution flag of the race comes out on lap 150 when Kurt Busch and Clint Bowyer crash. Kurt Busch’s driver’s side is up against the wall making it a bit difficult to get out of the car. Erik Jones and Jamie McMurray are also involved. Clint Bowyer makes a hard hit up against the wall.

NASCAR is displaying the red flag for the second time today to get the track cleaned up after the drivers have made some hard impacts against the walls.

There will be 10 laps remaining in the race once the cars get going again.

After an extended delay for cleanup the cars are once again moving under the yellow flag.

Once pit road is open the field comes down pit road for fuel and dresh tires. Brad Keselowski leads the race off of pit road; followed by Trevor Bayne, Jimmie Johnson, and Matt Kenseth. Kasey Kahne and Ryan Newman were the only cars that stayed out on the track.

With only seven laps remaining in the race, Kasey Kahne brings the field down for the green flag restart of the race. The drivers get three and four wide across the track with Kasey Kahne in front of the field with Brad Keselowski in second.

After starting the race at the back of the field, Jimmie Johnson is in third place.

The eleventh caution flag comes out when Kyle Larson hits the wall and has a flaming car. He safely gets unhooked and out of the car. There are five laps remaining in the race and another extended cleanup expected.

Still under the caution flag, there are only three laps remaining in the race.

With jut two laps remaining in the race Kasey Kahne brings the field down for the green flag restart. Kahen and Keselowski are side by side and the smoking Jimmie Johnson car makes it three wide. Jimmie Johnson gets loose and hits the wall bringing out the caution flag.

The wild ride that has been the Brickyard 400 is going into overtime racing.

Kasey Kahne brings the field down for an over time start for a green/white/checker finish. From the outside lane Kasey Kahne and Brad Keselowski get off clean but several cars wreck behind them bringing out a caution flag. Gray Gaulding, Denny Hamlin, Aric Almirola, Ryan Blaney, Austin Dillon, Joey Gase, Michael McDowell, and Trevor Bayne were all involved. NBC broadcaster and former NASCAR driver Jeff Burton called it pushing gone wrong.

NASCAR has determined that when the caution flag was thrown Brad Keselowski was the leader of the race.

NASCAR has put out the third red flag of the day to get the crash damage cleaned up.

There are no lights installed at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and at this point sunset is a little over an half an hour away.

So far there have been 13 caution flags and nearly half the field out of the race with 17.

With sunset about 20 minutes away, NASCAR is still trying to get the track cleaned up.

At 8:49pm the drivers have fired their cars – sunset is at 9:06pm.

There are sparks coming out from under Michael McDowell’s car.

And at 8:53pm the lights are out on the pace car for a final restart of the race. Brad Keselowski brings the field down for the green flag from the outside lane and goes nose to nose with Kasey Kahne with Kasey Kahne getting out in front. Denny Hamlin has a smoking car and wrecks. Did the cars get past the overtime line before the caution flag came out. Paul Menard is also involved.

The white flag was displayed before the caution flag and Kasey Kahne – the only Hendrick Motorsports driver remaining in the race – is the winner of the race. This is Kahne’s first win in 102 races.
Kasey_Kahne_at_Charlotte_Motor_Speedway_in_2012_(cropped) By Kasey_Kahne_CLT_2012.jpg: F1fansderivative work: F1fans – This file was derived fromKasey Kahne CLT 2012.jpg:, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22595494

Kasey Kahne becomes the ninth different winner this season. This is the tenth Brickyard win for car owner Rick Hendrick.

The unofficial results of the Brickyard 400:
Kasey Kahne
Brad Keselowski
Ryan Newman
Joey Logano
Matt Kenseth
Kevin Harvick
Daniel Suarez
Matt DiBenedetto
Chris Buescher
AJ Allmendinger
Danica Patrick
Cole Whitt
Aric Almirola
Timmy Hill
Jamie McMurray
Paul Menard
Denny Hamlin
Michael McDowell
Ty Dillon
Trevor Bayne
Austin Dillon
Landon Cassill
Ryan Blaney
Gray Gaulding
Joey Gase
Jeffrey Earnhardt
Jimmie Johnson
Kyle Larson
Kurt Busch
Clint Bowyer
Erik Jones
BJ McLeod
Martin Truex Jr
Kyle Busch
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Dale Earnhardt Jr
J.J. Yeley
David Ragan
Chase Elliott
Corey LaJoie


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