Clean and Mostly Green In Chicagoland for Monster Cup

Capping off the triple header weekend, the Monster Energy Cup Series kicks off their playoffs with the Tales of the Turtles 400 from Chicagoland Speedway.
IMGP8833By tequilamike – http://www.flickr.com/photos/hyttinen/8001608799/in/set-72157631570792775/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=29190314

After three rounds of qualifying with a time of 28.729 seconds – over three tenths faster than second place, Kyle Bush put his Skittles car on the pole.

The starting lineup for the Tales of the Turtles 400:
Kyle Busch – in the playoffs
Denny Hamlin – in the playoffs
Martin Truex Jr – in the playoffs
Kevin Harvick – in the playoffs
Brad Keselowski – in the playoffs
Kyle Larson – in the playoffs
Joey Logano
Chase Elliott – in the playoffs
Austin Dillon – in the playoffs
Matt Kenseth – in the playoffs
Clint Bowyer
Ryan Blaney – in the playoffs
Daniel Suarez
Jimmie Johnson – in the playoffs
Ricky Stenhouse Jr – in the playoffs
Ryan Newman – in the playoffs
Kurt Busch – in the playoffs
Chris Buescher
Jamie Mcmurray – in the playoffs
Dale Earnhardt Jr
Aric Amirola
Danica Patrick
Ty Dillon
Erik Jones
Kasey Kahne – in the playoffs
Trevor Bayne
Landon Cassill
Paul Menard
AJ Allmendinger
Michael McDowell
David Ragan
Matt DiBenedetto
Corey LaJoie
Reed Sorenson
Cole Whitt
Gray Gaulding
Jeffrey Earnhardt
Timmy Hill
Ray Black Jr
Brett Moffitt

Stages one and two of the race are 80 laps each with stage three lasting 107 laps for a total of 267 laps around the mile and a half track. The drivers cannot complete a stage without making a pit stop.

Erik Jones and Timmy Hill must start the race at the back of the field for an unapproved tire change.

Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag start of the race and jumps out in front for the lead of the race with Martin Truex Jr moving into second.

Lap 4 Kyle Busch has a lead of over half a second on Martin Truex Jr.

Lap six Kyle Busch has increased his lead to over a second on Martin Truex Jr.

Lap nine Erik Jones has moved up to 27th after starting the race at the back of the field.

Lap 10 Kyle Busch’s lead is now up to a second and a half over Martin Truex Jr.

Lap 12 Kyle Busch is pulling away with a two second lead on Martin Truex Jr. Erik Jones is now in 24th place.

Lap 14 Kyle Busch is now approaching a lead of two and a half seconds on Martin Truex Jr. There are 37 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 24 Kyle Busch continues to dominate the race.

Lap 28 Ricky Stenhouse Jr brings his car down pit road after brushing the wall. Making his pit stop Stenhouse had a commitment cone violation and must serve a pass through penalty.

Lap 39 Kyle Busch is making laps around the track in less than 30 seconds and has a lead of nearly three seconds on Martin Truex Jr.

Lap 37 Kyle Busch’s lead is now 2.81 seconds over Martin Truex Jr. Erik Jones is up to 19th place. There are 23 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 40 Jimmie Johnson brings his car down pit road for a possible tire issue. The move has precipitated a plethora of drivers making green flag pit stops.

Martin Truex Jr was caught speeding on pit road.

Austin Dillon was also caught speeding on pit road.

Erik Jones has been caught speeding on pit road.

Kyle Busch brings his car down pit road for service on lap 45. Landon Cassill takes over the lead of the race since he has yet to make a pit stop.

Kyle Busch retakes the lead when Landon Cassill makes his pit stop.

Lap 54 there are 18 cars on the lead lap with all 40 cars still on the track. Lap 55 Kyle Busch has pulled out to a lead of over three seconds with Kevin Harvick in second.

Lap 60 the top three are Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, and Chase Elliott. Kyle Busch’s lead is now three and a half seconds.

Kyle Bush has his put all but 15 cars one lap down with a three and a half second lead on Kevin Harvick.

Lap 72 Kyle Busch is “driving it like he stole it” with a lead of over four seconds on Kevin Harvick.

Lap 74 there are only 13 cars on the lead lap with leader Kyle Busch on big brother Kurt’s bumper; preparing to put him a lap down.

Lap 78 Kyle Busch’s lead is now 4.76 seconds over Kevin Harvick.

Following older brother Kurt, Kyle Busch wins stage one for his 12th stage win of the season.
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 five at the end of stage one:
Kyle Busch
Kevin Harvick
Chase Elliott
Denny Hamlin
Joey Logano

Kyle Bush wins the race off of pit road followed by Kevin Harvick.

Martin Truex Jr had to make a second trip down pit road with loose lug nuts.

The top five going into stage two are Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott, and Joey Logano.

Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 88 but it is Kevin Harvick who gets out in front of the field for the lead.

Lap 91 Kevin Harvick has a lead of nearly a second on Kyle Busch. There are 16 cars on the lead lap.

Kyle Busch brings his car down pit road for an unscheduled pit stop with a possible loose tire issue. Earlier this week Joe Gibbs Racing swapped the crews for teams 18 and 19. NASCAR has charged the number 18 crew with coming over the pit wall too soon.

Erik Jones brings his car down pit road with a tire rub.

NASCAR has taken the tires of some crews under the tent for undisclosed reasons.

Lap 100 Kevin Harvick has a lead of over two seconds on Chase Elliott.

After serving pass through penalty, Kyle Busch is now two laps down in 27th place after dominating the first stage.

Lap 108 Kevin Harvick’s lead is down to just over a second over Chase Elliott.

Kyle Busch has passed Kevin Harvick to be just one lap down in 26th position. There are only 13 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 116 Kevin Harvick has a lead of just over a second on Chase Elliott with Brad Keselowski in third. All 40 drivers are on the track.

Lap 122 Chase Elliott is running the fastest laps on the track and has erased most of Kevin Harvick’s lead which is now just over half a second.

Matt Kenseth begins the cycle of green flag pit stops on lap 123.

After pit stops have cycled through for the lead lap drivers, Chase Elliott is the new leader of the race.

Lap 131 Chase Elliott has a lead of over a second on Kevin Harvick with Kyle Larson in third.

Lap 137 Chase Elliott has increased his lead to nearly a second and a half over Kevin Harvick. The race is halfway through and all 40 cars are still on the track with no caution flags for on track incidents.

Lap 143 Chase Elliott has a lead of nearly a second and a half over Kevin Harvick. Dale Earnhardt Jr is the first car one lap down in 14th place with Kyle Busch up to 21st place.

Lap 148 the top five is Chase Elliott, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Larson, Brad Keselowski, and Martin Truex Jr.

Lap 154 Chase Elliot’s lead over Kevin Harvick is down to under a second.

Erik Jones is reporting some cooling system issues, saying that it is the hottest he has ever been inside a car.

Chase Elliott wins stage two.
Chase_Elliott_Road_America_2015By Royalbroil – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=42901125

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Chase Elliott
Kevin Harvick
Martin Truex Jr
Kyle Larson
Brad Keselowski
Denny Hamlin
Joey Logano
Kurt Busch
Matt Kenseth
Jamie McMurray

Chase Elliott wins the race off of pit road, followed by Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr, and Brad Keselowski.

In this first round of playoffs, Kevin Harvick and Chase Elliott have added an additional 18 points each to their total points. Of the 16 drivers in the playoffs Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson,
Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr, Matt Kenseth, Kurt Bush, and Jamie McMurray have also added points to their totals. Kyle Busch and Chase Elliott have each added a playoff point to their totals.

Chase Elliott brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 168 but it is Kevin Harvick who gets the lead of the race.

Jamie McMurray brings out the first on track incident caution flag when he spins out on lap 168. He does not wait until pit road opens to come down to get fresh tires to avoid damaging the car and will have to restart the race at the back of the field. Ryan Blaney is the “lucky dog”.

The top seven are all in the playoffs – Kevin Harvick, Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin, and Kurt Busch.

Kevin Harvick brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 173 with Kevin Harvick jumping out in front for the lead.

In 17th place, Kyle Busch is the first car one lap down.

Lap 179 Kevin Harvick has a lead of a second and a half on Chase Elliott.

Lap 189 Kevin Harvick has a lead of nearly a second on Martin Truex Jr. Falling back, Kurt Busch is reporting a vibration.

Lap 190 Martin Truex Jr challenges Kevin Harvick for the lead and passes Harvick to take over the lead of the race.

Lap 194 Chase Elliott passes Kevin Harvick for second place.

Lap 198 Martin Truex Jr has a near two second lead on Chase Elliott with Kevin Harvick in third.

Lap 200 – 67 to go – Martin Truex Jr leads Chase Elliott by nearly two seconds with 16 cars on the lead lap.

Kurt Busch has to bring his car down pit road saying that he cannot stand the vibration any longer. Kurt was caught speeding on pit road and the tire changes did not fix the vibration issue.

With 59 laps remaining in the race, Martin Truex Jr has a lead of over three seconds on Chase Elliott

Erik Jones brings out the second on track caution of the race when he spins out and gets into the grass.

Martin Truex wins the race off of pit road.

Erik Jones was penalized for having too many men over the pit wall.

Martin Truex Jr brings the field down for the green flag restart with 53 laps remaining in the race and jumps out in front of Kevin Harvick for the lead with Brad Keselowski in third. There are 15 cars on the lead lap.

With 49 laps remaining in the race Martin Truex Jr has a lead of over a second on Kevin Harvick.

Forty four laps to go, Martin Truex Jr has pulled out to a two second lead on Kevin Harvick.

Thirty nine laps remaining in the race and Martin Truex Jr continues to lad Kevin Harvick with a two second lead.

Lap 239 Martin Truex Jr has a lead of over two and a half seconds on Chase Elliott. Kyle Busch has finally passed Austin Dillon to become the first car one lap down.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr was caught speeding for the second time on pit road. He is now three laps down.

There are only 23 laps remaining in the race and all 40 drivers are on the track with 14 cars on the lead lap.

Martin Truex Jr’s lead is now over three seconds ahead of Chase Elliott.

With 18 laps to go, Martin Truex Jr is approaching a four second lead on Chase Elliott, Kevin Harvick is in third.

Twelve to go and Martin Truex Jr has a near five second lead on Chase Elliott.

Five to go and Martin Truex Jr continues to dominate with a lead of over six seconds on Chase Elliott with Kevin Harvick in third.

Martin Truex Jr takes the white flag with a seen second lead on Chase Elliott.

Martin Truex Jr wins the Tales of the Turtles 400. He assures his advancement into the round of 12 with the win. This is Truex’s fifth win of the season.
Martin_Truex_Jr._at_the_Daytona_500(1)By Nascarking – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=38678777

Race winner Martin Truex Jr got slimed in Victory Circle.

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

Next week it’s on to New Hampshire for the second race in round one of the playoffs.


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