Kasey Kahne endures demolition derby, wins chaotic, delay-plagued Brickyard 400

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Kasey Kahne clinched the NASCAR playoffs with his first win of the season at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in double-overtime. The No. 5 held off Brad Keselowski for his first Brickyard 400 victory in a race that endured a record 14 cautions and didn’t end until almost 9 p.m. ET. Fittingly the race ended under yellow as last week’s winner Denny Hamlin spun out.

Four-time Brickyard 400 winner Jimmie Johnson sent the race into overtime when his No. 48 spun into the wall with two laps to go while battling Keselowski and Kahne. Upon restart, the field immediately piled up again, this time involving pretty much everyone but the leaders. The red flag (third of the day) came out for 24 minutes in order to clean up debris before going double-overtime.

Those weren’t the only wrecks on Sunday — 17 cars crashed out of the race before the final lap.

Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. got the crash narrative going when the No. 78 got under the No. 18, causing a huge wreck while both drivers were leading during the lap 111 restart. Busch edged out Truex in both Stage 1 and 2 before heading to the garage. 

“I just got loose and wrecked him. It was totally my fault,” Truex said. “We worked well together and that’s the hard part.”

Busch was going for a record third straight win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and his first of 2017 after starting on the pole. He should hold his spot as the first winless driver to go into the playoffs as long as the spots aren’t filled by race winners.

“That’s the way it goes,” Busch said. “Just chalk it up to another one we found a way to lose.”

Trevor Bayne took a gamble on fuel and was well on his way to an unexpected playoff-clinching victory with 11 laps to go when Clint Bowyer, Erik Jones, Jamie McMurray and Kurt Busch got into a nasty wreck, bringing out the caution as well as a red flag. It was the second of three red flags on the day. The first brought a nearly two-hour rain delay.

Another championship contender to endure a fiery wreck Sunday? Kyle Larson. The No. 42 went hard into the wall with less than 10 laps to go, ending his hopes of earning a top 15 finish.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. had a heartbreaking end to his final race at the Brickyard when the No. 88 drew contact and lost its radiator. Junior will have a chance to rebound at Pocono next week, a track where he won twice in 2014. He will most likely need a win to clinch the playoffs as well.

Junior’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott saw his day end early when his engine blew up around lap 44. The engine failure was the first of Elliott’s career and came after the No. 24 driver reported a ‘strange smell unlike anything he’s smelled before’ in the car. Elliott’s father Bill won at Indianapolis in 2003 when Chase was just seven years old. He remains in good position to clinch the playoffs on merit, but has yet to secure a spot with a win this season.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. couldn’t resist getting in on the caution action. While his crash wasn’t nearly as bad as some of the others, the No. 17 was still sent to the garage for an early exit. He continues to sit pretty in the championship hunt with two wins.

Former NASCAR driver Mark Martin summed it all up in a tweet:

Brantley Gilbert Big Machine Brickyard 400 results

  1. Kasey Kahne
  2. Brad Keselowski
  3. Ryan Newman
  4. Joey Logano
  5. Matt Kenseth
  6. Kevin Harvick
  7. Daniel Suarez
  8. Matt DiBenedetto
  9. Chris Buescher
  10. AJ Allmendinger
  11. Danica Patrick
  12. Cole Whitt
  13. Aric Almirola
  14. Timmy Hill
  15. Jamie McMurray
  16. Paul Menard
  17. Denny Hamlin
  18. Michael McDowell
  19. Ty Dillon
  20. Trevor Bayne
  21. Austin Dillon
  22. Landon Cassill
  23. Ryan Blaney
  24. Gray Gaulding
  25. Joey Gase
  26. Jeffrey Earnhardt
  27. Jimmie Johnson
  28. Kyle Larson
  29. Kurt Busch
  30. Clint Bowyer
  31. Erik Jones
  32. BJ McLeod
  33. Martin Truex Jr.
  34. Kyle Busch
  35. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  36. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  37. JJ Yeley
  38. David Ragan
  39. Chase Elliott
  40. Corey LaJoie

2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standings

POSITION

DRIVER

CAR #

POINTS

BEHIND

WINS

1.

Martin Truex Jr.

78

780

LEADER

3

2.

Kyle Larson

42

732

48

2

3.

Kevin Harvick

4

683

97

1

4.

Kyle Busch

18

673

107

0

5.

Denny Hamlin

11

612

168

1

6.

Brad Keselowski

2

601

179

2

7.

Jamie McMurray

1

599

181

0

8.

Chase Elliott

24

588

192

0

9.

Matt Kenseth

20

566

214

0

10.

Jimmie Johnson

48

564

216

3

11.

Clint Bowyer

14

533

247

0

12.

Ryan Blaney

21

516

264

1

13.

Joey Logano

22

515

265

1

14.

Kurt Busch

41

463

317

1

15.

Ryan Newman

31

462

318

1

16.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

17

443

337

2

Winless drivers that have won at upcoming tracks

Pocono: Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chris Buescher
Watkins Glen: Kyle Busch, A.J. Allmendinger
Michigan: Kyle Busch, Earnhardt Jr., Kenseth
Bristol: Kyle Busch, Kenseth, Earnhardt Jr.
Darlington: Kyle Busch, Kenseth
Richmond: Kyle Busch, Kenseth, Bowyer, Earnhardt Jr.

Odds to win the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series

Here are the betting odds for the Cup series title, via VegasInsider.com

  • Martin Truex Jr. 9/2
  • Kyle Busch 5/1
  • Jimmie Johnson 6/1
  • Brad Keselowski 6/1
  • Kevin Harvick 7/1
  • Kyle Larson 7/1
  • Joey Logano 10/1
  • Chase Elliott 14/1
  • Denny Hamlin 20/1
  • Ryan Blaney 20/1
  • Matt Kenseth 25/1
  • Clint Bowyer 33/1
  • Kurt Busch 40/1
  • Jamie McMurray 50/1
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 50/1
  • Erik Jones 66/1
  • Austin Dillon 66/1
  • Ryan Newman 66/1
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. 100/1
  • Kasey Kahne 100/1
  • Daniel Suarez 100/1
  • Danica Patrick 500/1

The Associated Press contributed information used in this report



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