NASCAR: Kyle Busch wins Brickyard 400 in a green-white-checkered finish
In a green-white-checkered finish, the unstoppable Kyle Busch won his fourth out of five consequent races. The race started with Joey Logano taking the lead from pole bearer Carl Edwards on the very start of the 160 laps long race. However, Edwards reclaimed the lead as Logano had a paper on the grill, causing him to fall behind Edwards in order for the air stream to take care of the paper. On lap 17, AJ Allmendinger made an unscheduled pit stop for tire problems. In the meantime, Kyle Busch was making progress and soon started aiming for top three and Joey Logano dropped to third and let reigning NASCAR champion Kevin Harvick take the second. On lap 24, Kyle Busch got to top three by overtaking Logano with a little help from lapped cars. Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin opened green flag pit stops and were joined by Jeff Gordon and many others. Race leader Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, Logano and Tony Stuart pitted on lap 32 and new leader was Kevin Harvick. Austin Dillon was issued a penalty for speeding in the pit lane.
On lap 44, there’s been a caution for balloons on track and race leaders pitted, leaving Joey Logano in the lead. The race restarted on lap 50, but the yellow was soon out again when Clint Bowyer lost control as well as Jeff Gordon who slid into the wall while trying to evade him, ending his last Indianapolis race prematurely. On lap 54, the race restarted and Logano remained at the top. On lap 59, Denny Hamlin pitted and so did Matt Kenseth, followed by Jimmie Johnson and Kurt Busch on lap 60. Kyle Busch and Dale Jr. went to the pits on lap 61, while Joey Logano pitted on lap 63, giving up the lead to Kevin Harvick.
Halfway into the race, Kevin Harvick expanded his lead over Tony Stewart, Brad Keselowski, Carl Edwards and Danica Patrick in top five. Patrick and Stewart gave up their spots to make a green light pit stop on lap 84 and so did Kyle Larson who was behind Danica. On lap 85, Kevin Harvick gave up the lead to make a pit stop, leaving the spot to Keselowski, but after Brad pitted, Kyle Busch was the new race leader. Third caution flew on lap 91 for debris on the backstretch. Kyle Busch, Logano, Dale Jr. and David Ragan pitted and Kevin Harvick returned to the lead. The race restarted on lap 97 with a battle for the lead between Kevin Harvick as the defender and Edwards and Kenseth as the attackers on second and third, followed by Kyle Busch.
On lap 107, the fourth caution flew when Aric Almirola had a spin. Many cars went to the pits, but Harvick, Edwards and Kenseth decided to stay on the track. On lap 112, the race restarted with Joey Logano moving to second. Fifth caution flew with 40 laps to go when Brian Scott hit the wall leaving debris on the track. Brad Keselowski emerged as the leader when the leading pack decided to pit. With 36 laps to go, the race restarted and Keselowski lost the lead to David Ragan. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. hit the wall with 34 laps to go, but the race stayed green. Ragan went to the pits, leaving the lead to Keselowski who still had to pit. With 20 laps to go, the sixth caution was brought out for debris on the backstretch. Race leader Keselowski decided to finally pit, which promoted Harvick to the lead.
With 14 laps to go, the race restarted and Carl Edwards lost his position when he lost control while trying to get to the first, dropping to fifteenth. A caution came out again with 13 laps to go when Dale Jr. ended up in the grass in turn 1. The race restarted again with 8 laps to go and Kevin Harvick lost the lead to Kyle Busch. With five laps to go, debris on the track brought the caution out and the race restarted with two laps to go with a battle between Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick. Logano’s great restart propelled him to the second position and then Trevor Bayne spun, causing a green-white-checkered finish.
Kyle Busch had a better restart and Logano was on his rear bumper, but couldn’t make the move and Kyle won the race. Behind the top two were Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr and Denny Hamlin in top five. Clint Bowyer was sixth, followed by Kenseth, Kurt Busch, Kyle Larson and Brad Keselowski.