Thursday, Mar 30

INDIANAPOLIS-- In a race that saw attrition and strategy play out, Kasey Kahne was victorious at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the Brickyard 400.

“The career is big, for sure; but the win and the history here. 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,” Kahne stated. “I’m exhausted. But, an unbelievable win. The team just kept working. We had great pit stops. Farmers Insurance, Great Clips, and Chevrolet have been huge to us. To win at Indy is unbelievable. I wish my son, Tanner, was here.”

This is Kahne's first win since 2014. This is Kahne’s 18th career victory in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, his first of 2017.

After having a terrible car for the earlier part of the race, the Team Penske crew for Brad Keselowski was able to finish second at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“We had a good, solid day. Anytime that you’re that close (to winning) you can certainly taste it. I had a taste of it in my mouth, I didn’t get to eat it,” said Keselowski.

After much attrition during the event, Ryan Newman was able to finish in the third position.

“Yeah, crazy at the end there.  It’s just the opposite of what you expect sometimes when you see a bunch of green flag runs when we get the caution flags they just breed more caution flags,” said Newman. “Guys are a little out of control, but good run for the Velveeta Chevrolet.  Proud of the guys.  Made some big improvements, but we’ve got some more work to do.”

Joey Logano, Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick, Daniel Suarez, Matt DiBenedetto, Chris Buescher, and AJ Allmendinger round out the top-10.

The race was stopped three times by the red flag. There were 14 cautions for 55 laps during the event. The time of race was three hours and 39 minutes. The average speed of 114.384 mph. The race ended in NASCAR Overtime at 167 laps.

Next up for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is a trip to Pocono Raceway for the Overton’s 400. The race will be broadcasted on NBCSN and Motor Racing Network at 3:00 p.m. ET.

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Brantley Gilbert Big Machine Brickyard 400, the only trip of the year to the famous speedway. The first stage will end on lap 50. The second stage will end on lap 100. The final stage will conclude at lap 160.

40 drivers are making the trek to Indianapolis to compete for 40 spots. No drivers will be sent home after qualifying on Saturday evening.

This weekend at Indianapolis kicks off a new weekend schedule for Cup drivers. There will be no on track activities for teams on Friday. However, there will be a NASCAR Fan Fest featuring many of these drivers. The events will consist of, but not limited to, the Hauler Parade, pit-stop contests, and a relay challenge with young fans.

Cup teams will have five sets of Goodyear tires for practice, one set for qualifying, and eight sets for the race. The right side tire will be the same compound ran last year at the speedway. However, Goodyear brought a new left side tire compound that is slated to provide more grip for drivers.

This weekend will be the 24th event from Indianapolis Motor Speedway. There have been 19 different pole winners and 13 different race winners. Only four drivers have won from the pole with Kyle Busch being the last driver to do so in last seasons event. In 2000, the race record was set by Bobby Labonte at 155.912 mph. In 2014, Kevin Harvick posted the qualifying record at 188.47 mph.

Here are what driver’s are saying about racing at Indianapolis:

“It’s pretty neat to race at Indy. I remember my first time at the track in the XFINITY Series a couple of years ago and how cool that was and now my first Brickyard 400. I think that’s another milestone for anyone’s career. I’m excited to make my first start in the Brickyard and hopefully have a good showing,” said Erik Jones. “It’s just neat to be at Indy and close to home really for me. It’s neat to be there at a track that not only has the Brickyard 400, but the Indy 500 and all the history involved is pretty special.”

“Indy is Indy. It’s the coolest racetrack that we get to race on, other than Daytona. The history, the prestige, the value of Indianapolis – it is defined by the number of decades they have produced races there and the atmosphere. It’s very electric at Indianapolis,” said Kurt Busch. “For me to actually get to run the Indy 500 in the month of May is a little different than when we race there in July because of the fact it is their backyard, it is their stage. Those Indiana natives love their track. What makes Indy special is the people.”

"It's the Brickyard. It's the history of motorsports in America. It's that yard of bricks. It's a special place when you think about everyone who's been there associated with F1, IndyCars, motorcycles and NASCAR. It's unique because of the four corners, the long straightaways and the flatness. To me, it's just unique in so many ways. It's a fun place to drive and yet, it's quite a challenge at the same time,” said Ryan Newman.

Cup teams will have two practice sessions on Saturday at 9:00 a.m. EDT and 11:00 a.m. EDT on CNBC. Teams will qualify at 6:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday on NBCSN. The Brickyard 400 will air on NBC beginning at 2:30 p.m. EDT. Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network, in conjunction with Performance Racing Network, will broadcast qualifying and the race on the radio.

AVONDALE, Ariz.-- With a gutsy call to stay out on old tires, Ryan Newman went to claim victory in the Camping World 500 at Phoenix Raceway to snap a 127 race winless streak. This is his first win since 2013 at Indianapolis and Richard Childress Racing’s first victory since Phoenix in 2013 with Kevin Harvick.

“I’ve lost count; that’s how long it’s been. I’ve got to thank Grainger, Caterpillar, Coca-Cola, Monster Energy, for supporting our series, and Chevrolet. The list goes on and on.  What a gutsy call by (crew chief) Luke (Lambert). I called for two tires and he called for none. I’ve won more races no tires than I have with four. I’m just proud of these guys. We had a good car all day. We kept it out of trouble and collected in the end,” said Newman post-race.

The first stage of the race was dominated by Logano. Logano continued to stay up in the front through much of the first stage. As he entered into lapped traffic, Kyle Larson inched closer and closer. But Logano was able to win the stage with Larson in second, Brad Keselowski third, Chase Elliott fourth, and Jamie McMurray rounded out the top-five.

The second stage saw the dominance of Logano fade away. Logano was passed by Elliott and Larson on lap 84, but it was Elliott who would take the lead and dominate the stage. Logano stayed in the top-five, but was caught speeding on pit road and had to start at the tail end of the field after the caution flew on lap 117. On the restart, Elliott and Larson battled for the lead, but Elliott prevailed to win the stage. Larson finished second, Kyle Busch finished third, Jimmie Johnson finished fourth, and  Keselowski rounded out the top-five.

Elliott started the stage as the race leader. As the caution came out for a hard hit coming off of the fourth turn by Matt Kenseth, the leaders pitted. Ky. Busch won the race off pit road and went on to lead the most laps in the round. The caution flew three more times. The final caution of the day was caused by Logano who blew a tire on the frontstretch with four laps remaining, sending the race into NASCAR Overtime. Ky. Busch and the other leaders pitted, but Newman, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and Martin Truex Jr. stayed out on older tires while many guys behind them had two. On the final restart, Larson tried to make a move on Newman, but went sideways stacking up the field behind him giving Newman the advantage and the ultimate victory. Larson finished second, Ky Busch finished third, Stenhouse Jr. finished fourth, and Keselowski rounded out the top-five.

For Larson, this was the fourth time finishing in the second position since Homestead last year. Larson talked about his move on the final restart post-race.

“Yeah, my spotter said ‘clear’ and I started turning down. I guess I just didn’t anticipate him driving in as far as he did. Maybe I should have just run the middle lane there just to be safe. But all in all, it was a good effort for our Credit One Bank Chevy. And dang it, I wish I wouldn’t have gotten sideways there in (Turns) 1 and 2; and I would have stayed close enough to Newman and I probably would have got him down in (Turns) 3 and 4 coming to the white,” said Larson. “You never know though. That’s how the races play out. Maybe I made a mistake there. This one stings because I feel like I was in the best spot out of anybody there to line up fourth on two tires. But, it’s really, really cool to be the point leader right now. That was a goal of mine going into today. So, thanks to everybody at Chip Ganassi Racing for all your hard work. We’ll hopefully continue to have this speed in our race cars and maybe close some of these races out.”

It was all but Ky. Busch’s race to lose, but the last caution and pitting cost him five playoff points.

“Everything’s great, we got a top five and that’s what we set out to do today and we got a third so we should be pumped about that and how good this Skittles Camry ran today. It was awesome there at the end and the guys made some really good calls there at the end – Adam (Stevens, crew chief) and the guys did a good job being able to make some good adjustments and make it feel better once we got out front,” said Busch. “Thanks to my pit crew – the car really liked clean air. We just got caught up in traffic a little bit early in the race, but we were mindful of that and just kind of bided our time and got up to the front when we did, but we had a little miscue there on pit road with Kurt (Busch) and from there it was just too many cars that stayed out. If it was just two that stayed out maybe, but we really needed the outside like (Kyle) Larson had. Overall we should be proud of our run today and we will move on.”

The caution flew eight times for 45 laps. There were 15 different lead changes among eight different drivers.

Next up for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is the final installment of the West Coast Swing with a trip to Auto Club Speedway for the Auto Club 400. FOX and Motor Racing Network will have live coverage next Sunday beginning at 3:30 p.m. EST.


HAMPTON, Ga.—  Kevin Harvick will start from the pole in Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuickTrip 500. Harvick laid down a fast lap around the 1.54-mile Atlanta Motor Speedway at 190.398 mph. This is Harvick’s 18th career pole. Harvick outlasted Ryan Newman for the pole by .081 seconds for his second career Atlanta pole.

“We spent a lot of (in practice) in race trim, just not knowing this package and running Fords. We just threw the qualifying package in there at the end and it was way too tight,” Harvick said. “It’s just a tremendous credit to Stewart-Haas Racing, winning the Daytona 500 with (Kurt Busch) last week and having all the cars run great. Then to come here and see the progress that we’ve made.

The first round of qualifying saw only five drivers not make a time due to inspection issues. Drivers who did not advance to the second round include Clint Bowyer who will start 25th, Kasey Kahne, who will start 29th, and Aric Almirola, who will start 30th. No drivers will be sent home as 39 drivers competed for 40 spots. Kyle Busch was the fastest in the opening round with a speed of 190.280 mph, Newman was second at 189.850 mph, Jamie McMurray was third fastest at 189.571 mph, Denny Hamlin was fourth fastest at 189.526 mph, and Harvick rounded out the top-five at 189.396 mph.

The second round of qualifying went off without a hitch. Newman was the fastest in this round at 189.772 mph, Ky. Busch was second fastest at 189.694 mph, Harvick was third fastest at 189.519 mph, Brad Keselowski was fourth fastest at 188.925 mph, and Kyle Larson rounded out the top-five at 188.751. Notable drivers who did not advance were Kurt Busch (P13), Matt Kenseth (P16), and Jimmie Johnson (P18).

The final round saw the sun setting deeper into turn one creating a blind spot for drivers. Harvick was able to grab the pole. Newman qualified second ay 189.870 mph, Ky. Busch qualified third at 189.850 mph, Stenhouse Jr. qualified fourth at 188.854 mph, and Keselowski rounded out the top-five by qualifying with a speed of 188.783 mph.

With more than a tenth of a second in the bank, Martin Truex, Jr. captured the pole for Sunday's Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway. At a time of 179.244 mph, the No. 78 car picked up its third pole of 2016, the other two came at 1.5- mile race tracks, in which he dominated, including a race-winning effort during the Coca-Cola 600. 

In 21 career starts at the Tricky Triangle, Truex has one career win, coming last year when he was out front for 97 circuits. In June, the No. 78 car faced many problems, including a wreck on pit road that ended the day in 19th. 

"It's exciting for us," Truex said of his pole for Furniture Row Racing. "Anytime you win anything in this series, it's a big deal. Getting a pole today is awesome. We had a game plan coming here, but we felt like we needed to qualify well for Sunday and we were able to do that."

For the second straight week, Carl Edwards will lineup alongside the pole-sitter in the second position. The No. 19 car posted a lap at 178.873 mph, which was best among the Joe Gibbs Racing organization. 

After recording the fastest lap in practice, Paul Menard will start a season-best third at 178.671 mph. The No. 27 team is being led by Danny Stockman, a veteran crew chief for the first time at Pocono, hoping to turn the teams season around. 

"I've worked with Danny [Stockman] for basically a year and a half now," Menard said. "It's just a different perspective from Justin [Alexander]. Justin is a smart guy. we just needed to change something up and make a spark. We threw Danny into the fire and it's worked well." 

Four-time Pocono winner, Denny Hamlin will start Sunday from the fourth position (178.540 mph). Ryan Newman rounded out the top five (178.433 mph), marking the second Richard Childress Racing car in the top five. 

Including Austin Dillon, who qualified 12th, it marked the first time since August of 2014 at Michigan that all three RCR cars made it to the final round of qualifying. All three cars were among the top 10 in practice Friday afternoon. 

"It was a good day without a doubt for RCR and ECR engines," Newman said. "We had three of the top 10 in practice and two of the top five in qualifying. It should translate over to the race. Track position is important, horsepower, having a good qualifying effort and usually you'll have a good race day." 

Tony Stewart qualified sixth at 178.394 mph, Brad Keselowski was seventh (178.359 mph), Chase Elliott eighth (177.571 mph), defending race-winner Matt Kenseth (177.413 mph) was ninth and Joey Logano (177.151 mph) rounded out the top 10. 

June winner, Kurt Busch turned the 15th fastest lap, alongside his brother Kyle Busch in 16th. Ryan Blaney posted the 18th fastest time, after having the third best time in round one. 

A trio of three Hendrick Motorsports cars will start outside the top 20, starting with Jimmie Johnson in 21st. 2013 winner Kasey Kahne will begin Sunday's race from 23rd and six-time Pocono winner, Jeff Gordon will start his second race back out of retirement in 24th. 

Final practice is set to begin on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. ET. 

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