Kahne Scores Victory In Chaotic Indy Race
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.
Byron Scores Third Victory of 2017 at Indy
INDIANAPOLIS— Battling a bad vibration towards the end of the event and a late race charge by Paul Menard that required blocking, William Byron was victorious in the Lilly Diabetes 250 from Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“This is so cool. This is awesome,” Byron stated post-race. “I’ve never been to a Brickyard 400 or an Indy 500 but I watched it as kid. It takes a lot to win these races and to win here is so special.”
This is Byron’s third win of 2017. He is the youngest winner in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Indianapolis. Byron also won the first stage scoring six playoff points on the weekend.
After a late race charge, Menard came up short to finish in the second position.
“We had long run speed. We didn’t fire off that fast. After five to 10 laps, we started getting tight. I thought we had a shot at William. He made it stick. He won. Congratulations to him. I think he is going to be ok,” said Menard.
Being up front all day, Joey Logano finished in the third position.
“Had to race really smart. We may not have had the fastest Ford, but we had a good restart at the beginning for track position. Our put crew did a great job maintaining that position. If you start losing momentum, you lose five to six spots. I was being smart inside the car,” said Logano.
Elliott Sadler, Cole Custer, Ryan Reed, Brennan Poole, Daniel Hemric, Brandon Jones, and Ty Dillon rounded out the top-10.
The race saw a record of 16 lead changes among eight different drivers. Kyle Busch led 44 laps, the most of any driver on the day. The average speed of the race was 124.030 mph. The margin of victory was.108 seconds, the closest finish at Indianapolis for the Xfinity Series. 19 cars finished on the lead lap.
Next up for the NASCAR Xfinity Series is a trip to Iowa Speedway on July 29th at 3:30 p.m. ET for the US Cellular 250 Presented by American Ethanol. The race will be on NBC and Motor Racing Network.
Logano Explains Season Struggles
Despite winning at Richmond International Raceway, Joey Logano is still looking to fight for his way into the NASCAR Playoffs.
Logano was received an encumbered penalty at Richmond, which stripped his win away for use towards the playoffs. Logano’s car was found to have a trailing arm spacer that was not in complete contact with its corresponding surfaces.
As a result, Logano lost Todd Gordon, his crew chief, for two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points events.
Before the penalty, Logano had an average eight place finish in the first eight events. Before Richmond, Logano led 218 laps. After the penalty, Logano’s average finish was 21.8, while only leading 163 laps in eight races.
However, Logano does not believe the penalty from Richmond is the reason for the slump.
“I think we know what it is and I don’t think it is that. That was so small that it didn’t make our car faster. That is the unfortunate part. it wasn’t something we were trying to do, it was something that happened after the race and it was a 32nd-of-an-inch,” Logano stated.
Logano attributes the struggles to crashing and new different body modifications to the cars.
“After Richmond, we had three crashes in a row. There were some different modifications to our bodies that NASCAR started regulating that took some performance away from our cars and we have to try to make that up. That is kind of the biggest thing right now,” said Logano.
Logano is now in a precarious position sitting right on the bubble of either making the playoffs or sitting out. Logano is currently in a battle with Matt Kenseth for that final playoff position.
“It is going to be a battle to the end for sure. I feel like both the race teams are really good. Both the race teams have fought for championships before. It is kind of interesting that we are both in this unique position right now trying to make the playoffs,” said Logano.
Logano is surprised that he is in the position that he is in, but knows that hard work will be an important key. The biggest key for the No. 22 team and Team Penske as a whole, it is about finding more speed.
“Our team is still capable of winning. We do have to get a little more speed in our cars. I think that is apparent. We have to be able to make our cars faster,” Logano stated.
Logano and his No. 22 team only have eight more chances to either win or score the most points to be able to run for a championship beginning in September.
Stern Comments From Keselowski After Crash
SPARTA, Ky-- After crashing out early in the Quaker State 400, Brad Keselowski has strong and stern words.
Keselowski wrecked out of the race on lap 89. Keselowski lost control of his Ford trying to get to the bottom lane, collecting Jimmie Johnson, putting him out of the race as well.
“I just wrecked it. It stinks. I got loose into three. I was underneath the 14. I was trying to lay up and give room but just spun out as soon as I got anywhere near the corner. I wrecked myself and a bunch of other guys. It is part of it I guess, but not a part that you have to like,” Keselowski explained about the accident. “It is part of the deal when you race at these types of tracks where it is one groove with this car and the way it is designed. You have to find a way around it and I didn’t find a way around it.”
Keselowski and his No. 2 Miller Lite Ford did not have speed throughout the weekend.
“It is frustrating. We weren’t as fast as we wanted to be today. That is always frustrating. I am probably as much frustrated with myself as I am frustrated with the situation and frustrated with the sport that we can’t design a better car than this that you can race without having to do everything on the restart. That is all part of it I guess. It is where we are right now," Keselowski stated.
Keselowski praised Kentucky Speedway and Speedway Motorsports Inc. officials about listening to running the tire dragon in the middle groove. However, Keselowski stated that it was still a one groove racetrack.
“They made a good effort. It was better than nothing but there are limitations,” said Keselowski.
Keselowski contributed the one groove racetrack to the design of the Gen Six the series currently is running.
“The way this car is, it needs a lot more help than a Tire Dragon. It is a poorly designed race car and it makes racing on tracks like this very difficult to put on the show we want to put on for our fans. You do what you can to gouge and claw on the restarts and get everything you can get,” said Keselowski. “You have to put yourself in bad situations to do that and that is where we were. If you don’t make those moves on the restarts, then you run in the back. Or you have a bad day. The scenario that the car design, more than the track.”
After cooling off from the heat of the moment, Keselowski went to social media to clarify his comments:
I lost "Truth and Grace" after wrecking out today so I wrote a Follow up on my post wreck comments- pic.twitter.com/LmORJArdjp— Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) July 9, 2017
Keselowski is accredited with a 39th place finish.
Ky. Busch Wins From Pole At Kentucky
SPARTA, Ky-- From starting from the pole, Kyle Busch was victorious in the Alsco 300 from Kentucky Speedway.
“It’s nice to get to victory lane anytime you can. It’s been a heck of the year on the bad end for us. It’s nice to have this as a turn around. The Camry’s have been fast all year long. It’s fun to have the opportunity to run in this series, I enjoy it,” said Kyle Busch in victory lane.
This is the second win in a row at Kentucky Speedway in the July race. This is his 88th career win and 35th win from the pole.
After an outside tire violation on the final pit stop, Ryan Blaney was able to pass Erik Jones in the closing laps to finish in the second position,
“I didn’t really have a lot of fun but it was nice to have a good race car that we could pick our way through the field. We got it really good at the end. We were good all day. I thought we were the best car all day, personally. Before that last caution. I thought we were going to get by the 20 and set sail. The caution came out and we were debating on whether to pit or not, said Blaney. "It is easy to look back on it now and say that we should have stayed out and seen what happened. I thought the right call was to pit and we just had a violation. That stings. It almost stings worse running all the way up there and finishing second than if we would have finished 10th or something. Not where we wanted to be but hopefully we learned some stuff for tonight. It is fun to have this double-header. It is disappointing. I think you have to look at the positives and know we had a really fast car and that is something to build off of.”
After being passed by Blaney in the closing laps and running up front for majority of the race, E. Jones finished in the third position.
Kevin Harvick, Ty Dillon, Joey Logano, William Byron, Justin Allgaier, Daniel Hemric, and Tyler Reddick rounded out the top-10.
There were seven lead changes among four drivers. The caution flew eight times for 44 laps. The time of the race was two hours, 30 minutes, and 56 seconds. The average speedway 119.258 mph.
Next up for the Xfinity Series is a trip to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the Overton's 200 on July 15th. The race will be broadcasted on NBCSN and Performance Racing Network at 4:00 p.m EDT