INDIANAPOLIS— For the second year in a row, Kyle Busch will start from the pole in Sunday’s Brickyard 400 from Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“I would certainly like to think (I have a shot at three in a row) but anything can happen in these races,” said Busch. “My team came gave me a fast race car and it’s been a lot of fun for us here the last couple of years. We just have to put it all together. In practice today I didn’t feel like we were the best- we didn’t even make any mock (qualifying) runs since the day was so short. That shows you how good these guys are and how dedicated we are to win this thing.”
In the first round of qualifying, Jamie McMurray was fastest at 187.395 mph. Ky. Busch posted the second fast time in the opening round at 186.753 mph. Jimmie Johnson was third fastest in the opening round at 186.606 mph. Dale Earnhardt Jr posted the fourth fastest speed at 186.594 mph. Kevin Harvick rounded out the top-five with his speed of 186.587 mph. All cars who qualified will participate on Sunday.
In the middle round of qualifying, Ky. Busch was fastest at 186.660 mph. Denny Hamlin was second fastest at 186.324 mph. Harvick was third fastest at 186.116 mph. Martin Truex Jr was fourth fastest at 186.058 mph. Joey Logano rounded out the top-five at 185.904 mph.
At the end of the day, Ky. Busch posted the pole winning speed at 187.301 mph. Harvick will start second with his speed of 186.332 mph. McMurray will start third with his speed of 186.274 mph. Johnson will start fourth with his speed of 185.851 mph. Denny Hamlin rounded out the top-five with his speed of 185.820 mph.
Truex, Logano, Ryan Newman, Erik Jones, and Ryan Blaney rounded out the top-10.
The Brickyard 400 will be broadcasted on NBC and Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network at 2:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday.
INDIANAPOLIS— As the NASCAR Xfinity Series ran a new competition package at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, NASCAR was pleased with what they saw in the eye ball test.
After the Lilly Diabetes 250, Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer, was made available to the media after the event to discuss the package.
“Overall, certainly pleased with what we saw on the racetrack. From an eye test, definitely passed. When you look at the metrics, right, it’s the most leaders we’ve had, most lead changes, closest finish. So certainly on the quick recap, some really great metrics,” said O’Donnell.
There were 16 lead changes among eight different drivers The previous record was nine lead changes. The previous record of different drivers was six. The margin of victory was just 0.108 seconds.
Drivers like Joey Logano, referenced the fact that the cars were slow. O’Donnell, on the other hand, had a different opinion about it.
“So speeds, you know, some race, you know, you’re going 200, some you’re, you know, down in the 100s on a road course. What at the end of the day that matters is how many lead changes did we have and was it competitive throughout. And we thought it was today,” said O’Donnell.
Before coming to Indianapolis, NASCAR knew that this would not produce racing seen at Talladega and Daytona. The first objective was to make sure that the gap could be closed from first to second, something NASCAR saw today. NASCAR will evaluate how two to there cars could pull away, and if they can close that gap, they will.
O’Donnell did not mention that this was just an Indy specific package. NASCAR will evaluate what happened at Indy to look at potentially using this package at other tracks.
At the Research and Development Center, there was advocation for restricting the engine, especially at Indianapolis. NASCAR and O’Donnell thought that the restrictor plate played somewhat how they thought it would.
While drivers complained that it was hard to pass, O’Donnell was adamant that these are the worlds greatest drivers and that passing should be difficult.
As talks and evaluation of the data from the package and its success unfold in the coming weeks, NASCAR will continue researching to see where this package would end up in the future.
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.
INDIANAPOLIS— Elliott Sadler will start from the pole from Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the running of the Lilly Diabetes 250. Sadler was able to beat Erik Jones at the line by .004 seconds to score his first pole of 2017.
Sadler posted the second fastest speed in the first round of qualifying at 164.760 mph. E. Jones was the fastest in the opening round at 165.089 mph. William Byron was third fastest in the opening round at 164.045 mph. Michael Annett was fourth fastest at 164.045 mph. Kyle Busch rounded out the top-five in the opening round at 163.931 mph.
For Ky. Busch, he was attempting to go for his fourth straight pole at Indianapolis in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. However, that streak is came to an end in the second round of qualifying. Busch posted the 11th fastest speed in the round at 163.610 mph.
Sadler will start from the pole. E. Jones will start second. Byron will start third with his speed of 164.573 mph. Justin Allgaier will start fourth with his speed of 164.402 mph. Annett will round out the top-five with his speed of 164.258 mph.
Cole Custer, Matt Tifft, Ryan Sieg, Ben Kennedy, and Ryan Reed round out the top-10.
The Lilly Diabetes 250 from Indianapolis will be broadcasted on NBCSN and IMS Radio Network at 3:30 p.m. ET.
INDIANAPOLIS— As the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series finished the Fifth Annual Eldora Dirt Derby from Eldora Speedway on Wednesday, there were many claims that the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series should look at special events like the Trucks have at Eldora.
For Denny Hamlin, the question pops out of whether or not the infrastructure is there to compete at tracks like Eldora. When it comes to infrastructure, Hamlin is talking about the garage area, amenities at the track for sponsors, and the amount of equipment the traveling circus brings to each event.
Hamlin would love to see the Cup series return to places like North Wilkesboro and Rockingham, but sees it as not feasible for today’s NASCAR.
“I think the truck series carries one certain amount of circus to it. With the Cup series, it is times 10. It would be tough as much as the Cup series has grown to bring that traveling circus to short track somewhere to be able to put on a show that makes sense, organized,” said Hamlin. “Does Eldora have timing and scoring loops or not? Probably not. When it gets down the nitty gritty of the Cup races and we are arguing who is leading at the line at this point or that point. How does that work with a track that doesn’t have scoring loops. I know Wilkesboro doesnt’t. That’s what I mean by infrastructure.”
When it comes to amenities, Hamlin looks at what each track can bring to a sponsor and ultimately the fans.
“Its tough to get these sponsors to come to these race tracks unless the amenities are about here (Indianapolis) or Daytona. You wanna have really nice everything. It seems like some of those old tracks got phased out because they were antiquated,” said Hamlin.
Hamlin commends tracks like Phoenix Raceway and Richmond Raceway for upgrading their facilities to be the best for fans and sponsors.
“I like to see the new updates to tracks like Richmond. That’s state of the art. It’s going to bring a lot of new eyes and hopefully sponsors to those type race tracks,” said Hamlin.