INDIANAPOLIS – Kyle Busch will forever go down as one of the best drivers to ever race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Yes, will get me some slack from my IndyCar fans, but look at his stats.
Today, he accomplished the unthinkable.
Busch, started on the pole and won the NASCAR X-Finity Series race yesterday. Today, he not only started on the pole, but he led a race record 149 laps en route to the weekend sweep.
The Joe Gibbs Racing driver started on both poles this weekend and won both races. That’s a NASCAR record as that’s never happened before.
Combined, he led 211 of the 233 laps this weekend.
But, if you throw in the heat race that he raced in yesterday too, he led 231 of the 253 laps available at Indy this weekend. That’s 91-percent of the overall laps that the No. 18 Toyota was up front.
This is the second straight year that he has been able to win both races in Indy. Four Indy starts, four wins in the last two years for him.
Today though, it wasn’t even close.
Yesterday, it wasn’t even close.
But, we should have taken note when he said in his post race news conference yesterday, that he had a great day, but his Cup car was even better. Boy was it ever.
Busch, jumped out to a huge lead from the get go as no one could catch him. He gave up the lead on Lap 27 when he had to pit for the first time of the race. He would re inherit it when Brad Keselowski pitted from the lead on Lap 42.
Busch, would stay there until the second caution flag flew on Lap 54 for Greg Biffle. The leaders would pit the next lap, as Joey Logano stayed out and took the lead and Keselowski took two tires to come out second.
Busch, would restart third.
That’s the furthest back he’d be all day.
Busch, got by Keselowski on the restart for second, and by Lap 62, he was back in the lead. No one would get by him the rest of the day.
Busch, cruised to his 38th career Sprint Cup victory and fourth of the season.
His JGR teammate of Matt Kenseth scored his 11th top 10 finish of his Indy career with a second place effort. It was his ninth top 10 of the season and second straight top two after the Wisconsin native won last weeks race at New Hampshire.
Jimmie Johnson overcame a pit road speeding penalty on Lap 84, to make up a lap and charge from 24th to finish third in the end. It was his seventh top 10 in the Brickyard 400 and second top 10 in the last 11 races on the season.
Denny Hamlin also overcame a pit road speeding penalty on the exact same lap on Lap 84 to move up to a fourth place finish. That gave JGR three cars in the top four today.
Kyle Larson scored his third top six in the last six races as he rounded out the top five.
The race only had two cautions through the first 120 laps, but six in the last 45. In fact, there were four cautions in the last 10 laps, as it made Busch sweat it out a bit.
The “Big One” occurred after a debris caution on Lap 155, when Brad Keselowski got into Carl Edwards on the restart in Turn 1. Ryan Blaney, Ryan Newman, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Danica Patrick were also involved.
After going green for a third time, another caution came out on Lap 160 for Trevor Bayne and Clint Bowyer. Just when you think we were done with yellows, another one occurred when Jamie McMurray went way too low entering Turn 1 and collected Ryan Newman and Brian Scott.
It was the eighth and final yellow.
Busch, couldn’t be caught on any of those restart as he cruised to the dominating win.
The series heads to Pocono for the return trip next weekend.
Brickyard 400 Results:
- 18 Kyle Busch
- 20 Kenseth
- 48 Johnson
- 11 Hamlin
- 42 Larson
- 4 Harvick
- 22 Logano
- 78 Truex Jr.
- 3 Dillon
- 27 Menard
- 14 Stewart
- 17 Stenhouse Jr.
- 88 Gordon
- 34 Buescher R
- 24 Elliott R
- 41 Kurt Busch
- 2 Keselowski
- 5 Kahne
- 1 McMurray
- 38 Cassill -1
- 15 Bowyer -1
- 10 Patrick -1
- 95 McDowell -2
- 13 Mears -2
- 43 Almirola -2
- 7 Smith -2
- 44 Scott R -2
- 46 Annett -3
- 98 Whitt -3
- 6 Bayne -3
- 31 Newman OUT
- 93 Ellis -4
- 55 Sorenson -5
- 32 Carpentier -6
- 19 Edwards OUT
- 21 Blaney R OUT
- 23 Ragan OUT
- 47 Allmendinger OUT
- 16 Biffle OUT
- 83 DiBenedetto OUT