Kahne ends his drought with Brickyard win
Truex “got loose,” crashes into Busch with 49 laps left
INDIANAPOLIS» Kasey Kahne survived a crash-marred Brickyard 400 on Sunday for his first NASCAR Cup victory in nearly three years.
The Hendrick Motorsports driver won under caution in the race that took more than six hours to complete, finally finishing in fading light after 167 laps and double overtime. Brad Keselowski was second. It was a wild day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with Kyle Busch and Furniture Row Racing’s Martin Truex Jr. — driving the two fastest cars — out in a crash with 49 laps left.
That was only a prelude to the nutty final 20 laps that included five crashes, two of which brought out red flags.
Busch looked as if he would make history as the first driver to win three consecutive Brickyards when he led the first 71 laps — and 87 overall. But when Truex’s car slid up the track, both cars hit the wall.
That opened the door for Kahne, who had struggled all season. And as the crashes happened behind, Kahne overcame muscle cramps to hold on for his 18th career victory and first since Atlanta in August 2014.
The race was red-flagged with 10 laps to go after Kurt Busch, FRR’s Erik Jones and Clint Bowyer collided coming out of the fourth turn.
On the restart, Kyle Larson hit the wall on the front straightaway for another caution.
Things went awry once more when Jimmie Johnson, Keselowski and Kahne tried to go three-wide through the third turn on what was supposed to be the second-to-last lap. But Johnson’s smoking car spun and slammed into the wall, forcing overtime.
Nobody has won three in a row on Indy’s historic oval.
Busch won the first stage by 0.544 of a second and the second by 4.205 seconds — both over Truex.
“I got loose and wrecked him. It was totally my fault,” Truex said. “We worked well together, and that’s the hard part.”