Kyle Busch Keeps on Rolling, Wins at Indianapolisby Kyle Pokrefky July 26, 2015 0 comments
SPEEDWAY, Ind. — Kyle Busch entered Sunday’s Crown Royal presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway white-hot off of the momentum of two straight wins at Kentucky Speedway and New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Exiting Indianapolis, Busch extended his win streak to three after taking his first-ever victory at Indianapolis and closed the gap to 30th-place in the standings to 23 points.
Completing a sweep of the weekend (Busch won Saturday’s XFINITY Series race), Busch stated that his third win in a row serves as a testament to the quality of his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing team.
“There’s a lot going on with today’s win,” Busch said. “Just the event of everything that it is here at the Brickyard and being a part of the Brickyard 400… It’s a great weekend for Toyota and TRD as well as M&M’s, Skittles, Joe Gibbs Racing and all of those involved with our race team. It’s just a true testament to what this team is all about.”
Making for his 33rd career Sprint Cup victory, Busch called his Brickyard triumph as the ‘probably the biggest win of my career so far.’
“I think there’s a lot of things, but if you look at the top four races in our series, I’d order them as Daytona, Brickyard 400, Coke 600 and the Southern 500,” Busch said. “Those are the four crown jewels I see in our sport. I’ve won the Southern 500, I’ve won the hometown race [Las Vegas], which is a big race for me, I’ve won the Bristol night race.
“There’s a lot of great things that have happened in my career. This one checks off No. 2 on the races to win list. There’s still a championship I want to achieve.”
The driver of the No. 18 Skittles Toyota fought tooth and nail with second-place finisher Joey Logano on two green-white-checkered restarts to get the win, but Logano certainly did not go down without a fight.
Even though he ultimately came up short in his quest to earn his second win of the season, Logano praised his crew for the work they put into today’s race.
“You come to Indy and it’s all about the win,” Logano said. “You either win or finish last. It doesn’t really matter anywhere in between, at least that’s the way I race when I come to a race track like this. I feel like at Daytona and Indy it’s all about getting trophies and rings and making out with bricks.
Unfortunately, we came up a little bit short. I’m so proud of our team. There’s nothing to hang our heads down about. We had a good day, we just needed a little bit more. We need to find a little bit more speed in our race car.”
Finishing in the top-10 behind Busch and Logano were Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer, Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch, Kyle Larson and Brad Keselowski.
Nine caution flags flew for 36 laps with the final caution of the race extending the race to 164 laps.
Four debris cautions brought out the respective first, third, sixth and eighth cautions of the day while respective solo accidents by Aric Almirola, Brian Scott, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Trevor Bayne were the cause of the fourth, fifth, seventh and ninth cautions of the day.
Hometown hero Jeff Gordon didn’t come home with the finish that he was looking for entering today’s race as the driver of the No. 24 3M Chevrolet found the wall on Lap 50 after receiving contact from teammate Kasey Kahne while trying to dodge a spinning Bowyer.
Gordon was scored 42nd in what was officially his final race at Indianapolis.
Unofficially, Harvick will take a 69-point lead in the drivers standings over Logano into next Sunday’s Windows 10 400 at Pocono Raceway – the sixth race until the Chase cutoff.
Top-10 Finishers in the Crown Royal presents the Jeff Kyle 400
- 18 – Kyle Busch – Toyota – Joe Gibbs Racing
- 22 – Joey Logano – Ford – Team Penske
- 4 – Kevin Harvick – Chevrolet – Stewart-Haas Racing
- 78 – Martin Truex Jr. – Chevrolet – Furniture Row Racing
- 11 – Denny Hamlin – Toyota – Joe Gibbs Racing
- 15 – Clint Bowyer – Toyota – Michael Waltrip Racing
- 20 – Matt Kenseth – Toyota – Joe Gibbs Racing
- 41 – Kurt Busch – Chevrolet – Stewart-Haas Racing
- 42 – Kyle Larson – Chevrolet – Chip Ganassi Racing
- 2 – Brad Keselowski – Ford – Team Penske
Top-10 in the Drivers Standings after Round 20 of 36
- 4 – Kevin Harvick – Stewart-Haas Racing – 777 | Leader
- 22 – Joey Logano – Team Penske – 708 | -69
- 88 – Dale Earnhardt Jr. – Hendrick Motorsports – 677 | -100
- 48 – Jimmie Johnson – Hendrick Motorsports – 675 | -102
- 78 – Martin Truex Jr. – Furniture Row Racing – 668 | -109
- 2 – Brad Keselowski – Team Penske – 638 | -139
- 20 – Matt Kenseth – Joe Gibbs Racing – 615 | -162
- 41 – Kurt Busch – Stewart-Haas Racing – 612 | -165
- 1 – Jamie McMurray – Chip Ganassi Racing – 602 | -175
- 11 – Denny Hamlin – Joe Gibbs Racing – 575 | -202
Chase Seeding after Indianapolis: 1. Jimmie Johnson, 2. Kevin Harvick, 3. Dale Earnhardt Jr., 4. Kurt Busch, 5. Joey Logano, 6. Martin Truex Jr., 7. Brad Keselowski, 8. Matt Kenseth, 9. Denny Hamlin, 10. Carl Edwards, 11. Jamie McMurray, 12. Jeff Gordon, 13. Ryan Newman, 14. Paul Menard, 15. Kasey Kahne, 16. Clint Bowyer (+19)
PHOTO CREDIT: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images