Kasey Kahne outduels Brad Keselowski to capture a wild Brickyard 400

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INDIANAPOLIS – Kasey Kahne beat Brad Keselowski on a restart in overtime Sunday, winning a wild Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Snapping a 102-race winless streak in the Cup Series, Kahne qualified for the playoffs with his first victory since September 2014 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

“To win at this track is unreal,” Kahne told NBC. “I’m exhausted. An unbelievable win; the team just kept working.”

After complaining of severe cramping on his radio late in the race, Kahne was treated in the infield care center after his 18th career victory in 488 starts.

Keselowski, trying to give Roger Penske his first NASCAR win at Indy, finished second after leading on the final restart of a race that featured a record 14 caution flags. Keselowski had seized the lead on the previous restart from Kahne, who also chose the outside.

Kahne took the lead when most of the field pitted during a Lap 151 caution (Kahne made his final stop just before the yellow flag flew). He fended off a three-wide challenge by Keselowski and teammate Jimmie Johnson on a Lap 159 restart (which resulted in Johnson hitting the wall, apparently when the engine began expiring in his No. 48 Chevrolet).

The race, which started at 2:44 p.m. and was delayed by rain for one hour and 47 minutes, ended just before 9 p.m. There were two red flags in the last 17 laps — one after the race had gone into overtime. Those two stoppages lasted 44 minutes.

Ryan Newman finished third, Joey Logano was fourth, and Matt Kenseth took fifth.

Kahne, who has a contract for 2018 but whose future hasn’t been confirmed by the team, was the only Hendrick Motorsports driver to finish the race, outlasting teammates Johnson (27th, crash), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (36th, crash) and Chase Elliott (39th, engine).

Kahne’s win was a record 10th at Indy for Hendrick (five by Jeff Gordon, four by Jimmie Johnson).

The race’s complexion was altered significantly when the two fastest cars were eliminated in a crash with 50 laps remaining in the scheduled distance.

Kyle Busch’s bid to become the first driver to win three consecutive races on the 2.5-mile layout ended on a restart on Lap 111 when he crashed after contact with leader Martin Truex Jr.

Truex’s No. 78 Toyota bobbled entering the first turn, sliding up the track into the left rear of Busch’s No. 18 Toyota.

“I just got loose and wrecked him,” Truex said. “Totally my fault. Didn’t really know what to expect in that position and didn’t really realize that he was going to drive in that deep and suck me around. I will take the blame for that and obviously it was my fault. I hate it for Kyle. He had a great car and we did as well, but that’s racing.”

Said Busch: “That’s the way it goes, just chalk it up to another one that we figure out how to lose these things by. It’s very frustrating and I hate it for my guys, they build such fast Toyota Camrys and the Skittles Camry was really good again today. Had wanted to go out there and put ourselves in the record books for three in a row, but not happening.”

The last driver to win three consecutive races at Indianapolis was seven-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher, who won four straight from 2003-06 on the track’s road course.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Busch

STAGE 2 WINNER: Busch

MORE: Race results

MORE: Points standings

WHO HAD A GOOD DAY: Ryan Newman finished third, his second top five in four races. … Joey Logano (fourth) scored his first top five in more than a month. … Daniel Suarez (seventh) scored back to back top 10s for the second time in his career. … JTG Daugherty Racing put both of its cars in the top 10 for the first time (Chris Buescher ninth, AJ Allmendinger 10th). … Matt DiBenedetto (eighth) earned his first top 10 since the Daytona 500.

WHO HAD A BAD DAY: Erik Jones crashed out of his second consecutive race (after leading 10 laps). … Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Clint Bowyer and Kurt Busch were involved in wicked hits in the same wreck.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “We had a top 10 car for sure. It’s kind of frustrating because I was really enjoying being out there. Hopefully our luck’s going to turnaround. It’s been pretty tough and this is a difficult one to put up with.” – Earnhardt, who finished 36th in his final start at Indianapolis

WHAT’S NEXT: The Overton’s 400 at 3 p.m. ET, Sunday, July 30 on NBCSN at Pocono Raceway.

NASCAR America: Chase Elliott ‘biggest surprise’ of Cup playoffs

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Only two drivers are safely in the third round of the NASCAR Cup playoffs. Martin Truex Jr. and Brad Keselowski secured spots through their wins at Charlotte and Talladega.

That leaves six spots to be decided Sunday at Kansas Speedway.

NASCAR America analysts Parker Kligerman and Kyle Petty broke down the drivers competing for spots. Both of them agreed that Chase Elliott, who has finished in second in three of the five playoff races, has a great chance to make it all the way to the championship race in Miami.

“If Talladega had played out, he was either going to be in victory lane or in the top two or three,” Petty said. “When you look at that, he has had the most solid playoffs of any driver out there. We keep talking about the big three: Larson, Busch and Truex. This guy is a sleeper. But he’s my No. 4.”

Said Kligerman: “He’s been the biggest surprise. That 24 team has been incredible through the playoffs. One thing I’ve noticed about that team, just speaking to (crew chief) Alan Gustafson, speaking to Chase, it’s almost as if they want that first win more than they care about the playoffs.”

Watch the above video for more on the playoff drivers.

Friday’s NASCAR Cup, Xfinity schedule at Kansas Speedway

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Things get started today for the pivotal weekend at Kansas Speedway.

The NASCAR Cup Series will have its elimination race in Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400, where four of the 12 remaining playoff drivers will not advance to the Round of 8.

The NASCAR Xfinity Series begins its Round of 8 with Saturday’s Kansas 300.

But it all begins today, as Cup has its first practice (the other two are Saturday) and qualifying, while the Xfinity Series will have its two practice sessions.

Here’s how today’s schedule shapes up:

(All times are Eastern)

10:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. — Cup garage open

12 – 8:30 p.m. — Xfinity garage open

1 – 2:25 p.m. — First Cup practice (NBCSN, Motor Racing Network)

2:30 – 3:25 p.m. First Xfinity practice (NBC Sports App)

5 – 5:55 p.m. – Final Xfinity practice (NBCSN)

6:15 p.m. – Cup qualifying (multi-vehicle, 3 rounds) (NBCSN, MRN)

NASCAR: Will Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch advance in playoffs?

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The last two drivers to win NASCAR Cup titles are in precarious positions ahead of the Round of 12 elimination race at Kansas Speedway.

Kyle Busch, the 2015 champion, is outside the top eight in ninth. He sits seven points behind defending champion Jimmie Johnson.

NASCAR America analysts Kyle Petty and Parker Kligerman debated who they think had the best chance to advance to the Third round after Sunday.

Petty put his money behind Busch, who has finished in the top five in each of his last five starts at the 1.5-mile track.

“He’s one of the big three: Truex, Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson,” Petty said. “I don’t see where these (last) two races (Charlotte, Talladega) have changed anything. The one thing Kyle Busch brings into Kansas City … he brings speed. These guys have had speed all year-long.”

Johnson on the other hand has produced only four top fives all season and just one since he won at Dover in June.

But Kligerman explained why he thinks the seven-time champion will prevail on Sunday.

“Jimmie Johnson knows how to pass and that is what has become evident throughout this season,” Kligerman said. “No, they have not had the fastest cars at Hendrick Motorsports. No, they have not qualified well. They’ve actually been sort of abysmal at qualifying of late.

“… He has three wins this year. Two of those he started at the back.”

Watch the video for more.

NASCAR America at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN: Daniel Hemric, Daniel Suarez’ racing roots

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Today’s episode of NASCAR America begins at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN and continues to preview the Round of 12 elimination race at Kansas Speedway.

Carolyn Manno hosts with Kyle Petty and Parker Kligerman from Stamford, Connecticut.

On the show:

  • We’ll debate which past Cup Series champion will advance to the Round of 8. Defending champion Jimmie Johnson currently leads 2015 champ Kyle Busch by only seven points for the final transfer spot. Who has the edge going into Kansas this Sunday? This elimination race will be a heated competition just to finish above the cut line. Log on to NBCSports.com/NASCARVote and weigh in!
  • Xfinity Series playoff driver Daniel Hemric calls into the show to talk about his chances of advancing to the championship four in Miami. He’ll also describe his experience being one of the four drivers to participate in the recent tire test at the Charlotte Motor Speedway “Roval.”
  • We take a look at the Daniel Suarez’s Racing Roots and discuss his transition from Xfinity Series champion to Monster Energy Cup Series rookie.
  • Parker Kligerman hops into the iRacing simulator to preview Sunday’s elimination race at Kansas, as well as the Formula 1 race in Austin, Texas.

If you can’t catch today’s show on TV, you can also watch it via the online stream at http:/nascarstream.nbcsports.com. If you plan to stream the show on your laptop or portable device, be sure to have your username and password from your cable/satellite/telco provider handy so your subscription can be verified.

Once you enter that information, you’ll have access to the stream.

Click here at 5 p.m. ET to watch live via the stream.