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.

AJ Allmendinger making return to Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2018

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After a one-year absence, AJ Allmendinger will return to the Rolex 24 at Daytona next month.

Allmendinger, who drives for JTG Daugherty Racing in the NASCAR Cup Series, will once again drive for Michael Shank Racing in the endurance race at Daytona International Speedway, which will be held Jan. 27 – 28.

A winner in the 2012 Rolex 24 at Daytona, Allmendinger will split time in the No. 93 Acura NSX GT3 in the GTD class with Justin Marks, Lawson Aschenbach and Mario Farnbacher.

Allmendinger drove for Michael Shank Racing in the endurance race from 2014-16. His best result during that stretch was fifth in the Prototype class in 2015.

“I am pumped to be back racing for Shank in the (Rolex) 24. I missed the race last year and I hated to, so I’m really glad to be back,” Allmendinger said in a press release. “His whole team did an awesome job with the Acura last year and it is awesome to be back with him for the Rolex. After racing for the overall win so many years in Prototypes, it will be a completely different experience to be racing in the GTD class, but I’m looking forward to it. Mike (Shank) always puts an awesome team together and this year is no different so I am counting down to get my first shot in this car.”

Allmendinger is coming off his fourth full year of driving the No. 47 Chevrolet for JTG Daugherty Racing. He finished the season 27th in the standings, his worst during his tenure with the team. He earned one top five and five top 10s.

Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s to sponsor RCR in Cup, Xfinity in 2018

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Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s will sponsor Richard Childress Racing in multiple races in the Cup and Xfinity Series next year, the team announced Monday.

Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s merged in September 2017.

The outdoors brands will be on Ryan Newman‘s No. 31 Chevrolet during the 60th Daytona 500 on Feb. 18 and in several other races during the season.

Richard Childress Racing

They will also be a primary sponsor for Austin and Ty Dillon on the No. 3 Chevrolet in the Xfinity Series for several races.

“Our relationship with Bass Pro Shops dates back to the mid-1990s and we’re thrilled to be able to continue it during the 2018 season,” team owner Richard Childress said in a press release. “Austin, Ty and Ryan are terrific ambassadors for the great outdoors. They are all passionate about our hunting, fishing and conservation heritage which has made this partnership thrive.

“Next season will be exciting as we welcome Cabela’s, the iconic outdoor brand acquired by Bass Pro Shops, to the RCR family.”

Bass Pro Shops, founded in 1972 by Johnny Morris, is also a primary sponsor of Martin Truex Jr.’s No. 78 Toyota owned by Furniture Row Racing.

The store chain will be on the hood of the No. 78 in 16 races and on the sides of it in 14 others.

Here’s the eligible drivers for the 2018 Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona

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NASCAR has officially announced the 20 drivers who are eligible to take part in the Cup Series’ season-opening Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona International Speedway.

The 75-lap exhibition event is set for 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, Feb. 11, the same day as qualifying for the Feb. 18 Daytona 500.

The race will be divided into two segments. A competition caution on Lap 25 will divide them.

Drivers become eligible for the Clash by winning a pole the previous season, being a Daytona 500 pole-winner who competed full-time the previous season or being a playoff driver the previous season.

Here are the eligible drivers.

2017 Coors Light Pole Award Winners (14)

Former Daytona 500 Coors Light Pole Award Winners (3)

2017 Playoff Drivers (3)

Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Matt Kenseth are not expected to compete in the race. Earnhardt retired from Cup competition following the 2017 season and Kenseth doesn’t have a ride for the 2018 season.

Danica Patrick, the 2013 Daytona 500 pole-sitter, announced last month she was done as a full-time driver but that she planned to race in the Daytona 500. No definitive team plans have been announced for her.

NASCAR Hall of Famer Jack Ingram injury update: still in ICU, but continues to show progress

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NASCAR Hall of Famer Jack Ingram continues to show improvement from the serious injuries he suffered in a December 3 car crash in his native Asheville, North Carolina.

In an update Sunday written on CaringBridge.org, Ingram’s daughter, Ingrid Jones, said her father remains in the Intensive Care Unit at Asheville’s Mission Hospital.

According to Jones:

“Daddy continues to hold his own, making healing steps forward and then a step back, which we fully expected-but he’s surprising us each and every day with his strength and courage to overcome this. Overall, he’s doing amazingly well.”

Ingram’s family had hoped he could have moved out of ICU and into the Trauma Unit as the next phase of his recovery, but he remains in intensive care.

Said Jones:

“For now, he’ll remain in ICU until he can go a full 24 hours without ventilator assisted breathing. We’re almost there … but may still be a few days.”

Ingram, who turns 81 on Dec. 28, was able to sit in a chair and watched part of Sunday’s NFL game between the Carolina Panthers and Minnesota Vikings with his family. Jones wrote that Ingram also was surprised to learn that the mountain near the family’s Asheville-area home received a total of 16 inches of snow Friday and Saturday.

Jones added, “We continue to be optimistic for his health, and we also continue to appreciate the prayers and encouraging thoughts.”