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.

Gotcha! Cole Pearn’s trick is a treat for Martin Truex Jr. at Sonoma

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Martin Truex Jr. took advantage of a strategy play by crew chief Cole Pearn and cruised to his third Cup win of the season Sunday at Sonoma Raceway.

Truex’s team faked as if it was going to pit on Lap 73 — Pearn told Truex to pit on the radio — and that brought in Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer. Truex stayed out another eight laps. With fresher tires, he charged through the field and took the lead shortly before Harvick made his final pit stop on Lap 91. By the time Harvick completed his stop, he was too far back to challenge for the win.

Harvick placed second, finishing 10.5 seconds behind Truex — the largest margin of victory at Sonoma.

“That was awesome!” Truex said on the radio after crossing the finish line.

“Basically the 78 faked us out and decided to run seven or eight more laps,” crew chief Rodney Childers told Harvick after Harvick had made the pit stop on Lap 73.

With Truex winning, there remain just six different winners this season.

After the race, Childers apologized to Harvick.

“I kind of let everybody down there. I apologize,” Childers said on the radio.

“All good,” Harvick said. “Always want to win but stuff happens.”

Clint Bowyer placed third. He was followed by Chase Elliott and Kyle Busch.

Stage 1 winner: AJ Allmendinger

Stage 2 winner: Denny Hamlin

How Martin Truex Jr. won: Crew chief Cole Pearn’s decision to act as if the team would pit on Lap 73 but then hold Truex out eight more laps, put the race in Truex’s hands. With the race going caution-free to the end, the strategy worked perfectly.

Who had a good day: Stewart-Haas Racing placed all four cars in the top 10 for the second time in the team’s history, duplicating what it did at Phoenix in March. Kevin Harvick was second on Sunday, Clint Bowyer placed third, Kurt Busch was sixth and Aric Almirola finished 10th. … Chase Elliott’s fourth-place finish marked the eighth consecutive race he’s finished 12th or better. … Erik Jones‘ seventh-place finish marked his second top-10 result in the last nine races.

Who had a bad day: AJ Allmendinger won the opening stage but then missed a shift and finished last (38th). … The power steering went out on Ryan Blaney’s car with about 50 laps left. Blaney quickly fell in the standings, finishing 34th.

Notable: Martin Truex Jr.’s win snapped a streak of nine different winners in the last nine years at Sonoma.

Next: Cup races at Chicagoland Speedway at 2:30 p.m. ET on July 1 on NBCSN.

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Stage 1 winner AJ Allmendinger blows engine at Sonoma

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AJ Allmendinger lost the engine on his No. 47 Chevrolet on Lap 33 of Sunday’s Cup race at Sonoma Raceway, not long after winning Stage 1.

Allmendinger was running in 13th when the engine blew, a result of a bad shift. It is his first DNF at Sonoma.

The JTG Daugherty Racing driver, a favorite to contend in road course races, had started the race in fifth and made it to second before drifting back.

Once the race leaders pitted with four and three laps left in the stage, Allmendinger took the lead.

Allmendinger has started in the top five in the last five Sonoma races and not finished better than 14th.

“I haven’t missed a shift on a road course in 10 years,” Allmendinger told Fox Sports 1. “Just me. I was trying to be so patient, so smooth with it. It was unexpected. It’s on me. I let everybody down here.”

Jamie McMurray also experienced a mechanical issue that caused his engine to shut off and lose oil pressure, ending his day.

 

 

NASCAR community pays tribute to World of Outlaws driver killed in crash

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The NASCAR community paid tribute to World of Outlaws driver Jason Johnson, who died after a sprint car crash Saturday night at Beaver Dam (Wisconsin) Raceway.

Johnson crashed after a restart racing for the lead. Witnesses said that Johnson’s car flipped and went through billboards outside Turn 3, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Johnson won the 2016 Knoxville Nationals. He finished sixth in the points last year in the World of Outlaws.

 

Today’s Cup race at Sonoma: Start time, lineup and more

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There has been a different winner in each of the last nine Cup races at Sonoma Raceway, site of today’s Cup race. Those nine winners have been Kasey Kahne, Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch, Clint Bowyer, Martin Truex Jr., Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, Tony Stewart and Kevin Harvick.

Will there be a 10th different winner at the road course?

Here is all the information for today’s race.

(All times are Eastern)

START: Olympic gold medalist Jonny Moseley will give the command to start engines at 3:01 p.m. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:13 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is scheduled for 110 laps (218.9 miles) around the 1.99-mile road course.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 25. Stage 2 ends on Lap 50.

PRERACE SCHEDULE: Garage opens at 10:30 a.m. Driver/crew chief meeting is at 1 p.m. Driver introductions are at 2:20 p.m.

NATIONAL ANTHEMBroadway Under The Stars in Sonoma Valley, Transcendence’s Meggie Cansler will perform the anthem at 2:55 p.m.

TV/RADIO: Fox Sports 1 will broadcast the race beginning at 3 p.m. Coverage begins at 1:30 p.m. Performance Racing Network’s radio broadcast begins at 2 p.m. and also can be heard at goprn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will have PRN’s broadcast.

FORECAST: wunderground.com calls for a high of 80 degrees and a zero percent chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST TIME: Kevin Harvick led the final 22 laps to win last year’s race. Clint Bowyer placed second. Brad Keselowski finished third.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for full qualification results.