Kyle Busch made history Sunday. Busch became the first driver in NASCAR history to win both poles and both races in a single weekend. Busch was dominate leading a race high 149 of the 170 laps to score the 38th win of his career. Here’s how it all went down Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
With his first career Indy Sprint Cup pole earned the day before defending race winner Kyle Busch led the field to the green; his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Carl Edwards was second on the outside, Tony Stewart is his final NASCAR start at Indy was third directly behind Busch.
By turn 1 Busch led, Edwards was second, Hamlin third and Stewart fourth. By the exit of turn 2 Stewart was charging and by the time the field was in turn 3, Stewart had taken second. Edwards was soon dropped back and by the end of lap 1 he was sixth. Brad Keselowski had grabbed fourth behind Hamlin, Kevin Harvick was fifth; Harvick had fourth by lap 3
The first caution came out on lap 4 when Matt DiBenedetto lost an engine on the front stretch.
The leaders all stayed out and the green came back out on lap 9. Busch led to the restart with Stewart outside in second. Busch took a clear lead moving back up and in front of Stewart who held onto second. Hamlin was third, Harvick fourth and Keselowski fifth.
The lead for Busch was just over a second by lap 11. Hamlin meanwhile had caught Stewart. By lap 13 the lead was just over 4 seconds. The five behind him were nose to tail. Hamlin took second on lap 16, Harvick followed. Keselowski got by Stewart for fourth a lap later. Edwards took fifth from Stewart a lap later. Busch’s lead was over five seconds by lap 20.
Martin Truex Jr. pitted from eighth on lap 25. Others deeper in the field began to follow. Hamlin and Edwards pitted on lap 26, Harvick pitted a lap later followed by Stewart.
Kyle Busch pitted from the lead on lap 28. Keselowski led followed by his teammate Joey Logano stayed out perhaps to try a three-stop strategy.
Harvick reported he felt like a flat tire and pitted again on lap 32.
By lap 34 Keselowski still led, 11 seconds over Logano, Kyle Busch was third 24 seconds behind. Harvick was 28th a lap down; his crew reported there wasn’t any issues with his tires. By lap 41, Kyle Busch was just 3 seconds behind Logano.
The Penske duo pitted from first and second on lap 42 handing the lead back to Kyle Busch. The move put Harvick back on the lead lap.
Kyle Busch had a lead of 4 seconds over Hamlin, Edwards was third. Truex was fourth, Jimmie Johnson fifth. Busch was lapping the field by lap 48.
Greg Biffle slammed the wall entering turn 1 on lap 52 and caution two was displayed. With heavy damage, Biffle was able to limp to the pits. The leaders all came in for stops. Keselowski came in an took only two tires, he was out first. Kyle Busch was second followed by Hamlin, Edwards and Truex all who took four tires. Logano however, did not pit and inherited the lead.
It was an all-Penske front row when the green came back out on lap 59. Logano took the lead as Busch took second; Edwards soon had third, as Keselowski kept falling back. Kyle Larson was fourth, Matt Kenseth was fifth; Keselowski fell into seventh.
On lap 62, Busch was looking for the lead and grabbed it going into turn 4. Edwards took second on lap 64. Larson went to third on lap 73, as Harvick had recovered to 12th. The lead up front was just ove two seconds.
Larson fell to fifth by lap 82, Kenseth was third, Truex fifth as green flag stops began deep in the field. Harvick was 10th. Johnson pitted from seventh on lap 85, Edwards a lap later along with Kenseth Keselowski, Hamlin and Logano. Hamlin and Johnson were penalized for speeding.
Busch pitted on lap 88. After the stops cycled through, Busch was back in the lead, by seven seconds over Edwards and Kenseth. Hamlin was 18th, Johnson 22nd.
Jeff Gordon in the No. 88 for Dale Earnhardt Jr. had been unable to break into the top 20 all race, but suddenly found himself 12th by lap 95. The lead was just under five seconds by lap 105.
Another round of green flags stops began on lap 115. The lead meanwhile was just over a second by lap 119.
David Ragan hit the wall entering turn 2 after losing the left rear tire on lap 121 and caution 3 came out.
The leaders all pitted. Busch was out first, followed by Edwards, Truex, Kenseth and Harvick, all took four tires. Stewart was penalized for speeding and sent to the back of the field he restarted 23rd one lap down.
The restart came on lap 128. Busch cleared Edwards for the lead, Edwards fell into second, Truex went to third, Harvick jumped to fourth, Kenseth settled into fifth. Soon the lead was nearing a second.
Caution four came out for Regan Smith who slowed on the track on lap 130. The top 12 of the 18 cars on the lead lap pitted and green came out on lap 135. Edwards tried to crowd Busch on the restart but washed up the track entering turn 1 and lost spots, Truex went to second, Kenseth third, Harvick fourth with Edwards settling into fifth.
With 23 to go, the lead for Busch was just over a second. With 20 to go Truex was slowly cutting into the lead. The gap settled however with 13 to go.
The fifth caution came out for debris on lap 150, erasing Busch’s lead. The top three stayed out, Harvick led a group in for stops, along with Keselowski, Larson and Hamlin. Busch, Truex, Kenseth and Edwards stayed out. Logano also stayed out and was fifth. Harvick, Larson and Hamlin were just behind in 6-7-8 after the stops.
The restart came with 7 laps to go.
Busch grabbed the lead, Kenseth followed but as the field entered turn 1, Edwards crashed and swept up several others, caution six came out. Also involved, Keselowski, Ryan Newman, Danica Patrick and Ryan Blaney. NASCAR red flagged the race stopping the field on the frontstretch.
The red flag lasted for just over 7 minutes. Busch was the leader; Kenseth was second, followed by Logano, Truex and Harvick.
A jet dryer put fluid on the track and extended the caution. The restart came with 2 laps to go.
Busch took the lead as Logano got in front of Kenseth for second, Truex slid into third. Behind them a two car accident erupted between Trevor Bayne and Clint Bowyer, caution seven flew setting up a green-white-checkered flag finish.
On the restart Busch led, Logano was second followed by Kenseth, Truex and Hamlin; the top four had last pitted on lap 122 bringing fuel mileage into question.
When the green waved, Busch took the lead but behind them Jamie McMurray spun entering turn 1 after contact with Stewart. McMurray shot back up the track and hit Newman; Brian Scott spun as well and caution eight flew. The caution set up a second attempt at a green-white-checkered flag finish.
The top five on the restart was Busch, Logano, Kenseth, Truex and Hamlin.
On the restart Logano tried to crowd Busch but Busch was able to go to the lead, as Logano dropped behind Kenseth for third. On the final lap Busch pulled out to a big lead as Kenseth held second, Hamlin took third.
Busch was able to cruise to victory by just over2-seconds as Kenseth held onto second; Johnson rocketed to third, followed by Hamlin and Larson.
As the two cars of Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon took one final slow lap after the race, Busch celebrated his historic win.
Harvick was sixth, Logano seventh, followed by Truex Jr., Austin Dillon and 2011 Indy winner Paul Menard. The full results can be found here.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup series heads back to Pocono Raceway for the Pennsylvania 400 next week. Live coverage will be on the NBC Sports Network starting at 1:00 p.m. ET.
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