MENCS Race Recaps

MENCS: Kasey Kahne Snaps 102-Race Winless Streak at the Brickyard

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Kasey Kahne emerged from a wreck-filled Brantley Gilbert Big Machine Records Brickyard 400 on Sunday to capture an overtime victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Kahne held on through three big wrecks in the final 50 laps, a nearly two-hour delay for stormy weather and approaching darkness to grab his first win since 2014, a winless skid of 102 races.

Kahne’s No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet crossed the overtime line just before the caution flag came out for Denny Hamlin’s No. 11 Toyota spinning behind him.

Brad Keselowski finished second in the No. 2 Team Penske Ford. Ryan Newman, Joey Logano and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top five.

Two final big wrecks — the first with 11 scheduled laps remaining and the second in NASCAR Overtime on Lap 162 — brought out red flags for cleanup.

The first came when Clint Bowyer’s No. 14 Ford got loose, slammed hard into the interior wall and spun multiple times, collecting the cars of Kurt Busch, Erik Jones and Jamie McMurray along the way.

That stoppage turned what was shaping up to be a fuel-mileage finish into a shootout ending.

But the restart on Lap 162 turned into a multi-car pileup as Trevor Bayne’s No. 6 Ford spun in traffic and collected multiple cars crashing behind him.

In all, the race featured three red flags, the first for 1 hour, 47 minutes for lightning and rain, the second for cleanup of the Lap 149 Bowyer wreck that lasted about 20 minutes, and the final for cleanup of the NASCAR Overtime Lap 162 wreck that lasted 24 minutes.

Kahne had a chance at the victory after leaders Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. wrecked on a Lap 110 restart that crumpled Busch’s No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota and caused Truex’s No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota to burst into flames.

Truex Jr. appeared to get loose when driving side-by-side on the low side at the same time that Busch tried to close the lead in front of the No. 78 – the contact sending both cars slamming into the wall.

Busch, the two-time defending race winner and pole-sitter, had led a race-high 87 laps.

“Just chalk it up as another one that we figure out how to lose these things by,” Busch told NBC.

Added Truex to NBC: “Just got loose and wrecked him. It was totally my fault. … I hate it for Kyle, he had a great car.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s final Brickyard 400 before he retires also ended early when he rear-ended the No. 6 car of Trevor Bayne on Lap 75 and his car began to smoke. His No. 88 Chevrolet suffered damage to its radiator, Earnhardt Jr. told NBC.

The 167-lap race featured seven leaders and 17 cautions.

Kyle Busch won both Stage 1 and Stage 2 to bump his season total to seven stage wins.

The Monster Energy Series next heads to Pocono Raceway for the Overton’s 400 on Sunday, July 30 at 3 p.m. ET (NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

UNOFFICAL RESULTS
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About Jacob Mullins

Jacob Mullins serves as the managing editor and senior NASCAR writer covering all three national touring series's. You can find him on on Twitter at @JMulls15. An intercollegiate athletic administrator by trade, Mullins can be found at the big tracks as well as the local short tracks in the Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania area. Mullins enjoys social media, photography and graphic design. A native of West Chester, Pennsylvania, Mullins follows all forms of racing, Major League Baseball (Baltimore Orioles) and college football (Virginia Tech Hokies).

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