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Race Recap for the Brickyard 400

Date:  July 23, 2017
Event:  Brickyard 400 (Round 20 of 36)
Series:  Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location:   Indianapolis Motor Speedway (2.5-mile oval)
Format:  160 laps, broken into three stages (50 laps/50 laps/60 laps)
Start/Finish:  1st/34th (Accident, completed 110 of 167 laps)
Point Standing:  4th (673 points, 107 out of first)

Race Winner:       Kasey Kahne of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet) in overtime

Stage 1 Winner:  Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Stage 2 Winner:  Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-50):

● Started first, finished first.

● After winning his second consecutive Brickyard pole on Saturday, Busch jumped out to an early lead while reporting to crew chief Adam Stevens that the car was getting a bit more loose as the run went on.

● Just 12 laps into the race a line of storms reached the speedway, resulting in a one-hour, 47-minute weather delay.

● Once the field returned to racing, Busch again jumped back out front and stayed there to win Stage 1.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 51-100):

● Started first, finished first.

● Busch had a fast Skittles Toyota, taking back the lead at the start of Stage 2.

● The 2015 Cup Series champion stayed out front until he pitted under caution on lap 72.

● While he restarted in ninth on lap 75, he did not stay there long, as he worked his way up to second by lap 83.

● On lap 87 he moved by Ryan Blaney to retake the lead, which he held to win Stage 2. 

Stage 3 Recap (Laps 101-160):

● Started second, finished 34th.

● Busch lost one spot on pit road and restarted second to fellow Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr.

 On lap 110, tough luck found Busch’s Skittles Toyota. He entered turn one on the outside of Truex, but Truex’s car snapped around underneath him. Truex spun into Busch, and both cars made hard contact with the outside SAFER barrier.

● Busch was unhurt but understandably disappointed that he was unable to bring home his third consecutive win in the Brickyard 400.

Notes:

● Busch led twice for a race-high 87 laps.

Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 Skittles Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing:

“I guess we could have continued to play the teammate game and try to settle it on a green-flag pit stop, but he could be that much faster than me and yard me by three seconds on a run with the clean air, then I would never be able to get the opportunity to pass him back even if we had to settle it on a pit stop. 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 it just didn’t turn out that way.”

Next Up: The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Overton’s 400 on Sunday, July 30 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. The race starts at 3 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN.

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