Exhausted Kahne Wins Brickyard 400 Just Before Nightfall
SPEEDWAY, IN - RIS - July 23, 2017 -
Brantley Gilbert Big Machine Brickyard 400
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
24th Annual Brickyard 400
An exhausted Kasey Kahne wins the wreck-filled Brickyard 400.
Today's Brantly Gilbert Big Machine Brickyard 400 featured early race domination by Kyle Busch (#18 Skittles Toyota) and Martin Truex Jr (#78 Auto-Owners Insurancek Toyota) through Stages 1 and 2, then a race changing accident between the two Toyotas on lap 111 opened the door for the rest of the field. Kahne's team came up with a fuel strategy to bring them to the front of the field, and then Kasey won the final restart. After the race, Kahne said, "Strategy got us here. I'm exhausted. Feels good to win. Shows how hard it is to win." Shortly thereafter, Kahne went to the infield medical center for treatment due to heat and exhaustion. Clearly a great win for the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet team.
During the last restart, Kahne beat Brad Keselowski through turn 1 on the inside and made it to the overtime line before the caution light came out for an accident behind them. Keselowski said, "I thought I was in the right spot. He (Kahne) got in there and it stuck. Guessed wrong on the last one." He added, "Today, 2nd seemed to be the place to be on restarts. Sure wish we had 1 more restart. We'll come back here next year and move up one more spot."
Third place finisher Ryan Newman said, "It was ridiculously hot in the car today. Too hot to take nap during red flags, just miserable. This was a crazy race, crazy strategies and crazy restarts."
Has been an RIS contributor for over 20 years. John retired from the Ohio Army National Guard as a Lieutenant Colonel in 2015.