Toyota Teammates Wreck To Change Complexion of Brickyard 400
INDIANAPOLIS— In a race that looked like it was going to be won by the Toyota Racing teammates of Kyle Busch or Martin Truex Jr, the day ended in fire and smoke at the beginning of the final stage.
Throughout the restarts, Busch and Truex were playing the teammate game on restarts letting the other get ahead momentarily. When the field was exiting the second turn, Truex washed up the track collecting Busch, who was leading the race. Busch dominated the first two stage by winning both stages and leading 87 laps.
Both cars suffered heavy damage after hitting the wall.
Busch expressed his frustration with another weekend being lost by dumb mistakes.
“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,” 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.”
“I just got loose and wrecked him (Kyle Busch) I guess, 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,” said Truex. “I hate it for Kyle (Busch), he had a great car and we did as well, but that’s racing. Glad I was able to get out, fire was bad. I had no brakes and I had to run into the wall a second time just to get it to stop so I could get out. Fortunately I’m okay and we’ll live to race another day.”
Busch could have went for history this weekend at Indianapolis by becoming the first driver to win three in a row at famous speedway in NASCAR. Busch’s level of disappointment is a 10 out of a 10.
Busch was accredited with a 34th place finish while Truex is accredited with a 33rd place finish.
Busch Scores Pole in Indianapolis
INDIANAPOLIS— For the second year in a row, Kyle Busch will start from the pole in Sunday’s Brickyard 400 from Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“I would certainly like to think (I have a shot at three in a row) but anything can happen in these races,” said Busch. “My team came gave me a fast race car and it’s been a lot of fun for us here the last couple of years. We just have to put it all together. In practice today I didn’t feel like we were the best- we didn’t even make any mock (qualifying) runs since the day was so short. That shows you how good these guys are and how dedicated we are to win this thing.”
In the first round of qualifying, Jamie McMurray was fastest at 187.395 mph. Ky. Busch posted the second fast time in the opening round at 186.753 mph. Jimmie Johnson was third fastest in the opening round at 186.606 mph. Dale Earnhardt Jr posted the fourth fastest speed at 186.594 mph. Kevin Harvick rounded out the top-five with his speed of 186.587 mph. All cars who qualified will participate on Sunday.
In the middle round of qualifying, Ky. Busch was fastest at 186.660 mph. Denny Hamlin was second fastest at 186.324 mph. Harvick was third fastest at 186.116 mph. Martin Truex Jr was fourth fastest at 186.058 mph. Joey Logano rounded out the top-five at 185.904 mph.
At the end of the day, Ky. Busch posted the pole winning speed at 187.301 mph. Harvick will start second with his speed of 186.332 mph. McMurray will start third with his speed of 186.274 mph. Johnson will start fourth with his speed of 185.851 mph. Denny Hamlin rounded out the top-five with his speed of 185.820 mph.
Truex, Logano, Ryan Newman, Erik Jones, and Ryan Blaney rounded out the top-10.
The Brickyard 400 will be broadcasted on NBC and Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network at 2:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday.
Sadler Scores First 2017 Pole At IMS
INDIANAPOLIS— Elliott Sadler will start from the pole from Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the running of the Lilly Diabetes 250. Sadler was able to beat Erik Jones at the line by .004 seconds to score his first pole of 2017.
Sadler posted the second fastest speed in the first round of qualifying at 164.760 mph. E. Jones was the fastest in the opening round at 165.089 mph. William Byron was third fastest in the opening round at 164.045 mph. Michael Annett was fourth fastest at 164.045 mph. Kyle Busch rounded out the top-five in the opening round at 163.931 mph.
For Ky. Busch, he was attempting to go for his fourth straight pole at Indianapolis in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. However, that streak is came to an end in the second round of qualifying. Busch posted the 11th fastest speed in the round at 163.610 mph.
Sadler will start from the pole. E. Jones will start second. Byron will start third with his speed of 164.573 mph. Justin Allgaier will start fourth with his speed of 164.402 mph. Annett will round out the top-five with his speed of 164.258 mph.
Cole Custer, Matt Tifft, Ryan Sieg, Ben Kennedy, and Ryan Reed round out the top-10.
The Lilly Diabetes 250 from Indianapolis will be broadcasted on NBCSN and IMS Radio Network at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Busch Close to Running Indy 500 But Halted By Boss
INDIANAPOLIS— Kyle Busch was so close to being able to run the Indianapolis 500 this season. However, there had to be some convincing done before he could participate in the event.
Busch had to convince one of his two bosses before he could participate in the Indianapolis 500. That boss was Coach Joe Gibbs.
“I had it done last year, sold and everything, but I got a boss that said no,” said Busch.
Despite not being able to run the 500 this year, Busch hopes that one day he will be able to, but was glad he did not because of Fernando Alonso skipping the Formula One race in Monaco to participate in the 500.
“I had a great opportunity to do it. I am kinda glad that I didn’t because (Fernando) Alonso kinda stole the headlines the last time it was done,” said Busch. “In the future, there will be guys coming over to run that race. I may have to split the limelight with somebody else who wants to run that race. I think it would be fun and unique opportunity.”
The biggest concern for Coach Gibbs was the fact that Busch had never driven an IndyCar. “The biggest fear was not knowing what those cars would do if you get in a bad situation,” Busch stated about the concern.
In NASCAR, the three manufacturers are Toyota, Chevrolet, and Ford. In Indycar, drivers are limited to only Chevrolet and Honda. For Busch, his options are open.
“It would keep your options open for the engine manufacturer. Obviously next year with the aero platform, that’s going to change. To my understanding, with just engines being the culprit, not necessarily being an engine package anymore. Obviously, if Toyota was a third, I would be limited to that. It does kinda keep your options open,” said Busch about his options if he chose to run the Indy 500.
At the end of the day, Busch would not trade a Brickyard 400 win for a win in the Indianapolis 500. “I would like the opportunity to be able to earn it myself. If that day ever comes, we will see what happens.”
Tire Dragon To Be Run Before Quaker State 400
SPARTA, Ky-- Before and after the Alsco 300, Kentucky Speedway, and NASCAR deemed it necessary to run the tire dragon in the middle groove, after complaints from the drivers.
Kyle Busch and Ryan Blaney are two of the handful of drivers that will run in tonight’s Quaker State 400 for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
“When I lost the lead on that last restart - when I slid up in three I didn’t wreck and I think I would have wrecked if the Tire Dragon wasn’t brought out. I was up in that third lane. I think that kind of saved me a little bit. I thought that was good. I saw that move made a couple times in the Truck race and people spun out. I didn’t see that today. I saw a lot of cars get loose and slide up to that lane and it kind of caught halfway and they were able to keep going,” said Blaney, who finished second in the Alsco 300. “Hopefully that will help out. I ran kind of high in one and two coming back through the field and it seemed to have some grip like half a lane up. It didn’t hurt at all getting that Tire Dragon out this morning. Hopefully tonight the Cup cars will get really slick on the bottom and we will be forced to move around. That is usually what happens and I am hopeful for that.”
“Yeah, until they oil down the backstretch and that lane getting into turn three, I thought the track was really racey. Hopefully they can burn that in a little bit more down the backstretch and that quick dry that they put down in order to take up some of that oil, they can burn that off and get it back to black instead of white. After that, it got to being about one groove again and I didn’t see anybody widening it out,” said Kyle Busch, Also 300 race winner. “You were afraid to get into the white stuff because the car will just take off up the race track on you. The other thing I saw was the race track was really good in one and two, it got really wide and definitely nothing out there to race in, but at least it’s safe if you do slip and get out there and you can still catch your car. There’s room for lapped cars to go out there and not feel that they’re going to crash. They were pretty mindful of the leaders today and we’ll see how all that goes tonight.
Running the tire dragon in the middle groove of the racetrack is reversal from Thursday afternoon!
"I think we know what we're doing," Steve Swift told NBC Sports in a Thursday interview.
The vice president of operations and development for Speedway Motorsports Inc. said they ran the tire dragon here at Kentucky Speedway after an overwhelming positive response from driver’s after the 2016 event.
"I think what a lot of drivers are forgetting is this track was resurfaced," Swift said. "It's a brand new racetrack. So on a new track, you have to put rubber down in what is the groove, not what you want the groove to be."
Track officials plan to run an eight-foot-side section in the middle of the turns, working upwards.