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Kasey Kahne takes thrilling win in chaotic Brickyard 400

Following a three-year drought, Kasey Kahne returned to Victory Lane as darkness set in on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday.

Kasey Kahne takes thrilling win in chaotic Brickyard 400
Kasey Kahne, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet takes the checkered flag
Race winner Kasey Kahne, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Race winner Kasey Kahne, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Kasey Kahne, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet takes the checkered flag
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, the field parked on pit road for a rain delay
Austin Dillon, Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, Trevor Bayne, Roush Fenway Racing Ford crash
Start: Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing Ford lead
Dale Earnhardt Jr., Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, after crashing
Chris Buescher, JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet
Cars come down pit road under red flag
Kurt Busch, Stewart-Haas Racing Ford

Kahne regained the lead on the second overtime to win 18th-career Monster Energy Cup race and his first Brickyard 400.

"Way to go guys, way to go," Kahne said. "I can't believe this." 

Brad Keselowski finished second followed by Ryan Newman, Joey Logano, Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick, Daniel Suarez, Matt DiBenedetto, Chris Buescher and AJ Allmendinger. 

“I thought I hit it right but I guess I didn’t,” Keselowski said of the final restart.

Martin Truex Jr. elected to take the outside lane when he led the field to green for the final segment on Lap 105. 

After completing the first lap, the field was coming through Turn 2 when Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was punted into the wall to bring out Caution 8 on Lap 106. Truex held the point followed by Busch, Kenseth, Harvick, Blaney, Hamlin, Jones, Keselowski, Kurt Busch, Bowyer, McMurray, Suarez, Newman, Logano and Johnson.

Kyle Larson, who finished Stage 2 in the 12th position, dropped to 26th in the final segment after multiple repairs to his car following contact with Johnson. 

Truex held the inside lane with Kyle Busch on the outside when the race went green on Lap 111. “I think we need to race him,” Busch said. 

Busch crowded Truex coming through Turns 1 and 2, making the No. 78 Toyota loose and the cars spun in front of the field. Truex’s car hit the wall and exploded into flames. The driver climbed from his car and both competitors went to the infield care center. Truex was scored 32nd. Busch, who led 87 of the first 110 laps, was scored 33rd. 

After the ninth caution, Kenseth assumed the lead when the race went green on Lap 120, followed by Harvick, Blaney, Hamlin, Jones, Keselowski, Bowyer, McMurray, Kurt Busch and Ryan Newman. Suarez, Johnson, Logano, Kahne Dillon, AJ Allmendinger, Cole Whitt, Matt DiBenedetto, Gray Gaulding and Joey Gase rounded out the top 20. 

After the first lap, Kenseth remained at the point with Harvick, Hamlin, Blaney, Jones, Keselowski, Bowyer, McMurray, Kurt Busch and Suarez in tow. Bowyer moved up to sixth on Lap 121. Kurt Busch advanced to ninth with Logano 10th. Five laps into the run, Kenseth’s advantage was .457-seconds over Harvick. Larson rallied back to 13th. On Lap 127, Jones passed Blaney. The No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford was the first of the leaders to pit on Lap 129. Joey Logano followed. Denny Hamlin pitted next followed by Clint Bowyer. 

Jones assumed the lead when Kenseth, who had led 21 laps, pitted on Lap 131 along with Harvick, Larson and Suarez. Keselowski moved to the point on Lap 132 after Jones came in for service. 

Keselowski led with 25 laps to go followed by Johnson, Kahne, Bayne, McDowell, Almirola, Ty Dillon, Danica Patrick, Paul Menard and Chris Buescher.

With 20 laps remaining, Keselowski’s advantage was one-second over Johnson, Kahne, Bayne, McDowell, Almirola, Ty Dillon, Patrick, Menard and Buescher continued in the top 10 with Kenseth 11th. On new tires, Kesenth gained two positions on the next lap to move up to ninth. By Lap143, Kenseth climbed to seventh. 

Keselowski extended the lead to 1.4-seconds with 15 laps remaining. On Lap 147, Kenseth passed Almirola for sixth but was 19-seconds behind Keselowski. Kahne pitted from fourth-place on Lap 148. 

The leaders were coming through Turn 4 on Lap 149 when Bowyer and Jones made contact. They checked up to avoid Menard, whose car became loose ahead of them. Bowyer bounced off of the wall just before the entrance of pit road and into his teammate Kurt Busch. 

After Busch was released from the infield care center, he quipped, “I’m on a first name basis with the doctors in there — and that’s not a good thing.”

NASCAR red-flagged the race at the three-hour, seven-minute-mark with 10 laps to decide the race. Keselowski held the point followed by Johnson and Bayne. Kenseth passed McDowell prior to the caution for fourth. Almirola, Hamlin, Harvick, Blaney, Ty Dillon, Patrick, Menard, Logano, Suarez and DiBenedetto rounded out the top 15. Kahne, who pitted before the caution, lined up 16th with new tires. The race returned to yellow after a 20-minute, 20-second-delay.

Kahne assumed the lead when the top 15 drivers pitted. Newman, Keselowski, Bayne, Johnson, Kenseth, Hamlin, Harvick, DiBenedetto and Almirola rounded out the top 10 with seven laps remaining. 

Keselowski moved up to second on the restart followed by Johnson, Bayne, Hamlin, Newman, Kenseth, Harvick, DiBenedetto and Logano. Ty Dillon pinched Larson coming down the front stretch and the No. 42 Chevy slammed into the inside wall and bounced off the outside wall  

Kahne held the point with Keselowski behind. The top 10 remained the same with Ty Dillon running 11th followed by Suarez, Almirola, Austin Dillon and Menard.

Kahne started on the inside with two laps remaining. With the No. 48 car of Johnson smoking, he was still able to take Kahne and Keselowski three-wide going into Turn 3. The move did not end well for Johnson, who ended up in the wall. Kahne retained the lead, with Keseowski second.

“Damn it, I thought I had it,” Keselowski said. 

Bayne moved up to third followed by Hamlin, McDowell, Newman, Kenseth, Logano, Harvick and Suarez for the first attempt at over-time on Lap 162. Kahne, who elected to take the inside lane this time, spun his tires. Hamlin checked up and McDowell turned Bayne collecting Almirola, Blaney, Austin Dillon, Gase and Gray Gaulding. The yellow flag waved for the 12th time — and NASCAR red-flagged the race for the third time just short of the three-hour, 31-minute-mark. 

NASCAR declared Keselowski the leader followed by Kahne, Hamlin, McDowell, Newman, Logano, Kenseth, Suarez, Harvick and DiBenedetto. However, once the yellow was displayed, NASCAR directed Cassill to the garage and McDowell followed with a flat tire. 

“Don’t force it, don’t overdrive it, just do what you do and you’ll be fine,” spotter Joey Meier told  Keselowski.

Kahne took the lead from the outside on the Lap 166 restart and held the point as cars wrecked behind him in the field. 

“We’ve been really close,” said Kahne, who finished second to Tony Stewart in 2005. “We had fast cars back then. Today, strategy got us here. This Farmer’s Insurance Chevrolet was great when it was out front. I’m exhausted. To win at Indy is incredible. I wish my son Tanner was here. “It feels good to win, every one of these people works so hard, it was good to get to Victory Lane. It shows people what we can do when things go our way.”

The race was slowed by a record 14 cautions. There were 10 lead changes among seven drivers.

Cla#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeLaps Led
1 5 united_states Kasey Kahne  Chevrolet 167   12
2 2 united_states Brad Keselowski  Ford 167 0.689 23
3 31 united_states Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 167 0.804  
4 22 united_states Joey Logano  Ford 167 1.355  
5 20 united_states Matt Kenseth  Toyota 167 2.068 21
6 4 united_states Kevin Harvick  Ford 167 2.465  
7 19 mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 167 2.940  
8 32 united_states Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 167 3.427  
9 37 united_states Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 167 3.846  
10 47 united_states A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 167 4.282  
11 10 united_states Danica Patrick  Ford 167 5.166  
12 72 united_states Cole Whitt  Chevrolet 167 5.834  
13 43 united_states Aric Almirola  Ford 167 6.482  
14 66 united_states Timmy Hill  Chevrolet 167 6.931  
15 1 united_states Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 167 8.595  
16 27 united_states Paul Menard  Chevrolet 167 18.009  
17 11 united_states Denny Hamlin  Toyota 166 1 lap  
18 95 united_states Michael McDowell  Chevrolet 166 1 lap  
19 13 united_states Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 165 2 laps  
20 6 united_states Trevor Bayne  Ford 162 5 laps  
21 3 united_states Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 162 5 laps  
22 34 united_states Landon Cassill  Ford 162 5 laps  
23 21 united_states Ryan Blaney  Ford 162 5 laps 6
24 55 united_states Gray Gaulding  Toyota 162 5 laps  
25 15 united_states Joey Gase  Chevrolet 162 5 laps  
26 33 united_states Jeffrey Earnhardt  Chevrolet 162 5 laps  
27 48 united_states Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 158 9 laps  
28 42 united_states Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 154 13 laps  
29 41 united_states Kurt Busch  Ford 149 18 laps  
30 14 united_states Clint Bowyer  Ford 148 19 laps  
31 77 united_states Erik Jones  Toyota 148 19 laps 10
32 51 united_states B.J. McLeod  Chevrolet 135 32 laps  
33 78 united_states Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 110 57 laps 8
34 18 united_states Kyle Busch  Toyota 110 57 laps 87
35 17 united_states Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 106 61 laps  
36 88 united_states Dale Earnhardt Jr.  Chevrolet 76 91 laps  
37 7 united_states J.J. Yeley  Chevrolet 70 97 laps  
38 38 united_states David Ragan  Ford 56 111 laps  
39 24 united_states Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 43 124 laps  
40 23 united_states Corey Lajoie  Toyota 9 158 laps

Earnhardt hopes for better luck after wrecking out at Indianapolis

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