Kyle Busch wins Stage 2 of the Brickyard 400
Kyle Busch swept the first two stage wins in Sunday’s Brickyard 400.
Busch led 85 laps of the first 100 laps at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for his seventh stage win of the season.
He beat Martin Truex Jr. to the line by 3.867-seconds. Ryan Blaney was third followed by Erik Jones, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski and Jamie McMurray.
Kyle Busch held the lead out of the pits to start the 45-lap dash in Stage 2. Truex remained second followed by Harvick, Logano, Kenseth, Larson, Blaney, Johnson, Bowyer and McMurray rounded out the top 10.
The field completed a lap-and-a-half before JJ Yeley and David Ragan made contact in Turn 2 on Lap 56 to trigger Caution 4. Daniel Suarez ran 11th followed by Kasey Kahne, Kurt Busch, Trevor Bayne and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Blaney pitted on Lap 59 and restarted 23rd along with Austin Dillon, Earnhardt, Menard, Almirola, Keselowski, Newman and Hamlin. Earnhardt returned to pit road and topped off with fuel before restarting 25th.
Kyle Busch led the field to green on Lap 64. Truex, Harvick, Logano, Kenseth, Larson, Johnson, Bowyer, Suarez, McMurray, Kahne, Kurt Busch, Stenhouse, Bayne and Jones rounded out the top 15. Bowyer was told by crew chief Mike Bugarewicz he was three laps short of fuel.
Busch quickly extended his lead by 0.386-seconds over Truex. Harvick was catching Logano for third. By Lap 66, Busch held a one-second lead over the No. 78. McMurray passed Suarez for ninth. With fresh tires, Blaney gained seven spots in the first five laps.
Yeley brought out the fifth caution after hitting the wall in Turn 3 on Lap 71. Busch remained in the lead followed by Truex, Logano, Harvick, Kenseth, Larson, Johnson, Bowyer, McMurray, Suarez, Stenhouse, Kurt Busch, Jones, Kahne and Bayne.
Jones remained on the track along with Blaney, Keselowski, Menard, Newman, Hamlin, Austin Dillon, Landon Cassill. Kyle Busch, who relinquished the lead to pit on Lap 72, restarted ninth on Lap 76 followed by Logano, Truex, Kenseth, Harvick, Larson and Johnson.
Before completing the first lap, Earnhardt ran into the back of Trevor Bayne and reported that his radiator was damaged. NASCAR called the sixth caution for fluid on the track on Lap 77.
“There ain’t no bumper bar out there,” Earnhardt said as the No. 88 Chevy billowed smoke. “What do you expect?”
Jones held the lead followed by Bayne, Keselowski, Menard, Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Newman, Landon Cassill, Truex, Harvick, Logano, Johnson, Kenseth, Larson and Suarez when the race restarted on Lap 81. Blaney quickly took the lead. After the first circuit, Blaney extended his advantage to 0.449-seconds over Jones. Keselowski, Busch, Hamlin, Truex, Newman, Menard, Cassill and Kenseth rounded out the top 10.
On Lap 82, Larson challenged Johnson for 12th-place and took the position. The No. 48 dropped to 18th. By Lap 84, Busch passed Jones for second. After completing Lap 85, Blaney held a .738-second lead over the No. 18 car, which had fresh tires. Busch regained the lead on Lap 86. One lap later, Truex passed Blaney for second. Jones remained fourth followed by Hamlin, Harvick, Kenseth, Keselowski, Logano and Newman.
“Holy crap it’s loose, way looser,” Harvick radioed to his crew.
With 10 laps to decide the stage, Busch’s lead was 2.171-seconds over Truex. Blaney held onto third with Jones, Hamlin, Harvick, Kenseth, Logano, Keselowski, Newman, McMurray, Larson, Suarez, Stenhouse and Kurt Busch rounding out the top-15 cars.