Kurt Busch gets turned on the restart and makes a great save, but ends up wrecked after the No. 9 hits him.
Dale Jr., Hamlin also topped Friday's practice leaderboards RELATED: See the new spoiler at Indy this weekend Practice 3: Full results Kurt Busch led the final Sprint Cup Series practice on Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in preparation for Sunday’s Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard (3:30 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network/Live Extra, SiriusXM). The Stewart-Haas Racing driver jumped to the lead near the end of the final session, putting up a high speed of 181.987 mph. Coming up short in speed to the No. 41 driver was Kevin Harvick (181.763 mph). Kyle Larson (181.357 mph), Jimmie Johnson (180.697 mph) and Martin Truex Jr . (180.672 mph) rounded out the top-five fastest on the leaderboard. Denny Hamlin led the series’ first practice at the Brickyard, but fell to 31st-fastest in the final round. Dale Earnhardt Jr . also led a practice session, but was 32nd-fastest, right behind Hamlin, in the closing run. Jeff Gordon , the defending race winner, finished 23rd-fastest in the final session. The Sprint Cup Series takes the track at the Brickyard for the Coors Light Pole Qualifying session tomorrow at 1:10 p.m. ET (NBC Sports Network/Live Extra). Practice 2: Full results A fast lap of 181.466 mph sent Dale Earnhardt Jr .'s No. 88 soaring to the top of the leaderboard early during Friday's second practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Hendrick Motorsports driver found more speed in this session, having posted a high speed of 181.046 mph (ranked seventh) in the opening session this morning at the Brickyard. Team Penske 's Brad Keselowski came up just behind Earnhardt, scoring a fast lap of 181.448 mph in his No. 2 Ford to snag the second spot. Earnhardt's Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne ranked third (181.408 mph), while Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates' Kyle Larson (181.378 mph) and Michael Waltrip Racing 's Clint Bowyer (181.331 mph) rounded out the top five. Last year's Brickyard 400 winner Jeff Gordon showed speed again in this session, propelling around the famed speedway at 181.189 mph to earn the sixth spot. Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick was 14th-fastest, rounding the Indiana track at 179.583 mph in his No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet. Reigning XFINITY champion Chase Elliott -- who will be making his fourth Sprint Cup Series start in Sunday's 400-mile event -- clocked a fast lap of 178.798 mph in his No. 25 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, giving him the 17th-fastest speed in the field. After topping the opening practice, Denny Hamlin ran into trouble early in the second session when the hood of his No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota flew up and hit the windshield. The bizarre occurance -- which NASCAR determined was caused by the hood not being properly pinned down -- brought out the caution for debris. His No. 11 team replaced the hood and the windshield and Hamlin returned to the race track to score the 12th-fastest speed. Paul Menard 's No. 27 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet returned to the track after hitting the wall during opening practice. The 2011 Brickyard 400 winner ranked 22nd on the leaderboard. Practice 1: Full results Denny Hamlin rose to the top of the leaderboard Friday morning in opening NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice as teams got their first taste of a new aerodynamic package at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Hamlin drove the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 Toyota to a fast lap of 182.208 mph on the 2.5-mile track. The 34-year-old driver won the Coors Light Pole Award at the Brickyard in 2012. Jimmie Johnson , a four-time Brickyard winner, managed the second-fastest lap at 181.796 mph in the 85-minute session, but the show of speed was tempered by a fuel-pressure issue that brought the Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Chevrolet to a halt on the track at the 50-minute mark of practice. He was pushed back to the garage with help from the No. 14 Chevy of Tony Stewart . Defending Sprint Cup Series champion and current points leader Kevin Harvick was third-fastest at 181.756 mph in the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Chevrolet in preparation for Sunday's Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard (3:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, IMS, SiriusXM). Five-time Brickyard winner Jeff Gordon was fourth-fastest at 181.444 mph in preparation for his final race at the historic speedway. Gordon prevailed in the inaugural NASCAR race at Indy in 1994 and triumphed last season to top the series' all-time win list at the 2.5-mile track. Stewart, a two-time Brickyard winner, completed the top five on the leaderboard. With new aero devices in place to make the cars less smooth through the air, Hamlin's speed was significantly slower than Matt Kenseth 's 186.285 mph lap that led first practice at the Brickyard last year. The lap was also off the 188.470-mph pace set by Kevin Harvick in Coors Light Pole Qualifying at Indianapolis in 2014. The new high-drag rules package was designed with the hopes of promoting more side-by-side racing at the rectangular track, where passing has typically been difficult. The biggest aerodynamic change was to the rear spoiler, which was raised to a 9-inch height and capped by a new wicker bill on top. Though a portion of the larger spoiler is made of clear, hard Lexan plastic, a handful of drivers -- Dale Earnhardt Jr . and Daytona 500 winner Joey Logano among them -- complained of some visibility issues in their rear view. Chase Elliott , set to replace Gordon as a Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate in the Hendrick Motorsports No. 24 Chevrolet next season, was 15th-fastest in preparation for the fourth Sprint Cup start of his career. His No. 25 Chevy from the Hendrick stables clocked a best lap of 179.939 mph. Former Indianapolis winner Paul Menard scraped the outside retaining wall at approximately the 30-minute mark, causing slight damage to the right side of the Richard Childress Racing No. 27 Chevrolet. After repairs, Menard was able to return to the track, setting the 21st-fastest lap. Two more practices are scheduled Friday for the Sprint Cup Series -- 1-2:25 p.m. ET and 4-5:55 p.m. ET, with both broadcast on NBC Sports Network. Coors Light Pole Qualifying, which will use single-car runs to set the 43-car field, is scheduled Saturday at 1:10 p.m. ET. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Kurt Busch struggles with loose conditions and goes for a spin while running in the tenth position at Kentucky Speedway.
No. 18 driver gives Toyota its first victory at the Brickyard RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings " SHOP: Busch gear INDIANAPOLIS -- "This is awesome!" Kyle Busch screamed as he crossed the start/finish line at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and continued a run that has grown from extraordinary to downright other-worldly. Holding off Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano during three late-race restarts, Busch beat Logano to the finish line by .332 seconds to win Sunday's Crown Royal presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at The Brickyard. The victory was Busch ’s fourth in the last five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, all coming after an 11-event absence to start the season, the result of a broken right leg and left foot suffered in a crash during the Feb. 21 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway. "I guess Kyle's back," a disappointed Logano said after the race, uttering perhaps the biggest understatement in the modern era of stock car racing. Harvick finished third, followed by Martin Truex Jr . and Denny Hamlin . Clint Bowyer , Matt Kenseth , Kurt Busch , Kyle Larson and Brad Keselowski completed the top 10. To the suggestion that the accident may have provided additional impetus to his comeback, Kyle Busch replied, "I just think that maybe I've found my happy place. "Happy Gilmore (a movie character) – he found his happy place and he just dominated at the end, so maybe I've found that, too. Nothing better than being in Victory Lane. Nothing better than being in Victory Lane for one of the biggest wins of my career. "I just want to celebrate with my team, my wife and my family." A quick inventory of Busch's accomplishments shows that the driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota: -- He is the first to sweep both the Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series races at Indianapolis. Busch won the Lilly Diabetes 250 XFINITY race on Saturday with a last-lap pass of Ryan Blaney . -- He gave Toyota its first victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, breaking a string of 12 straight wins by Chevrolet at the 2.5-mile track. -- He won the 33rd NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race of his career. -- He continued his relentless advance toward the top 30 in the standings and consequent eligibility for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs. In what now seems a foregone conclusion, Busch has six races to overcome a 23-point deficit to 30th-place Justin Allgaier . "We're a championship contending team," Busch asserted. "We just have to be championship eligible. Thank the good Lord for bringing me back when he did. Obviously, thanking him for all the success I've had in my life, where I'm at and all my blessings. "To get me back as quick as he did, to persevere through that and that deficit. We're still continuing on. We can't have bad days. I don't know that any of that matters—we're going to bask in this moment here." Perhaps most astounding is Busch's ability to win three straight races at three different race tracks using three different competition packages: low-downforce at Kentucky with a 3.5-inch spoiler; standard 2015 rules at New Hampshire with a six-inch spoiler; and high-drag at Indianapolis with a nine-inch spoiler and one-inch wicker. Logano fell just short of giving team owner Roger Penske, a 16-time Indianapolis 500 winner, his first Sprint Cup victory at The Brickyard. RELATED: Logano says, 'I'm glad he's back, but geez' "You come to Indy, and it's all about the win," said Logano, who took the checkered flag in the season-opening Daytona 500 this year. "You either win or finish last. It doesn't really matter anywhere in-between. At least that's the way I race when I come to a track like this. I feel like, at Daytona and Indy, it's all about getting trophies and rings and making out with bricks. "Overall, it was a good day, but second hurts. It always does." Jeff Gordon 's last race at The Brickyard as a full-time Cup driver—and his hopes for an unprecedented sixth victory at the 2.5-mile track—suffered an irreparable blow on Lap 50. Racing to the inside of Harvick, Bowyer's Toyota got loose and spun. Gordon checked up, trying to avoid Bowyer's car, but the No. 24 Chevrolet swerved out of control into the outside wall in Turn 3. The resulting damage ended any hope of another Brickyard trophy for the four-time Sprint Cup champion. "I was underneath Kasey Kahne and we were just racing for position," Gordon said as his crew worked feverishly in the garage to repair the car. "I saw Bowyer get sideways. I don't know what caused it. Me and Kasey were trying to check up to avoid it. I don't know if he got loose or we just both got loose together. Then I just lost control and got in the wall." Gordon finished 42nd and lost one spot to 11th in the series standings. Without a win this season, Gordon is in jeopardy of missing the Chase and can ill-afford another day like Sunday. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Kyle Busch talks about the importance of spotting and how his dad once got Kurt mixed up with Kyle while spotting a race.
See where drivers will pit for the Windows 10 400 RELATED: Complete lineup at Pocono " See all 43 cars in Sunday's race Pole-sitter Kyle Busch nabbed the pick of pit stalls at Pocono with a fast lap of 178.416 mph in Friday's qualifying. He will service the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in the first pit stall, entering Turn 1 of the Tricky Triangle. Sharing the front row at the start for the Windows 10 400 (1:30 p.m. ET Friday, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM) with Busch is Kevin Harvick , and the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Chevrolet will pit in the second stall, right behind Busch . Joey Logano qualified third and chose pit stall No. 3 for the No. 22 Ford. Richard Childress Racing 's No. 3 driver Austin Dillon will pit in the first pit stall coming onto pit road out of Turn 3. Kurt Busch has an opening in front of the No. 41, which will come in for service at the front of the first set of stalls coming out of Turn 3. Fifth-place qualifier Tony Stewart grabbed the spot in front of Kurt Busch , with a clear rear entry at the back of the second group of pit stalls at Pocono. Starting No. 9 Sunday is the No. 2 driver, Brad Keselowski , who will pit his Team Penske Ford also with a rear opening, choosing the final pit stall in the first block of pits heading into Turn 1. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Edwards, Busch fastest among "Tricky Triangle" competitors RELATED: Practice 3 results " Sunday's Pocono starting lineup Kyle Busch slapped the right side wall hard midway through the final Sprint Cup Series practice session at Pocono Raceway on Saturday. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver brought his No. 18 Toyota back to the garage for major damage fixes. After the repairs, his team sent the Coors Light Pole Award winner back out onto the track -- where he zoomed to the top of the leaderboard. In an all-JGR sweep across two sessions, Busch joined Carl Edwards as a practice topper with a best speed of 175.240 mph. “Rowdy”, winner of three straight races, was followed by his brother, Kurt , at 175.067 mph. Edwards (174.920 mph), Kevin Harvick (174.771 mph) and Jimmie Johnson (174.584 mph) rounded out the top five. Early in the session, Jeb Burton lost control of his No. 26 ride and rocketed toward pit road, hitting the inside wall in a bizarre accident. “That was my fault,” Burton told NASCAR on NBC. “ ... I just screwed up.” Burton will switch to a backup car and start at the tail of the field. Tony Stewart ’s team also decided to switch out the transmission in his No. 14 Chevrolet. He was 18th in the session at 173.157 mph. Tune in Sunday for the Windows 10 400 at Pocono (1:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN/Live Extra). Practice 2 " Results Joe Gibbs Racing continued its streak of recent dominance, placing its four drivers atop the leaderboard in Saturday's first Sprint Cup Series practice session at Pocono Raceway. It's Kyle Busch that has won the past three races, but it was Carl Edwards (175.812 mph) that earned the best speed nod. Matt Kenseth was next at 175.418 mph, followed by Busch (175.408 mph) and Denny Hamlin (175.298 mph). Busch will start first in Sunday’s Windows 10 400 (1:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN/Live Extra) after winning Friday’s Coors Light Pole Award. Kurt Busch (175.285 mph) and Ryan Newman (175.104 mph) rounded out the top five. Martin Truex Jr ., the spring Pocono winner, was 11th at 174.547 mph. Dale Earnhardt Jr . swept the "Tricky Triangle" last year but has not found that same speed this weekend, placing 23rd in Saturday's opening session at 173.718 mph. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Catch up before Sunday's Windows 10 400 (1:30 p.m ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM) What: 42nd annual Windows 10 400 Where: Pocono Raceway, Long Pond, Pennsylvania When: Sunday, August 2, 2015 TV/Radio: NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Distance: 160 laps (400 miles) Green Flag: 1:46 p.m. ET Pit Road Speed: 55 mph Caution Car Speed: 70 mph Fuel Window: 32 laps Competition caution: Lap 15 (Track was washed Saturday night) On The Front Row ( Full lineup ) 1. Kyle Busch , Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota (178.416 mph) 2. Kevin Harvick , Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Chevrolet (178.168 mph) To the rear Jeb Burton , BK Racing No. 26 Toyota (going to backup car) Failed to Qualify None Fastest in Practice ( Full practice results ) First Practice: Brad Keselowski , Team Penske No. 2 Ford (176.606 mph) Second Practice: Carl Edwards , Joe Gibbs Racing No. 19 Toyota (175.812 mph) Third Practice: Kyle Busch , Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota (175.240 mph) Bumps be gone Two months ago, drivers complained about bumps in Turn 2 over Pocono's new waterfall entrance. The track paved over the section, and the racers have recognized the work done. " They did a great job repairing or improving the bumps and issues they had over in the Tunnel (Turn) especially on the apron," said an appreciative Dale Earnhardt Jr . But June winner Martin Truex Jr . may have lost an advantage, saying, "A few differences in the race track with the Tunnel Turn being smooth again, I think that certainly makes it a little bit easier on everybody else." Second consecutive sweep? Earnhardt won both races in 2014, and Truex will attempt to become the eighth driver to complete the season sweep at the Tricky Triangle. In addition to the two Juniors, the six other drivers who have achieved the Pocono sweep are Bobby Allison (1982), Bill Elliott (1985), Tim Richmond (1986), Bobby Labonte (1999), Jimmie Johnson (2004) and Denny Hamlin (2006). Four-Time's last time The all-time wins leader at Pocono, Jeff Gordon , will attempt to make his seventh trip to Richard Petty Victory Lane in his last start at the track. Gordon's last win at the Tricky Triangle came three years ago in this race when he snapped a tie with NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott for lead. The facility incorporated "GORDON" into the start/finish line, and it has a "Thank you Jeff 24" sign greeting patrons and race teams as they drive out of the track under the Tunnel Turn. Birthday bonanza A win would be an early birthday present for Gordon, who turns 44 next Tuesday, as well as his crew chief, Alan Gustafson, who turns 40 next Wednesday when fellow Hendrick crew chief, Chad Knaus, turns 44 as well. Last year's Sunoco Rookie of the Year winner, Kyle Larson , celebrated his 23rd birthday on Friday, and 38th-place qualifier Jeb Burton will join him at that age next Thursday. A two-time Pocono winner, Kurt Busch , turns 37 next Tuesday. Four in a row Coors Light Pole Award winner Kyle Busch will attempt to become the first driver to win four consecutive Sprint Cup Series races since Jimmie Johnson won four Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup races in a row in the fall of 2007. Other drivers with wins across a month of consecutive Sundays include NASCAR Hall of Famers Dale Earnhardt, Bill Elliott , David Pearson, Darrell Waltrip and Cale Yarborough. Others to turn the trick have been Harry Gant, Jeff Gordon , Mark Martin and Billy Wade. If Busch wins, he'll go for five in a row at Watkins Glen and try to become the first driver to accomplish the feat since another NASCAR Hall of Famer, Bobby Allison, did it in 1971. Richard Petty holds the record with 10. Taking the fifth Kyle Busch and Harvick haven't won on five of 23 Sprint Cup Series tracks, and Pocono is one they have in common. In addition to the Tricky Triangle, Harvick is winless at Dover, Kentucky, Sonoma and Texas while Busch hasn't gone to Victory Lane at Charlotte, Homestead-Miami, Kansas and Martinsville. Chevy seeks milestone The Bowtie Brigade has won six consecutive races at the track, and if it wins on Sunday, it will make the 750th victory for the manufacturer. Seventy-six different drivers have won in a Chevy, which has claimed 38 manufacturer titles including the last 12. Gordon boasts the most wins with 92, followed by Johnson with 74, Earnhardt (73), Waltrip (60) and Yarborough (48). Next new winner? Through 20 races, 10 drivers have won their way into the Chase with Kyle Busch on the cusp of making the top 30 and becoming the 11th driver to make the playoffs, leaving five spots with six events until the field is set. Of top 30 drivers without a win in 2015, Larson has the best average finish of eighth. The second-best driver in that group is two-time Pocono winner, Stewart, with a 12.1 average finish. Another former winner, Ryan Newman , is third with a 12.4 average finish. Double-duty dudes JJ Yeley skipped Saturday's practices to head to Iowa and run the XFINITY race. Four drivers competed in Saturday's Camping World Truck Series race at Pocono: Kyle Busch , Austin Dillon , Harvick and Brad Keselowski . Driver Rating Best driver rating average at Pocono based on races since 2005: 1. Denny Hamlin , 108.3 2. Jimmie Johnson , 106.9 3. Kurt Busch , 105.9 Defending race winner Dale Earnhardt Jr ., Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 Chevrolet Former Pocono winners in the field Jeff Gordon (6); Denny Hamlin (4); Jimmie Johnson (3); Tony Stewart , Kurt Busch , Dale Earnhardt Jr ., Kasey Kahne , Carl Edwards (2); Ryan Newman , Joey Logano , Brad Keselowski , Greg Biffle , Martin Truex Jr . (1). FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing driver talks team chemistry post-Sonoma RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings SONOMA, Calif. -- Kurt Busch finished second to younger brother Kyle for the first time in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Sonoma Raceway. Both have been competing in the series full-time since 2005. Both have won plenty of races. Never had they finished 1-2, until now. The elder Busch ( Kurt will be seven years older upon his birthday in August) wasn't complaining following the Toyota/SaveMart 350, but if he'd had his druthers … "Now I wish I could have gotten up there and moved him," Kurt said, grinning. "I was trying to think if we've ever finished 1-2, and we did it today. That's a pretty special moment. I've got over 500 starts. I know he's over 300. Can you imagine, 800 starts between the two of us, we almost have 30 wins each, and that's the first time we've ever finished 1-2." Kurt nearly led the most laps in the 110-lap race, the 16th of 36 points races this season, sitting out front for 43 circuits. Only Jimmie Johnson led more, pacing the field for 45. Kurt led under green for the final time from laps 67 through 74; he was 15th on a restart with 32 laps remaining after pitting when many others stayed out. One by one, he picked his way through the field, the run briefly delayed by an off-track excursion moments after he passed Joey Logano ( Team Penske ) for fourth with 15 laps remaining. "I've lost all rear grip," Busch told his crew. He'd also picked up a noticeable amount of debris on the front of his Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet as well. When the caution flew moments later, coming to pit road was a no-brainer, said crew chief Tony Gibson. "We had a tire going down, a left rear tire that was going flat so it actually turned out good," Gibson said. "If we hadn’t pitted that last time there, I feel like we would have been in bad shape. So it actually worked out to our benefit to pit. "We just needed to be about two cars up further on that restart." The final caution saw several drivers hit pit road; Johnson chose to stay out, as did a few others. Busch was ninth on the restart. He passed Clint Bowyer for second with one lap remaining. His brother wasn’t long gone, but gone just the same. "We had a fast car; I think we had the car to win for sure," Gibson said. "There at the end I knew those guys would get swallowed up on old tires. You saw that last year here with 10 to go when (Dale Earnhardt) Junior and those guys pitted and drove right back up through there. "We lost a couple of spots getting on pit road … which probably made the difference and the 15 (Bowyer) held us up a little bit there. But at the end of the day we led a lot of laps, it was an awesome race car and the guys did a great job." Busch was suspended for the season’s first three races, but has won twice (at Richmond and Michigan) since returning. He’s 10th in points and assured of being on of this year’s 16 drivers competing in the Chase for the Sprint Cup . "We almost could have had as many race wins as we had races we were under suspension, so there's so many things that have gone into place for us to be successful," Busch said. "And the number one thing is Tony Gibson. He builds great race cars, and it's a pleasure to drive for him, and I love the team camaraderie. "I haven't had this type of team chemistry since my championship year (2004). It feels good to have that." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Kevin Harvick's engine expires while battling for the lead with Kurt Busch .