Owner, NFL head coach: 'You're never quite sure' how an athlete will respond RELATED: Timeline of Busch's wreck and recovery Following Kyle Busch 's second win in three races since returning from a compound fracture of the right lower leg and a left mid-foot fracture, the No. 18 team owner said the comeback was "a great sports story." The three-time Super Bowl winner as head coach of the Washington Redskins elaborated Monday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio and recalled another leg injury -- one sustained by Joe Theismann, who led Gibbs to his first Lombardi Trophy. A three-time winner of the Sprint Cup Series championship, Gibbs compared his NASCAR and NFL experiences with injury, noting he's a fan who likes a great comeback story. But a return to competition isn't always in the cards. Thirty years ago, Theismann suffered an open fracture of the tibia, or shinbone, while the fibula broke through the skin when New York Giants linebackers Lawrence Taylor and Gary Reasons connected with the quarterback and snapped his right leg. When Busch had a compound fracture of the right lower leg and a left mid-foot fracture during February's NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway, the coach turned owner wasn't certain what the prognosis would be for his driver. "I knew that the surgery on the bigger bone in his right leg, we probably would be OK with that," Gibbs said. "What you worry about is a foot like that, which had the broken bones in his foot ... because we know how much pressure and everything (that takes) … We all felt from the very beginning that was going to be the injury that was going to be the hardest to come back from. "So anyway, you see that in sports. I've had Joe Theismann's injury in the NFL that ended his career. You're never quite sure. Is there an injury that would take somebody years to come back from or maybe end their career? "So all those things are kind of going through your mind. Then the second thing is how does an athlete deal with a severe injury like that?Does it make him become more cautious? Is he apprehensive about getting back in the car?" Gibbs said any fears he had were eased quickly when Busch was off of pain medications and trying to exercise in bed after surgery on his foot. But the team was still concerned about the road course at Sonoma Raceway being Busch's biggest challenge once he got back behind the wheel. "It's rare that you see somebody with a severe injury, like Kyle had, that we all witnessed and we all saw, and then to have him, four months later, come back in the race where we were the most concerned about him, being a road race, and to have him win the road race," Gibbs said. "And then to come back two weeks later and win the race (at Kentucky), it's a great comeback story. It's got all the things we love about sports in that you get to see somebody's life, how they deal with real adversity." As a team owner, Gibbs witnessed how his team dealt with the uncertainty of racing without its quarterback for the first 11 races of the season. "Our race team dealt with the adversity of having Kyle out for 11 weeks," Gibbs said. "Think about the guys going to the race track. They're going over the wall. They're doing all these things. The crew chief is working on things knowing that we're in a big hole, and we don't even have our driver so for 11 weeks they went through all that and then for us to be able to bounce back and get a couple wins. I just think it's a neat story, and I think it's one that kind of captures people." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
All four of team's cars place in top five in Quaker State 400 SPARTA, Ky. -- Winning a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is a proud accomplishment for any team in the league. But to take the checkered and land all four of a team's drivers in the top five is an even bigger success. It's a feat so impressive that it hadn't been done since Roush Fenway Racing in August 2008 at Michigan International Speedway. That is, until Joe Gibbs Racing rewrote record books Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway. JGR's four-car powerhouse was led by Saturday's Quaker State 400 race winner Kyle Busch , followed by teammates Denny Hamlin , Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth in third through fifth, respectively. "What a great night for Joe Gibbs Racing ," Kenseth said after the race. "I am really happy for all those guys and the organization, and I think we all learned a lot of stuff. You know, we were kind of off all night, but we kept fighting and had some great pit stops and good strategy and got a decent finish out of it." As Kenseth alluded to, the task wasn't an easy one for the team, as all four cars were dealt a heavy hand with the new rules package debut atop of the standard trickiness of Kentucky Speedway's uneven surface. Busch's win among the difficulties was another feather in the No. 18 team's hat, as the group has been battling the odds since the driver's return to full-time competition in May following his early-season injuries. "Obviously, the night went real well for us," Busch said in a post-race winner's press conference. "But in general, man, it was really, really good to get out there and race like that tonight and to run up front and put on a good show ... but most importantly I can't say enough about (crew chief) Adam Stevens, my team, everyone that did such a great job for me and gave me a great race car to go out there and perform like I did and just to be able to put it all together throughout 400 miles." For Edwards, the top-five finish was the defeat of a frustrating battle he had been fighting throughout the weekend. "I talked to Carl today on the phone for quite awhile, right before I flew over," team owner Joe Gibbs said. "And we were kind of ‑‑ and to be quite truthful, he was worried. He said, 'you know, I just didn't feel good with the package, I thought some of our other cars were better than me' and we had a long discussion on it." The newest member of the Joe Gibbs Racing clan, Edwards joined the organization at the beginning of the 2015 Sprint Cup season. While he won the Coca-Cola 600 in May at Charlotte, the No. 19 driver's performance this season has been mediocre the remainder of the year, only recording one other top 10 besides his win before Kentucky. "I got to tell you, I was, I had a big applaud when I saw that 19 come roaring up through there," Gibbs said of Edwards. "It was really a big deal." Edwards and the rest of his teammates seemed to have found something strong in the new rules package this weekend, an achievement that stumped other big-name teams such as Stewart-Haas Racing and Hendrick Motorsports . It's an aerodynamic change that awarded a plethora of control to the driver -- and exposed any flaws in driving ability. "We've been working on it," No. 20 crew chief Jason Ratcliff said after the race. "As soon as we knew it was coming, we know that if you put it back in the driver's hands, it's going to be good for JGR. We've got what I think is four of the best in the business and it showed tonight. So we've been working on it hard and it's just one of those weekends where it paid off for us." While raw talent has proven beneficial in the Sprint Cup Series, another crucial element is the ability to work with one another, despite the notion that stock car racing is often considered a solo sport. This weekend, the Joe Gibbs drivers seem to work as a cohesive unit, evident in each of their improvements throughout the weekend. "We have just been working very well together as a group," Edwards said. "Denny (Hamlin) was basically my counselor the other day after practice. I was so frustrated, I thought my car was terrible. I went straight over and talked to him and he helped me a little bit. "... It's a good group and it's cool to be a part of it. These guys, they really push me a lot. It's cool when your teammates are this fast. It's really neat for me." Hamlin agreed, adding, "Any time you have a driver of caliber of when Kyle (Busch) came in, Matt (Kenseth), and now Carl (Edwards), it just continues to push you to go faster. And push you to do your job better and that's what ‑‑ when you can feed off each other like that, that's typically how you get to an elite level." Saturday night's showdown in the Bluegrass State saw the JGR drivers rise to the occasion, battling to the front. And while the group works together melodiously off the track, the race even witnessed the teammates battling one another for the lead. It was a sight that showed the drivers' competitiveness, but probably also set owner Gibbs' nerves awry, according to Ratcliff. "I would say when they were three-wide, he was probably hiding his eyes," Ratcliff said with a chuckle. "I would be." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth and Joe Gibbs reflect on Joe Gibbs Racing's dominating day at Kentucky Speedway with all four drivers finishing in the top five.
TRD president: 'Not sure what Michael Waltrip Racing is going to do' With four victories in the last five races, thanks to Kyle Busch , and Busch's Joe Gibbs Racing teammates also holding wins that practically put them into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup , Toyota is on a roll. David Wilson, president of Toyota Racing Development, told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Tuesday that the manufacturer has its sights set on more teams making the 2015 Chase while also looking ahead to its 2016 lineup. Wilson compared Toyota's comeback to JGR's own, saying the seeds for 2015 success were sown during one of its worst seasons since joining the Sprint Cup Series in 2007. "2014 was one of our worst years since we came into the sport, into the Sprint Cup Series and certainly one of Joe Gibbs Racing 's worst years," Wilson said. "But we started that turnaround last summer literally. That was when we got the big wake-up call. We just missed it on this no ride-height rule. Our engines were a little bit off, and we buckled down. "Really the turnaround started, I trace it to Chicago of last year, almost a full year ago where our performance gradually started getting better. We were able to get the three Joe Gibbs Racing drivers into the Chase. Denny nearly won the championship at Miami, but that was, to be fair, more to do with the format of the Chase." Last Sunday, the manufacturer earned its first Brickyard 400 win, the last of the 23 premier series circuits where it hadn't won a race. Rather than resting on its laurels, Toyota is looking to add more cars to NASCAR's playoffs. If Busch moves into the top 30 in points, a quarter of the field will be driving Camrys, but Wilson is shooting for closer to half of the 16 drivers. "I've said as one of three manufacturers that statistically we need to load that funnel at Chicago, arguably with five, six, seven Toyotas," Wilson. Michael Waltrip Racing with Clint Bowyer 's No. 15 team and David Ragan 's No. 55 are the manufacturer's two highest-ranked drivers without wins, sitting 15th and 24th respectively in the standings. Based on points, the No. 15 driver is currently in the provisional Chase Grid, but if Busch makes the top 30, Bowyer will be bounced without a win. As the manufacturer attempts to add those MWR teams to this year's Chase, Wilson wasn't certain about the organization's future with Toyota. "We are talking to a number of organizations about the future, and certainly in the near-term, we're not sure what Michael Waltrip Racing is going to do," Wilson said. "They've yet to announce their plans. Certainly we have had a rich history in the sport together. We got our butts kicked together in 2007, our first year, and you forge very close and personal relationships when you have those trials together. "Whatever they decide to do, we certainly wish nothing but the best for them." Wilson has acknowledged discussions with Furniture Row Racing owner Barney Visser about the Denver-based team's potential manufacturer move from Chevrolet to Toyota. But the TRD president suggested that Furniture Row, like Toyota itself, was focused on its 2015 Chase efforts. "Regarding Furniture Row Racing , again they haven't announced their plans for next year certainly," Wilson said. "I imagine they're focusing on getting Martin Truex well-positioned in the Chase as well and competitive." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
See what the driver of the No. 18 Toyota needs to make the Chase RELATED: Updated series standings " Latest Chase Grid With only six races left until the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup , it's time to check up on Kyle Busch , driver of the No. 18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing , as he tries to rebound from early-season injuries and make the Chase. WHAT JUST HAPPENED: The beat goes on for Busch, who won for the fourth time in five races, taking the Crown Royal Presents the Brickyard 400 in overtime on Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Busch held off Joey Logano on the final restart during a green-white-checkered finish to get his first Cup win at the famed 2.5-mile superspeedway. Busch led only 19 of the 164 laps, but he was perfect on the late restarts en route to his 33rd win in the premier series and fourth since returning from injuries sustained in the season-opening NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway. WHAT HE NEEDS: With four wins this season, Busch still needs to finish in the top 30 in the standings and be able to start the remaining regular-season races to be eligible for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . With six races to go before Chicagoland, Busch is unofficially 23 points behind Justin Allgaier , who is in 30th place. At his current pace, Busch needs 19.68 points per remaining event or an average finish of 24th place. WHAT'S NEXT: The Sprint Cup Series heads to Pocono Raceway for the Windows 10 400 at 1:30 p.m. ET on Aug. 2 (NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM). Busch finished ninth earlier this season at the Tricky Triangle in his third race since returning from injuries. It was his best finish in his comeback until he won two races later at Sonoma. For his career, Busch has eight top-10 finishes in 21 Cup starts at Pocono. He has an average finish of 18.3 and a driver rating of 84.6. WHAT THEY'RE SAYING: Really hurts to be so close to this one. Wanted it bad for RP. Had awesome restarts. Tired of finishing second. @KyleBusch is on fire — Joey Logano (@joeylogano) July 27, 2015 If you love cars you have to love @ToyotaRacing and @KyleBusch They build them he drives them. Congrats! — Michael Waltrip (@mw55) July 26, 2015 Pucker Up! @KyleBusch @CoachJoeGibbs JD Gibbs and the @Skittles crew are kissing the bricks at Indy! #Brickyard400 pic.twitter.com/luNe90JjHx — Joe Gibbs Racing (@JoeGibbsRacing) July 26, 2015 Seeing JD Gibbs today around the track made my day. He is a Great man and I miss seeing him more. — Steve Letarte (@SteveLetarte) July 27, 2015 RETWEET to congratulate @JoeGibbsRacing ! They swept both poles & races this weekend at @IMS , 2nd week in a row! pic.twitter.com/KGUnVLLHxJ — Toyota Racing (@ToyotaRacing) July 27, 2015 FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
No. 18 team is clicking, winning four of last five races RELATED: Where Busch's streak ranks " Kyle's post-Indy Facebook page Two days after a dramatic and dazzling victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway -- his third consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup win and fourth in five weeks -- Kyle Busch still sounded awed and amazed. The 30-year-old confessed Tuesday in a national teleconference with reporters that there was a time when he thought his season was over before it started and insisted the guiding force in his recent historic high performance was as much because of the people around him -- doctors, his wife Samantha and crew chief Adam Stevens -- as it was something he's been doing differently. "It was a natural reaction initially," Busch conceded, thinking he wouldn't race again in 2015 after suffering serious injuries -- broken leg and foot -- in the Feb. 21 season-opening XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway. "Fortunately, everything came to plan actually quicker than we all anticipated, and for me, once I started listening to doctors and understanding what all was going on and what all I was going to go through, I realized, 'OK, I'm going to be back this year.' " "They didn't want to rush me coming back too soon and take a chance of reinjuring something. We made the right decisions. I think everything just kind of came together and fell nicely." And that's the understatement of the season. Busch said he will be having further offseason surgery to have plates taken out of his left foot and screws removed from his right leg. And if he responds to that surgery and recovery like he has this season, the competition should be very worried. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver is on a rare and impressive run that seldom happens in NASCAR's most competitive ranks. After missing the first 11 races of the season, Busch has won four times in the nine events he's started. By winning Sunday's Brickyard 400 -- the first victory ever for Toyota in the race -- Busch cut a 58-point deficit to 30th place in the standings to 23 points with six races remaining to decide the 16-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup playoff field. When Busch received a Chase eligibility waiver from NASCAR upon his return, it came with two conditions: that he win a race and be ranked among the top 30 in the drivers standings. When Busch returned to competition in May, he was 179 points behind then 30th place driver Tony Stewart . He's made up 156 points in nine races. Asked on Tuesday if he credits his current win streak and ability to overcome the setbacks to a more mature mentality or extra motivation, the new father Busch had a much simpler answer: people. "I think I would point more so towards the relationship with Adam Stevens and myself," Busch said thoughtfully. "There was never a time and there was never a weekend that we weren't able to speak to one another (when Busch was recovering from injury). "I think that really helps fortify a relationship as much as we could without me being in the race. Then since I've been in the car, just trusting what he's doing and giving him all the feedback I possibly can and letting him go to work. "He's done a really good job -- the whole team (has) of everything that they've put together for me. "Maybe it was a little bit of other stuff, too, studying the racing and seeing what was going on and being hungry for it and wanting it and knowing that this is what I want to do. I don't have anything else in life that interests me as much as driving race cars." The result has been nothing short of amazing -- to watch, to cheer, to chronicle and understandably to take part in. "I definitely think the whole company is really jacked up," Busch said. "Everybody at Joe Gibbs Racing feels everything going and coming together as a whole. Even my teammates, we went to lunch the other day and everybody is just kind of gelling and happy. "Everyone is smiling and they're happy for me and the success that we've had at the 18-car but also the success that the company is starting to put together as well with a bunch of us finishing in the top 10 each and every week. "It's a lot of hard work, a lot of dedication. Adam Stevens and his group of guys on the 18 have really come together and come full circle. It actually started out real tough with them and they were down in the dumps maybe and really weren't sure what was going to happen or who the driver was going to be week-to-week. But Matt Crafton , David Ragan and Erik Jones did a fantastic job filling in for me. And once I've gotten back maybe it took a couple weeks to kind of knock the rust off a little bit, but since then it seems like we're running on all eight cylinders and just have done a fantastic job being able to get our M&Ms Crispy as well as our Skittles Camry into Victory Lane." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
No. 18 driver gives Toyota its first victory at the Brickyard RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings " SHOP: Busch gear "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
Logano has finished second to Kyle Busch twice this season MORE : Full race results " Updated series standings SPEEDWAY, Ind. -- There's no satisfaction to finishing second for Joey Logano . The disappointment weighs a little heavier for the Team Penske driver this time around. Logano, attempting to become only the second driver to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 in the same season, came up short. "You come to Indy, it's all about the win, either win or finish last," Logano said Sunday evening after finishing second to Kyle Busch in the Crown Royal presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard. "At least that's the way I race when I come to a racetrack like this." The 25-year-old had his chances as cautions regrouped the field three times within the final 10 laps. Logano was third, trailing eventual race winner Kyle Busch ( Joe Gibbs Racing ) and Kevin Harvick ( Stewart-Haas Racing ) on a Lap-153 restart. He was still third when the field was reset after a caution for debris set up the first of two attempts at a green, white, checkered finish. And he was second, with a final opportunity, after a third yellow on Lap 159. Although Logano was officially scored out front when the final restart got underway, Busch managed to pull ahead shortly after crossing the line. Logano briefly closed the gap, but Busch held the position. "The worst part," Logano said, "is the same guy beat me the last two times I finished second. I'm glad he's back and all but geez … you don't have to come back like that. "We've been working our guts out all year and he comes right back and (is) doing it. … It's impressive what those guys have been doing, too. That's amazing, the run they're on." Busch, who missed the first 11 Sprint Cup races of the season after breaking his right leg and suffering multiple fractures to his left foot in an XFINITY Series crash at Daytona International Speedway, has won four of the last five Sprint Cup races, including the last three. Crew chief Todd Gordon said there was no gameplan for the final restarts, but he felt comfortable with where his driver was positioned. "We don't get to dictate the plan," Gordon said. "I thought the 4 (of Harvick) was a good car to have behind us (on the restart); we worked with him earlier in the day. Just need to find a little more speed. Our restarts were pretty good. We're getting closer, we can definitely see it, but we need to find a little more speed." Team owner Roger Penske has won a NASCAR championship, and his record in the Indianapolis 500 is sterling. But just like Logano, the wait for a Brickyard win resumes. "Obviously with the guy I drive for, he really wants to win these races and you don't want to let him down," Logano said. "I'm sure it stings for him just as much as it stings for me. "He's been coming here a long time and deserves to get a win here, and I wanted to be the guy and be the team to give it to him." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Busch leads the most laps, wins from pole at Indianapolis RELATED: Complete race results INDIANAPOLIS -- With a relentless charge that forced Ryan Blaney into a mistake on the final lap, Kyle Busch grabbed the lead with a half-lap left at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and took the checkered flag in Saturday’s Lilly Diabetes 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race. Blaney missed his mark in Turn 2 as Busch closed in, and with his momentum broken, the driver of the No. 22 Ford couldn’t stave off Busch’s winning pass on the backstretch. The No. 54 pulled away to win by .421 seconds, as Busch continued his white-hot run with his second XFINITY victory of the season, his second at The Brickyard and the record 72nd of his career. Since returning to competition in May after an injury absence, Busch has won three times in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and twice on the XFINITY circuit. Blaney led by more than .6 seconds when he crossed the stripe to complete Lap 97 of 100. But the lapped car of Derrike Cope slowed his progress on the following circuit, and Busch cut the advantage in half. Busch had closed the gap to .279 seconds when he took the white flag, and constant pressure from the No. 54 Toyota finally forced Blaney into a mistake. "I just got close enough to make him mess up and made him get tight off (Turn) 2, and then I was able to capitalize underneath him with him losing his momentum off of 2 and being able to get under him," Busch said. "It was the class of the field. We should have won this thing going away, but I guess we had to make it exciting." With the XFINITY Series running a higher-drag package this weekend, Busch tried in vain -- until the final circuit-to get around Blaney in the closing laps. "I was trying to back up so I could get some clean air and keep my tires as fresh as possible, but I got too far back and got out of the draft and then I couldn’t make up any ground anymore, so I was kind of stuck back there about eight or 10 car lengths and not really going anywhere," he explained. "Fortunately, a couple of lapped cars messed up his momentum and didn’t mess up mine as much, and I was able to get through there. Once I got back close enough to him, I pushed him into a mistake and that was all that it took." A despondent Blaney took the blame for the loss. "It’s my fault, obviously," Blaney said. "You saw it. I screwed up. This team doesn’t deserve that. I dropped the ball for them today, and I take full responsibility. It’s all my fault…I got tight and I got too deep and didn’t get off the long corner. "It’s a pretty bad feeling to throw one away here at the Brickyard. There was no pressure for 24 laps, and the last one I just made a mistake." Blaney had taken the lead from Busch on a restart on Lap 76, after Busch’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Erik Jones , hit the wall on lap 70, and NASCAR called a caution because of fluid on the track. Rookie Daniel Suarez ran third in his first visit to The Brickyard, collecting his third straight top-five of the season. Paul Menard finished fourth, followed by Elliott Sadler , Kevin Harvick and Kyle Larson . Regan Smith came home eighth and claimed his second straight $100,000 bonus in the XFINITY Series Dash 4 Cash program, keeping his hopes alive for a $1-million payday. If Smith is the highest-finishing eligible driver at Bristol (Aug. 21) and Darlington (Sept. 5), he’ll earn a total of $1 million. Blaney, Suarez, Sadler and Smith are the eligible Dash 4 Cash drivers at Bristol, having secured their spots as the top four finishing series regulars at Indianapolis. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
JGR driver claims back-to-back poles at Loudon, Indy RELATED: Full Indy lineup INDIANAPOLIS -- If Toyota and Ford are to break the Chevrolet stranglehold on Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the two manufacturers took a positive step in that direction during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series time trials on Saturday. Underscoring the recent resurgence of Joe Gibbs Racing , Carl Edwards toured the 2.5-mile track in 49.056 seconds (183.464 mph) to put his No. 19 Toyota on the pole for Sunday's Crown Royal presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at The Brickyard (3:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, IMS, SiriusXM), edging Joey Logano 's Team Penske Ford (183.139 mph) by .087 seconds. David Ragan (182.886 mph) qualified third in the No. 55 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota. Fourth-place qualifier Tony Stewart (182.823 mph) had the fastest Chevrolet in the final round. Chevrolets have won the last 12 Sprint Cup races at Indianapolis. Stewart, though, had the fastest lap of the afternoon (185.547 mph) in the first round of time trials, which trimmed the number of drivers eligible for the pole from 46 to 12. The Coors Light Pole Award was Edwards' first at the Brickyard, his second of the season, his second in a row and the 15th of his career. "After yesterday, this is amazing," Edwards said. "We started so slow yesterday and we struggled. I think at one point (crew chief) Darian (Grubb) and I were looking at each other going, 'What are we going to do here?' "It was a struggle, and everybody buckled down, worked hard -- I'm so proud of my guys. TRD and Toyota have been putting so much effort into this whole program. Stanley has been behind us 100 percent -- not just me, but Matt Kenseth and our whole team. This is big. It will be neat to start up front." Kyle Busch , Edwards' JGR teammate, will start ninth on Sunday in search of his third consecutive victory in the Sprint Cup Series. Sidelined for the first 11 events of the season by injuries sustained in an accident at Daytona in February, Busch has won three of the last four races and has seven races left in which to regain eligibility for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup by finishing the regular season in the top 30 in the series standings. Entering Sunday's race, Busch is 33rd in points, 58 behind David Gilliland in 30th place. Behind Stewart, Kyle Larson , Kevin Harvick , Clint Bowyer and Dale Earnhardt Jr . will line up fifth through eighth on the grid. After qualifying, Logano and Ragan were quick to point out an unusual coincidence. Edwards, Logano and Ragan started 1-2-3, in that order, a week before at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, a one-mile flat track. The Sprint Cup cars are running a completely different high-drag aerodynamic package this week, with a nine-inch-tall rear spoiler and a one-inch wicker. Last week at Loudon, the cars featured the regular 2015 rules package with a six-inch spoiler. "David and I were just laughing up here that these are the same three race cars that started up front at Loudon," Logano said. "A completely different race track, different package and the same cars are fast. It's good for us. We're close. Second always hurts, but it's nice to be up toward the front, especially here." Jeff Gordon 's final run at Indianapolis as a full-time driver didn't start the way the driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet would have hoped. "I really think our 3M Chevrolet is really good," said Gordon, who qualified 19th. "It's been good all weekend. I feel like I underestimated the grip. I had a little wiggle out of three coming to the green and that concerned me slightly. The grip was there in Turn 4, and I was aggressive into Turn 1, but not aggressive enough. "That's what's disappointing; it wasn't a balance issue or a speed issue. I didn't get enough speed through (Turn) 1. It adds up with this new package. Yeah, I'm pretty disappointed to start back there." Notes: Josh Wise , Jeb Burton and Reed Sorenson failed to make the 43-car field. ... Ryan Newman ’s time was disallowed because he ran his lap without the mandatory right-side window in his car. Newman will start 43rd on Sunday on a provisional.