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
NASCAR.com’s Jonathan Merryman recaps all the highlights of the Lilly Diabetes 250 as Kyle Busch runs down Ryan Blaney on the final lap to win his second career XFINITY Series race at The Brickyard.
Ryan Blaney blames himself for getting passed by Kyle Busch on the final lap at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the Lilly Diabetes 250.
Ryan Blaney was one lap away from winning at Indy as Kyle Busch runs him down and the backstretch for his second career XFINITY series win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Rain washed away chances to race his way into Daytona, Kentucky events LOUDON, N.H. – It didn’t rain at New Hampshire Motor Speedway Friday, and no one was more pleased with that weather development than driver Ryan Blaney and his Wood Brothers Racing team. Blaney , running a limited schedule for the legendary organization this season, failed to make the 43-car field at Daytona International Speedway and Kentucky Speedway earlier this month when rain canceled qualifying at both events. Friday at NHMS, the 21-year-old Blaney was 16th-fastest for Sunday's 5-hour Energy 301 (1:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR). "We definitely got a lot tighter in the second round for some reason; I'm not sure why," said Blaney , whose No. 21 Ford was fastest in the opening round. "In the second (round) on both laps we were just really too tight and couldn't get the front end to do anything, so we'll go back and try to figure out why we lacked a lot of grip the second run. "We made a good amount of changes, too, to try to get the front end to turn between the first and second session, and it went worse. We'll figure it out. We're just happy to be racing here this weekend." Sunday's start will be the seventh for Blaney this season. It will be the 1,429th for WBR, which has been competing in NASCAR since 1953. Founder Glen Wood will celebrate his 90th birthday Saturday in the team's hometown of Stuart, Virginia. An alliance with Team Penske for 2015 has expanded the group's schedule – this weekend's appearance is the first visit to the 1.058-mile track for the organization since 2008 with NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Bill Elliott . "The past couple of weekends have been pretty tough on us with Daytona and Kentucky getting rained out, knowing we had a fast car, and I think we've got a fast ... Ford Fusion for this weekend," Blaney said. "It's not the starting spot we wanted, but I think our race car will be pretty good and we’ll find that out tomorrow in practice." Blaney's best finish this season came at Talladega where he finished fourth. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
With qualifying canceled, the two drivers sidelined for second straight weekend SPARTA, Ky. -- With rain creating havoc for the on-track activity at Kentucky Speedway, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage has been kept largely on lockdown for three straight days. The weather deck, however, was stacked even more severely against three unfortunate teams who will miss the race because of a qualifying washout. RELATED: Lineup for Saturday's race Part-time teams Wood Brothers Racing (with driver Ryan Blaney ) and Leavine Family Racing ( Michael McDowell ) were sidelined for the second straight weekend after Coors Light Pole Qualifying was canceled by wet weather. The Curtis Key-owned Motorsports Group with driver Travis Kvapil also headed home after the starting lineup for Saturday night's Quaker State 400 (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM) was determined according to the NASCAR Rule Book. NASCAR officials, faced with a third consecutive day of weather-related challenges, opted to cancel qualifying in an effort to provide teams with more practice time ahead of Saturday night's event, the first for a new, low-downforce rules package. Hopes for that practice were dwindling Friday afternoon because of persistent sprinkles at the 1.5-mile track, but cars finally staged for the session at 4:25 p.m. ET. For longtime team co-owner Eddie Wood, he was left to shrug and say, "the rules are the rules." The Wood Brothers No. 21 had made six previous Sprint Cup Series starts with Blaney at the wheel before the two early exits -- at Daytona International Speedway last weekend, and now here in Kentucky. "A lot of times people get it confused with how it works, but we've gone a long time and not missed a race with weather," Wood said. "Missing races, if you're slow and you miss a race because you're not fast enough, is a bad deal. That just kills your soul, but you can't do anything about the weather. We've been really lucky for the past seven years and haven't missed one, but now the numbers seem to be leveling out. I've always heard that numbers always level out and that's kind of what's going on." Rain has plagued every day at Kentucky since Sprint Cup teams arrived for the expanded race weekend. An extended Wednesday practice and its rescheduled make-up session Thursday were washed out, and Sprint Cup teams only completed 50 minutes of opening practice Friday before a heavy shower throttled the speedway. Both Blaney and McDowell tweeted their exasperation before their team haulers headed for the infield tunnel, just before the start of final practice. Wood said the team planned to enter next weekend's race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, hoping that Mother Nature would look kindly on stock-car racing and their team for a change. We can't control the weather, circumstances or road blocks but we have 100% control of our own attitudes. #MakeAchoice — Michael McDowell (@Mc_Driver) July 10, 2015 Mother Nature is playing with my emotions. — Ryan Blaney (@ Blaney ) July 10, 2015 "We're gonna run next week at Loudon, so we'll head up that way and hope we don't get rained out," Wood said. "I'm gonna stop looking at weather apps, I tell you that. I'm done as far as that is concerned." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Smith, Sadler, Blaney and Suarez advance to Dash 4 Cash at Bristol SPEEDWAY, Ind. -- Regan Smith 's eighth place finish in Saturday's Lilly Diabetes 250 XFINITY Series at Indianapolis Motor Speedway wasn't the victory he'd hoped for, but Smith and his JR Motorsports team was still able to celebrate having gotten one step closer to winning a million dollars in the series' Dash 4 Cash incentive program. While race winner Kyle Busch was hoisting trophies nearby in victory lane, Smith accepted a check for $100,000 as the second round winner of the Dash4Cash program. He also collected $100,000 on May 30, after winning the first round at Dover, Delaware. Any driver who wins the first three Dash 4 Cash awards then wins the final round race outright -- Sept. 5 at Darlington -- would total $1 million for the effort. Smith bettered championship leader Chris Buescher , Chase Elliott and Brendan Gaughan to claim Saturday's portion of the winnings. Smith, along with Indianapolis' runner-up Ryan Blaney , third place finisher Daniel Suarez and fifth place finisher Elliott Sadler now advance and are eligible for the third round of competition Aug. 21 at Bristol Motor Speedway. "We had three battles we were fighting today,'' Smith said standing alongside his No. 7 AmericasPower.org Chevy covered in pretend dollar bills. "First and foremost we wanted to win the race and we weren't capable of doing that today. We knew that so then we wanted to win the money and gain points on the 60-car and we did both of those things today and that's what we've got to keep doing every week. "I know as a company we're working hard to get going further forward. "I thought we could have been anywhere from 6th to 10th . We'll take that and we're going to bust our ass the rest of the year." Smith, last year's championship runner-up sits fourth in the rankings entering next week's XFINITY Series race at Iowa Speedway. He trails Buescher by 51 points. In the meantime, Smith joked that he already had an idea how to spend at least a portion of his now $200,000 Dash 4 Cash effort. "I'd like to buy a cool box, I'm really hot right now," he joked with a big smile. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Kyle Busch breaksdown his last lap winning move against Ryan Blaney to earn his second career XFINITY Series win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Kyle Busch talks about his last-lap pass on Ryan Blaney in the Lilly Diabetes 250, the new aero package and battling the heat during an exhausting race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
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