Archive for July 27, 2015

Image by Joe Skibinski for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Image by Joe Skibinski for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Sunday, July 26, 2015 — Kyle Busch completed a weekend sweep at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a win at the 22nd annual Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard to go with his win Saturday in the NASCAR XFINITY Series Lilly Diabetes 250.

Busch, who missed the first 11 races of the Sprint Cup season due to injury, has remarkably won the last three Sprint Cup races in a row and four of the last five. “I just can’t believe this run right now, I just can’t believe what’s going on,” said Busch, driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Skittles Toyota. “The Skittles Camry was awesome and I knew if you got us out front we could just drive away. It’s really a treat to win here in Indy.” Today’s race came down to a green-white-checkered finish between Busch, on the inside of the front row, and 2015 Daytona 500 winner Joey Logano, who was trying to capture the first Crown Royal 400 at the Brickyard win for legendary team owner Roger Penske.

The run for the Checkered Flag -- Image by Walter Kuhn for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

The run for the Checkered Flag — Image by Walter Kuhn for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

As the green flag waved, Busch took command going into Turn 1 and continued to lengthen his lead until he crossed the Yard of Bricks as the victor with a .332 of a second winning margin over Logano. Busch was asked if the injury that caused him to miss races earlier this season brought him a different perspective that has helped his recent performance.

Kyle Busch wins the Crown Royal presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway -- Image by Chris Owens

Kyle Busch wins the Crown Royal presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard — Image by Chris Owens for IMS

“It must have, I don’t know,” Busch said. “I just think maybe I found my happy place, I don’t know. There’s nothing better than being in victory lane for one of the biggest wins of my career here in Indy, and sweeping the weekend is even bigger yet.”  With today’s performance, Busch, who finished second at Indianapolis in 2012 and 2014, now has nine top-10 finishes in 11 starts at Indianapolis. He led 19 laps in today’s race.

Kyle Busch celebrates with his wife Samantha and son Brexton after winning the Brickyard 400 -- Image by Chris Cross for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Kyle Busch celebrates with his wife Samantha and son Brexton after winning the Brickyard 400 — Image by Chris Cross for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Logano’s runner-up finish is his best at IMS in seven races and his fourth top-10 performance. Logano entered the final restart hoping to secure his first win at Indianapolis. “When you come here to the Brickyard it’s all about the win and you throw caution to the wind, especially in our situation, and you try to just win the race,” Logano said. “It’s checkers or wreckers basically, and we had a good restart – we had good restarts all day – but the last one was a good one. The 78 (Martin Truex Jr.) got to Kyle and started pushing him and when those cars hooked up and locked bumpers it takes so much drag off the car and they were able to push ahead and I wasn’t going to do nothing there. I got a good draft down the backstretch and he was going to block the bottom and I didn’t have a good enough run to get underneath him. All I could do was hope that he missed his corner and try to get underneath him that way. It’s just so frustrating and close to winning here at the Brickyard, and second hurts.”

Third-place finisher and reigning Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick, who led a race-high 75 laps, posted his ninth top-10 finish in 15 races at IMS in his No. 4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet. “Yeah, we lost the lead there (during a late restart),”Harvick said. “The 18 (Busch) and 22 (Logano) got hooked up on the restart there and got by us in Turn 1. The No. 78 (Truex Jr.) and I didn’t really get together and weren’t able to keep the lead. Then I lost the lead and Kyle had a faster pace than I wanted to go and spun the tires, and then he was able to keep the lead. I just didn’t put it together there at the end.” Truex Jr. finished fourth in his No. 78 Furniture Row Visser Precision Chevrolet, which is his best finish in 10 Indianapolis starts.

Rounding out the top five was Denny Hamlin, who finished fifth in the FedEx Express Toyota. Other notables included Ryan Newman of South Bend, Indiana, who finished 11th in the No. 31 Grainger Chevrolet after starting 43rd; polesitter Carl Edwards, 13th in the No. 19 Stanley Toyota; four-time Brickyard winner Jimmie Johnson, 15th in the No. 48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet, and two-time Brickyard winner and Columbus, Indiana, native Tony Stewart, 28th in the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet.

In his 22nd and final start at the Brickyard, Jeff Gordon, of nearby Pittsboro, Indiana, saw his storybook ending for a sixth title thwarted on Lap 50 when Clint Bowyer spun in the north short chute, causing Gordon to spin and resulting in Gordon’s car hitting the inside wall. Gordon made it back to his pit, but his No. 24 3M Chevrolet was seriously damaged. Gordon’s crew made repairs to the car and he returned to the track briefly before heading to the garage for additional work. Gordon returned to the track once more late in the race and finished 42nd after completing 110 laps.

Jeff Gordon is collateral damage dur to -- Image by Michael Roth for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Clint Bowyer loses control of his #15 car and wrecks #24 Jeff Gordon in the process — Image by Michael Roth for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

“I don’t know,” Gordon said. “I was underneath Kasey Kahne and we were just racing for position. 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 ends his Brickyard career with five wins, three poles, 12 top-five finishes, 17 top-10 finishes, 14 races led and 528 laps led in 22 appearances – all records.

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2015 Ticket Information: Fans can buy tickets for the 2015 Red Bull Indianapolis GP and apply for tickets to the 2016 Indianapolis 500Angies List Grand Prix of IndianapolisLilly Diabetes 250 and — Crown Royal Presents theYour Heros Name Here400 at the Brickyard. Fans have three quick, convenient methods to buy tickets:

• Online: Visit www.ims.com/tickets. Tickets are available 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

• Phone: Call 800-822-INDY or 317-492-6700 between 8am-5pm (ET) Monday through Friday.

• In Person: Visit the IMS Ticket Office in the IMS Administration Building located at 4790 West 16th St., Indianapolis, just east of the roundabout at Crawfordsville Road & 16th St., between 8am-5pm (ET) Monday through Friday.

Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are available. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at 866-221-8775 for more information.

Information on parking and camping at IMS events is available at www.ims.com/tickets

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Image by Jim Haines for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Kyle Busch in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 54 Monster Energy Camry, continued his Saturday domination at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, catching Penske Racing driver Ryan Blaney on the last lap for his second win in the Lilly Diabetes 250.

Blaney, in the Penske Racing No. 22 Discount Tire Mustang led laps 76-99, but a bobble coming out of Turn 2 on the last lap after negotiating lapped traffic (in the form of Derrike Cope) allowed Busch, who started on the pole, to dart to the inside for a pass on the back straight and a win by .421 of a second. 

Kyle Busch celebrates after winning the 4th Annual Lilly Diabetes 250 featuring the NASCAR XFINITY Series at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway — Image by: Shawn Gritzmacher

As earlier noted, the lapped traffic in this case was perennial back marker Derrike Cope, who although he was five laps off the pace, chose to run the low-line forcing the leader Blaney to go high and be forced to slow enough to bring a charging Kyle Busch back into play.

Busch who has been driving magnificently for the about the last month, reeled in the young Blaney explaining: “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 when he lost his momentum.”

Busch, who won his first NASCAR XFINITY race at IMS in 2013, has led 206 of 400 laps in the four-year history of the event. “The Monster Energy Camry was the class of the field. We should’ve won this thing going away, but I guess we had to make it exciting. Hopefully it was exciting down the last lap for the fans.”

Blaney took full blame for falling three turns short of the win, showing immeasurable maturity for a young driver. He chose not to discuss Cope’s lapped-traffic role in the final laps of the race. Derrike Cope finished 30th on the day. In 15 starts this season, Cope is 27th in the NASCAR Xfinity standings with 6 DNF’s. (Did Not Finsh)

“It was my fault, obviously,” said Blaney, driver of the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford. “You saw it. I screwed up. The crew did not deserve that. I dropped the ball for them today. I take full responsibility. I got tight and got in too deep and didn’t get right off the corner. I threw it away. It’s a pretty bad feeling to throw one away at the Brickyard. There was no pressure for 25 laps and then the last one – I just made a mistake.”

Following the race, Busch gave further example of his own personal growth since his marriage to Samantha Sarcinella Busch, formerly of St. John, Indiana, the birth of their new son; Brexton and over-coming his injuries from his terrible crash at Daytona. In counseling the 21 year-old Blaney on his second place finish, Kyle said: “I’ve been there. I’ve had plenty of losses. I did have one quite like that at Indy. The first year, we were really good in my own car, felt like we were the class of the field, and I got spun out on a restart. Last year, coming down to the last restart, the 3 car out-muscled me on a restart, and I couldn’t catch up and get back behind him to get by him. It’s a tough business and there’s nothing to hang his hat over. He’s going to be here for a long time. He’s done a really nice job in that 22 car. I didn’t think he had a second-place car today. To finish that well was pretty good.”

Daniel Suarez finished third in his No. 18 ARRIS Honda, followed by Paul Menard in the No. 33 Richmond – Menards Chevrolet, Elliott Sadler in the No. 1 OneMain Financial Ford, reigning Sprint Cup Series winner Kevin Harvick in the No. 88 Morton Buildings Chevrolet and Kyle Larson in the No. 42 Dixie Chopper/Big Machine Records/Jacobsen Chevrolet.

Regan Smith finished eighth in his No. 7 AmericasPower.org Chevrolet, and in doing so earned a $100,000 bonus in the NASCAR XFINITY Series “Dash 4 Cash” program.

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INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, July 27, 2015 – MotoAmerica, the premier U.S.-based motorcycle road racing series, will race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as part of Red Bull Indianapolis GP weekend, Aug. 7-9.

The first-year series has featured great racing across multiple divisions and IMS will be the eighth stop in a nine-round schedule.

“We’re really pleased to be bringing our MotoAmerica Series to Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” said MotoAmerica president and three-time World Champion Wayne Rainey. “There is so much history there at the Speedway and it’s an honor that we get to be a part of that going forward. It’s also great to be sharing the weekend with MotoGP. We have a great relationship with (MotoGP rights holder) Dorna and it gives us a wonderful opportunity to showcase our series to an international audience.”

The premier class for the MotoAmerica Championship is Superbike, featuring a rules package based on a combination of AMA Superbike chassis and 2015 World Superbike Championship engine specifications. Racing alongside the Superbikes (but scored separately) is the Superstock 1000 class, closely aligned to FIM Superstock 1000 rules and run on slick tires.

Other classifications include Supersport, formerly known as AMA Daytona Sportbike, and Bazzaz Superstock 600, the former AMA Pro SuperSport class.

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Photo by Bret Kelley for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

“The racing at the Red Bull Indianapolis GP is terrific every year and MotoAmerica will add even more great competition,” Indianapolis Motor Speedway president Doug Boles said. “MotoAmerica riders hail from all across the country and our fans might discover a new favorite rider over the weekend.”

Top manufacturers including BMW, Ducati, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha are represented on the MotoAmerica grid and a mix of young, up-and-coming riders will battle veterans on the 16-turn, 2.591-mile IMS road course.

Roger Hayden, younger brother of 2006 MotoGP World Champion and current MotoGP competitor Nicky Hayden, will come up from his hometown of Owensboro, Kentucky, to battle in the Superbike division.

“I’m excited for Indy,” said Hayden, who rides for Yoshimura Suzuki. “And not just because of the history the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has, but to be racing the same weekend as my brother, Nicky. We will be racing close to home so there will be tons of family and friends there who have never seen me race before. I’m looking forward to racing in front of them and to get the chance to kiss the bricks, which is something I’ve always seen on TV, would be awesome. I hope to get to do that.”

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2015 Ticket Information: Fans can buy tickets for the 2015 Red Bull Indianapolis GP and apply for tickets to the 2016 Indianapolis 500, Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis, Lilly Diabetes 250 and the Crown Royal Presents the “Your Hero’s Name Here” 400 at the Brickyard.

Fans have three quick, convenient methods to buy tickets:

• Online: Visit www.ims.com/tickets – Tickets available 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

• Phone: Call 800-822-INDY or 317-492-6700 between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday through Friday.

• In Person: Visit the IMS Ticket Office in the IMS Administration Building located at 4790 West 16th Street, Indianapolis, IN, which is just east of the roundabout at Crawfordsville Road and 16th Street, between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday through Friday. Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are available. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at 866-221-8775 for more information.

Information on parking and camping at IMS events is available at www.ims.com/tickets