Kyle Busch starts weekend off right by winning Lilly Diabetes 250 at Indianapolis …

Posted: July 27, 2015 in Uncategorized

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 Chevrolet, and in doing so earned a $100,000 bonus in the NASCAR XFINITY Series “Dash 4 Cash” program.


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