Brickyard Results: 5th, 10th and 18th
Matt Kenseth would lead Joe Gibbs Racing with a fifth-place finish in today’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400 from Indianapolis Motor Speedway, while teammates Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin took the checkered flag in 10th and 18th respectively.
Kenseth started the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota from the 13th position and quickly worked his way up inside the top ten. Shortly after a lap 65 restart Kenseth would enter the top five for the first time. He would come down pit road under caution at the midpoint of the race from the sixth position. The Dollar General crew would put together a great stop that brought Kenseth out of the pits third, but a few cars made the call to remain on the track during the caution leaving him to restart seventh on lap 87. Kenseth would work his way back inside the top five at lap 100. He would remain inside the top ten while battling mostly loose handling conditions on his Camry. Kenseth would come down pit road with 31 laps to go for right side tires and adjustments. Once the field cycled through the final round of stops he would run fifth with 10 laps to go. He would hold that spot to the finish.
Busch started his No. 18 M&Ms MProve America Toyota in the 19th position and was able to work his way into the top 15 over the course of the first 20 laps. Busch would patiently work his way into the top ten and was running eighth for a restart on lap 65. He would hold that spot through the midpoint of the race when a caution flag brought the leaders down pit road. The M&Ms crew would get Busch off pit road fourth, but not all cars would pit and that left the 18 to restart eighth again on lap 87. Another caution would come out with just under 50 laps to go and crew chief Dave Rogers would make a call for a two-tire change, but when an issue slowed the stop, the call was changed to four tires and additional adjustments. Busch would restart in 22nd with 42 laps to go and would re-enter the top 15 with 30 to go. He would come down pit road one final time with just over 20 laps to go. He would run 11th once the field cycled through the round of stops. Busch would gain one more spot over the final laps to finish 10th.
Denny Hamlin started the No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota in the fourth position and held that position through the opening laps, but he would radio in to crew chief Darian Grubb that the car had become extremely loose just a few laps into the run. Hamlin would drop back in the field and with no caution through the opening 1/4th of the race the FedEx team would have little time on pit road to make major adjustments. He would run as the last car on the lead lap in 21st at the midpoint of the race when a caution flag flew. Hamlin would restart 20th with 73 to go and was able to drive back toward the top 15 as he ran 16th at lap 100. A caution with just under 50 laps to go would allow Hamlin to pit restart 12th with 42 laps to go. He would re-enter the top ten just two laps later. Hamlin would actually lead a lap with 20 to go while the field cycled through a round of green flag stops. He would come down for a final four-tire change with 17 laps remaining and was running 19th when the field completed the cycle of stops. Hamlin would gain one more spot over the final laps to finish 18th.
Ryan Newman won the race, followed by Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Tony Stewart and Kenseth rounded out the top five. There were three cautions for a total of 14 laps and 20 lead changes among 12 different drivers.