In the 107 year history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway there hasn’t been a more dominant performance then the one Kyle Busch delivered this weekend.
After leading 62 of 63 laps in Saturday’s victory in the Lilly Diabetes 250, Busch saved the best for last on Sunday leading 149 of 170 laps en route to becoming the first driver in history to sweep both poles and races at the Brickyard holding off Matt Kenseth by 2.126 seconds to score the victory.
Busch also became the second driver in history to win back to back Brickyard 400’s joining Jimmie Johnson as the only drivers to accomplish the feat.
“I felt pretty good to be up front and obviously you’ve got to do everything in your power to not screw it up,” Busch said.
“I can imagine if I would have … beaten one of those guys with the super fast cars [in the past] how they would have felt because I know how I would have felt here today.”
Busch talked about how important the restarts were today at Indy with track position being at a premium.
“We had the race in our hands that we can manipulate the restarts how I needed to and make sure that I got to the No. 1 spot and Matt [Kenseth] was able to do the same thing last week [at New Hampshire],” Busch said.
“Each and every week, it’s power to the leader. That’s what we’ve all kind of asked for with this bigger restart zone and stuff, too, so when you are the race leader that you’ve earned that right to restart how you want.”
Jimmie Johnson was able to rally to a third place finish after being a lap down late in the going. He was followed by: Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson rounded out the top five.
Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr., Austin Dillon, and Paul Menard rounded out the top ten.
Notables included: Tony Stewart 11th, Jeff Gordon 13th, Chase Elliott 15th, Kurt Busch 16th, Brad Keselowski 17th, Kasey Kahne 18th, Clint Bowyer 21st, Danica Patrick 22nd, Ryan Newman 31st, and Carl Edwards finished 35th after being caught up in a late race incident.
In a race lacking highlights, the highlight of the race came after the checkered flag had fallen when Stewart and Gordon took a ceremonial lap around the 2.5 mile oval side by side in what was likely barring unforeseen circumstances the last Brickyard 400 for both sure fire hall of famers. After coming back on pit road, Stewart and Gordon hugged.
“For us to share that moment together, I mean that’s probably our last lap around here in a professional race, and I’ll cherish that moment,” Stewart said. “It’s something that doesn’t happen very often.
“It was pretty cool. … We’re never going to get that chance to do that again.”
“Tony and I have gone through a lot over the years, but he and I have become really good friends,” Gordon said. “I was with him when he got hurt this year. … I learned a lot about Tony Stewart. He’s driven. He’s tough.
“To see him in that pain I saw him in and come back and win Sonoma [last month] and be out here driving like this with a chance at a championship when this whole thing is over, that’s impressive.”