Yesterday, the NASCAR Cup Series did their second ever race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course configuration. Last year’s race proved to be worthwhile, but was hindered by issues caused by the track’s curbs. With the curbing issue solved and the Gen 7 car built to be suited for road courses, many were excited for this round at the Brickyard.
Also, former Formula 1 star Daniil Kvyat made his NASCAR debut in this race, driving the #26 Toyota for Team Hezeberg. This brought in a little more hype for the race.
The first corner was messier than usual, but the only real moment of note (besides drivers leaning on eachother three-wide) was Justin Haley spinning near the rear. The first lap was completed without issue, despite a majority of the field being two abreast. After all this, Tyler Reddick in the #8 led.
Ross Chastain in the #1 spun starting the second lap, with Denny Hamlin in the #11 following suit. Despite all these issues, there wasn’t a caution for incident. The rest of the stage was mostly clean, barring a few isolated incidents, and Chase Briscoe in the #14 won the stage after the leaders pitted and he stayed out.
The start of stage two had Kevin Harvick spin in the first corner, with multiple cars darting off track to avoid him. As the field spread out, there were hardly any incidents other than Aric Almirola in the #10 barreling into Kyle Larson in the #5, damaging both cars but not causing a caution.
After a similar story to stage one, the #20 Christopher Bell won the second stage in similar fashion to Briscoe.
The final stage started out relatively tame compared to the other two. Bell started the stage without challenge, but was quickly put under pressure by Reddick, who passed him swiftly.
A few laps of relative peace was interrupted by a huge crash. The #5 of Larson lost brakes going into a heavy braking zone. The #42 of Ty Dillon was unfortunately caught up in this, taking a massive hit from Larson rocketing towards him, ending both of their races. The caution was thrown.
Reddick led the restart, and the cars behind him were battling fiercely for every inch on the track, going two and three wide into every other corner. Behind them, the #4 of Kevin Harvick and the #48 of Alex Bowman got together, causing lots of damage to the both of them, ending both of their races.
The rest of the stage played out normally, until a big piece of debris from the #20 of Bell found itself on the middle of the straight, causing a late race caution.
The late race restart was just as chaotic as much of the rest of the race, with Ryan Blaney in the #12 being turned in front of the field and Ross Chastain in the #1 cutting the corner completely, and taking the lead from Reddick. Chastain would get a 30 second time penalty after the race, but still battled with the #8. After it was all said and done, the #8 cleared Chastain, and went on to claim his second career win at the Brickyard!
After Tyler Reddick, second place went to the #2 of rookie Austin Cindric. Behind him in third place was Penske affiliate and fellow rookie Harrison Burton in the #21. The third rookie Todd Gilliland in the #38 claimed fourth, and Bubba Wallace in the #23 finished fifth. Joey Logano piloted his #22 to a respectable sixth, ahead of Xfinity regular AJ Allmendinger in the #16. The #34 of Michael McDowell finished eighth, with Cole Custer in the #41 and Chris Buescher in the #17 rounding out the top 10.
Featured photo from @NASCAR on Twitter.