For the 22nd time, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series raced at the fabled Indianapolis Motor Speedway. And once again, it was an interesting race. In fact, when the checkered flag flew, it flat turned out to be history making in more ways than one. Following are 10 things we learned in the Brickyard 400.
Getty ImagesBrian Lawdermilk
1. The usual suspects
At the Brickyard 400, Carl Edwards qualified on the pole, followed by Joey Logano and David Ragan. That was the exact same order they qualified in a week earlier at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Weird, huh?
Getty ImagesChris Graythen
2. Smoked out
For the first half of the Brickyard 400, Tony Stewart looked racier than he had in weeks. Unfortunately, some questionable late-race pit strategy left the three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion and local hero buried in 28th place at the end of the afternoon.
NASCAR via Getty ImagesSean Gardner
3. From the back
Ryan Newman had to start last on the grid because a side window blew out during qualifying, which caused NASCAR to disallow his time. But he made up for it in the race, driving all the way up to 11th place by its finish.
Getty ImagesRobert Laberge
4. What a drag
NASCAR experimented with a high-drag package at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the initial reactions from drivers were something less than overwhelmingly positive. This week, the normal aero package will be brought back at Pocono Raceway.
NASCAR via Getty ImagesTodd Warshaw
5. Hendrick hurting
In the first 21 editions of the Brickyard 400, Hendrick Motorsports scored nine victories. On Sunday, Jimmie Johnson was the best finisher in the four-car Hendrick fleet, and he was a hugely disappointing 15th.
Getty ImagesJerry Markland
6. Streaks are made to be broken
Chevrolet had won 12 straight Brickyard 400s coming into Sunday, but Kyle Busch ended that streak in his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Speaking of Toyota, Busch's win was huge for the automaker, as it was Toyota's first Brickyard triumph.
7. Logano looming
Kyle Busch's white-hot streak has eclipsed an impressive stretch for Joey Logano, the Brickyard 400 runner-up. In his last seven races, Logano has six top-five finishes, a rock-solid performance record for the Team Penske driver.
Getty ImagesMatt Sullivan
8. Restart reality
Late-race restarts mean everything in NASCAR these days. Kevin Harvick dominated the Brickyard 400, leading the most laps in his Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet. But Kyle Busch was better in the final three restarts, which was enough to get him the victory.
Getty ImagesAndy Lyons
9. Not every ending is happy
The tough-luck story of the race was Jeff Gordon, who finished 42nd in his final Brickyard 400. When Clint Bowyer spun on Lap 50, Kasey Kahne checked up ahead of Gordon, who made contact with Kahne. Gordon’s car was heavily damaged in the incident, ending his hopes for a sixth Brickyard 400 victory.
10. When you're hot, you're hot
With his fourth victory in five races, Kyle Busch is on fire. Busch is now one of 20 drivers in history who have won three consecutive NASCAR Premier Series races. And Busch is now just 23 points away from the top 30, which will make him Chase eligible.