Kyle Busch wins Crown Royal 400: 5 things learned

Jun 13, 2015; Brooklyn, MI, USA; Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Busch (18) during practice of the Quicken Loans 400. at Michigan International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 13, 2015; Brooklyn, MI, USA; Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Busch (18) during practice of the Quicken Loans 400. at Michigan International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /

Kyle Busch picked up a big win and kissed the bricks as he won the Crown Royal 400 at Indianapolis.

The two best drivers on the track at the moment, Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch, battled each other for the win and the right to say they have won at “The Brickyard.” However, Harvick did not have enough as Kyle Busch picked up his third straight win of the season and his fourth win in five weeks. It wasn’t easy for Busch as he had to endure the dreaded Green-White-Checkered thanks to multiple cautions at the end of the race.

For Kyle Busch, he needs all the points he can to get into “The Chase” as he has to be in the top-30 by the time it starts. After missing a majority of the beginning of the season, Busch has turned a serious leg injury into one of the best stories on the year.

He has overcome just about everything thrown his way, now he has tied himself with Jimmie Johnson for the most wins on the 2015 Sprint Cup Season. It looked like Busch’s return to NASCAR this year was going to be all for nothing as a couple of wrecks put huge dents in his chances. Busch persevered, and now he is on a tear like none other.

Even better for Kyle Busch, he now gets to kiss the bricks and can say that he has won at Indianapolis. The summer of Kyle Busch is in full tilt.

With Busch’s win, here are five things learned at Indianapolis 500

1. Jeff Gordon‘s farewell to Indianapolis was a sad one

Jeff Gordon won the first race at Indianapolis, and has won more races than any other driver at the track. Sunday, in his final farewell at Indianapolis, Gordon was all smiles before the race and he looked like he was going to be a major factor in the race too.

That all came to a head as he and Clint Bowyer spun out on the track. As Bowyer got air underneath Kevin Harvick, Bowyer ended up spinning out, which caused Gordon to spin out too.

Gordon would get back on the track, but internal issues within his car would not allow him to get up to the required speed and as a result, he spent the day in the garage. For Gordon, he is competing for one of the last spots in “The Chase” and can’t afford to have a poor race with no win in his back pocket.

At a place like Indianapolis, it’s a shame to see Gordon’s last run there end like this.

2. Kevin Harvick is gearing up in defense of his Sprint Cup Championship

If you want to know just how good Kevin Harvick has been this season, he has finished in the top-5 14 times already. Whenever another driver gets on a roll, Harvick is right there with them competing for the win so that they don’t gain any ground on him in the points.

When it comes to “The Chase,” you have to win races or virtually be right there for the win. That’s what Harvick does, and that’s why the format will allow him to be a strong championship contender for many years to come. At Indianapolis, Harvick was strong again and it’s going to take quite the effort to pry his title away from him.

He’s putting on the best performances of his career on a weekly basis, and Indianapolis was no different for the No. 4 team as Harvick finished second.

3. There’s no place like home for Tony Stewart

All season long, it has been a struggle for Tony Stewart to finish better overall than 20th. At his home track in Indianapolis, Stewart looked like his old self as he ran toward the top and looked like his old self on the track. At this point for Stewart, it’s going to take a win to get into “The Chase” as the points thing just isn’t going to happen.

Even at the greatest of odds, you can never count Stewart out on the track. Indianapolis might be the launching point for his season, and if it is, those drivers fighting for one of those last few spots will be looking in their rear-view mirror for the No. 14.

4. Joe Gibbs Racing is dominating the field

Whether it’s Carl Edwards capturing poles, Kyle Busch winning three of four races or having the entire team finish in the top-10, Joe Gibbs Racing has been dominant the entire summer as all four drivers look to bring home a Sprint Cup Championship.

When “The Chase” arrives, it’s every man for themselves, but the unity and chemistry between the team at JGR has been second to none. The only other team that has come close to rivaling them in recent weeks, are the Fords of Team Penske.

The two teams have created for a great summer battle, and as a result, everyone has been treated to some great summer racing.

5. As “The Chase” nears, so does the potential for several great stories

2015 has been one of the most compelling years in NASCAR to date. There are several drivers on the rise, drivers adding championships to their trophy case and legendary drivers on the way out. With the way the season has shook out thus far, there exists a potential for a big time story by season’s end.

The first being that it is Jeff Gordon’s last season, and after Sunday’s race he is fighting for a spot at competing for one final championship. Would there be a better way to end a career than one last title. The potential for great stories don’t stop there as his teammate Jimmie Johnson is aiming for his seventh championship, which would tie him for most all time with Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Richard Petty.

Add in Kevin Harvick looking like a strong contender to defend his championship, Kyle Busch looking to turn tragedy into triumph and Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski looking to further their stars in the sport, and the end of the 2015 season is only going to get even better.

With each race that gets closer to Homestead, the intensity is going to greater on the track, and at the end, a great story will unfold.

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