For the second year the NASCAR Cup Series come to Indianapolis Motor Speedway to run the road course with the Verizon 200.
Before the drivers even take to the track the drama begins with the pre-race inspection process where three teams failed the inspection process twice. The Kaulig Racing number 16 driven by AJ Allmendinger, the Kaulig Racing number 31 driven by Justin Haley, and the Team Hezeberg number 26 car driven by Daniil Kvyat will all lose a crew member for the weekend and their pit stall choice; however, the drivers will get to start the race in the spot they qualified after passing inspection on the third try.
It has also been a rough weekend for William Byron’s number 24 team; on Thursday night shortly after the haulers arrived at IMS, the 24 hauler caught on fire. Car owner Hendrick Motorsports salvaged what they could from the truck, the backup hauler was summoned from North Caroline, and NASCAR allowed HMS to house the 24 car in the garage overnight – they normally remain in the haulers until the garage opens on Friday morning. Team mates and fellow Cup Series teams lent a hand with whatever was needed until the backup hauler arrived.
Daniil Kvyat is a former Formula One driver who is making his NASCAR Cup Series debut in the number 26 car. Front Row Motorsports has appealed the L2 penalty for illegal parts modifications on the number 34 car driven by Michael McDowell and the crew chief will remain on the pit box until the verdict from the appeal comes through. McDowell and FMS face a 100 point deduction in driver and owner points; as well as, a four race suspension of the crew chief. Should McDowell make the playoffs, he would also lose 10 playoff points.
Qualifying for road courses is a bit different from oval races. The drivers are divided into two teams but instead of single car qualifying, they will go out in groups for a 15 minute session. The top five from each group will go out for round two and a 10 minute session to set the pole.
Thirty-eight teams brought cars to the track; all 38 will start the race.
As previously announced, Kurt Busch is out of the number 45 car for the second race with concussion symptoms. Ty Gibbs is filling in for Busch for the second race.
During qualifying, Austin Dillon was charged with making an unapproved adjustment and was not allowed to go out and make a car qualifying run.
Chase Briscoe, Austin Cindric, Todd Gilliland, Kyle Busch, and Ryan Blaney will all move on to the second round of qualifying from Group A.
From Group B; Tyler Reddick, Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, Christopher Bell, and Michael McDowell will move on to round two of qualifying.
With a time of 1:28.35 Tyler Reddick puts his number eight car on the pole with Austin Cindric starting alongside on the front row.
The starting lineup for the Verizon 200:
Martin Truex Jr
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Aric Almirola has to start the race from the back of the field after the crew made an engine change and Cody Ware has to move to the back of the field after the crew made some unapproved adjustments to the car.
Stage one of the race is only 15 laps, stage two is 20 laps, and stage three is 47 laps for a total of 82 laps around the near two and a half mile road course.
Tyler Reddick brings the field down for the green flag start of the race and edges out in front as drivers gets three, four, and five wide going into turn one. Justin Haley gets turns around but the track stays green.
Lap two, Tyler Reddick leads lap one with Chase Briscoe and Austin Cindric battle for second.
Ross Chastain gets into some contact and spins out but the track stays green.
Denny Hamlin spins out and gets off the track, the track stays green.
Lap two, Tyler Reddick has a lead of over a second and a half on Austin Cindric; Chase Briscoe, Christopher Bell, and Joey Logano round out the top five.
Justin Haley brings his car down pit road.
Lap four, Tyler Reddick has increased his lead to over two seconds on Austin Cindric; Chase Briscoe, Christopher Bell, and Michael McDowell round out the top five.
The helmet hose for Daniel Suarez is blowing hot air; says that its cooler when he lifts the visor. He is currently in the top 10 in seventh place.
Denny Hamlin gets off the course after missing turn one. He reports that the car is very loose. After starting in 15th, Hamlin has dropped to 35th.
Lap five, Tyler Reddick has a lead of nearly two and a half seconds on Austin Cindric; Chase Briscoe, Christopher Bell, and Michael McDowell round out the top five.
Lap six, Brad Keselowski spins out but the track stays green.
Ross Chastain spins out after making some contact with the 15 car of Joey Hand.
Lap eight, Tyler Reddick continues to lead the race with a two second lead on Austin Cindric; Chase Briscoe, Christopher Bell, and Michael McDowell round out the top five.
NBC reporters announce that the track temperature is 115 degrees – hot and slick. Drivers are reporting no grip and no lateral grip. The track is 25 degrees hotter today than it was during practice and qualifying on Saturday.
Justin Haley is the only driver not on the lead lap.
Lap eleven, Ross Chastain brings his car down pit road for fresh tires and repairs. He goes one lap down.
Lap eleven, Austin Cindric has closed the gap on leader Tyler Reddick to under two seconds.
Lap 13, Chris Buescher brings his car down pit road and the car catches on fire.
Short pitting, some of the drivers come down pit road including leader Tyler Reddick. Chase Briscoe is the new leader.
With two laps remaining in stage one, Chase Briscoe leads the race with Ryan Blaney in second; Joey Logano, William Byron, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.
Chase Briscoe wins stage one for his third stage win of the season.
The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Martin Truex Jr.
The rumble strip turtles are gone this year, but turn one is turning out to be just as big of an issue for the drivers. Several of them have had major issues and spinning out going into turn one.
Drivers come down pit road for service with Chase Briscoe winning the race off of pit road but not all of the drivers made a pit stop. The crew is reporting that they believe it was the door foam after some contact with Bubba Wallace.
Ryan Blaney leads the race and brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 19. Drivers are five and six wide going into turn one. Kevin Harvick gets turns around.
Lap 20, Ryan Blaney leads the race with William Byron in second; Brad Keselowski, Austin Cindric, and Tyler Reddick round out the top five.
Lap 21, Alex Bowman comes down pit road with a flat tire.
Lap 22, Ryan Blaney has a lead of over half a second on William Byron; Austin Cindric, Tyler Reddick, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.
Kyle Larson brings his car down pit road for damage repairs after some on track contact with Aric Almirola. Almirola also has some damage to his car and has to come down pit road for repairs.
Lap 25, Ryan Blaney has a half second lead on William Byron; Tyler Reddick, Austin Cindric, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.
AJ Allmendinger gets into the sand; Cole Custer and Harrison Burton are also off the track after some contact. Allmendinger had moved up to fifth when he got loose and made a run through the sand.
Lap 28, Ryan Blaney has a half second lead on William Byron; Tyler Reddick, Austin Cindric, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.
Aric Almirola is out of the race; Loris Hezemans is off the track. There are 32 cars on the lead lap.
Brad Keselowski gives up fifth place to come down pit road for service.
Lap 30, more drivers come down pit road for service including second place driver William Byron.
Ryan Blaney leads the race with Tyler Reddick in second; Austin Cindric, Christopher Bell, and Michael McDowell round out the top five.
Lap 33, more drivers come down pit road before it closes before the end of stage two Ryan Blaney has a lead of nearly a second on Tyler Reddick; .
Ryan Blaney and Tyler Reddick come down pit road for service; Christopher Bell is the new leader.
Christopher Bell wins stage two for his first career stage win.
The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Drivers come down pit road for service but several drivers stay out on the track.
Christopher Bell brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 40 with Bell getting out in front for the lead as the drivers get four and five wide going into turn one.
The top five are Christopher Bell, Bubba Wallace, Chase Briscoe, Denny Hamlin, and Ty Dillon.
Lap 41, Christopher Bell has pulled out to a lead of nearly two seconds on Bubba Wallace; Chase Briscoe, Denny Hamlin, and Tyler Reddick round out the top five.
Brad Keselowski misses turn seven and gets off the track but the track stays green.
Lap 42, Christopher Bell has a lead of nearly two and a half seconds on Bubba Wallace; Chase Briscoe, Tyler Riddick, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.
Tyler Reddick passes Chase Briscoe for third and then passes Bubba Wallace for second. Bubba Wallace’s crew chief reported that they are three laps short of making it on one more stop and for Bubba to save fuel.
Loris Hezemans returns to the track 17 laps down. Daniil Kvyat is off the track.
Lap 45, Christopher Bell has a second and a half lead on Tyler Reddick; Bubba Wallace, Ryan Blaney, and William Byron round out the top five. AJ Allmendinger reports a very loose condition in his car.
While there has been some beating and banging and a lot of incidents where drivers have gotten off of the track; there has been only two caution flags at the end of the two stages.
Lap 47, Tyler Reddick has cut Christopher Bell’s lead to just half a second; Ryan Blaney, William Byron, and Bubba Wallace round out the top five.
Daniil Kvyat is back on the track 16 laps down.
Lap 50, Christopher Bell and Tyler Reddick battle for the lead. Reddick takes the lead; Christopher Bell, Ryan Blaney, William Byron, and AJ Allmendinger round out the top five.
Drivers begin making their final pit stops.
Lap 51, Tyler Reddick has a one second lead on Christopher Bell.
Tyler Reddick and Christopher Bell make their pit stops and gives the lead over to Ryan Blaney.
Lap 52, Ryan Blaney has a six second lead on AJ Allmendinger; Michael McDowell, Martin Truex Jr, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.
Michael McDowell makes his pit stop.
Lap 53, Brad Keselowski is stopped on the backstretch after getting loose. He track stays green.
Leader Ryan Blaney comes down pit road for his green flag pit stop and gives the lead over to AJ Allmendinger. Blaney takes fuel only but stalls the car on the way out of his pit box.
Lap 54, the top five are AJ Allmendinger, Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr, Austin Cindric, and Daniel Suarez.
Lap 55, Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr com down pit road for service.
Lap 55, AJ Allmendinger has a lead of over half a second on Austin Cindric; Daniel Suarez, Todd Gilliland, and Kyle Busch round out the top five.
Loris Hezemans is off the track once again with 31 cars on the lead lap.
Lap 56, leader AJ Allmendinger makes his green flag pit stop and gives the lead over to Todd Gilliland.
Lap 58, Todd Gilliland has a third of a second lead on Kyle Busch. Busch makes his pit stop.
The top five are Todd Gilliland, Alex Bowman, Joey Hand, Tyler Reddick, and Christopher Bell.
Lap 59, Alex Bowman comes down pit road.
Loris Hezemans is out of the race.
Lap 60, Todd Gilliland leads the race with Joey Hand in second; Tyler Reddick, Christopher Bell, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.
Daniil Kvyat comes down pit road after spinning out.
Todd Gilliland makes his pit stop and gives the lead over to Joey Hand.
Lap 62 Ty Dillon and Kyle Larson bring out the first caution flag of the race for an on track incident after a big crash that has totaled Dillon’s car. Both drivers are out of their cars and walking to the safety vehicles. Kyle Larson’s car got airborne during its spin.
Tyler Reddick brings the field down for the green flag restart on 63 and the drivers gets spread out across the track. Tyler Reddick takes the lead as the drivers gets three and four wide. Kevin Harvick and Alex Bowman get into a crash. Drivers make a run through the grass to avoid the wreck.
With 17 laps to go, Tyler Reddick leads the race with Ryan Blaney in second; AJ Allmendinger, Chase Elliott, and William Byron round out the top five.
Chase Elliott passes AJ Allmendinger for third.
Sixteen to go, Tyler Reddick ahs a lead of over a second on Ryan Blaney; Chase Elliott, AJ Allmendinger, and William Byron round out the top five.
Fifteen to go, there are 28 cars on the lead lap with four cars out of the race and one car off the track.
Lap 68, Tyler Reddick has a near two second lead on Ryan Blaney; Chase Elliott, AJ Allmendinger, and William Byron round out the top five. Kevin Harvick takes his car to the garage.
Out of the infield care center and ok, Ty Dillon said it was the hardest he had ever been hit.
Lap 71, Cole Custer spins out in a cloud of smoke but the track stays green.
Lap 72, Tyler Reddick has a three second lead on Ryan Blaney; Chase Elliott, AJ Allmendinger, and William Byron round out the top five.
Lap 73, Chase Elliott passes Ryan Blaney for second.
Chase Elliott has had some brake issues during the race.
AJ Allmendinger reports that he has run out of water.
Tyler Reddick has a lead of three and a half seconds on Chase Elliott.
Lap 77 Christopher Bell flat spots a tire and it blows; bringing out the caution flag.
Lap 80, Tyler Reddick brings the field down for the green flag restart. Chase Elliott spins out going into turn one after some contact with Ryan Blaney; Elliott collects William Byron. Erik Jones and Austin Dillon make contact in turn four with Dillon getting stuck in the gravel; Martin Truex Jr was also involved. Chase Briscoe spins out.
Tyler Reddick leads the race.
Lap 81, the caution flag comes out and the race goes into overtime.
Not only is AJ Allmendinger out of water, his cool suit isn’t working.
In the first green/white/checker finish, Tyler Reddick brings the field down for the overtime start with AJ Allmendinger in second. Drivers spread out four and five across the track with Tyler Reddick leading the race. Ryan Blaney gets turned around. Ross Chastain passes Tyler Reddick but Reddick battle to retake the lead. Chastain missed turn one and used the access road to get back on the track. Reddick retakes the lead.
Tyler Reddick takes the white flag.
Tyler Reddick wins his second Cup Series win of the season and his second road course win. Reddick’s son runs out on the track to hug his dad.
NASCAR has determined that Ross Chastain was not legally allowed where he was on the track and will face a penalty. Chastain said that he took the access road to avoid the wreck taking place on the track.
NASCAR has given Ross Chastain a 30 second penalty and placed in 27th instead of second. Austin Dillon was also penalized 30 seconds.
Tyler Reddick’s crew climbs the fence and will kiss the bricks.
AJ Allmendinger literally falls out of his car in exhaustion after being overheated.
The unofficial results of the Verizon 200:
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Martin Truex Jr