Kasey Kahne of Enumclaw won a crash-marred Brickyard 400 for his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory since August 2014.
INDIANAPOLIS – Kasey Kahne needed a break Sunday — and got it.
The 37-year-old driver from Enumclaw barely reached the overtime line before the last caution flag came out in a crash-marred Brickyard 400, allowing Kahne to complete a six-hour marathon at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and snap a 102-race winless streak at NASCAR’s highest level.
Kahne, who had an excellent restart in the second overtime of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race, crossed the yard of bricks under caution with daylight fading and his muscles cramping, just ahead of Brad Keselowski and Ryan Newman.
“I had a great car out front. I had a pretty good car all day long. I was really happy,” Kahne said. “Unbelievable to win in Indianapolis. Unbelievable to win a Cup race — it’s been awhile. I know it’s great for my team.”
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Kahne’s long-awaited victory celebration was put on hold as he dropped to the ground and crew members tried to rub out the cramps he fought through late in the race. Afterward, Kahne went to the speedway’s infield medical center, where he received intravenous fluids. Other drivers said temperatures inside the cockpits surpassed 130 degrees.
There were 14 cautions and 55 caution laps, both race records, plus a 1-hour, 47-minute rain delay. Of 40 cars, 21 did not finish.
Kahne’s 18th career victory might have been his sweetest.
He had a mere three top-10 finishes in the first 19 Cup races and his future with Hendrick Motorsports was said to be in question.
“It puts him in the Chase,” team owner Rick Hendrick said after his 10th Brickyard victory. “It puts him in the playoff. We’re excited about that.”
Kahne’s previous victory came in August 2014.