SPEEDWAY, Ind. — Kyle Busch’s quest to win a record-setting third consecutive Brickyard 400 got off to a flying start Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as he led all 50 laps of the opening stage to notch his sixth stage win of the year.
Busch held off Martin Truex Jr. by .544 of a second at the green-checkered flag, in a stage that was delayed by nearly two hours at lap 12 for lightning and a subsequent thunderstorm.
“I’d like to think I can lead every lap today, but there is another fast Toyota behind us,” Busch said of Truex. “Our Skittles Camry is good and I like where it’s at. I would like to keep the track position obviously. We’re going to try this car up in the front and again, I like it when there is nobody in front of my windshield.”
Behind the leading Toyota duo, the Fords of Ryan Blaney, Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano were third through fifth, respectively.
Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Kyle Larson, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. completed the points-scoring drivers in the top 10.
The first caution of the day flew on lap 10, after Corey LaJoie blew a tire and pounded the wall, leading to a red flag two laps later when the lightning and rain arrived at the race track.
That sparked a delay of nearly two hours, led to track drying and forced NASCAR officials to delay the planned competition caution from lap 20 to lap 30.
The competition caution was the second and final slowdown in the opening stage.
Chase Elliott blew a motor with six laps to go in the stage, forcing him to the garage and out of the event. It was his first-ever motor failure in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.