INDIANAPOLIS — Ty Dillon pulled away from Kyle Busch down the stretch Saturday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway to win for the first time in the Nationwide Series.
Dillon passed Busch off the final restart with 25 laps left and held on for his first victory in 31 career starts in NASCAR’s second-tier series.
Busch made a hard charge in the final three laps but failed in a bid to win at the Brickyard for the second straight year. Matt Kenseth was third, followed by Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano.
Dillon won with grandfather and team owner Richard Childress and brother Austin Dillon rooting him on for the win.
“We get to kiss the bricks, baby!” he radioed as he crossed the finish line. Dillon parked his car on the famed yard of bricks and raised his arms toward the sky in triumph.
SPRINT CUP: The season-long rivalry between Hendrick Motorsports and Team Penske heads into the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where Kevin Harvick will try to crash their party.
Harvick, Jeff Gordon and Brad Keselowski earned the top three spots in qualifying, setting up what could be a showdown between the most dominant teams this season.
Harvick, who picked up his fourth pole of the season, already has two wins this season but was in the mix for several other victories with his new Stewart-Haas Racing team. Gordon is the Sprint Cup points leader and has been a model of consistency all year for Hendrick Motorsports, and Penske has gotten three wins from Keselowski.
“I think that we certainly look at all the Hendrick cars and the Stewart-Haas cars … and Penske, to me, is the team to beat outside of what we have,” Gordon said.
“I’m pretty sure all those groups have their best stuff here.”
Keselowski, third in the standings behind Hendrick drivers Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr., didn’t think Saturday was a true indicator of how the Brickyard – or the rest of the season – will play out.
“When you think you really understand what’s going on, you never know what somebody else has in their hand – much like if you were playing a game of poker,” Keselowski said. “We think that we have the two strongest hands with Penske and Hendrick, and certainly that’s been the case to this date in the season, but you just don’t know what’s out there.”
Harvick, consistently fast all season, knows exactly what he’s got and what Stewart-Haas brought to Indy.
“It’s time to get into Chase form and this is where it all starts,” said Harvick.
He once again dominated a NASCAR qualifying session, setting a Indianapolis track record with his pole-winning run of 188.470 mph.
FORMULA ONE: Kimi Raikkonen has had little to celebrate in this Formula One season and an unsuccessful gamble in qualifying at the Hungarian Grand Prix will likely extend his cheerless run.
With the Finnish driver in 14th place near the end of the first part of qualifying, Ferrari decided to keep Raikkonen on ice, hoping to save some tire wear, and betting that no one from the slower Caterham or Marussia teams would better him.
With six racers excluded after the initial qualifying stage, and Lewis Hamilton and Pastor Maldonado already out, Raikkonen, the 2007 world champion, seemed assured of at least 16th place and a spot in the next qualifying stage.
Marussia’s Jules Bianchi, however, managed a surprising lap of 1 minute 26:728 seconds, leaving Raikkonen 0.064 seconds behind him in 17th place out of 22.