The move is a joint agreement with Team Penske, who will add Ryan Blaney as a third driver while Menard assumes Blaney's spot with Wood Brothers. It will end a seven-year run at Richard Childress Racing for the 36-year-old Menard, who claimed his sole victory in the Cup series in 2011 at the Brickyard 400. He'll man the No. 21 car for Wood Brothers while retaining sponsorship from Menards, Inc., but will continue to race for Penske in select XFINITY Series races in 2018.
Keselowski had been the source of speculation and many silly season rumors until this news. Penske wasted little time getting a deal done with the 2012 Cup Series champion. The team also re-signed crew chief Paul Wolfe to a multi-season deal. It looks as though this great driver/crew chief combo will remain with the No. 2 Ford team for the foreseeable future.
Busch's bid for a third-straight Indianapolis win would not be realized. Despite leading a race-high 87 laps and having the most dominant car in the field, the Joe Gibbs Racing star would be denied. On a lap 110 restart Busch would jockey hard with Martin Truex Jr. at the front of the field. His pass attempt on the outside would cause the No. 78 Toyota to lose grip and slide up the track into Busch's machine. The two would slam hard into the outside wall and bring an end to both of their day's. For Busch it was his third DNF of the season, and he slips one spot to fourth in the championship standings.
The No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing team continued to be on the comeback trail at Indianapolis. Kenseth had a fast Toyota and he led 21 laps during this 400-mile event. He would bring the car through many close calls and be in position to challenge for the win at the end. The victory would not be in the cards, but Kenseth would rack up his fifth Top 5 of the season and second Top 5 in the last two weeks. He climbs two spots to ninth-place in the series standings as a result.
On an afternoon when the Toyota teams flexed their muscles, Logano was one of the few Ford drivers to impress. He avoided many near-misses with disaster on the race track, and kept his No. 22 car pointed toward the lead pack. Persistence, patience and skill would eventually pay off. Logano would be rewarded with a Top-5 finish when the final caution flag brought the race to an end. It was the veteran driver's eighth Top-5 finish of the season.
At one point during the late stages of Sunday's race at Indy, it looked like Newman had worked the fuel mileage perfectly to set him up for a potential run for the win based on fuel mileage. However, the crash fest that was the final 40 laps of this event nullified that strategy. It would still be a great outcome for the No. 31 Chevrolet team. Newman avoided the late wrecks and held good track position. He would be rewarded with just his fourth Top-5 finish of the season.
This race that featured many multi-car crashes didn't leave too many big names racing up front at the end. Keselowski was the exception. He led 23 laps on the day and managed to avoid the carnage that sidelined half the field. The Penske Racing star couldn't get around Kasey Kahne on the final restart and would collect the strong runner-up finish. It was his series-leading 10th Top-5 finish of the season.
It was a battle of survival Sunday afternoon at the Brickyard. This 400-mile race featured a record 14 cautions and 3 red flags. By the time the smoke had cleared it was Kahne and Brad Keselowski restarting for the final time on the front row. The two would battle to the back stretch line when yet another multi-car crash would break out behind them. The caution would come out for the last time and Kahne would be declared the winner by virtue of being ahead of Keselowski when the caution came out. It was his first victory of the season and 18th of Kahne's career. He snapped a 102-race winless streak with the victory.
It was no surprise to see the two-time Brickyard winner atop the scoring pylon after the final round of knockout qualifying. Busch piloted the No. 18 Toyota past Kevin Harvick to claim the top starting spot for Sunday's race at Indianapolis. The Joe Gibbs Racing star has been dominant at this historic oval the past two seasons, and he's the top contender to win the Brantley Gilbert Big Machine Brickyard 400.
The Penske Racing star was a standout veteran in a very young field Saturday at Indianapolis. The No. 22 Ford was pretty fast, but it wasn't the best car on the track. Logano was very patient in working the field and making quality passes. That experience paid off with great track position late in this event. However, Logano was in no position to track down the leaders. The Top-5 finish was his fourth of the season in just seven starts.
The former Brickyard 400 winner made an Xfinity start Saturday in the RCR No. 2 Chevrolet. It would end up being a wise driver choice by Childress. Menard would start 15th on the grid and slowly work his way forward over the 100-lap event. The team had good pit strategy and would earn good track position for the final green-flag run. Over those final 36 laps Menard would push to second and challenge for the win, but could not get around William Byron for the win. It was his first Top 5 in just his fifth start this season.
Sadler went out late in the final round of knockout qualifying and topped William Byron's fast lap. Erik Jones would have the final shot at the pole, but would fall short of Sadler's lap, giving him the pole position for Saturday afternoon's race. The driver of the No. 1 Chevrolet has been consistently fast all weekend, and should be the top driver to beat at the Brickyard.
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