Kasey Kahne captured his first Brickyard 400 victory Sunday, just as the sun set behind the grandstands lining the front straight of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The win snapped a three-year streak without a trip to victory lane for Kahne, and fulfilled his dream of winning on the track he first experienced as a teenager riding a tour bus.
"I moved here in 1999, and lived here for three summers, raced sprint cars and midgets all around the area," Kahne said. "This is the track that I always wanted to win at and dreamed of racing.”
Kahne traded the lead with Brad Kaselowski during three restarts in the closing laps of the race. He started second on the final restart but managed to make the pass on the inside for the lead before the yellow flag came out a final time.
"The [restart] before didn't work. Everything went wrong," Kahne said. "The final one, everything went right. Once I got to turn one, I had good power. It's pretty crazy."
Kaselowski praised Kahne's ability to control his car while making his move to the inside. Several made similar attempts throughout the race and crashed.
"You could see all day, I think, where you could get somebody on your outside and in the corner you got real loose," Kaselowski said. "But he drove in there and just stuck."
Sunday's race was a marathon for dirvers and fans, spanning six hours. Just 12 laps in, the race was red-flagged for almost two hours because of rain. There were a record 14 caution flags, and NASCAR officials stopped the race twice during the final 10 laps to clean up debris from wrecks. And with NASCAR rules governing how races end, the drivers ran an extra seven laps in an attempt to end the race under a green flag. In all, the 2017 Brickyard 400 ran 417.5 miles.