Spin on Lap 64 Derails Race for Driver of Rush Truck Centers/Arctic Cat Chevy
Date: Oct. 18, 2015
Event: Hollywood Casino 400 (Round 31 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Location: Kansas Speedway in Kansas City (1.5-mile oval)
Start/Finish: 17th / 35th (Running, completed 263 of 269 laps)
Point Standing: 27th with 608 points
Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske in a green-white-checkered finish (Ford)
With more than 200 laps still remaining in the Hollywood Casino 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Tony Stewart had plenty of promise ahead of him.
Stewart started 17th in the 43-car field and was running respectably among the top-20. His No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Arctic Cat Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) was decent, with Stewart saying it was just a little tight when around other cars and a little loose when on its own.
But on lap 64 while coming off turn two of the 1.5-mile oval, the back end of the Rush Truck Centers/Arctic Cat Chevy stepped out on Stewart. The three-time Sprint Cup Series champion fought to regain control, spinning far down the backstretch. Stewart’s skills were on full display, as he kept his No. 14 machine off the wall. But with four flat tires from the seemingly endless spin, the front splitter was ground to bits as Stewart limped back to pit road.
Despite repairs by the crew, this damage drastically affected the handling of the Rush Truck Centers/Arctic Cat Chevy. With the leaders setting a quick pace as lap speeds neared 190 mph, the problems facing Stewart and the No. 14 team were exacerbated.
Stewart and Co. persevered nonetheless, finishing the race, albeit six laps down in 35thposition.
At the opposite end of the spectrum was Stewart’s teammate Kurt Busch, who led the way for SHR at Kansas with a strong sixth-place finish. It was his 17th top-10 this season and his sixth top-10 in 20 career Sprint Cup starts at Kansas.
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 16th. Harvick was in contention for a top-five result until a late-race pit road penalty during a round of green-flag stops left him one lap down to the leaders.
Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 22nd.
Joey Logano won the Hollywood Casino 400 to score his 13th career Sprint Cup victory, his fifth of the season and his second at Kansas.
Denny Hamlin finished .491 of a second behind Logano in the runner-up spot, while Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne and Kyle Busch rounded out the top-five. Kurt Busch, Ryan Blaney, Carl Edwards, Brad Keselowski and Jeff Gordon comprised the remainder of the top-10.
There were seven caution periods for 39 laps, with four drivers failing to finish the 269-lap race, which went two laps past its scheduled distance via a green-white-checkered finish.
As the fifth race in the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Kansas served as the second race in the Contender Round. The original, 16-driver Chase field was whittled down to 12 following the Oct. 4 race at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. The next cutoff race comes Oct. 25 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, whereupon the Chase field shrinks to eight for the Eliminator Round. Another three races will be run in that round, where after the Nov. 15 race at Phoenix International Raceway, only four drivers will advance to the final, winner-take-all Championship Round Nov. 22 in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Busch and Harvick continue to represent SHR in the Chase. Busch leaves Kansas third in points, 18 behind Chase leader Logano. Harvick leaves Kansas in fifth, 24 points out of first.