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The Final Word – Indianapolis had a wild conclusion, and thanks to YouTube I can talk about it

It rained. TSN (Canada) pulled out, and the channel I was recording the race on abandoned the effort, presenting instead a few toss away programs. Well, to be fair, I did state before that I do not get all that excited about Indianapolis, and it would seem TSN took my comments to heart. On Sunday, they made like the NASCAR Nazi…and no race for me. I guess I could have watched some soccer but, as most folks know, soccer is not really a sport. Not like poker is, anyway.

So, my Indianapolis experience was 12 laps. Then the rain. Pretty exciting stuff. Of course, for those blessed enough to watch the action, things got a tad more exciting later. Much, much later. So, I missed it when Chase Elliott blew up on the 43rd lap. I missed lap 76 when Dale Earnhardt Jr., son of the Intimidator, slammed into a hesitator in front of him, taking out his radiator.

I also did not see, with 50 to go on a restart, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. fighting for the lead. When Truex broke loose, they were both fighting for their favorite tow-truck operator, as they slammed into the fence. Take a rest, lads.

With 10 to go, Clint Bowyer broke loose, clipped Erik Jones, then destroyed Kurt Busch on his way twirling on down the track like an out of control kid’s toy. Goodbye boys.

With six to go, Kyle Larson grazed the inside wall then went across to the outside to put his beast to bed. TSN…you are jerks.

That required a restart with two to go. Jimmie Johnson was smoking. He got up to the lead, and then the engine expired. Johnson hit the wall, and we were off to overtime.

So, with two to go, again, Trevor Bayne got turned as they went green, and everything turned red for him, Austin Dillon and Ryan Blaney. Something tells me that if I could only have been able to record the final 12 laps, not the opening dozen, I would have been a satisfied fellow.

They tried to get it finished one more time, with Brad Keselowski in front, with Kasey Kahne beside him on the inside. Wrong lane decision for Brad. In the first turn, Kahne got by, cleared his rival, and he was gone. Okay, he was gone far enough and soon enough when Denny Hamlin’s smoker dived to the wall, and the caution came out just late enough for the leader to have hit the overtime line.

Kahne wins. Kahne wins for the first time since Atlanta in 2014. Kahne heads to the Chase. Kahne might have just saved his ride for 2018. A great result for him, not so great for a few others.

“Ron,” you might be saying, “you seem to know a hell of a lot for a guy who did not get to watch the race.” You would be right, but a series of much-appreciated highlights are made available to scribes like me to take another look at the action on a service available only to a privileged few. I like to call it, YouTube.

It was a good points day for some, such as Kahne, Joey Logano (fourth), Matt Kenseth (fifth), and Kevin Harvick (sixth), but it was not so hot for Elliott in 39th. Finishing in the second half of the field of 40 we had Dillon, Jones, Johnson, Bowyer, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

When it comes to the Chase, Kahne moves in, leaving just four positions still up for grabs on points alone. Rowdy, Elliott, and Jamie McMurray are still solid. That leaves Bowyer just two points up on Kenseth, with the rest all needing a win to get in. A good points day for even Logano is no longer good enough. However, Aric Almirola, who missed seven races due to injury, is within two points of 30th place. That more than likely would make him eligible for the Chase if he can win one of the next six. He finished 13th on Sunday.

Pocono is up next, and among the former winners there we have Junior, Kenseth, Logano, and Chris Buescher. One of those boys wins, and all of a sudden Bowyer experiences bad tidings, and McMurray becomes a lot more uncomfortable.

I hope I get to watch it on television. If not…well, there is always YouTube.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

Ron Thornton
Ron Thornton
A former radio and television broadcaster, newspaper columnist, Little League baseball coach, Ron Thornton has been following NASCAR on this site since 2004. While his focus may have changed over recent years, he continues to make periodic appearances only when he has something to say. That makes him a rather unique journalist.


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