INDIANAPOLIS – Stage two of Sunday’s Big Machine Vodka Brickyard 400 ended not with a bang, but with a whimper, scuttled under caution after debris in turn two slowed the pace late in the going.
The field was set to engage in a no-holds-barred shootout to the green-checkered flag, thanks to a blown engine on Kyle Busch’s No. 18 Toyota that compacted the field on lap 89, but the ensuing yellow one lap after the restart with four laps to go until the second stage break ended those hopes.
As such, polesitter Kevin Harvick – who led four times for 78 of the first 100 laps – took the stage victory, 10 bonus points and an all-important playoff point with his No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang.
Kyle Larson was second in a Chevrolet, ahead of four more Ford drivers in Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano, Clint Bowyer and Daniel Suarez.
Kurt Busch crossed the line seventh ahead of Jimmie Johnson, who charged from 12th to eighth before the debris caution froze the field, with William Byron and Aric Almirola completing the top 10.
Those two yellow flags – Busch’s engine failure and the subsequent debris slowdown – were the only two slowdowns during the second stage, after two hard crashes marred stage one on Sunday.