8:48 p.m.: And Kevin Harvick wins it, back-to-back at The Brickyard, and the favorite comes home at +400. His OT restart was flawless, and once they hit Turn 1 it was over with nothing but clean air and a white flag to be taken.
The final 10:
Austin Dillon and Matt DiBenedetto get tied up, and two guys that really needed a Top 10 for playoff points get tied up on the last lap and will finish 18th and 19th instead. That could hurt later.
8:45 p.m.: Here we go, overtime rules apply: green-white-checker. Your Top 10:
8:35 p.m.: These. Stupid. Tires.
HOLY CRAP! Denny Hamlin blows a tire and hits the wall while leading at the Brickyard!— Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) July 6, 2020
With seven to go, we might be looking at green-white-checker here. This is a joke.
8:14 p.m.: Alex Bowman hits the wall because the tires are ridiculous today, and we are under caution with 26 to go at The Brickyard. And now that everyone has come in under yellow, we’ve got a Top 10 that has the favorites up top, but plenty of names that would be excited to get a big finish at Indy.
Restart with 23 to go after the EIGHTH CAUTION today. Grrr.
8:07 p.m.: If you’ve been watching this season, it should be no surprise that Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin were 1-2 with 36 to go. What’s interesting is how they moved back: Hamlin was in 2nd and pitted under green exactly one lap before Harvick did. But Hamlin’s crew had a flawless stop, whereas Harvick’s team had trouble changing the left front tire.
Coming out of the pits Hamlin took a comfortable lead, and if there’s no caution, they should be the leaders when everyone else comes in, which they will be forced to as no one else has enough gas to get home without a stop.
7:41 p.m.: After that controversial pit stop early, Kevin Harvick is right back on track as the pre-race favorite at +400 wins Stage 2. Can he hang on during the last 60 laps?
The pre-race odds for the Top 10 after 100 laps:
1) Kevin Harvick +400
2) Chase Elliott +1200
3) Denny Hamlin +500
4) Matt DiBenedetto +6000
5) Austin Dillon +10000
6) Matt Kenseth +6600
7) Kyle Busch +550
8) Kurt Busch +3000
9) Christopher Bell +8000
10) Clint Bowyer +2500
7:24 p.m.: These tires are trashhhhhhhhh.
William Byron blows a left front while leading the race. Ryan Blaney just hit the wall untouched for the same reason. The pace car is going to run out of tires and gas at this rate.
It’s what happens when there’s no testing and no qualifying, and the tires can’t get right for the race. I understand the need to spend as little time at the track as possible, but it might be safer for everyone (including pit crew tiremen getting hit) if we at least have a Happy Hour before the race.
7:05 p.m.: The leaders all pit once they open on Lap 78,
William Byron, Austin Dillon, and Denny Hamlin are now your leaders. The new top two only took two tires, but so far Byron’s strategy seems to be working perfectly after winning Stage 1, and now he’ll have plenty of clean air for the rest of Stage 2.
Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, Chase Elliott, Kyle Busch, and Matt DiBenedetto round out the top eight.
7:01 p.m.: Erik Jones hits the wall and the caution comes out on Lap 75, halfway through Stage 2. Here’s who’s out of the race or multiple laps down so far:
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Martin Truex Jr.
That’s a lot of DNF’s through less than half a Cup race.
6:32 p.m.: And William Byron coasts to the Stage 1 win. He had older tires, but the clean air was more than enough to take care of any inefficiency. He beats Erik Jones by 2.6 seconds to pick up the max points. The Top 10 after Stage 1 and 50 laps at Indy:
1) William Byron
2) Erik Jones
3) Austin Dillon
4) Chase Elliott
5) Kevin Harvick
6) Denny Hamlin
7) Matt DiBenedetto
8) Kyle Busch
9) Brad Keselowski
10) Clint Bowyer
6:15 p.m.: Ryan Newman hits the wall, and the caution comes out. The Oscar Meyer car had a vibration previously, but now it’ll be an 8-lap-or-so sprint to the end of Stage 1.
5:52 p.m.: Red flag is out, and they’re working on the #48 of Justin Allgaier amongst others. We’ll go green at Lap 18, with 32 more until the Stage 1 winner is selected.
5:35 p.m.: And at the competition caution for Lap 13, the favorite Kevin Harvick changes four tires, but can’t take any fuel. He’ll be in front after everyone else pits and gets gas, but it seems very doubtful anyone could go 50 laps on one tank of gas here.
AND THERE’S A WRECK ON PIT ROAD! The back of the field including Corey Lajoie, Martin Truex Jr., and more got tied up, and a tireman for Ryan Blaney got hit.
Ross Chastain comes out in first ahead of Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, JJ Yeley and Kurt Busch, but what’s happening in the pits is the bigger issue right now. The unidentified tireman smiles and gives the thumbs up before getting into the ambulance, but a scary scene on the thinnest pit road in NASCAR.
5:17 p.m.: And we’re about to take the green flag, finally, at IMS. There was no testing, no qualifying, so the historical data from the teams will be essential today. Stages will be laps 1-50, 51-100, and 101-160. And let’s get racing!
4:47 p.m.: The lightning delay is still happening, but NASCAR says we’re 15 minutes until the opening ceremonies begin. But of course we’ll need to avoid another bolt from the heavens or else the clock will reset again.
4:08 p.m.: Jimmie Johnson is interviewed from home, where he and his wife are quarantining as both tested positive for Covid-19. He says the most difficult part is parenting his kids, but he does seem to be in good health so far. Let’s hope he and his family stay that way.
3:59 p.m.: Here we go! And it looks like there’s some cloud cover at Indy, which might make the drivers feel more comfortable during the 160 laps at the home of American racing. We’ll be here for everything that might happen, which of course requires NBC to have as much time as possible for pre-race commercials.
The odds haven’t changed yet, wtih Kevin Harvick at 4-1 to be the winner, with Denny Hamlin (+500), Kyle Busch (+550), Logano (+700), and Brad Keselowski (+800) behind him.
NASCAR is racing at The Brickyard on Sunday! The Cup Series’ Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400 runs at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with the green flag dropping just after 4 p.m. ET. The race will air on NBC and stream on NBCSports.com.
Joey Logano has the pole in this race, joined on the front row by Kurt Busch, and followed by Alex Bowman and Justin Allgaier in the second row. Allgaier replaced Jimmie Johnson, who tested positive for Covid-19 earlier this week and had to withdraw.
Kevin Harvick is the favorite to win this race at DraftKings Sportsbook. He is installed at +400, followed by Denny Hamlin (+500), Kyle Busch (+550), Logano (+700), and Brad Keselowski (+800). The betting public has been backing Harvick, with 17 percent of money line handle and 13 percent of total bets. Busch is next with 13 percent of handle, followed by Hamlin at 12 percent and Logano at 10 percent.
We’ll be providing updates throughout the race, and close things out with a complete list of race results.