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RAPID REACTION: GoBowling.com 400

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Racing under the lights as Kansas Speedway has produced chaotic moments over the years and Saturday night showcased another action-packed event.

From a plethora of cautions and numerous restarts to intense battles between Martin Truex Jr. and Ryan Blaney at the front of the field, the GoBowling.com 400 will be remembered as one of the wildest of the year.

Conquering Kansas

Martin Truex Jr. has come close to victory at Kansas before, only to see the win slip away. He finished runner-up twice in 2012 and dominated last May before having to pit in the closing laps with a loose wheel.

Nothing stopped the 36-year-old this time as he led the most laps and pulled away late, and held off the field in a two-lap shootout to capture his second victory of 2017.    

Intermediate Success

Ryan Blaney posed the biggest threat to Truex Jr. throughout the night. After leading the field to green for the first time in his career, he remained there for much of the race, and was on the front row for the final restart but lost two spots and finished fourth.

It was only Blaney’s fourth top-10 finish of the year, but he has shown strength on 1.5-mile tracks. He won the first two stages and led a race-high 148 laps at Texas before a pit strategy call cost the No. 21 Ford team track position. 

Having the first pit stall and benefiting from quick stops allowed Blaney a better opportunity to showcase his speed as he led for 83 laps. Now heading to another intermediate venue at Charlotte, Blaney could once again contend for his first career win.

Violent Impacts

Kansas has been known for its hard hits over the years, and another violent crash unfolded on Saturday.

When something broke on Joey Logano’s car entering Turn 1, he made contact with Danica Patrick, sending her head on into the wall.

The hard impacts didn’t end there as Aric Almirola lost control and slid into Logano and Patrick, sending the back of No. 43 Ford into the air before sustaining a hard landing. 

Both Patrick and Logano were checked and released from the infield care center. Almirola was awake and alert, after being extricated from the car, and airlifted to a local hospital where he stayed overnight in stable condition. 

Bounce Back

Brad Keselowski’s ability to recover from adversity delivered a victory at Atlanta earlier this season and a second-place finish in the GoBowling.com 400.

After making an unexpected pit stop due to a loose wheel halfway through Stage 2 and then serving a pass-through penalty for driving through too many pit stalls, Keselowski went two laps down.

However, nine cautions in the second half of the event allowed the No. 2 Ford team to earn both laps back, and score his seventh top-five finish of 2017. 

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Jason Schultz

Jason Schultz aspires to enter the public relations field of NASCAR. Schultz, 19, attends UNC Charlotte and is a communication studies major with a focus in public relations. In addition to contributing to POPULAR SPEED, Schultz produces podcasts for Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Dirty Mo Radio. He also completed a semester as a social media intern at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Each year, he volunteers as the social media correspondent for Autism Delaware's Drive for Autism golf tournament featuring NASCAR personalities and the AAA 400 Drive for Autism Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Dover.