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Kahne finally breaks through at Brickyard

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Michael Marot, Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS -- Kasey Kahne needed a break Sunday -- and got it.

The 37-year-old driver barely reached the overtime line before the last caution flag came out in a crash-marred Brickyard 400, allowing Kahne to complete a six-hour marathon and snap a long winless streak.

He crossed the yard of bricks under caution with daylight fading and his muscles cramping, just ahead of Brad Keselowski and Ryan Newman.

"I had a great car out front. I had a pretty good car all day long. I was really happy," Kahne said. "Unbelievable to win in Indianapolis. Unbelievable to win a Cup race -- it's been a while. I know it's great for my team."

But even before kissing the bricks and posing for photos, Kahne's long-awaited victory celebration was put on hold as he dropped to the ground and his crew members tried to rub out the cramps he fought through late in the race.

Afterward, Kahne went to the speedway's infield medical center where he received intravenous fluids. Other drivers said temperatures inside the cockpits topped 130 degrees.

The wacky race had a little of everything -- 14 cautions and 55 caution laps, both race records, three red flags and a 1-hour, 47-minute rain delay. Nineteen cars did not finish. It lasted so long, drivers were racing against the impending darkness as much as they were themselves.

For Kahne, his 18th career win might have been the sweetest of all.

He had only three top-10 finishes in the first 19 races. His future with Hendrick Motorsports was in question, and after going almost three full years and more than 100 races without a win, he was finally back in victory lane.

"It puts him in the chase," team owner Rick Hendrick said after his 10th Brickyard victory. "It puts him in the playoff. We're excited about that."

Kahne's last win came in Atlanta in August 2014.

By any measure, it was a wacky day.

The two fastest cars on Indy's 2.5-mile oval -- Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. -- went out in a crash with 49 laps to go. Truex's car slid up the track going through the first turn and the Toyota teammates both wound in the wall. Busch led the first 71 laps, 87 of the first 110 and swept the first two stages ahead of Truex.

"That's the way it goes," Busch said. "Just chalk it up to another one we found a way to lose."

The finish was even wilder.

Over the last 16 laps, there were five crashes and two red flags.