Logano bailed out on the apron when he saw Kyle Busch skidding down the banking of the corner midway through the race, but he had nowhere to go. The two cars wound up in a bone-jarring, nose-to-nose collision that sent debris scattering over the track’s recently repaved asphalt.
Hornish got into trouble with 84 laps to go when Marcos Ambrose got sideways right in front of him. The two collided, and Casey Mears joined in a wreck that also included Danica Patrick, leaving two of the three Penske entries looking like aluminum cans that had been stepped on.
Keselowski’s car wasn’t in much better shape. The minor damage to the rear quarter panel from early in the race kept peeling away bit by bit.
“I could feel something was wrong with it, but I couldn’t see it,” Keselowski said afterward. “So you don’t know what magnitude it is. Obviously it must have been pretty severe.”
It was severe enough that his crew was concerned.
“On that last restart, he kept asking the spotter before we started, he said, `Where’s the wind? The wind feels different,’” said longtime Penske executive Walt Czarnecki. “At one point he said, `It’s like I’ve got a parachute hanging out the back of the car.’
“It was quite a drive,” Czarnecki said. “One of the best I’ve ever seen.”
When it eventually popped off, it brought out a caution that allowed Matt Kenseth to seize control, and ultimately hold off Kahne for his second straight win at Kansas.
But the yellow flag also allowed the No. 2 team to finally bend their car back into shape, and that was enough for Keselowski to start driving to the front as the end neared.
“Wasn’t that great?” Penske said. “With all the trouble they had, and the accident on the first lap, and Joey and Sam being in the wrong place at the wrong time, I think it was an amazing finish, and shows just how tough the team is. We’ve got to move on here and keep on racing.”
And keep showing the kind of resilience they exhibited Sunday.
“We’ve been really strong almost every week, and it’s just a matter of fighting through that adversity that every race is going to throw at you,” Keselowski said, “and I think my team did a great job with that this weekend and so far all year.”
AP Auto Racing Writer Jenna Fryer contributed to this report.