After a week off, the stars and cars of the Sprint Cup Series return to action at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This was a nice time for everyone, fans included, to recharge a little bit in mid-season. Too bad that The Brickyard is not well known for close finishes (or racing) in this series. It is a great track for the open wheelers, maybe their best for action, but for the stockers, not so much.
Yet, every driver in NASCAR's elite series dreams of adding Indy to their bucket list. Just for name value alone, they all want this one. They all say that the Daytona 500 is the only event that's bigger than the Brickyard 400.
Creme de la Creme
There are no fluke winners in the Brickyard. There have been 16 Brickyard 400s, and 14 of those have been won by Series Champions, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Dale Jarrett, Dale Earnhardt, Tony Stewart, Bobby Labonte, and Bill Elliott. Ricky Rudd is the only Brickyard winner who has not won either a championship or a Daytona 500 to go along with it. Along with Rudd, Kevin Harvick is the only other Indy winner without a title.
Chip Ganassi won the Indy 500 earlier this year with Dario Franchitti drinking the milk. Ganassi also won the Daytona 500 earlier this year with Jamie McMurray dodging (Chevroleting?) the pothole. It would be unprecedented, and, possibly unmatchable, if McMurray or Juan Montoya were to pull off the triple crown of racing this week. Remember last year, Montoya "missed it by that much, Chumley".
Have At It, Boys
On Wednesday NASCAR announced penalties for Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski from their last lap hijinks last week at Gateway. Both were placed on probation until Dec 31. Doesn't the season end six week before then? Edwards also lost 60 driver, and owner points, and was fined a whopping $25,000. About the same as a $25 jaywalking fine to you or me. BFD!
Just one day after it was put on blast for sinking ratings and attendance, NASCAR hoses down the only excitement they have going. Who's running this place, Barry O? By placing both drivers on probation NASCAR guarantees that they won't come within 20 feet of each other from here on out. "We'd like to let the drivers settle it themselves, but our lawyers and insurance companies said no."
AJ Allmendinger makes his 100th Cup start this week at Indy. He has one top-5.
Bobby Labonte makes his 600th consecutive start.
Former F-1 champ, and Indy 500 winner, Jacques Villeneuve will attempt to qualify for the Brickyard 400 in the #32 Toyota for Braun Racing. If he makes the show he will join Montoya as the only drivers to race at Indy in the 500, the Brickyard 400, and the U.S. Grand Prix.
Wheaties Fuel will be on the #33 of Clint Bowyer this weekend.
Four drivers have competed in every Brickyard 400. Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte, Mark Martin, and who?
Four drivers are four-time winners at Indy. AJ Foyt, Al Unser, Rick Mears, and Jeff Gordon. One other driver has five Indy wins. Any guesses?
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