2008 All State 400 Preview and Picks

Race: Allstate 400 at the Brickyard
Date: Sunday June 27, 2008
Track: Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Time: 1 pm ET
Channel: ESPN

by Virginia Vroom of Predictem.com

Very few tracks have the notoriety and nostalgia that comes from a place like Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The home to the Indy 500, it is probably the most prestigious racetrack in use today throughout the world. Both NASCAR stock car drivers and formula one drivers know the thrill of racing at a track with so much history. Indy was built in 1909 as a rectangular track because that was the only option to make the biggest track possible. It is a 2.5 mile track with no banking on the straights and only 9 degree banking in the turns. It is also a track that can accommodate more than 250,000 fans. How many venues can say that?

As far as NASCAR drivers are concerned, this is the biggest race of the year for many. While there is the 500 at Daytona, nothing compares to getting a win at Indy. ANY race fan knows what you’re talking about when you talk about Indy. That’s the beauty of this place. So many different fans come together to watch great racing all weekend long. Even a die-hard Indy fan of mine has conceded to watching the NASCAR race this weekend because he vows that nothing can possibly be boring at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Well, my good friend, you are correct. This weekend’s race is going to be awesome! The points battle is out of control when we’re talking about those last few spots drivers are fighting to get into. Like I talked about before, no one from even 8th place back is safe from elimination in the Chase. It’s coming down to the grind now for these guys and they are starting to feel the heat.

This week, I’m definitely choosing Tony Stewart. I have very little doubt about this one. If this is anyone’s track, it’s Tony’s. He loves this place and has a lot of ties to it. He would kiss those bricks again and again even if he won this race 20 times over. He needs a win, possibly more than anyone. We’ve seen his cocky attitude change into a much more subdued and humble Tony that we are not used to seeing. He is a great driver who has had an extreme run of bad luck, as have many others this year. I would bet on Tony to take this one. His emotions should take him to victory lane if nothing else. I mean, he is the defending champion of this race.

Other drivers to consider are those darn Hendrick guys. Gordon has multiple wins here and Johnson has a win from 2006. I think the Busch boys could also be a factor. Seriously, if you rule out Kyle, you’re not much of a fan. He’s just good, period. His brother has more to prove this weekend. Kurt needs to shape up if he is to be in contention for the Chase. He’s dragging along this year and being completely overshadowed by Kyle’s success. Give him something good to work with and maybe we’ll see something this weekend. Again, though, I’m going with Stewart. He’s my number one pick.

Here’s a recap of the top twelve since we’ve had a couple weeks off:

1. Kyle Busch
2. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
3. Jeff Burton
4. Carl Edwards
5. Jimmie Johnson
6. Jeff Gordon
7. Greg Biffle
8. Matt Kenseth
9. Kevin Harvick
10. Tony Stewart
11. Kasey Kahne
12. Denny Hamlin

Keep an eye on those from 7th to 12th. Biffle gained 4 spots in just one race as did Harvick. Kahne lost 3 spots and Hamlin lost 5 spots. These guys are all over the place and Bowyer, Vickers, and Ragan are in hot pursuit of that 12th position for the Chase. It’s anyone’s game now. There’s only 6 races after this weekend until the top 12 are locked in and the chase for the championship begins. Stay tuned!