Race: Allstate 400
Date: Sunday, July 26th 2009
Track: Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Time: 1:00 pm ET
After this weekend’s wild racing at Chicagoland, some guys are probably yearning for those days of normalcy and old-school racing. Those drivers are in luck this weekend as we head to one of the most historic tracks in all of racing. IRL drivers and NASCAR drivers alike all feel the importance and the history that this track holds. Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a track that drivers strive to race on and also strive to win on. It is one of the most important and meaningful tracks, as any driver will tell you, in all of racing.
The Brickyard is a 2.5 mile monster oval with 9 degree banking in the turns and no banking on the straights. The frontstretch and backstretch both boast a whopping 3300 feet. This particular track is the epitome of a stereotypical oval. It seats over 250,000 fans and is grand in all aspects of the facility.
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With its history and importance to the racing community, this race has a tendency to bring out the worst in drivers as they all vie for the coveted bricks. Each year, the winner traditionally kisses the bricks after winning the historic race. Last year, Jimmie Johnson and his crew had that luxury. This year, there’s no telling.
With the way that these guys are running, it’s going to be hard to make a prediction about this one. Based on the configuration of the track and also on the way that some drivers are running, the typical picks aren’t necessarily the best picks this time around. Kyle Busch blew a motor last weekend, so whether that is a fluke or something else going on in the engine department is hard to say, but Busch is always a contender if he can maintain composure and keep his equipment running. This tends to be a long race and a race that wears out team’s equipment. You’d expect Jr. to do well here, but you can’t expect that from him at any track this year evidently. Tony Stewart will be up front contending for a win. As a driver who runs both series here very frequently, Stewart is neither stranger to victory lane nor a stranger to how to get around this track.
Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson are always great as is teammate Mark Martin.
My pick this week: Jimmie Johnson
Johnson is the defending champ here and has been consistently up front for most every race this season. If he can dodge the wrecks and stay out of traffic, he has a great chance of defending his title. It’s going to be a tough battle between him and Tony Stewart, but I think that Johnson is itching for a win right about now. He also needs to boost his place in the points. I think that his teammate, Gordon, could also be a factor here as well, helping Johnson along the way. Mark Martin isn’t a bad bet coming off his 4th win of the season last weekend at Chicago either. Veteran tracks and veteran drivers go together like peas and carrots.
Here are your current top 12 in the points:
1. Tony Stewart
2. Jeff Gordon
3. Jimmie Johnson
4. Kurt Busch
5. Denny Hamlin
6. Carl Edwards
7. Ryan Newman
8. Kasey Kahne
9. Juan Montoya
10. Kyle Busch
11. Mark Martin
12. Matt Kenseth
This weekend’s race is bound to be exciting. Indianapolis brings a wave of energy across the teams, the drivers, and the fans alike. It’s almost like coming home, back to the place where so much racing and battling originated. It’s a great combination of new era technology on an old-school track. Stay tuned this weekend as we divulge into the celebration of the Brickyard 400.