This week, one of the crown jewels of the NASCAR schedule takes place as we get 400 miles of racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (aka the Brickyard). The track is flat, but the long straightaways create really high speeds, so horsepower is a must-have. Last year, Jeff Gordon took the checkered flag. Can Gordon go back-to-back at the Brickyard 400?
Raw speed is one of the most important factors at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and there’s only been one car that’s been consistent in speed, Kevin Harvick. The 2014 Sprint Cup Champion has had great speed all year long. You have to believe that he’ll be a factor in the race. With 17 top 10’s in 19 races, you know he’ll be in the mix. A Brickyard win could be another highlight in his historic 2015 run.
Martin Truex Jr.
Another car that’s had pure speed is the 78, Martin Truex Jr. But after starting the season off with 17 top 10’s in 18 races. Truex Jr. has struggled of late, placing 42, 48, 19 and 12th in the past 4 races. Indy would be a great way to get back on track. A month ago, Truex was our number one ranked driver. Seems like the new packages has threw the team for a loop.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Hendrick Motorsports has been all over the map this season when it comes to tracks 2 miles or larger. The fastest car in the Hendrick stable has been Dale Earnhardt Jr. And with two wins in his belt, the team can afford to gamble. Watch out for Jr. He owns 10 top 10’s this season and has finished 7th or better in 4 of the past 5 races.
You can’t count out the defending champion, or can you? Jeff Gordon is a 5-time Brickyard winner and the 2014 Brickyard champion. While Gordon has had a disappointing 2015 up-to-date, you can never count him out when it comes to Indy. Hard to believe that we’re talking about Gordon’s failed season and the 24 has 11 top 10’s.
And to think a month ago, nearly every NASCAR analyst counted him out. Now, he’s won 3 out of 4 races and he’s hungrier than ever. But does Toyota have the speed needed to get Kyle the win? Joe Gibbs Racing has certainly been the best performing team over the last few weeks and with Hamlin, Kenseth and Edwards in the stable, it could mean a Brickyard win for JGR.
One thing that you can’t deny about Brad is the fact that he’s out there giving 110 percent even though he’s clinched a spot in the Chase. We saw that fire after the 2 finished second in New Hampshire. The Penske Ford hasn’t had the top speeds we saw in 2014 but remember, we’re working with a new package. Penske has been much better with the new package. Don’t count out Keselowski or Joey Logano this weekend.
Image Source: Concord Monitor