July 28, 2013 |
INDIANAPOLIS - Dale Earnhardt Jr. found himself in a hole early in the Brickyard 400 but the popular NASCAR driver recovered to finish sixth Sunday. After only 12 laps of the 160-lap race, Earnhardt had a loose wheel on his No. 88 Chevrolet and was forced to make a pit stop. That dropped him to the rear and left him one lap behind the leaders. But a caution period on Lap 59 enabled Earnhardt to get back on the lead lap and he stayed in the top 10 for most of the race. "You're running that thing at 200 mph at the end of the straightaway, you don't want to take any chances" with the wheel, Earnhardt said.
July 27, 2013 |
INDIANAPOLIS -- Ryan Newman set a track record Saturday in winning the pole position for NASCAR's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Newman, a native of South Bend, Ind., won the pole in dramatic fashion. He was the last of 45 drivers to make their qualifying attempt and he knocked off defending Brickyard 400 winner Jimmie Johnson to grab the first starting spot. Newman turned a lap of 187.531 mph around the 2.5-mile speedway in his No. 39 Chevrolet, edging Johnson's 187.438 mph and smashing the previous record of 186.293 mph set by Casey Mears nine years ago. It was Newman's 50th pole in the Cup series, and his propensity to qualify first has earned him the nickname "Rocket Man. " Speeds were helped by unseasonably mild weather, with temperatures in the high-70s.
July 26, 2013 |
INDIANAPOLIS - For NASCAR's drivers, at least, the Brickyard 400 remains one of the Sprint Car Series' marquee events despite the race's sliding attendance in recent years. "It's the obvious second" in prestige, Clint Bowyer said Friday before practicing for the 20th running of the race Sunday. "It's the Daytona 500 and then the Brickyard. " NASCAR estimated that 125,000 spectators attended last year's race. That's a sizable crowd but smaller than the 200,000-plus who came to the inaugural Brickyard 400 in 1994 to see the novelty of stock cars racing around the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
July 25, 2013 |
INDIANAPOLIS - Paul Menard probably will feel bittersweet emotions when the NASCAR driver returns to Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend. Menard won the Brickyard 400 at Indy in 2011 for his first Sprint Cup Series victory, ending four years of winless frustration. But Menard hasn't won since. As NASCAR prepares for this year's Brickyard 400 on Sunday, the 32-year-old Menard has gone 71 races without revisiting Victory Lane. While five-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson has won races every year since he joined the series full time in 2002, including four victories this season, several other drivers continue to slog through winless streaks that extend well beyond one of the series' 36-race seasons.
July 30, 2012 |
INDIANAPOLIS — Jimmie Johnson won the battle Sunday in dominant fashion. But Dale Earnhardt Jr. took a big step toward winning the war. Johnson won the Brickyard 400 again, joining Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon as the only four-time winners since NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series began racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1994. Earnhardt, who also drives for Hendrick and has enjoyed a strong car all season, finished fourth — his best Brickyard 400 finish in 13 tries — to lift him into the lead of the Cup championship standings.
July 29, 2012 |
INDIANAPOLIS - Carl Edward s went into the Brickyard 400 with a new crew chief and needing a top-five finish to bolster his hopes of getting into this year's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title playoff. But only 12 laps into the 160-lap race, Edwards' No. 99 Ford developed an engine problem. He finished 29th, four laps behind the leaders, and Edwards' chances of making the Chase for the Cup took a big hit. The top 10 drivers in points after 26 races qualify for the 10-race Chase, along with the two drivers who have the most wins among those 11th to 20th in points.