First to First

Monday, Sep 09

 

Hanging out in Turn 4 you get to meet all sorts of individuals. I met a couple of folks that I will not readily forget. Reggie was at IMS for the inaugural Brickyard in August of 1994. Chase’s daughter was here today for HER inaugural Brickyard. Today was a day of firsts to firsts!

Reggie came from Nashville, TN and while he was here for the inaugural Brickyard 400, today he was here for Bubba Wallace, who had his best finish at Indianapolis. As we got to the last 10 laps of the race, you could FEEL Reggie pulling for Bubba to finish well. He kept say, “If he finishes top 5, that will be good”, but you could feel that he wanted better for Bubba. And Bubba pulled it out! Bubba Wallace ended up with a 3rd place finish. I know that Reggie’s trip to Nashville will go fast!!

 

 

I also met Chase and his daughter. Chase is a NASCAR fan, but his daughte, has never been to a NASCAR race, until today. She is a die-hard Chase Elliot fan and it was great to see the next generation of NASCAR fans in the crowd today.

 

I think the thing that struck me today was that I met someone who had been here for the inaugural Brickyard in 1994 and I also met someone who had not even been alive for that inaugural Brickyard. NASCAR and IMS brings folks of all ages together.

Indianapolis—

Let’s do this again the NASCAR Marathon continues at the Indianapolis motor Speedway.

Coming off what is likely the most exciting Xfinty race of the season.

A very emotional Justin Allgaier has won the Xfinity Series race that kicked off a NASCAR doubleheader at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

We are finally able to start the 25th running of the Brickyard 400.

Twitter action from stage 1  

Early in 400 L10: @KyleLarsonRacin says the biggest issue so far is Turn 4. "I think I hit the wall a little on the short chute between 1 and 2."

#Brickyard400 L22: "That's all I got. I'm trying. Loose off ... but overall not too bad." - Brad @keselowski

#Brickyard400 L26: @keselowski told to follow the leaders to pit road if they stop before the Lap 30 caution.

#Lap32 Elliott goes for "right side only" on tires, gains significant track position.

#Brickyard400 L30: 2nd competition caution. Larson: 5th Kez: 9th Logano: 18th Harvick: 33rd (made his way back to 19th before pitting)

Green flag back out on lap 34. #Brickyard400 #NASCAR

Martin Truex JR lost a brake rotor his day at IMS ended early

Clint Bowyer wins Stage 1 of the Brickyard 400 followed by Kurt Busch

In Stage 2 big crash between David Starr and Bubba Wallace followed by another crash between Alex Bowman and AJ Allmendinger. This huge for Bowman with a playoff spot on the line. Heavy repairs were made to the RF and RR it cost Bowman 3 laps

Next caution JJ Yeley goes for a spin. Teammates Clint Boyer and Kevin Harvick lead field on the restart.

Stage 2 Twitter action

Through 80 (halfway): - Chase Elliott at 7th - Ryan Blaney at 3rd - Austin Dillon 23rd #Brickyard400

Heavy impact between @BubbaWallace and @starr_racing. #Brickyard400

#Brickyard400 L86: @KevinHarvick reporting a vibration. Spotter continues to tell him his gap to 2nd


@WilliamByron is told he's got a penalty for an uncontrolled tire. He will restart at the tail end of the field. Was running top 10 prior. Lap 78. #NASCAR #Brickyard400

#Brickyard400 L92: @KyleLarsonRacin picks up a spot that lap and moves up to P4 with 8 to go in Stage 2.

@dariangrubb to @WilliamByron: "Really really REALLY slow blue 66 car coming up." Lap 90. #NASCAR #Brickyard400

 

Matt Kenseth WINS STAGE 2 followed by Chase Elliot.

Final Stage 3...a ton strategies are going to come into play to finish this race

Penalty for Kyle Busch and the Number 18 team hit with a commitment line Violation at the close of stage 2

1 more pit stop for most teams

To start Stage 3: @WilliamByron, @ClintBowyer, @dennyhamlin, @KevinHarvick, and @KyleLarsonRacin are the top 5. #NASCAR #Brickyard400 Lap 104.

Ryan Blayneywas running in top three but disaster on pit road will likely end his of a #BrickYard400 win.

#Brickyard400 L137: Leader @keselowski reports he just hit debris and wants crew to check splitter.

#Brickyard400 L140: @keselowski radio now speaking strategy code: "Page No. 3." He leads Johnson by 2.4 seconds

#Brickyard400 L141: @keselowski pitting this time

Debris on the Front Stretch brings out caution

@KurtBusch reports an ill-handling car. Asks how many cars are on the lead lap. When told 23 cars are on the lead lap, Kurt replies in the only way Kurt can, "expletive". #NASCAR #Brickyard400 Lap 145

1 to go at the line. Restart with 12 to go. Top 5: @dennyhamlin, @ClintBowyer, @jamiemcmurray, @KevinHarvick, and @erik_jones #NASCAR #Brickyard400

#Brickyard400: Hamlin already out to a nearly 1 second lead

Clint Bowyer and Jamie McMurray make contact, but Bowyer hangs on! #Brickyard400

Caution is out for @JEarnhardt1 and @landoncassill with 7 laps to go!

 

CHECKERED FLAG GOES TO BRAD KESELOWSKI AND THE FIRST BRICKYARD WIN FOR THE CAPTAIN!

Kyle Busch captured the regular-season points title. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver, in the No. 18 Toyota, finished eighth.

The other drivers competing for the Cup title will be: Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr., Kurt Busch, Joey Logano, Clint Bowyer, Kyle Larson, Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott, Jones, Aric Almirola and Ryan Newman.

Saturday's qualifying was rained out, so the starting grid was determined by points. Sunday's scheduled race also was washed out, forcing the race to be moved to a rare Monday start.

 

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@thomasMarq

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Indianapolis-

It’s been a rough weekend for race fans her in Indy. It has been nonstop rain since Friday.

All track have been cancelled all weekend. However radar is looking better. Looking like we will have a race today keep in mind we only have to get 80 laps in to make the final regular season official

So much on the line for racers. Kyle Busch is starting on the Pole. This is a track he has dominated.

Nobody had any practice time this weekend. Track will be cool, so cars will be fast.

P1-Kyle Busch

P2-Kevin Harvick

P3-Martin Truex Jr

P4-Kurt Buch

This is a “Win Your In” Race.  Who will be the dark horse who will be throwing a “Hail Mary” Ryan Newman being one of those drivers along with William Bryon.

So here is a recap of what we have seen so far today.

Titan Jet dryers are moving around the 2.5 mile oval

Drivers Meeting Complete

Gates are open fans are entering

Cars for Martin Truex, Junior and Daniel Suarez failed pre-race inspection and will start from the back of the field

With no opportunity to qualify, drivers were assigned starting positions based on NASCAR points.

My official pick is Kyle Busch

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@ThomasMarq

@TBalance

 

Nothing could stop Kyle Busch this past weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as he went on to capture his first win in the Brickyard 400 on Sunday.

In route to his third straight win, which marks the fourth of the season, Busch outran his former teammate Joey Logano in the final laps of the green-white-checker finish. The win ended up being his second of the weekend after capturing the victory in Saturday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series race with a last lap pass.

Busch’s hopes to reach the Chase for the Sprint Cup is starting to become more of a reality. Busch missed the first eleven races of the year after being injured in a crash at the Daytona International Speedway. He goes into Pocono next weekend sitting 23 points out of the top 30 in driver standings. NASCAR’s rules state that a driver must be inside the top 30 in order to make the Chase.

While in victory lane after the race, Busch talked about finding his happy place and capturing the win at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“Nothing better than being in Victory Lane,” said Busch. “Nothing better than being in Victory Lane for one of the biggest wins of my career.”

Chevrolet has gone to victory lane in the last 12 races at the 2.5-mile track in the Sprint Cup Series. That streak certainly came to an end on Sunday with Busch’s victory. He also became the first driver to sweep a weekend there.

Logano will leave the 2.5-mile track with his best finish at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Logano led three different times for a total of 28 laps led to finish in the runner-up spot.

It was a bitter sweet Sunday afternoon for Jeff Gordon as he would make his final appearance at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as a driver. Gordon took the green flag in the 19th starting spot. Things went bad for the driver on lap 49 as he and Bowyer made contact in turn three. This would be the result as the second of nine cautions of the day. This caused the No. 24 team to go behind the wall and make repairs to the damaged car. Gordon will leave Indianapolis with a 42nd-place finish.

Jimmie Johnson continues to show the way at the top of the Chase Grid going into next weekend’s event at the Pocono Raceway. Clint Bowyer, who had a roller coaster kind of day on Sunday, will slide right back into it via points after finishing sixth. Bowyer is currently the 16th driver in the category if the Chase began next week. 

It’s been since August 8, 2004. The journey to return back to Victory Lane at the most famous track in motorsports history has finally concluded for one Indiana man.

20 years ago, Jeff Gordon took his rainbow-soaked No. 24 Chevrolet to the winner’s circle at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for NASCAR’s inaugural race at the speedway.  On Sunday afternoon, Gordon drove his No. 24 Chevrolet back to Victory Lane at the yard of bricks for the fifth time in the 21st running of the Brickyard 400.

Scoring his 90th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory, Gordon tied Formula 1 driver, Michael Schumacher, for the most wins at Indianapolis with five triumphs. His last Brickyard 400 victory came in 2004 where he dominated the race – holding off Dale Jarrett to get his fourth win at the track.

“This team came prepared. That was an awesome Axalta Chevy SS, and we had so much support. With five (laps) to go I was trying to look up in the grandstands, but it is the biggest race in my opinion. I know the Daytona 500 is a big race, but to me personally, this race means so much because of the fans. Because of the history of this track, but I couldn't help it,” he said on his historic victory.

Although he did not lead the most laps, the 42-year-old arguably had the fastest car throughout the 400-mile event. In the 21st running of this event, Gordon had to pass his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne, for on a late-race restart after the caution came out for Ryan Truex – who was off the pace on the apron of the race track. During the restart, Gordon passed Kahne on the high line, and set sail after that.

“I’m not very good on restarts and wasn’t very good today. I finally made the restart of my life today when it counted most. I knew we had a great race car. We just needed to get out front. Kasey (Kahne) kind of hung back and I kind of got a little ahead of him and I had to back up and was able to stay on his quarter panel and once we got down into (Turns) 1 and 2, I could hear him get loose. I was kind of glad he took the inside because I really wanted the outside,” Gordon said after the race.

Kahne dropped to the fifth position after getting passed by the three Joe Gibbs Racing cars, and then Joey Logano took a top-five away from the man that led a race-high 70 laps.  

“I think we finished where we deserved to finish, we just need more speed in our car.”  A GOOD RUN.  “That’s about what we ran all day is where we finished.  The guys did a good job.  We got this thing better from the way we unloaded.  We weren’t very good to start off this weekend, but every time we went out for practice or went on the race track we got a little bit better – through practice, through qualifying and even the race,” Logano said.

Kyle Busch used pit strategy to his advantage to come home in the second position, yet slipped over two seconds behind Gordon after the restart. This was Busch’s second runner-up finish at Indianapolis in two of the last three races at the 2.5-mile circuit. Throughout the day, he was racing outside of the top-10, but came on strong as his team took advantage of the multiple green-flag pit stops which took place in the first half of the race.

Busch was followed by his JGR teammates, Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth – providing a solid day for the Toyota organization. However, since Toyota entered the Sprint Cup Series in 2007, they have yet to record a victory at Indianapolis.

During the race, there was talk of rain in the area. Following the competition caution on Lap 20, multiple drivers were reporting rain in certain areas on the track. However, after a few minutes of drizzling on the speedway, the rain diffused and the drivers were able to focus on the racing. But because of the speculation that rain was surrounding the track, there were several different strategies on the day – providing an added level of excitement for a race that many presumed would be the polar opposite.

Entering the Brickyard 400, pole sitter Kevin Harvick was labeled as the favorite to win the event. Moreover, after starting out the race with the lead, he was passed by Gordon after the two roared by the start/finish line to begin the second lap of the day. Harvick led 12 laps in Sunday’s spectacle, and sits 12th in points after finishing in the eighth position at Indianapolis.

Here are some notables from the Brickyard 400:  

-          Austin Dillon earned his third top-10 finish of 2014. This is Dillon’s first career top-10 at a non-restrictor plate track in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition. He currently holds the final spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup as he sits 14th in points.

-          Jimmie Johnson came home in the 14th spot after coming off of back-to-back 42nd-place finishes.

-          Carl Edwards finished 15th in the Brickyard 400. Edwards and Roush Fenway Racing owner Jack Roush announced on Sunday morning that they will be parting ways at the conclusion of the season.

-          A.J. Allmendinger finished 17th on Sunday. Allmendinger struggled with the handling on his No. 47 Chevrolet. He started the race in the 36th position, and steadily worked his way through the field. With his top-20 finish, Allmendinger gained three spots in the standings and sits 23rd in points.

-          Juan Pablo Montoya earned a 23rd-place finish in his return to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a stock car. Montoya won at Pocono Raceway a few weeks ago in the Verizon IndyCar Series while driving for Team Penske. This was his second of a pair of scheduled starts at NASCAR’s top-tier division for the 2014 season. He currently sits fifth in the IndyCar Series standings.

-          Danica Patrick was racing inside of the top-15 when she broke the right rear axle on her No. 10 Chevrolet. Patrick finished in the 42nd position after bringing her car into Gasoline Alley following a burst of smoke billowing out from her car on pit road.

-          Trevor Bayne finished 43rd for the first time in his young career. During the same announcement about Edwards departing RFR, Roush stated his faith in Bayne piloting the No. 6 Ford on a full-time basis in 2015 with funding from Advocare – his sponsor in the Nationwide Series.