The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Brantley Gilbert Big Machine Brickyard 400, the only trip of the year to the famous speedway. The first stage will end on lap 50. The second stage will end on lap 100. The final stage will conclude at lap 160.
40 drivers are making the trek to Indianapolis to compete for 40 spots. No drivers will be sent home after qualifying on Saturday evening.
This weekend at Indianapolis kicks off a new weekend schedule for Cup drivers. There will be no on track activities for teams on Friday. However, there will be a NASCAR Fan Fest featuring many of these drivers. The events will consist of, but not limited to, the Hauler Parade, pit-stop contests, and a relay challenge with young fans.
Cup teams will have five sets of Goodyear tires for practice, one set for qualifying, and eight sets for the race. The right side tire will be the same compound ran last year at the speedway. However, Goodyear brought a new left side tire compound that is slated to provide more grip for drivers.
This weekend will be the 24th event from Indianapolis Motor Speedway. There have been 19 different pole winners and 13 different race winners. Only four drivers have won from the pole with Kyle Busch being the last driver to do so in last seasons event. In 2000, the race record was set by Bobby Labonte at 155.912 mph. In 2014, Kevin Harvick posted the qualifying record at 188.47 mph.
Here are what driver’s are saying about racing at Indianapolis:
“It’s pretty neat to race at Indy. I remember my first time at the track in the XFINITY Series a couple of years ago and how cool that was and now my first Brickyard 400. I think that’s another milestone for anyone’s career. I’m excited to make my first start in the Brickyard and hopefully have a good showing,” said Erik Jones. “It’s just neat to be at Indy and close to home really for me. It’s neat to be there at a track that not only has the Brickyard 400, but the Indy 500 and all the history involved is pretty special.”
“Indy is Indy. It’s the coolest racetrack that we get to race on, other than Daytona. The history, the prestige, the value of Indianapolis – it is defined by the number of decades they have produced races there and the atmosphere. It’s very electric at Indianapolis,” said Kurt Busch. “For me to actually get to run the Indy 500 in the month of May is a little different than when we race there in July because of the fact it is their backyard, it is their stage. Those Indiana natives love their track. What makes Indy special is the people.”
"It's the Brickyard. It's the history of motorsports in America. It's that yard of bricks. It's a special place when you think about everyone who's been there associated with F1, IndyCars, motorcycles and NASCAR. It's unique because of the four corners, the long straightaways and the flatness. To me, it's just unique in so many ways. It's a fun place to drive and yet, it's quite a challenge at the same time,” said Ryan Newman.
Cup teams will have two practice sessions on Saturday at 9:00 a.m. EDT and 11:00 a.m. EDT on CNBC. Teams will qualify at 6:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday on NBCSN. The Brickyard 400 will air on NBC beginning at 2:30 p.m. EDT. Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network, in conjunction with Performance Racing Network, will broadcast qualifying and the race on the radio.
After a wild race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, the NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers head to the world-renown Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the sixth annual Lilly Diabetes 250. The race will be consist of two stages of 30 laps each and a final stage of 40 laps for a race total of 100 laps.
40 drivers are scheduled to arrive in Indianapolis. There will be six notable Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers in the field including Paul Menard, Ty Dillon, Reed Sorenson, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, and Erik Jones.
This weekend will look different for fans as NASCAR as brought a new competition package exclusively for Indianapolis. The 2016 spoiler and splitter will be reimplemented, new aero ducts attached to the front bumper, and a 7/8-inch restrictor plate will be used. The goal of this package is to create close racing and passing opportunities for drivers. The new implementations are erected to increase the drat envelope by 25%.
Teams will have six sets of Goodyear tires at their disposal for the whole event at Indianapolis. Teams will run the same tire combination on the right side of the car as they did last season. The left-side tire compound is slated to provide more grip
This will be the sixth event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Xfinity Series. There have only been two pole winners and three race winners. Three races have been won from the pole with Ky. Busch being the last driver to do so last season. In 2014, Ty Dillon set the race record at 137.153 mph. In 2016, Ky. Busch set the pole winning speed at 181.939 mph.
Here is what drivers are saying about this weekend at Indianapolis:
“I am stoked to be going to Indy this weekend, it isn’t every day that we are able to race at such a historic track. This will be an interesting race to see how it plays out with NASCAR adding restrictor plates to the cars this week,” said Matt Tifft. “Everyone will be on the same playing field where strategy will be a huge determining factor in who comes out on top. With Indy being narrow, it will be important for our No. 19 Camry to get up front and stay there so that we don’t get wrapped up in any wrecks.”
“I tested this superspeedway package at IMS and I think we are definitely going to be in a pack, but I really don’t know how it’s going to race with 39 other cars. At the test we did it with three, but it’s going to change a lot when we get a whole pack out there. It’s a unique situation, something we’ve never done in NASCAR with a track like IMS and a Superspeedway package,” said Ryan Reed.
"It is going to be incredible to roll through the gates at Indianapolis and know the history you are amongst. To know the past, the people that have run there and won there, it's truly incredible. Especially coming from the short track background, where you read all of the stories of everyone back in the 1960s, '70s and even before, and how they wanted to get to Indy and that was their goal,” said Daniel Hemric. “To know that nonchalantly we're going there this week is pretty incredible. I'm looking forward to it. I know it is a place where RCR has had success in the past, which is always a good thing. I've won races at the old IRP short track and other tracks in the area, but to know we'll be battling there on the main stage in the Blue Gate Bank Chevrolet is pretty cool.”
On Friday, Xfinity teams will be the only drivers on the track. Teams will have two practice sessions at 1:00 p.m. EDT and 3:00 p.m. EDT on the NBC Sports App. Xfinity teams will qualify at 12:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday and race at 3:30 p.m. EDT on NBC Sports Network. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network, in conjunction with Performance Racing Network, will have radio coverage of the Lilly Diabetes 250.
Kyle Busch dominates the Lilly Diabetes 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for his third straight win of 2016. Justin Allgaier pulled a maneuver on Elliott Sadler in the first turn of the last lap to win the $100,000 Dash4Cash bonus. Kevin Harvick finished second followed by Paul Menard, Kyle Larson, and Allgaier rounded out the top-five. Busch holds off two late race restarts on older tires to clinch his sixth victory of 2016.
“Man, these guys are so good, but you’ve got to drive the car to make it happen too, so I give the driver a little bit of credit, but overall, man, just a great day. Joe Gibbs Racing obviously does a great job for me – Toyota, TRD (Toyota Racing Development), Joe Gibbs Racing Engines – and it’s fun to run here and get some more experience for tomorrow. I feel like this car’s really helped me in the last few years at being excel here at the Brickyard and I’m looking forward to what we’ve got for them tomorrow,” said Kyle Busch in a post race interview in victory lane.
Busch also dominated his first heat. Larson finished second followed by Joey Logano in third, Daniel Suarez in fourth, and Elliott Sadler in fifth. This heat went caution free.
Erik Jones dominated the second heat. Harvick finished second, Allgaier finished third, Paul Menard finished fourth, and Brennan Poole finished in fifth. The heat went caution free.
The main event saw three lead changes among two different drivers. Busch led 62 laps and Brendan Gaughan led one lap under green flag pit stops. The caution flag flew twice for a total of 10 laps. The first caution was for a spin by Erik Jones, and the second caution was brought out by an accident between Harrison Rhodes and Ray Black Jr. The average speed of the race was 136.298 mph. The time of the race was 1 hour, 9 minutes, and 20 seconds. The margin of victory was 0.411 seconds.
Allgaier was able to hold off Sadler, Jones, and Daniel Suarez to win the Dash4Cash bonus. Jones was the suspected winner of the bonus, but contact with the wall resulted in tire failure causing Jones to spin. Suarez assumed the lead in the race for the bonus, but a late race restart led to his demise giving Sadler the lead. Sadler lost the lead to Allgaier assumed the lead by passing Sadler in turn one on the last lap to clinch his first Dash4Cash Bonus in 2016.
“Just a solid weekend for us. We had speed right off the truck. They (the team) just pushed me through to the end of the race and put us in a good position. God parted the seas for us with the 19 (Suarez) and 20 (E. Jones) having their bad luck, I was able to bail it out,” said Allgaier of his victory.
Daniel Suarez maintains a 14-point lead over Elliott Sadler followed by Ty Dillon (-50), Justin Allgaier (-66), and Erik Jones (-69). The chase grid remains the same after today’s event. Jones holds the top seed with three wins and Elliott Sadler and Daniel Suarez hold the second and third seed with one win each.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series returns to Iowa Speedway for the US Cellular 250 on Saturday night. NBCSN and Motor Racing Network will have all the action from Iowa Speedway.
Kyle Busch clinches the pole for the Lilly Diabetes 250 by two thousandths of a second over Erik Jones at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. However, Busch and Jones will start on the pole in their respective heat races. This is the sixth pole for Busch in the 2016 season.
In the first round of single car qualifying, drivers were battling the sun and cloud cover on the speedway. Despite the weather challenges, Erik Jones toppled the track record with a speed of 182.271 mph. Kyle Larson qualified second with a speed of 181.926 mph, Kyle Busch with a speed of 181.899 mph, Daniel Suarez with a speed of 180.242 mph, and Blake Koch with a speed of 179.978 mph. Notable drivers who did not advance include Blake Koch (P13), Darrell Wallace Jr. (P14), Ty Dillon (P16), Brendan Gaughan (P18), and Elliott Sadler (P19). Sadler’s qualifying run was plagued by being too loose. TJ Bell is the lone driver to not qualify for today’s event.
The second round of qualifying saw drivers on a hot and slick racetrack baking in the sun. Kevin Harvick edged out Daniel Suarez for the fourth position by one thousandths of a second. Ryan Sieg, who snuck his way into the second round, qualified 12th.
Drivers who qualified in odd-numbered positions will be in the first heat race, and drivers who qualified in even numbered positions will be in the second heat race. The heat races will be 20 laps each, with the main even being 60 laps.
The Lilly Diabetes 250 will begin at 3:30 pm eastern with the first heat. The second heat will begin at approximately 4:25 pm, and the main event will begin at approximately 5:05 pm. NBCSN and IMS Radio Network in collaboration with Performance Racing Network will have coverage beginning at 3:00 pm.
The NASCAR Xfinity rolls back home again to Indiana for the fifth annual Lilly Diabetes 250 at the historic 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This is the fourth and final installment of the Dash4Cash, a heat race spectacular. Officially 41 cars are competing for 40 spots in Saturday’s qualifying session.
There have only been four races at Indianapolis due to the recent move from Lucas Oil Raceway. Kyle Busch and Kasey Kahne are the only two drivers to have won a pole at the speedway. Three different drivers have made their way into victory lane. In 2014, Ty Dillon became the youngest winner. In 2015, Kyle Busch became the oldest winner at Indianapolis for the Xfinity series. Two races have been won from the pole position. The last race to be won from the pole was in 2015 by Busch. Dillon holds the race record sarin 2014 with a speed of 137.153 mph. Busch holds the qualifying record set in 2015 at 180.527 mph.
Goodyear is giving teams six sets of tires for the race weekend. Tire codes will be the same as the Cup series. Tires will align for what was run at Pocono Raceway in early June.
The Lilly Diabetes 250 will feature two heats at 20 laps each. The first two NASCAR Xfinity Series regulars in each heat will move to race for the $100,00 bonus in the 60 lap main event.
“I think the biggest thing about the Brickyard is the prestige, the track’s history and quality of racing – all the historic finishes it’s had over the years, whether it has been IndyCar or NASCAR. To me, it’s a special place to go to because of its heritage of being Indianapolis. Every guy in NASCAR and, especially every guy in IndyCar, they want to win there. Getting our Skittles Camry to victory lane there two years in a row would be special for a lot of reasons,” stated Kyle Busch about what it means to race at Indianapolis in his weekly press release.
Paul Menard, who is pulling double duty this weekend, talks about the prestige of racing in Indiana in a weekly press release. "Indy has a special meaning to me for sure. It's the greatest race track in the world. It's the one I circle every year, even before I won there. I spent a lot of time there as a kid watching IndyCar races. I was at the inaugural Brickyard 400. At one point I could name every Indy 500 winner from 1911 through probably the mid-90's. I've forgotten most of them now but could still probably name quite a few. I was and still am a big history geek. I love history, especially at Indianapolis. I'm looking forward to another shot at a win this weekend with Danny (Stockman, crew chief) and the Richmond/Menards team. It should be fun."
"Indy just brings a lot of excitement. It's so historical and when you drive in the track, it's a pretty big deal. I'll never forget my first time at Indy; I wanted to lift a lot earlier in the corners. Most places we go to, you can see the exit. At Indy, it looks like you're driving straight into a wall. You turn and see another wall. You turn one more time and then you have a huge straightaway,” said Blake Koch, NASCAR Xfinity Series regular.
In the only two practice sessions of the weekend, Busch was the fastest in each. Qualifying for the Lilly Diabetes 250will begin at 11:40 am on NBCSN. The race will begin at 3:30 pm on NBCSN and IMS Radio Network, in conjunction with Performance Racing Network.