It’s very rare for drivers on the NASCR circuit to honestly admit they aren’t point racing. Every weekend when they strap into their machine there is one goal: win and bring home the maximum amount of points for the championship Chase.
On Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, it will be one of the rare times when that won’t be the case. When 43 drivers take the green flag for the 17th annual Brickyard 400 they will all do so with something more in mind then just winning: kissing the bricks.
Much like the Daytona 500, this race is about the history attached to it. No one remembers nor cares about who finished second, who had a great run, or who ruined their day on pit road. That’s unless you’re Juan Pablo Montoya whose temper tantrum single handedly made the 2009 Brickyard 400 one that will continue to live on for many years to come.
Winning at the Brickyard is about joining the greats of Earnhardt, Jarrett, Labonte, and Elliott to name a few. Winning at the Brickyard could make your career; it’s what can catapult you into superstardom. When Kevin Harvick captured the checkered flag in 2003, it was more than just winning in Dale Earnhardt’s car; it made him a serious contender in the sport.
Some things, however, will remain the same. Like any other race weekend there will be the usual suspects near the front of the field. The likes of Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart, as well as Jeff Gordon, who have all become self-crowned kings of the Indiana track.
Then there will be others who show up and make it a memorable day for himself and his fans.
When looking for favorites for the day or maybe what your fantasy lineup should look like, there are ten drivers that will find their way to the front at Indianapolis. These are the drivers that have the track well figured out and will be waiting to strike in order to get that sweet kiss.
Some of the drivers won’t be surprising. Others might raise an eyebrow. But at the end of the day, after the champagne has been sprayed, the interviews have concluded, and it’s time to pack up and head home, just remember that some things could have been seen coming.