At the start of the Brickyard 400, NASCAR's elite drivers exit the fourth turn with hearts pounding as they speed through the crevice of fans, look toward the first turn that appears impossible with the sharp left turn, and they may not exhale until they reach the long backstretch.
The Brickyard 400 may not be the most exciting race during the season, but next to the Daytona 500, it is certainly the most prestigious.
NASCAR has been racing heavy stock cars at the Brickyard for 18 years now. The flat track built in 1909, was never meant to handle the bulky race machines, but rather open-wheel cars.
The original track was a mixture of crushed rock that was quickly repaved with more than three million bricks.
Today the history-rich track is paved, but the Yard of Bricks that remains at the start/finish line beckons each of the 43 drivers for the traditional kiss at the end of the race.
When the series comes to Indianapolis Motor Speedway, there is usually some unique factor that rears its head and could easily be a game-changer for those who are in critical need of a good finish or win.
The pressure to secure a place in the history books of the Brickyard is intense for the driver, crew chief, team, owner and sponsors.
It sometimes makes for wild calls by the team leader that may not be proven logical unless their driver takes the coveted checkered flag.
One thing you can count on besides one very happy winner is the lessons that will be learned during a NASCAR Sprint Cup race at the Brickyard.
Lets take a look at some of the lessons we learned at the 18th running of the Brickyard 400 presented by BigMachineRecords.com.