FYI WIRZ: NASCAR's Top Five Indianapolis Drivers Before and After

Dwight Drum@@racetakeCorrespondent IIIJuly 25, 2010

It was fast Brickyard 400 action at the hallowed track known to most humans as Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but it was a stellar day for Chip Ganassi and all associated. The impossible hat trick happened. Trifecta supreme occurred.

Jamie McMurray won the Daytona 500. Dario Franchitti won the Indianapolis 500. Jamie McMurray won the Brickyard 400. 

None of this happened in a generation of team effort. It all happened in 2010.

And 2010 isn’t over yet.

McMurray’s teammate, Juan Montoya, led the most laps in the race, but a late four tire change and a crashing move put the No. 42 in the garage.

Jamie McMurray hung in the top 10 for most of the race, but it was a two tire pit stop decision that his No.1 Chevy team along with other teams that put him in position to get out in clean air and hold off a charging Kevin Harvick.

Explore the telling words of the top five finishers before the green flag and after the checkers at the Brickyard 400, race 20 of 36 in the long ferocious NASCAR season:

Jamie McMurray (No. 1 Chevy) Finished 1st

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Before
“Every year we have the chance to race at Indianapolis and it is such a great track because of all the history and tradition there,” McMurray said. “Indy is a track that is on every driver’s list of places where they would like to win and I’ve always looked forward to our race there.

“To win would be really neat as Chip would once again become the first owner in history to win both the Indy 500 and the Brickyard 400. We’ve set a lot of awesome milestones this year, and to say that I’d like to do it again at Indy would be an understatement!”

After
“Exciting day for us for Bass Pro Shops, McDonald’s, Coca Cola,” McMurray said. “Everybody that is a part of our organization. It is unbelievable the races that Chip Ganassi Racing has won this year with the Indy 500, and honestly almost winning the 24 Hours of Daytona too. It is unbelievable and the greatest racing year of my life.

“I don’t know what happened to Juan but he obviously had the dominate car again and its horrible the luck that team is having but great race cars. The guys at our shop are doing an awesome job and we are just a great team right now and I am very happy.”

Kevin Harvick (No. 29 Chevy) Finished 2nd

Before
"Indy has a lot of tradition,” Harvick said. “It's one of those places where everybody wants to win. It's the second place in that you check off in the year that you want to try to win the race next to Daytona. Growing up as a fan of Indy Cars and really wanting to race open-wheel cars and to be able to win there and just to compete there is pretty cool. Track position is pretty key there.

“Obviously you need to have a fast car and usually Indy is the place where everybody brings out all their new stuff to try to take that next step on performance and hopefully we do that.”

After
“A good day and we didn’t have a winning car but Gil (Martin) gave us a chance to win by putting two tires on and giving us track position,” Harvick said. “I think we had a top-five car all day but I don’t know that we were as fast as the 16 and 42 and even the 1 there at the end and all during the day he was a little bit better than us. But good day for us and glad we came home second and thought we had a chance to win but we just didn’t make it happen.”

Greg Biffle (No. 16 Ford) Finished 3rd

Before
“I’m gonna be on the inside,” Biffle said. “It’s a little easier to get a run down there, but, at the same time, no matter what, we’re gonna be four-wide or five-wide because these cars draft a bunch and you’re gonna get a push from somebody. It’s a crazy place for double-file restarts.” 

Afte:
This engine ran really good today, but I want to win one of these things,” Biffle said. “We had the fastest car, but the fastest car doesn’t always win. We’ve just got to take some chances to win some of these races, I guess. Taking chances with two tires, I guess, is what we’ve got to try.”

Clint Bowyer (No. 33 Chevy) Finished 4th

Before
The history and tradition behind it is very special and it's a huge opportunity and a privilege to race on it. I understand the significance of Indianapolis. But I do enjoy going to the town and the city and to the race track. What other race track has a golf course in the middle of it. Our horsepower is really good and I think those are good qualities that you've got to have for Indy in order to have a good run on Sunday."

After
“I had a lot of fun out there and the Wheaties Fuel Chevrolet was really strong all weekend long and not what we wanted but still a good show,” Bowyer said.

Tony Stewart (No. 14 Chevy) Finished 5th

Before
“Growing up in Indiana and every year watching the Indy 500 and the whole month of May leading up to it, a race at the Brickyard is more than just a regular points race,” Stewart said. “It’s always been a big race to all of the Cup drivers, but then when you grow up in Indiana, it just makes it that much more important.

“It’s a place that is a momentum-driven track. You don’t just have two ends to the racetrack and two big 180-degree corners. You’ve got four 90-degree corners to negotiate. If you have one bad corner at Indy and if your car’s not right, you’re going to be bad in four corners versus two corners a lap.”

After
This car has been terrible all weekend but I am really proud of Darian Grubb and these guys and how hard they worked to make it as good as it was today,” Stewart said. “I am happy we had a good solid run. We just went out and did it. The guys had great pit stops.”

Photo credit: Dwight Drum @ Racetake.com

FYI WIRZ with Dwight Drum focuses on original articles plus compiled, condensed press releases brought to fans whose attention time is limited.