NASCAR Sprint Cup: 8 Bold Predictions for the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis

Melissa Bauer-Herzog@mbauerherzogCorrespondent IJuly 28, 2011

NASCAR Sprint Cup: 8 Bold Predictions for the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis

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    As NASCAR gets ready to roll onto the track for the Brickyard 400, it's time to make some predictions about what we'll see this weekend in Indianapolis. While most of these predictions will probably fall flat on their face since this is NASCAR and nothing ever goes as planned, here are eight bold predictions for this weekend's race at Indy.

No. 8: Kevin Harvick Will Win the Pole

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    Kevin Harvick last won this race and the Pole in 2003, so he's definitely capable of doing it, even if that was a different era of cars.

    Harvick has a pretty good record here at Indianapolis and his cars have been running well this season, so if they can get a good qualifying trim going, you could see him at the front of the pack going to the green flag.

No. 7: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Will Make a Comeback

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    Dale Earnhardt Jr has been struggling the last few weeks but he should get it turned around again in this race.

    With all of Hendrick Motorsports backing him and his Chase spot at risk (he's seven points inside the top 10), we'll see the Dale Jr. we saw at the beginning of the season.

No. 6: We'll See a JR Hildebrand Type of Crash

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    Coming to the checkered flag, someone will be leading and looking to win the race. That someone won't win the race.

    Just like JR Hildebrand did in the Indy 500, someone will crash in turn four and lose the lead. They'll have to watch their hopes of Victory Lane flash by in the last seconds of the race as someone else takes over the lead just before the checkered flag.

No. 5: Jimmie Johnson Will Continue His Indy Domination

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    People are starting to wonder if Jimmie Johnson is going to step up and win the championship or throw it away this year. Indy will put that question out of their minds for a while.

    Johnson has won here three times in the last five years and will keep his tradition of kissing the bricks going at the end of this race.

No. 4: Five Wreck Cautions

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    Thankfully, there won't be suffering like there was in 2008 when there was a caution every 10 laps or so because of tire wear.

    Instead, we'll see five cautions for various wrecks, from people tagging the wall to all-out chaos. There will be one or two big crashes and a few minor ones, but there will be five wreck cautions in total at the end of the race.

No. 3: Three "Other" Cautions

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    From blown engines to debris on the track, we will see three minor no-wreck cautions.

    We'll even have one that has conspiracy theorists wondering if there was debris on the track or if NASCAR has some evil twisted plot to screw with fans' heads and mess with the racing.

No. 2: Green-White Checkered Finish

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    Did I forget to mention that the cautions will result in two green-white-checked restarts? The last laps of the Brickyard 400 will be full of excitement, as we'll watch the boys come down to the restart just to have to try again a lap or two later.

    Don't expect things to go smoothly on the last attempt either, because they won't.

No. 1: Side-by-Side Racing All the Way

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    There will be no sitting back in your seat or even a chance to take a nap; this race will be exciting from start to finish. There will be no follow-the-leader racing going on; rather, it will be full of position changes, including tons of lead changes.

    Tighten your belts the second those engines start because this is going to be a wild ride!

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