INDIANAPOLIS- It’s really shaping up to be a three horse race to win Sunday’s Brickyard 400 at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. After two practice sessions and three rounds of qualifying for the 21st running of the historic event, Stewart/Haas Racing, Hendrick Motorsports and Team Penske are showing to be the teams to beat at the 2.5-mile track.
The trio of teams put a combined seven cars in the top nine starting spots and nine of the top 12.
Stewart/Hass, took the pole with a new track record effort by Kevin Harvick. Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch will join him in the top 10 as they will start sixth and seventh respectively. The organization also put all three cars in the top 11 of practice on Friday.
Team Penske is equally as strong. Brad Keselowski will roll off third but he was third and second respectively in the two practice sessions this weekend. His teammate Joey Logano was eighth quickest yesterday and will start ninth tomorrow. Also don’t factor out Juan Pablo Montoya. Despite not running in the series full-time this year, he’s hungry for a Brickyard 400 victory as he should have won at least twice here. Give him a fast car and experience at the track and you have a driver very capable of winning on Sunday.
Then there’s the favorites Hendrick Motorsports. Jeff Gordon feels like this is his best shot at winning in a very long time here as he enters as the points leader and will start second tomorrow. He’s been quick all weekend as he’s searching to become the first driver to win five races here at IMS.
Gordon, will have still competition from his teammate Jimmie Johnson as he too is going for that feat. The defending series champion was fourth fastest in practice yesterday and was quickest this morning. Despite starting 11th his car is better than that shows. He’s going to be tough to stop here as he’s finished in the top two in four of the last six years in Indy.
Kasey Kahne has been quiet but he will start 10th with Dale Earnhardt Jr. starting 23rd.
These three are really separating themselves from the competition this season and that’s not wavering this weekend in Indy. I’d be shocked if anyone outside of these three teams win tomorrow.
This post and all other Brickyard 400 related posts are brought to you by Lino’s Coffee. They’re a proud supporter and sponsor of ISR for all Brickyard 400 coverage this week. Give them a follow on twitter @LinosCoffeeIndy or like them on Facebook at facebook.com/LinosSpeedwayIndiana. Stop in this weekend and mention ISR and get 10% off your entire bill (excluding alcohol).
Also, Paul Poteetis our “official” meterologist for the Brickyard 400. Here’s his forecast for this weekend out at IMS.
Eric Smith is a Senior Writer for the Indiana Sports Report covering Racing. He’s covered both IndyCar and NASCAR action since 2009 and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by both the IndyCar Series and all three divisions of NASCAR racing.
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