Thursday, July 24, 2014

Indianapolis Driver Chassis Selections: 2014 Brickyard 400

#2-Brad Keselowski: will drive Primary Chassis PRS-921 at Indianapolis, which is a new chassis. The Backup Chassis is PRS-908 which last raced in Kansas and finished 13th.

#3-Austin Dillon: will pilot Chassis No. 481 in the John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This is a new Chevrolet SS that will be utilized under race conditions for the first time this weekend.

#4-Kevin Harvick: Chassis No. 4-884: Kevin Harvick will pilot Chassis No. 4-884 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Built new for 2014, Chassis 4-884 will see its first laps of competition this weekend in the Brickyard 400.

#5-Kasey Kahne: Crew chief Kenny Francis has selected Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 5-888 for Sunday's race at Indianapolis. This is a brand new chassis that has never been raced before. In 10 Sprint Cup Series starts at Indianapolis, Kahne has posted three top-five finishes, five top-10s and led a total of 88 laps. His top-five results include a runner-up finish in 2005 and a third-place result in 2013. Kahne also has qualified in the top 10 seven of 10 times that he's raced at the Brickyard in the Cup Series. Consequently, his average start at the 2.5-mile track is 8.5, which ranks him second among active drivers.

#10-Danica Patrick: Chassis No. 10-794: Chassis No. 10-794 was tested in the wind tunnel May 1, 2013, before being used by Patrick in the Coca-Cola 600 later that month at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. Patrick started 24th and finished 29th after being involved in a multicar accident on lap 320 of 400. After repairs, she managed to finish the race but completed only 385 laps. The next time Patrick drove this car was in June at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, where she started 29th and finished 23rd. The last time she drove it was in September at Atlanta Motor Speedway, where she started 21st and finished 21st. It was used as a backup car in fall 2013 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Charlotte and Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. It was then used in 2014 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, but she wrecked the car early in the first practice and went to a backup. Since then, it has been a backup at Texas, Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, Dover (Del.) International Speedway, Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn and Kentucky.

#12-Juan Pablo Montoya: Primary Chassis for Indianapolis is PRS-910, which last raced at in Charlotte in the All-Star race as the #2 primary and finished 10th.

#14-Tony Stewart: Chassis No. 14-827 has only been tested once, but it shined brightly when Kevin Harvick drove it to the fastest speed of anyone participating in the Dec. 9, 2013 test session at Charlotte. Since that test, crew chief Chad Johnston has put countless hours into Chassis No. 14-827 - on the shop floor and in the wind tunnel. The car will make its racing debut this weekend in the Brickyard 400, with shiny black-and-white paint of its Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops livery covering the primer gray it wore seventh months ago. Stewart has one pole, two wins, three top-threes, seven top-fives, 11 top-10s and has led a total of 227 laps in 15 career Sprint Cup starts at Indianapolis. He only has two finishes outside the top-12 - a 17th-place result in 2001 and a 23rd-place finish in 2008. His average Sprint Cup start at Indianapolis is 15.9, his average Sprint Cup finish at Indianapolis is a series-best 7.9 and his lap completion rate is 100 percent. Stewart has raced Sprint Cup cars (15x), Indy cars (5x) and IROC cars (4x) to earn a total of 24 Indianapolis starts.

#15-Clint Bowyer: Chassis No. 814 serves as the primary chassis for Bowyer at Indianapolis. This chassis has never seen race action. Chassis No. 804 serves as the back-up chassis and finished 12th at Darlington and 15th at Bristol earlier this year.

#16-Greg Biffle: Primary Chassis: RK-922 Brand new chassis. Backup Chassis: RK-879 Last ran Vegas - finished 22nd.

#17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: Primary Chassis: RK- 899- last raced at Charlotte - finished 26th. Backup Chassis: RK-888 - last raced at Bristol - finished second.

#22-Joey Logano: will drive Primary Chassis PRS-920 at Indianapolis, which is a new chassis. The Backup Chassis is PRS-907 which last raced in Kansas and finished 4th.

#24-Jeff Gordon: crew chief Alan Gustafson has selected Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 24-895 for this Sunday's race. This chassis is new and has never been raced. In 20 Cup starts at Indianapolis, the 42-year-old driver's four wins are tied with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson for most among stock car drivers at the famed speedway. Gordon visited Victory Lane in the inaugural event in 1994, and again in 1998, 2001 and 2004. This weekend, the #24 Chevy SS will sport the familiar Axalta Racing Brilliant Flames paint scheme that features black brilliance with chromatic, fluorescent yellow, red and orange flames. Gordon won at Kansas Speedway in May the last time this paint scheme appeared on the #24 Chevrolet SS.

#27-Paul Menard: and the #27 Moen/Menards Chevrolet SS team will pilot chassis No. 480. This #27 Chevy SS is a new addition to the Richard Childress Racing stable and will turn its first laps in practice on Friday.

#31-Ryan Newman: will drive chassis No. 479 in Sunday's John Wayne Walding 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This is a new chassis and will be utilized for the first time this weekend.

#41-Kurt Busch: Chassis No. 760: Kurt Busch will pilot Chassis No. 760 in Sunday's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Chassis No. 760 made its lone start of the 2014 season at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City two months ago, when Busch started sixth and ran as high as fourth before a loose-handling condition saw the #41 Chevrolet drop to 29th when the checkered flag waved.

#47-A.J. Allmendinger: "We will have a new #47 Kingsford Chevrolet SS to race this weekend," Allmendinger said. "Hopefully, we can work through the weekend and have a smooth one. We are focused on getting back to maximizing the weekend and getting everything you can out of qualifying and the race and then take it as it comes. We are looking to get the best finish we can get at Indy."

#48-Jimmie Johnson: Crew chief Chad Knaus has selected Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 48-891 for this weekend's 400-mile event at Indianapolis. This is a brand new chassis that has never been raced before. The back-up car is Chassis No. 48-728, which Johnson last raced at Bristol Motor Speedway in March. In 12 starts at the Brickyard, Johnson has recorded four wins, five top-five finishes and six top-10s, sharing the title of most all-time Indianapolis victories with teammate Jeff Gordon. Johnson's 302 laps led also rank him second on the all-time list, trailing only Gordon.

#55-Brian Vickers: Primary: 803 finished fourth at Texas & 14th in the All-Star Race. Backup: 801 finished 13th in Las Vegas.

#88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Crew chief Steve Letarte and the #88 National Guard team will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-882 this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Earnhardt most recently raced this chassis to a seventh-place finish at Michigan in June. In 14 Sprint Cup starts at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Earnhardt has recorded one top-five, four top-10 finishes and led 61 laps. In five of those races, the driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS lined up sixth or better for the historic event. He scored his best finish -- fourth-place -- at the 2.5-mile oval in 2012.

- compiled by

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Kevin Harvick looking for second Brickyard 400 win

Kevin Harvick is 8/1 to win at Indy on Sunday
KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (July 22, 2014) – Kevin Harvick grew up racing go-karts in Bakersfield, California, dreaming of his turn to one day emulate his childhood hero Rick Mears, the four-time Indianapolis 500 champion and three-time IndyCar Series champion who also grew up in Bakersfield. His dream was to win the historic Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. But, the driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) saw his career take a different path that led him to NASCAR instead of IndyCar. 

The path that led to NASCAR meant that Harvick would have to slightly amend his dream of winning at Indianapolis. Instead of winning the Indianapolis 500, he would instead try to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400.

In 2003, in just his third attempt at the Brickyard 400, Harvick made his dream of winning at Indianapolis Motor Speedway a reality, and he did it in grand fashion. Harvick won the pole with a speed of 184.343 mph, led 33 laps and beat runner-up driver Matt Kenseth to the finish line by 2.758 seconds.

Since 2003, the 14-year Sprint Cup veteran has come close to scoring additional wins at Indianapolis. In 2006, Harvick started 10th, led 18 laps and finished third. In 2010, he started ninth, led five laps and finished runner-up to Jamie McMurray by less than two seconds.

Harvick would like nothing more than to score his second Sprint Cup win at Indianapolis in Sunday’s Brickyard 400. A win Sunday also would give Harvick his third win of the 2014 Sprint Cup season. He scored his first Sprint Cup win of 2014 in the season’s second race at Phoenix International Raceway and his second win at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway in the Southern 500.

Only Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski have scored three wins in 2014. Harvick, Joey Logano, Carl Edwards and Dale Earnhardt Jr., each have two wins and Aric Almirola, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon and Denny Hamlin have one win apiece. In total, the 2014 season has seen 11 different winners through the first 19 Sprint Cup races.

Under the new Chase for the Sprint Cup format, the top-15 drivers with the most wins over the first 26 races will earn a spot in the Chase. The 16th position will go to the points leader following the Sept. 6 Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway if that driver does not have a victory.

While Harvick and his No. 4 team are virtually locked into the Chase for the Sprint Cup field, gaining additional bonus points from wins is now their top priority through the next seven races starting this weekend at Indianapolis.

KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

What makes Indianapolis unique or special to you?

“Indianapolis is a very unique track. For me, it’s kind of a cool place to go to as I always wanted to grow up racing IndyCars. With Rick Mears being from Bakersfield (California), he was a hometown, childhood hero as we were all racing go-karts. So, to win there back in 2003, and be able to kind of achieve your childhood dream in a sense, but in a stock car, was a great moment. Going back to Indy is just a very historic racetrack where it’s a lot of fun to be a part of the event. It’s always a place where you want to win, but it’s fun to just go there and race to be a part of the next era of its history.”

What is your favorite Brickyard moment?
“My favorite Brickyard moment is definitely the win. I always tell people that the best part of the win is not kissing the bricks or taking the checkered flag, but the best part of the win is driving around in the Corvette after the race. You can tell who the fans are who have been at Indy for a long time and know about the victory lap. So just driving around and reminiscing about what you just achieved with the team owner and DeLana (Harvick, wife) is just a cool 15 minutes.”

What does it take to be successful at Indianapolis?
“Indianapolis is a very hard racetrack to pass on. Obviously, with how narrow the racetrack is and how fast the cars are going, you have to try and maintain your track position all day. It takes really everything – you have to have great motors, good handling and all the things you hear about at a lot of racetracks. You can’t overcome a lack of horsepower or a lack of downforce and I feel like we’ve done a good job with both of those things all year. Hopefully, we can find the right handling package to go with the great pieces and parts that we have to go on the cars.”

Where does Indy rank on your list of prestigious wins in the Sprint Cup Series?
“Well, I think there are probably two rankings. One is just that personal feeling of what you wanted to achieve as far as when you were a child. So, for me to achieve that at Indianapolis was pretty awesome. From a stock car racing career standpoint, I think it’s right behind the Daytona 500. I’d say the Southern 500 and the Brickyard 400 are probably right there together, too.”

Kevin Harvick’s Indianapolis Motor Speedway Performance Profile:
YearEventStartFinishStatus/LapsLaps LedEarnings
2013Brickyard 4002419Running, 160/1602$203,086
2012Brickyard 4002713Running, 160/1600$205,236
2011Brickyard 4001911Running, 160/1600$214,761
2010Brickyard 40092Running, 160/1605$352,424
2009Allstate 400 at the Brickyard196Running, 160/1600$246,253
2008Allstate 400 at the Brickyard1837Running, 148/1600$186,661
2007Allstate 400 at the Brickyard207Running, 160/16018$244,411
2006Allstate 400 at the Brickyard103Running, 160/16018$327,636
2005Allstate 400 at the Brickyard1419Running, 160/1600$190,336
2004×Brickyard 400328Running, 161/1610$205,178
2003Brickyard 40011Running, 160/16033$418,253
2002Brickyard 40075Running, 160/1600$225,278
2001Brickyard 4001111Running, 160/16018$165,112
× Race length extended due to green-white-checkered finish. 

Strong Pocono Run Could Be Good News for Hamlin at Brickyard

Denny Hamlin is 15/1 to win at Indy
Event: The John Wayne Walding 400
Date/Time: July 27/1 p.m. ET
2013 winner: Ryan Newman
2013 polesitter: Ryan Newman
Distance: 160 laps/400 miles
Track Length: 2.5 miles
Banking: 9 degrees
Track Shape: Oval


New Hampshire Recap:
Denny Hamlin finished eighth in the Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota, after being forced to pit for a splash of fuel after a late-race caution and rallying eight spots from 16th in the final two laps to the checkered flag. Hamlin was running second and saving fuel with three laps remaining until a caution for a wreck made it nearly impossible for the #11 machine to make it to the distance without more gas. Hamlin dove to pit road for four tires and fuel, but lost all of his track position. The #11 FedEx machine started the race third, and Hamlin proved to be one of the strongest cars throughout the afternoon in the 305-lap event on the flat, one-mile oval. He took the lead from teammate Kyle Busch on Lap 63, and led twice for a total of 20 laps in the race. Varying tire strategies during pit stops shuffled Hamlin around the running order, but he was always able to move back into the top-five to challenge with the frontrunners. Crew Chief Darian Grubb called for a handful of changes in the race to give Hamlin more lateral grip in the corners, which he used to make passes in the final 100 laps of the event. Grubb kept Hamlin on the track under caution on Lap 250, and he restarted second behind Jeff Gordon, but with less fuel than the majority of lead lap cars that pitted. Keselowski used fresh tires to pass the #11 with less than 40 laps to go, and then Hamlin got around Gordon for second with less than 25 laps remaining. The finishing order was seemingly determined before the final caution on Lap 299.

Current Standing: Hamlin is currently 12th in points, 140 behind leader Jeff Gordon. Hamlin has one victory (Talladega) and two poles (Bristol and Pocono) on the season.

Indianapolis Preview: Following the final off-weekend of the season, the Series heads to the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway for Sunday’s 400-mile event on the 2.5-mile oval. Hamlin is making his ninth career start at the Brickyard, with a career-best finish of third in the 2008 event at the track, when he led 26 laps. One year ago, Hamlin qualified fourth for the race and led four laps en route to an 18th place finish in the race won by Ryan Newman.

FedEx Office – Closest to Indianapolis Motor Speedway: 5030 W. Pike Plaza Rd., Indianapolis, IN 46254, (317) 297-2679

Champaign/Urbana, Ill., Along for the Ride in Indianapolis: The #11 FedEx Express Toyota will carry the letters “CMIA” on the B-posts in recognition of the U.S. Operations team in the Champaign / Urbana market. CMIA runs the FedEx Express pickup and delivery operations for the customers in east-central Illinois. They are being recognized for outstanding performance and have won their District’s Station of the Year Award for four (4) consecutive years.


What are the keys to success at Indianapolis?

“I’m always excited leading into the Indy weekend, with it being such a historic track and to get back to racing after the off weekend, Our FedEx team is anxious to get our first win here and we’re going to work as hard as we can to put ourselves in a position to compete with the frontrunners. This is definitely one of the more unique tracks in NASCAR and one where we’ve run pretty well over the years, including the pole in 2012. Now we’re just working to push ourselves a little more to get to that next level and finish as strong as we can.”

- Weber Shandwick Worldwide for FedEx Racing

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Johnson, Keselowski co-favorites to win 2014 Brickyard 400

The LVH SuperBook has installed Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski as 5-to-1 co-favorites to win Sunday's Brickyard 400 on the storied grounds of Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This will be the 20th race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season and the 21st visit by NASCAR to the mecca of the auto racing world.
Fifteen of the first 20 Brickyard 400s have been won by Chevrolet, including the last 11 events. Johnson has won four of the past eight Indy races, which ties him for most Brickyard wins all-time with teammate Jeff Gordon, who won the inaugural race in 1994.
A unique facet along NASCAR's short history on the bricks is that the flat 2.5-mile layout has been gateway to championships and has also very kind to past NASCAR champions. Eight of the 20 Brickyard winners have gone on to win the championship that same season, and 15 of the 20 winners have been NASCAR champions at some point in their careers.
One effective handicapping method for Indy prior to Friday’s and Saturday's practices is to refer to what happened at Pocono Raceway in June. Both tracks have long straightaways that require lots of horsepower, and the flat turn three at Pocono requires a similar set up. There has been a solid correlation over the years between teams running well at the first Pocono race and a similar performance on the bricks.
So let's look back at Pocono last month....
Immediately grabbing our attention is that while eight of the top-10 finishers drove a Chevrolet, it was Keselowski in his Ford who led the most laps (95 of the 160). Dale Earnhardt Jr. won at Pocono for his first time ever, Johnson finished sixth and Gordon was eighth. Star Chevy performers in the top-10 included Kurt Busch (3rd), Kyle Larson (5th), last year’s Brickyard 400 winner and Indiana native Ryan Newman (7th), Martin Truex Jr (9th), and 2010 Brickyard 400 winner Jamie McMurray (10th).
The only Toyota with a top-10 Pocono finish was four-time Pocono winner Denny Hamlin (4th). A Toyota has never won at Indy, and the last Ford to win there was Dale Jarrett in 1999, the second of his two career wins there. Roush-Fenway Racing is still searching for its first Indy win, and with the way the team has been running on the horsepower tracks -- sluggishly -- it doesn't look promising this week, which is why Carl Edwards is 50-to-1 and Greg Biffle is 60-to-1.
Sunday's winner is likely to come from Hendrick Motorsports, Stewart-Haas Racing, Richard Childress Racing or Chip Ganassi Racing, which would mark the 12th straight win on the track for Chevy. It would also break the current four-race win streak by Ford. Realistically, unless something goofy happens with fuel mileage and odd pit sequences, the only drivers outside a Chevy stable with a legitimate shot at winning are the Penske Racing duo of Keselowski and Logano.
While the race will likely come down to a few of the favorites like Gordon, Johnson, Earnhardt Jr. and Keselowski, the best value on the board might be Kurt Busch at 30-to-1. Let’s see how he fits the criteria of a Brickyard winner:
-- Has he won a championship like 15 of the previous 20 winners? Yes, in 2004.
-- Does he drive a Chevy like 15 of the previous winners? Yes, he's in the No. 41 Stewart-Haas Chevy with a Hendrick engine.
-- How'd he do at Pocono? He finished third.
-- What about his past Brickyard experience? His best finish was fifth during his rookie season in 2001 and he's yet to finish in the top-five again. The most indelible image of him from Indy might be getting out of a wrecked car and signaling to a passing Jimmy Spencer to kiss his rear-end after being punted. Ironically, Spencer was driving the No. 41 at the time. However, Busch did finish an impressive sixth in his first Indy 500 start in May.
At 30-to-1, it’s definitely worth taking a shot with Busch this week
Good luck this week and enjoy the race.

Read More Here...... LVH odds to win

Tony Stewart talks about Brickyard 400


THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon, everyone. We’re joined today by Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet for Stewart‑Haas Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and owner of Eldora Speedway. Tony, thank you for joining us.

TONY STEWART: Thank you.

THE MODERATOR: You have a busy week ahead starting withWednesday’s Camping World Truck Series race at Eldora. A few interesting notes, fans are coming from 45 different states and as far as Canada, Australia, Great Britain and Sweden to attend the second annual Mudsummer Classic. Talk about the popularity of the event and what it’s like for you to see it all coming together and watching from the owner’s seat?

TONY STEWART: It’s about as close to being a proud father as I can imagine being. It’s just a lot of work, and it’s not been a lot of work from my standpoint. It’s been a lot of work for Roger Slack and Larry Boos and Chad Schmitmeyer, and everybody at Eldora. Anybody that thinks that putting on a single NASCAR event is easy, let’s just open the gates. People think you start working I think a week ahead of time to get ready for stuff like this, and it’s been a very large, eye‑opening experience for me to see what the Eddie Gossages and people in Bruton Smith’s group, and everybody at ISC and SMI and everything has to do to put on an event each week. It takes months and months of work, and so many details.

It’s really cool. This is the fun part of it now is getting down to the last couple of days and the biggest thing I worry about is this weather right now more than anything.

Dirt tracks don’t dry out as fast as pavement tracks do, but the rest of it is something that after going through it last year, I’m really excited and ticket sales are great. We’ve got less than a thousand reserve seats left. Still do have and will have walk up ticket sales for lawn seating, so a lot of good seats available, and looking forward to a great event.

THE MODERATOR: Looking ahead to this weekend, you have two wins at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It’s your home track and a place you’re always really strong. With that said, this weekend lines up as a good opportunity to get your first win of 2014 and lock up a spot in the Chase. Talk about your thoughts going into this weekend.

TONY STEWART: Yeah, I hope you’re right. I hope it would be the perfect place ‑‑ if you can’t win the Daytona 500, this is the perfect second to get your first win for the year. So we were one of the teams that did the Goodyear test a couple weeks ago, and we felt like our car was pretty quick. So I was pretty excited about that. It’s just a matter of going back and trying to keep that speed in the car.

Q. Congratulations on your big return to sprint car racing this past weekend. How good did it feel?

TONY STEWART: It felt great. I mean, it wasn’t a World of Outlaw race or a big paying race by any means, but there were some good cars there that we had to race to win, and we got a little bit of luck. Actually we were probably going to run second, but a guy late in the race got pushed off the track by a lap car, so we got a little bit of luck there. But it just felt good to get in one, period, and just run again.

This weekend the Outlaw series was in Pennsylvania, so that’s probably the toughest place in the country to try to go back. It’s probably the toughest race to go to, period. Pennsylvania’s tough weekly shows, let alone with the World of Outlaw there, so I didn’t feel like that was probably the best place to try to go back for the first time. But it was neat to get back in the car finally in a scenario that was low‑pressure, and just got to kind of go in and race for a couple nights and really enjoyed it. It felt really good.

Q. Just a quick follow‑up, do you plan to do much more of it this year?

TONY STEWART: I’ve got some more on my schedule. Not as many as I was originally wanting to run, but I think I’ve kind of worked with Zippy and sat down with our management and just trying to pick some places that we knew might not be quite as high risk as others because of speed and everything. So we tried to pick some tracks that we thought might be a little slower. And there are some races on there that I really have my heart set on running, but I’ve tried to be smart about where we’re going. As I said before, we’ve done a lot of things safety‑wise in the cars that I feel very comfortable with too. I’m just trying to be smart with the amount of races I’m going to run the rest of the year.

Q. What safety things have you changed in the sprint car that you have now compared to the one you ran last August?

TONY STEWART: It’s the same car, but basically it’s got a clamp around the center of the torque tube, which is the part that actually hit me in the leg. There are two tethers that go 90 degree off the side of the frame rails and those two tethers will keep the torque tube from going left and right. There are two more tethers that go back at a 45‑degree angle that go back to the center section of the rear end, and it will keep it from pulling the torque tube from one side or the other. It’s a pretty good system. It’s not something that’s heavy to install in the car. Sprint car guys are very, very weight conscious because you have 1200‑pound cars, so you can imagine the percentage per pound that you’re putting back in the car, versus a Cup car that’s three times the weight.

This is a system that the tethers are rated for 14,000 pounds of force each. So it should be hopefully adequate to take care of a scenario, but for sure it’s much, much better than anything we’ve seen in the past with that.

Q. Kind of switching types of cars, I was curious if what you went through last year, has that changed at all your attitude about being 19th in points and without a win?

TONY STEWART: It’s a new year. It’s a new car, a new rules package. I felt good in the car. There is nothing that’s not felt good from day one. Even when we were at Daytona we felt comfortable in the race car, and there wasn’t anything that was a distraction. So mindset‑wise, there is nothing that is different other than we just need to ‑‑ as much as the emphasis is on wins and not points racing, we’re kind of in a position where we’re close to being in that part of it as well where we could get in on points, but a win would solve that. It’s kind of a double‑edged sword right now. Do you get yourself in a position where you go for the win and risk if you run second losing that opportunity? Or do you sit there and say, well, I need to have a solid point day because we have the opportunity on the other side of the coin.

We still have two shots at getting in the Chase, obviously, one being a win and the other being getting in there because of the point position.

Q. If you could just kind of talk about, the way the season has gone, getting this win this season, granted not in the same kind of car, but just kind of the good juju that gives you, headed into if you could talk about this has to be such a huge week for you between Eldora, and we know how you love Indianapolis?

TONY STEWART: Well, everybody loves good juju, Holly, so, yeah. It was honestly a good way ‑‑ it was more than just a good way to start the week. It was a confidence boost for me. Maybe kind of answering what Bob was asking a second ago as well. But dealing with when you haven’t won, and you haven’t been necessarily a contender to be in the top two or three each week and having those opportunities to win races this year, you start questioning what is it in the equation that you’re missing. It’s easy as a driver. We’re all finicky when it comes to running bad and you sit there and start questioning if you’re doing something wrong or if you’re not adapting to the car, like I said, with the new rules package and everything, you start questioning what is it. Is it something that you’re doing or not doing as a driver? To be able to go out and win on Friday night and ran third on Saturday night, and to have two good runs like that in a car that I haven’t been in for almost a full year now, that was a huge confidence boost and made me feel like, hey, maybe we’ll just meet and find something else.

So it’s nice to hopefully eliminate a variable from that side of it, and feel like it’s not necessarily what you’re doing behind the wheel or whether I’m holding us back.

So it just shows us that we’ve got to keep working and tweaking and Chad and I keep learning each other better and better each week. I really like Chad Johnston. I think the world of him. I think he’s probably been the best match personality‑wise of any of the crew chiefs I’ve had since Zippy.

So I’ve had four really good crew chiefs now, but I think Chad and I really are kind of on the same page, so I’m excited about that side of it. We’ve just got to find that one piece of the puzzle that gets us the rest of the way there. It is a long week also. As we speak I’m actually driving through downtown Rushville on my way to Eldora right now. So it’s kind of cool to be back in my stomping grounds and getting ready for a busy week at Eldora. It’s almost like two weeks in one for me. Eldora’s enough to cause you enough stress to last you for the rest of the year, and then going to the Brickyard, that’s a big race for me as well. It’s a lot in one week, but it’s like I mentioned earlier, you have people like Roger Slack and Larry Boos, Chad Schmitmeyer at Eldora and Mike Arning from the PR side, and all these guys that are in place doing the heavy lifting, as Mike would say, they’re getting the things done. My job is to show up and worry and get in their way.

So I’m a couple hours from there now, and I’ll get there and be a pain in their butt when I get there. I’ll act normal, I’m sure.

Q. My first question is about sprint car racing. Can you explain what it is about it that you love? Does part of you ever wish that you could only do that form of racing?

TONY STEWART: No, I like doing what I’m doing. I get the best of both worlds. I get to race with the best stock car drivers in the world every week, and I getting to and run dirt tracks in either the off nights or sometimes during a Cup weekend I get to go sneak off for anything.

But it’s two totally different forms of racing. I never was a driver brought up running one type of car and one type of surface. I always ran dirt and pavement. I like that. I like the challenge. I like the dirt tracks because they change all the time. Pavement tracks, when I got in the Cup series, the pavement racing I had done before that, tracks really didn’t change a lot. In the Cup series, the groove moves around and it gets wider and you might run the bottom for a little while and the top, and that’s a lot like dirt racing too. I like that challenge of trying to figure out as a driver what to do to make yourself better.

I just like it. I’ve always liked dirt racing. I’ve always liked racing Sprint cars, and it’s just what I enjoy doing. Everybody has hobbies. Everybody has stuff they like to do when they have downtime, and that’s just what it is for me. That’s what I like to do when I have extra time.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with doing it. I feel like there are a lot of other things I could be doing that are a lot more dangerous and a lot bigger waste of time with my time off do than doing that.

Q. Do you still view Indianapolis the same way you did five, ten, 20 years ago? How do you like your chances?

TONY STEWART: I do look at it as the same. When you grow up 45 minutes from Indy there is nothing ‑‑ that is sacred ground to me. It always has been, always will be. I don’t care how many times you win there, it’s never enough. It’s nice to have won two races already there. That gives you confidence of knowing what you have to do to win. It’s just a matter of doing it.

I think when we did the Goodyear test a couple weeks ago, we actually were really good compared to the guys that tested around us. Who knows when we get back here this weekend what we’re going to have, but we had a really good car before we blew the tire and crashed it, so hopefully this new car that we’re bringing that replaced the one we crashed will be as good as the last one.

Q. Wanted to ask you about Norm Benning. You bought his truck from last year’s race, and I wanted to find out what made you want to buy Norm’s truck and how does that rank in your collection?

TONY STEWART: It was important to me just because of the history of the event. I don’t know that everybody remembers who won the race as much as everybody remembers Norm Benning’s last couple laps just to get in the race in the last‑chance race. So I thought that just kind of summed up what the inaugural event is all about and how that was a defining moment of what bringing the NASCAR trucks back to Eldora and bringing them back to dirt, what it was really about. I thought being able to purchase Norm’s truck and help him out, help him get a newer truck and for us to have that bit of history, I thought that was pretty important.

I think for our racetrack that was really huge. We’ve been able to purchase a couple other cars that have won at Eldora, and this one ranks very high. I just think that one moment was really what summed up the entire event and what it was really all about and what it meant to everybody.

Q. As far as coming from your open‑wheel background, how did you initially perceive the fact that cars were going to race at the Brickyard?

TONY STEWART: Honestly, I was one of them that absolutely thought it was a crime initially. I’m a purist. I’m old school. It’s always been sacred ground to me. I remember when they did the tire test there and everybody ‑‑ there was so much excitement after that, and that really didn’t even get me to switch sides. I was actually in Illinois the day that the Brickyard ran, and when I got back and saw the replay of the race it was very evident that this was something that wasn’t breaking religion so to speak or sacrilegious for it to be there. It really showed why NASCAR belonged there.

But I was one of them that didn’t like it at first until I actually got back and saw the replay of the race and saw how much excitement it brought. It was the month of May historically, and all of a sudden it was the month of May and August now, and you had the same historic racetrack and now you had two events instead of one.

Q. Did winning change your mind or just the first time you drove a stock car there, was winning more the mind change for you than actually racing there yourself?

TONY STEWART: No, my mind changed after I saw the first one. I was racing the same day, but when I got back that day and watched the replay, it changed my mind then. There were other people that I knew that were dead against it that went just to see what it was going to be like, and they came back and felt the same way. Their opinions had changed other than ‑‑ like I say, when you’re used to seeing one thing around there, it would be like taking IndyCars to Daytona. It’s like the first time they’d go down there it just wouldn’t seem right, wouldn’t feel right, wouldn’t look right. But if it was a good event down there, they’d get used to it.

But it’s just one of those things that when you’re growing up around open‑wheel cars and around stock cars a lot, the thought of it wasn’t the best at first, but like I said, it really just seeing the way everybody around Indianapolis felt about it, especially the racing community, there are so many race teams around there. The racers are the ones that really didn’t like it. They were more of the purists. But I think everybody changed their mind and their opinion after they saw that first one.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Track facts: 2014 Brickyard 400

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Wins List at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Starting Position
Finishing Position
Laps Led
Team Owner
Jeff Gordon
Rick Hendrick
Dale Earnhardt
Richard Childress
Dale Jarrett
Robert Yates
Ricky Rudd
Ricky Rudd
Jeff Gordon
Rick Hendrick
Dale Jarrett
Robert Yates
Bobby Labonte
Joe Gibbs
Jeff Gordon
Rick Hendrick
Bill Elliott
Ray Evernham
Kevin Harvick
Richard Childress
Jeff Gordon
Rick Hendrick
Tony Stewart
Joe Gibbs
Jimmie Johnson
Rick Hendrick
Tony Stewart
Joe Gibbs
Jimmie Johnson
Rick Hendrick
Jimmie Johnson
Rick Hendrick
Jamie McMurray
Teresa Earnhardt
Paul Menard
Richard Childress
Jimmie Johnson
Rick Hendrick
Ryan Newman
Tony Stewart


Can Keselowski carry Ford some more?
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Data
Season Race #: 20 of 36 (07-27-14)
Track Size: 2.5-miles
Banking/Turns 1 & 2: 9 degrees
Banking/Turns 3 & 4: 9 degrees
Banking/Straights: 0 degrees
Frontstretch Length: 3,330 feet
Backstretch Length: 3,300 feet
Race Length: 160 laps / 400 miles
Top 10 Driver Ratings at Indianapolis
Jimmie Johnson........................ 109.8
Tony Stewart............................. 104.1
Jeff Gordon.............................. 102.0
Juan Pablo Montoya................... 96.7
Kyle Busch................................. 96.5
Kasey Kahne.............................. 96.4
Matt Kenseth.............................. 95.8
Greg Biffle.................................. 94.6
Kevin Harvick.............................. 90.2
Denny Hamlin............................. 88.3
Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2013 races (nine total) among active drivers at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Qualifying/Race Data
2013 pole winner:
Ryan Newman, Chevrolet
187.531 mph, 47.992 secs. 07-26-13
2013 race winner:
Ryan Newman, Chevrolet
153.485 mph, (02:36:22), 07-28-13
Track qualifying record:
Ryan Newman, Chevrolet
187.531 mph, 47.992 secs. 07-26-13
Track race record:
Bobby Labonte, Pontiac
155.912 mph, (02:33:56), 08-05-00

At Indianapolis Motor Speedway:
·         Indianapolis Motor Speedway has existed since 1909, and is the original "Speedway," the first racing facility to incorporate the word into its name.
·         With a permanent seating capacity for more than 250,000-plus people and infield seating that raises capacity to an approximate 400,000, it is the largest and highest-capacity sporting facility in history.
·         The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway was August 6, 1994 – won by Jeff Gordon.
·         There have been 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway; one per year from 1994 through 2012.
·         132 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway; 104 in more than one.
·         Four drivers have competed in all 20 races at Indianapolis: Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte and Mark Martin.
·         Rick Mast won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Indianapolis in 1994 with a speed of 172.414 mph. 
·         17 drivers have Coors Light poles at Indianapolis, led by Jeff Gordon with three.
·         Two drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles at Indianapolis: Jeff Gordon (1995 and 1996) and Ernie Irvan (1997 and 1998).
·         Youngest Indianapolis Coors Light pole winner: Reed Sorenson (07/29/2007 – 21 years, 5 months, 24 days).
·         Oldest Indianapolis Coors Light pole winner: Mark Martin (07/26/2009 – 50 years, 6 months, 17 days).
·         12 different drivers have won at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, led by Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson with four each.
·         Jimmie Johnson is the only driver to have posted consecutive wins at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (2008 and 2009). 
·         Youngest Indianapolis winner: Jeff Gordon (08/06/1994 – 23 years, 0 months, 2 days).
·         Oldest Indianapolis winner: Bill Elliott (08/04/2002 – 50 years, 8 months, 11 days).
·         Hendrick Motorsports leads the series in wins at Indianapolis in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with eight; followed by Richard Childress Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing with three each.
·         Four different manufacturers have won at Indianapolis; led by Chevrolet with 15 victories; followed by Ford with three, Dodge and Pontiac each have one.
·         Chevrolet has won the last 11 consecutive NSCS races at Indianapolis.
·         15 of the 20 winners were either past, future or reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions.
·         Eight race Brickyard winners went on to win that season’s NASCAR Sprint Cup championship.
·         Only three of the 20 (15%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Indianapolis have been won from the Coors Light pole: Kevin Harvick (2003), Jimmie Johnson (2008) and Ryan Newman (2013).
·         The pole and third starting positions are the most proficient starting positions in the field, each producing three winners - more than any other starting positions at Indianapolis.   
·         Four of the 20 (20%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Indianapolis have been won from the front row: three from the pole and once from second-place.
·         12 of the 20 (60%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Indianapolis have been won from a top-10 starting position.
·         Three of the 20 (15%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Indianapolis have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
·         The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Indianapolis was 27th, by Jeff Gordon in 2001.  
·         NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace leads the series in runner-up finishes at Indianapolis with three; followedBobby Labonte, Mark Martin and Matt Kenseth with two each.  
·         Jeff Gordon leads the series in top-five finishes at Indianapolis with 11; followed by Tony Stewart with seven.   
·         Jeff Gordon leads the series in top-10 finishes at Indianapolis with 15; followed by Tony Stewart and Mark Martin with 11 each.
·         Juan Pablo Montoya leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Indianapolis with a 6.429.
·         Tony Stewartleads in average finishing position at Indianapolis with an 7.933.
·         Six of the seven active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race winners at Indianapolis Motor Speedway participated in at least one or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Jeff Gordon won the Brickyard 400 in his first start at Indianapolis.      
·         Ryan Newman competed at Indianapolis Motor Speedway 12 times before winning in 2013; the longest span of any the seven active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners.
·         Joe Nemechek leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Indianapolis without visiting Victory Lane at 18.
·         Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory (MOV) in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Indianapolis Motor Speedway was the August 3, 1997 race won by Ricky Rudd over Bobby Labonte with a MOV of 0.183 second.
·         Only one of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races have resulted with a green-white-checkered finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Scheduled No. of Laps/Actual No. of Laps): 2004 (160/161).
·         None of the 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway have been shortened due to weather conditions.    
·         Qualifying has not been cancelled due to weather conditions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.    
·         Reed Sorenson (07/29/07) is the only driver to post his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light pole at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.      
·         Paul Menard (07/31/11) is the only driver to have posted his first career series win at Indianapolis. 
·         Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in laps led at Indianapolis with 488 laps led in 20 starts. 
·         Danica Patrick became the first female driver to compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2013; she started 33rd and finished 30th. 
·         Shawna Robinson (08/05/01) is the only other female driver to attempt to compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Indianapolis, but she failed to qualify for the event.
NASCAR in Indiana
·         There have been 22 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races among three tracks in Indiana.
Track Name
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Funks Speedway
Playland Park Speedway
South Bend
·         79 drivers in NASCAR national series history have their home state recorded as Indiana. Eight of 79 have posted a win in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Tony Stewart
Ryan Newman
Darel Dieringer
Charlie Glotzbach
John Andretti
Earl Balmer
Larry Frank
Dick Passwater
Tony Raines
Kenny Irwin Jr