|Jeff Gordon won a NASCAR track record fifth time at Brickyard last year.|
Based on a strong run at Pocono Raceway last month, along with being the most consistent driver all season, Harvick is the early driver to beat before seeing three separate practice sessions on Friday. The Brickyard's 2.5-mile flat layout is unique to itself, but there are some similarities to Pocono's 2.5-mile layout because of the long straightaways.
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The one difference between the Pocono setup and this week at Indy will be that NASCAR has raised the spoiler a few inches to create more drag and slow the cars down. Still, those with the big horsepower displayed all season should shine again this week even with the extra drag. Martin Truex Jr. dominated at Pocono to capture his only win of the season. Only six drivers led a lap in that race.
The good news for both Harvick and Truex Jr., who is 8-to-1 to win this week, is that they drive for Chevrolet, which has won the past 12 races on the Bricks. It's the longest active streak by a manufacturer at a single track.
Jimmie Johnson comes in as the second-favorite at 7-to-1 and has contributed four wins to the Chevy domination. Since NASCAR began keeping its loop data in 2005, Johnson has the top rating (108.1), and perhaps the best sign that he'll be strong again on Sunday is that he finished third at Pocono.
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