|Kyle Busch got Toyota its first Brickyard win last season.|
“It’s the Brickyard," said Indiana native Ryan Newman who won the 2013 race. "It’s the history of motorsports in America. It’s that yard of bricks. It’s a special place when you think about everyone who’s been there associated with F1, IndyCars, motorcycles and NASCAR. It’s unique because of the four corners, the long straightaways and the flatness. To me, it’s just unique in so many ways. It’s a fun place to drive and yet, it’s quite a challenge at the same time.”
The Daytona 500 is cool and speedweeks certainly is a thrilling two weeks because we're so starved for NASCAR racing, but as a fan the Brickyard has a completely different feel to it, almost cathedral-like. It gives me the same type of feeling like when walking into Wrigley Field or Fenway Park where you just feel the history and ghosts of the past. I absolutely love it.
Now, in regards to the type of racing it produces, it's definitely not my favorite. But handicapping the race has been somewhat simple over the years outside of a four-year stretch where Jamie McMurray (2010), Paul Menard (2011) and Newman won. Usually, I could simply rely on the best of the best to shine. Former Sprint Cup have dominated the Brickyard over the years.
To get started in the handicapping process this week, you need to take a look at a few things before looking at what drivers are currently running well in the series. While current form is important, you have to take notice of what type of tracks the series has been running on lately: a flat 1-mile New Hampshire, a 1.5-mile Kentucky with moderate banking, a 2.5-mile high-banked superspeedway at Daytona with restrictor-plates, a road course at Sonoma and a wide, moderately banked 2-miles at Michigan.
None of the results from those recent races will be of much use this week. However, the race held prior to those on June 6 at Pocono Raceway's 2.5-mile triangular layout can help get the process started.
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