Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Indianapolis Betting Preview: 2017 Brickyard 400

The prestige of the track makes this a huge race, always.
LAS VEGAS -- It took 19 races this season for Joe Gibbs Racing to finally get a win with Denny Hamlin taking the checkers last week at New Hampshire and it's quite possible they're about to go on a major run in the second-half of the season after finally getting their new Camry design figured out. Next up for them to conquer is the auto racing cathedral at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a place they've won at the past two years behind Kyle Busch.

“I think the biggest thing about the Brickyard is the prestige, the track’s history and quality of racing – all the historic finishes it’s had over the years, whether it has been IndyCar or NASCAR," Busch said earlier this week.

"To me, it’s a special place to go to because of its heritage of being Indianapolis. Every guy in NASCAR and, especially every guy in IndyCar, they want to win there. Getting our Skittles Camry to victory lane there three years in a row would be special for a lot of reasons.”

Three Brickyard 400 wins in a row would be the first time ever at Indy. It hasn't even been done in the Indy 500 which has had five times more starts in its history there than NASCAR. Busch's wins the past two seasons on the famed bricks also gave Toyota its first wins there as well.

What has me liking Busch more this week besides what he's done so well there the past two seasons on the flat-2.5 mile layout is what he did at Pocono Raceway last month.

The reason Pocono is used as a comparison because it's the only track somewhat similar to Indy. Pocono only has three turns and each of them have varied banking, but its long straightaway is similar to the frontstretch and backstretch of Indy. The tight Turn 3 at Pocono is also similar to all four of the turns at Indy so crew chiefs can get a nice feel how the car balance should be based on what they saw last month.

In that Pocono race, Ryan Blaney ended up winning his first career race and he did it by an amazing restart with 10 laps to go. Those would be the only 10 laps he'd lead all day and he'd hold off a tenacious Kevin Harvick for the win. Kyle Busch would lead 100 of the 160 laps that day and was leading with 10 laps to go, but was a sitting duck with older tires.

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