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Allstate 400 At The Brickyard Preview

Posted by Matt on July 29, 2007

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Ah, The Brickyard, the Mecca of motorsports.  I would have to say that my favorite race of the year in all facets of motorsports is the Indianapolis 500.  In NASCAR specifically, I like the two Daytona International Speedway races (day/night) as well as the Coca~Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.  But somewhere in there, and possibly at the top, is what used to just be known as the Brickyard 400 (damn commercialization).  Despite the advertisment revenue from the new name, the prestige is all the same and allow us to get right to business:

One of the trickier tracks on the Nextel Cup circuit sees some relatively new faces at the top of the starting grid with Reed Sorenson on the Pole and Juan Pablo Montoya starting in the #2 position.  But with big names in Dale Earnhardt, Junior and Kasey Kahne waiting in the wings in the 4th and 5th positions, respectively, don’t expect a wire-to-wire for either of the two new guys up front.

The entire starting grid can be found here.

 A few stories to watch for in today’s race:

  • A Chevrolet has won five of the last six races here at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

  • Hendrick Motorsports has won three of the last six races here at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (including 10-of-19 races this season alone)

  • The Dale Earnhardt, Incorporated – Ginn Racing merger combines the forces of “Little E.” and uber-veteran Mark Martin

The weather when the White Flag drops looks to be mostly sunny and 82-degrees with only a 10% chance of precipitation; looking at this weather report it is shaping up to be a great race so, as Darryl Waltrip would say, “let’s go racing, boys!”

Predictions:

Winner: 

Dale Earnhardt, Junior – #8 Budweiser Chevrolet – Dale Earnhardt, Incorporated (two Top 10s in seven starts at Indianapolis Motor Speeway, finished 6th here last year and starts 4th this year with newest teammate Mark Martin behind him in 13th and looking to help)

Others To Watch For:

Tony Stewart – #20 Home Depot Chevrolet – Joe Gibbs Racing (won impressively at Chicagoland Speedway two weeks ago and will benefit greatly from the week off; starts inside the Top 15 in the 14th position) 

Hendrick Motorports – (a bit of a cop-out, I understand, however, with 3 of the last 6 victories here and 10 of 19 victories in races this year, you just can’t count them out; Mears starts 9th, Ky. Bush starts 18th, Johnson starts 19th, and Gordon starts 21st, putting the power three for Hendrick together in the middle of the pack, looking to move on up)

Jimmie Johnson – #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet (starts 19th and is the reigning champion here at the Brickyard to go along with four victories thus far this season; is looking to fix a recent skid by his standards that hasn’t seen a win since May 5th in Richmond)

Jeff Gordon – #24 DuPont Chevrolet (starts 21st and, let’s see, has more wins at Indy than any other driver with four; has finished in the Top 4 seven times, which is more than half of the races he’s ran here (13); has four wins this season with his last victory coming at Pocono on June 10th,;has help right in front of him with Johnson, the list just goes on and on; 12 Top 5s and 17 Top 10s in 19 races this year; the guy is unbelievably good)

Sleepers:

Ryan Newman – #12 alltel Dodge – Penske Racing (starts third and is looking for his first win of the season; sits 13th in the “Chase,” only 30 points behind the last spot (12th) to make the “Chase” in Dale, Junior so a good run puts him in the playoffs for the time being)

Mark Martin – #01 U.S. Army Chevrolet – MB2 Motorsports (Martin starts 13th and always shows up for big races with his 2nd place finish and near victory at the Daytona 500 this year to kick off the 2007 campaign; now, he has the power and resources of D.E.I. and the help of Dale, Junior up front after the recent team-merger that makes the young-gun and the living-legend new found teammates)

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