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NASCAR - Sprint Cup - Crown Royal 400 at the Brickyard Preview

From The Sports Network

 
DATE: Sunday, July 29th
SITE: Indianapolis Motor Speedway (1909) -- Indianapolis, Indiana
TRACK: 2.5-mile oval - 3,330 feet (Frontstretch); 3,300 feet (Backstretch)
ANNUAL: 19th
CAPACITY: 350,000 (257,325 Grandstand Seating)
TELEVISION: ESPN
ANNOUNCERS: Allen Bestwick, Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree
RADIO: IMS Radio Network/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio
START TIME: 1 p.m. (ET)/Green Flag: 1:19 p.m. (ET)
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Paul Menard
RUNNER-UP: Jeff Gordon
POLE WINNER: David Ragan (Finished 23rd)
LAPS: 160
MILES: 400
QUALIFYING RECORD: Casey Mears, 2004 (186.293 m.p.h.)
RACE RECORD: Bobby Labonte, 2000 (155.912 m.p.h.)
TOTAL PURSE: $9,017,034 (2011 figures)
PAYOUTS: 1st Place - $373,575; 2nd Place - $358,536; 3rd Place - $297,345
 
2011 Finish
FinishDriverStartFinishDriverStart
1Paul Menard156Tony Stewart24
2Jeff Gordon87Greg Biffle18
3Regan Smith278Mark Martin12
4Jamie McMurray169Brad Keselowski5
5Matt Kenseth910Kyle Busch29
2011 Crown Royal 400 at the Brickyard Facts and Figures
AVERAGE SPEED: 140.762 m.p.h.
TIME OF RACE: 2 hours, 50 minutes, 30 seconds
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.725 second
CAUTION FLAGS: 5 for 21 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 22 among 13 drivers
POLE WINNER: David Ragan (182.994 m.p.h.)
Past Crown Royal 400 at the Brickyard Winners (Starting Position) Car -- Speed
2011 -- Paul Menard (15th) -- Chevrolet -- 140.762 m.p.h.
2010 -- Jamie McMurray (4th) -- Chevrolet -- 136.054 m.p.h.
2009 -- Jimmie Johnson (16th) -- Chevrolet -- 145.882 m.p.h.
2008 -- Jimmie Johnson (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 115.117 m.p.h.
2007 -- Tony Stewart (14th) -- Chevrolet -- 117.379 m.p.h.
2006 -- Jimmie Johnson (5th) -- Chevrolet -- 137.182 m.p.h.
2005 -- Tony Stewart (22nd) -- Chevrolet -- 118.782 m.p.h.
2004 -- Jeff Gordon (11th) -- Chevrolet -- 115.037 m.p.h.
2003 -- Kevin Harvick (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 134.554 m.p.h.
2002 -- Bill Elliott (2nd) -- Dodge -- 125.033 m.p.h.
2001 -- Jeff Gordon (27th) -- Chevrolet -- 130.79 m.p.h.
2000 -- Bobby Labonte (3rd) -- Pontiac -- 155.912 m.p.h. (race record)
1999 -- Dale Jarrett (4th) -- Ford -- 148.194 m.p.h.
1998 -- Jeff Gordon (3rd) -- Chevrolet -- 126.772 m.p.h.
1997 -- Ricky Rudd (7th) -- Ford -- 130.814 m.p.h.
1996 -- Dale Jarrett (24th) -- Ford -- (139.508 m.p.h.
1995 -- Dale Earnhardt (13th) -- Chevrolet -- 155.206 m.p.h.
1994 -- Jeff Gordon (3rd) -- Chevrolet -- 131.977 m.p.h.
 
NOTE: Formerly called Brickyard 400 (1994-2004, 2010-11), Allstate 400 at the
Brickyard 400 (2005-09).
 
Past Crown Royal 400 at the Brickyard Pole Winners (Finish)
2011 -- David Ragan -- 23rd
2010 -- Juan Pablo Montoya -- 32nd
2009 -- Mark Martin -- 2nd
2008 -- Jimmie Johnson -- 1st
2007 -- Reed Sorenson -- 5th
2006 -- Jeff Burton -- 15th
2005 -- Elliott Sadler -- 32nd
2004 -- Casey Mears -- 26th
2003 -- Kevin Harvick -- 1st
2002 -- Tony Stewart -- 12th
2001 -- Jimmy Spencer -- 13th
2000 -- Ricky Rudd -- 21st
1999 -- Jeff Gordon -- 3rd
1998 -- Ernie Irvan -- 6th
1997 -- Ernie Irvan -- 10th
1996 -- Jeff Gordon -- 37th
1995 -- Jeff Gordon -- 6th
1994 -- Rick Mast -- 22nd
Last Race Results
RACE: Lenox Industrial Tools 301 (July 15th)
SITE: New Hampshire Motor Speedway -- Loudon, New Hampshire
LAPS: 301
MILES: 318.458
WINNER: Kasey Kahne
RUNNER-UP: Denny Hamlin
THIRD: Clint Bowyer
FOURTH: Dale Earnhardt Jr
FIFTH: Brad Keselowski
POLE WINNER: Kyle Busch (Finished 16th)
TIME OF RACE: 2 hours, 44 minutes, 24 seconds
AVERAGE SPEED: 116.226 m.p.h.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 2.738 seconds
CAUTION FLAGS: 3 for 15 laps
LAP LEADERS: Kyle Busch 1-66; D. Hamlin 67; J. Gordon 68; J. Johnson 69; Kurt
Busch 70-71; D. Hamlin 72-89; J. Gordon 90-93; D. Hamlin 94-153;
J. Johnson 154; B. Keselowski 155-156; Kyle Busch 157; D. Hamlin
158-190; B. Keselowski 191; Kyle Busch 192-196; D. Hamlin
197-234; C. Bowyer 235; K. Kahne 236-301.
Crown Royal 400 at the Brickyard Entry List
CarDriver, HometownCar/Name
1Jamie McMurray (Joplin, MO)Chevrolet/Bass Pro Shops
2Brad Keselowski (Rochester Hills, MI)Dodge/Miller Lite
5Kasey Kahne (Enumclaw, WA)Chevrolet/Farmer's Insurance
9Marcos Ambrose (Launceston, Australia)Ford/DeWalt
10David Reutimann (Zephyrhills, FL)Chevrolet/Tommy Baldwin Racing
11Denny Hamlin (Chesterfield, VA)Toyota/FedEx Express
13Casey Mears (Bakersfield, CA)Ford/Geico
14Tony Stewart (Columbus, IN)Chevrolet/Mobil 1/Office Depot
15Clint Bowyer (Emporia, KS)Toyota/5-Hour Energy
16Greg Biffle (Vancouver, WA)Ford/3M
17Matt Kenseth (Cambridge, WI)Ford/Fifth Third
18Kyle Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Toyota/M&M's
19Mike Bliss (Milwaukie, OR)Toyota/Humphrey Smith Racing
20Joey Logano (Middletown, CT)Toyota/Dollar General
21Trevor Bayne (Knoxville, TN)Ford/Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire
22Sam Hornish Jr. (Defiance, OH)Dodge/Shell/Pennzoil
23Scott Riggs (Bahama, NC)Chevrolet/North Texas Pipe
24Jeff Gordon (Vallejo, CA)Chevrolet/Drive to End Hunger
26Josh Wise (Riverside, CA)Ford/Taco Bell
27 *Paul Menard (Eau Claire, WI)Chevrolet/Menards/Nibco
29Kevin Harvick (Bakersfield, CA)Chevrolet/Jimmy Johns
30David Stremme (South Bend, IN)Toyota/Inception Motorsports
31Jeff Burton (South Boston, VA)Chevrolet/Rain-X
32Ken Schrader (Fenton, MO)Ford/TBA
33Stephen Leicht (Asheville, NC)Chevrolet/littlejoesautos.com
34David Ragan (Unadilla, GA)Ford/Scorpion Truck Bed Liners
36Dave Blaney (Hartford, OH)Chevrolet/Seal Wrap
38David Gilliland (Riverside, CA)Ford/Big Machine Records
39Ryan Newman (South Bend, IN)Chevrolet/Quicken Loans
42Juan Pablo Montoya (Bogota, Colombia)Chevrolet/Target
43Aric Almirola (Tampa, FL)Ford/Eckrich
47Bobby Labonte (Corpus Christi, TX)Toyota/Scott Products
48Jimmie Johnson (El Cajon, CA)Chevrolet/Lowe's/Kobalt Tools
49To Be AnnouncedToyota/American Israel Racing
51Kurt Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Chevrolet/Phoenix Construction
55Mark Martin (Batesville, AR)Toyota/Aaron's Dream Machine
56Martin Truex Jr. (Mayetta, NJ)Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts
78Regan Smith (Cato, NY)Chevrolet/Furniture Row
79Mike Skinner (Susanville, CA)Ford/Team Kyle/BBI
83Landon Cassill (Cedar Rapids, IA)Toyota/Burger King
87Joe Nemechek (Lakeland, FL)Toyota/AM FM Energy Wood&Pellet
88Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Kannapolis, NC)Chevrolet/Amp Energy/Nat'l Guard
91Reed Sorenson (Peachtree City, GA)Ford/TBA
93Travis Kvapil (Janesville, WI)Toyota/Burger King
95Scott Speed (Manteca, CA)Ford/Leavine Family Racing
98Michael McDowell (Glendale, AZ)Ford/K-Love/Curb Records
99Carl Edwards (Columbia, MO)Ford/Fastenal
 
* - defending champion.
 
Leading Contenders (Finish the last nine years)
Driver200320042005200620072008200920102011
Paul Menard------------20th41st29th14thWon
Jeff Gordon4thWon8th16th3rd5th9th23rd2nd
Regan Smith---------------31st39th33rd3rd
Jamie McMurray3rd7th17th26th33rd6th21stWon4th
Matt Kenseth2nd16th5th2nd10th38th10th12th5th
Tony Stewart12th5thWon8thWon23rd3rd5th6th
Greg Biffle21st6th21st33rd15th8th4th3rd7th
Mark Martin9th25th7th5th6th11th2nd11th8th
Brad Keselowski---------------------19th9th
Kyle Busch------10th7th4th15th38th8th10th
Kevin HarvickWon8th19th3rd7th37th6th2nd11th
Ryan Newman11th31st34th13th42nd13th14th17th12th
Clint Bowyer---------4th13th19th18th4th13th
Carl Edwards------12th9th18th2nd15th7th14th
Dale Earnhardt Jr14th27th43rd6th34th12th36th27th16th
Kasey Kahne---4th2nd36th40th7th7th13th18th
Jimmie Johnson18th36th38thWon39thWonWon22nd19th
Kurt Busch7th10th18th12th11th40th27th10th21st
Martin Truex Jr------42nd19th12th24th17th26th24th
Joey Logano------------------12th9th25th
Denny Hamlin---------10th22nd3rd34th15th27th
Juan Pablo Montoya------------2nd39th11th32nd28th
Jeff Burton27th12th20th15th8th9th25th6th35th
 
Mover of the Week
Brad Keselowski - Started in the 22nd position and finished 5th
 
Sports Network Selections
Pick to Win - Tony Stewart
Darkhorse - Jamie McMurray
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Jimmie Johnson) - Finished 7th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Aric Almirola) - Finished 28th
 
NOTES:
Having never finished inside the top-10 at this race in four previous attempts, Paul Menard's expectations certainly were not that high heading into the 2011 running of the Brickyard 400.

That all changed, as Menard recorded his first ever Sprint Cup Series win last season, as he conserved enough fuel and held off a hard-charging Jeff Gordon in the closing laps to win one of the most prestigious events of the season.

With the win, Menard became the first driver to win his maiden Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis. While stretching his fuel during the late-stages of the race, Menard passed Jamie McMurray, the defending race winner, with four laps remaining. He finished 0.725 seconds ahead of Gordon for his first victory in his 167th NASCAR big league start.

McMurray made racing history for team owner Chip Ganassi in 2010 by winning the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. McMurray gave Ganassi the "triple crown" of American oval racing, as Ganassi became the only owner to win the Daytona 500, Indianapolis 500 and Brickyard 400 in the same season.

Dario Franchitti took Chip Ganassi Racing into victory lane for the May 30, 2010 Indy 500, while McMurray won the Daytona 500 that year in his first start with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing.

After the final restart with 11 laps remaining, McMurray passed Kevin Harvick and took the lead for good. He finished 1.4 seconds ahead of Harvick to become the third driver to win the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400 in the same season. Dale Jarrett first accomplished the feat in 1996, followed by Jimmie Johnson in 2006.

Johnson led the final 24 laps to defeat pole sitter Mark Martin by less than a second in 2009. Juan Pablo Montoya had the car to beat at Indy, as he led 116 of 160 laps. But Montoya was caught speeding on pit road and had to serve a pass-through penalty. That allowed Martin, the pole sitter, to reclaim the lead. A caution for Dale Earnhardt Jr's blown engine set up a double-file restart with 24 laps to go. Just after the restart, Johnson moved around Martin to take the lead for the first time. Johnson beat Martin to the finish line by four-tenths of a second for his third victory in the last four races at Indy.

Johnson became just the second pole sitter to capture this race in 2008, as he defeated Carl Edwards by less than a second for his 35th career Sprint Cup title. Johnson, who now totals 57 wins, led eight times for a race-high 71 laps.

Mark Martin seeks his first win at IMS. Martin, who sat on the pole in 2009, will race for the 19th time at "The Brickyard." Martin has recorded 11 top-10s, but has led just 67 laps in his 18 appearances there. His best finish was second in 1998 and 2009. This is one of five current tracks that Martin has never won on. Pocono, Homestead, Indianapolis, Kentucky and Daytona.

Tony Stewart returned to Victory Lane at IMS in 2007, as he posted a 2.982- second victory over Juan Pablo Montoya for his 31st career Sprint Cup title. Stewart, who now totals 47 career wins, led seven times for a race- high 65 laps. Pole sitter Reed Sorenson led the first 16 laps and placed fifth. The race was a see-saw battle among six drivers, but it was Stewart who reclaimed the lead on the 151st lap from Kevin Harvick to secure the win. Harvick finished seventh.

In 2006, Johnson completed a rare double with his win in both the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400. The No.48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet took the checkered flag ahead of Matt Kenseth as a caution flag flew. Johnson also won the prestigious Daytona 500 in February of 2006, a feat which had only been done once before - by Dale Jarrett in 1996. Pole sitter Jeff Burton led six times for a race-high 87 laps, but finished 15th.

Stewart crossed the finish line 0.794 of a second ahead of Kasey Kahne in 2005 for his 23rd Sprint Cup win. Stewart, who won five times in 2005, started from the 22nd position and took the lead for the first time on lap 100. Stewart traded Scott Wimmer and Kahne for the lead until lap 150, where he took over for good. Stewart led for a total of 44 laps, while pole sitter Elliott Sadler led for 39 laps, but finished 32nd.

Eight of the 18 winners of this race have come from a top-four starting position. Three of the last nine have been won from the front row: Bill Elliott (second in 2002), Kevin Harvick (pole in 2003) and Johnson (pole in 2008). Overall, the race has been won from a top-10 starting position 10 of the 18 races. The furthest back a race winner has started was 27th by Jeff Gordon in 2001. Chevrolet has won this race 13 times, including nine straight, Ford three, Pontiac once and Dodge once.

Gordon is a four-time winner of this race. In fact, in his 18 appearances, Gordon has 14 top-10 finishes, has led 476 laps and has an average finish of 9.056. Gordon is a three-time pole sitter, but has not started first since 1999. Since it began in 1994, only four drivers have run in all 18 Brickyard 400s, Gordon, Bobby Labonte, Martin and Jeff Burton.

The winner of the Indianapolis race has won the championship in the same year eight times in the 18 years the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has raced there: 2009: Jimmie Johnson; 2008: Jimmie Johnson; 2006: Jimmie Johnson; 2005: Tony Stewart; 2001: Jeff Gordon; 2000: Bobby Labonte; 1999: Dale Jarrett; 1998: Jeff Gordon.

14 of the 18 races have been won by a past, reigning or future NASCAR Sprint Cup champion. The only four that were not: Ricky Rudd in 1997, Kevin Harvick in 2003, McMurray in 2010 and 2011 winner Paul Menard.

Multiple champions of this race are the norm as, Jeff Gordon (four wins), Jimmie Johnson (three), Dale Jarrett (two) and Tony Stewart (two) have combined for 11 of the 18 victories.

The next Sprint Cup Series race is the August 5 Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway. Brad Keselowski won last year's race there.

07/24 16:39:53 ET

As of July 24, 2012, at 04:40 PM ET

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