Nascar Racing

The Brickyard – 2014 from a NASCAR Fans View


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The Brickyard… There’s no place like it and even the NASCAR Cup drivers speak almost as highly of it is they do of Daytona. Of course these days it’s not what it used to be because it’s not bricks all the way around anymore. But there is still that yard of bricks at the finish line and the NASCAR drivers do take the time to, “kiss the bricks” when they win there.

What is it about the Indianapolis Motor Speedway that it is held in such high regard and with such fondness by so many drivers and fans throughout the world? Is it because of some kind of magic or magical spell or, is it just because of all of the things that have taken place there? From this fan’s view, I believe it’s the latter and that’s what makes the Brickyard so special. It has a long history and continues to be a place that makes history and that’s what captures the imaginations and attention of race fans of all types everywhere.

Well… I guess that’s enough reminiscing for now. After all, this is the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Hendrick horsepower made a very strong showing again this weekend. Between Kevin Harvick and Jeff Gordon (and really, the rest of the Hendrick and Stewart/Haas teams) you might say that the chances are very good that some of that Hendrick horsepower could end up sitting in Victory Lane when the race is over this afternoon. There are a few things that cause me to lean towards that determination and one is that Chevys been known to run very good at the Brickyard. Now, I’m not just saying that; the facts speak really well for themselves. Does that mean that I think that the two that are sitting on the front row have a very good chance of winning this afternoon? Well… It could appear that way but honestly, I’m not so sure.

Four hundred miles at IMS is a long way from beginning to end and anything can happen between the first lap and the last lap. Although it is not outside the realm of possibility (and truthfully, it has been done before) starting on the front row could mean ending up in Victory Lane at the end of the day. Both Kevin Harvick and Jeff Gordon are quite capable of leading a race from beginning to end, possibly even more so if we’re talking about Kevin Harvick these days. He has been running strong all year and this weekend has been no different for him and the entire number four team. Oh, and by the way, he is starting on the pole.

There are those that say that Jeff Gordon is getting too old to win and that his days are numbered. It’s true, he is getting older but from this fan’s view and in this fan’s opinion, he is as competitive as he’s ever been this year and his standing in the points proves it. He is, after all, going after his fifth victory at the Brickyard and trying to take is fifth cup championship this year. He could very well end up in Victory Lane this afternoon and this fan wouldn’t be all that surprised if he did.

Admittedly, there are several others that intend to make it difficult for Kevin Harvick or Jeff Gordon to end up in Victory Lane on this Sunday afternoon in Indiana. One of those is Jimmie Johnson, and just to keep it in the Hendrick camp, Kasey Kahne would be another. And while I’m at it, I might as well say Dale Junior. Although it’s true he’s been struggling all weekend, it is also true that he and his crew chief Steve Letarte are quite capable of making the necessary changes that could put them in Victory Lane.

A quick glance at the way the practices and qualifying turned out tells us that there are others we should keep an eye on also. A few names that come to mind very quickly are, Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart. Although there are several others I could mention I don’t see any reason to go into that much more detail because there are more than a few that can win at the Brickyard today.

In listening to the drivers talk about the track and how the cars handle on it, some things will be very evident in the race. As usual, track position is going to be very important and the pit crews will have to perform flawlessly all day if for no other reason than how narrow pit road is. Being out front in clean air is going to be very important (as it is almost every week) and the drivers are going to have to set up for passing those that they need to pass. This will definitely be a thinking man’s race, of that, I have no doubt. And while we’re talking about important things that could affect the outcome of the race today, let’s just hope that there are no tire issues…

See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© July 27, 2014 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, and
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By Rusty Norman

Amateur writer, NASCAR Fan, musician and former local Stock Car racer.