By admin | July 23, 2010
By Richard Allen
The old saying by professional wrestler Ric Flair goes, “If you wanna be the man you gotta beat the man!” Well, the man at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway over the last few years has definitely been Jimmie Johnson and it is very tempting to pick him as this weekend’s winner of the Brickyard 400. After all, he has won the last two in a row and three of the last four on this track.
But, the picks that seem so obvious have not worked out well for me this year. So, I am going to go in a different direction.
Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon are both excellent choices based on their previous successes here. Denny Hamlin has already won five times this year and this just seems to be the sort of track he would do well on. Either of the Busch brothers would be a solid selection as well based on the way they have run in 2010.
However, as I looked over the statistics of past Brickyard 400s and of various drivers, the name Kevin Harvick kept coming back to me as a potential winner.
Harvick has won on this track before back in 2003. He has three top-5s and six top-10s here in nine starts so he obviously knows the way around the place. He finished 6th here last year. He is running very well in 2010 as his two wins and leading the Sprint Cup Series points standings would indicate. And, he has always shown an ability to come up big in big money races.
So, for all those reasons listed above and that I simply did not want to go with the obvious choice of Johnson, I believe Kevin Harvick will take the checkered flag this Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
He will be joined in the top-5 by Kurt Busch, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin.
I don’t think David Reutimann can necessarily be called a dark horse after his win in Chicago and Juan Pablo Montoya has run too well here in recent years to call him a long shot as well. So, I am going to say that Martin Truex has the best shot of those outside the usual list of favorites to do well this week.
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Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly columns appear in The Mountain Press and The Knoxville Journal.
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