By admin | July 25, 2010
By Richard Allen
The racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is not always the greatest when NASCAR takes to the historic track. However, there were plenty of stories to keep the attention of fans throughout the 400 mile event. Two success stories and a couple of failures will most likely be the top headline getters looking back on the Brickyard 400.
First and foremost was the win of Jamie McMurray which made him the current holder of two of the most prized trophies, and checks, in all of motorsports. This driver had already won the Daytona 500, which is considered the biggest event in stock car racing. And now, he has added the 2010 Indy race to his list of victories.
McMurray was not necessarily at the top of many lists of favorites coming into the race. However, he took advantage of the opportunity given him when his crew got him out of the pits first during a late race caution. He then had to fight off Kevin Harvick over the final laps to claim the win.
Clearly, McMurray has made racing history this year and he may not even make the Chase for the Championship. That begs the question- Would you rather have his season or the season of some driver who doesn’t win a race but finishes 11th in the Chase? Kind of an easy answer if you ask me.
And one more thing on McMurray. He hasn’t done too badly for a guy who was not wanted by the #1 car’s primary sponsor when his name was first mentioned as a possible driver.
Of course, car owner Chip Ganassi’s story is intertwined with that of McMurray. This win made him the first owner in history to have scored wins in the Daytona 500, The Indy 500 and the Brickyard 400 in the same season.
There were two notable failures at Indy as well on Sunday. Since I have posted another column specifically dedicated to Juan Pablo Montoya, I will not spend any time here on that topic. Click here for more on JPM(http://racingwithrich.com/?p=1237 ).
The other notable failure was that of the driver who came into this race having won the event each of the past two years and had won three of the last four Brickyard 400s. Jimmie Johnson certainly did not have a Jimmie Johnson like day. At times, his car was as much as two seconds off the pace of the leaders and he seemed to be on the verge of going a lap down all day.
Typically on days such as this, as rare as they are, Johnson seems to always recover at the end and finish somewhere in the top-10. Such was not the case today as he managed only a 22nd. That was definitely not what most expected from the guy who has had so much recent success at IMS.
Aside from the successes of McMurray and Ganassi and the failures of Montoya and Johnson, there were other notable stories as well.
Consider this, there was a spin involving top NASCAR star Kyle Busch and former Indy 500 winner Sam Hornish, cars such as Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Robby Gordon and Brad Keselowski were forced to hit pit road with overheating issues, Ryan Newman cut two tires, Robby Gordon cut a tire and Max Papis blew an engine and had his car go up in flames. And all of that happened within the first fifteen laps.
And finally, during one caution period Carl Edwards reported to his crew that he was almost hit by a sweeper truck. No word on whether there was any payback given to the sweeper truck or if Brad Keselowski was seen driving said sweeper truck.
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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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