For 17 years, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has played host to the Brickyard 400, one of NASCAR's most premier events on the Sprint Cup circuit.
A tradition since 1994, it's crowned the likes of future NASCAR Hall of Famers like Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, and Kevin Harvick. Some of the sport's immortals like Dale Earnhardt and Bill Elliott have also hoisted the trophy at Indy, affirming the track as one that crowns the best of stock car racing.
Sure, it lacks the exciting three wide racing of a Daytona or Talladega, but its history, prestige, and lure are some of the aspects as to what makes Indy such a venerable stop on the Cup tour. Just the mere fact that stock cars traverse around the hallowed 2.5-mile speedway in a practice session is a beautiful sight for any racing fan.
To get around this storied old track, drivers and teams will need a car with the right horsepower and handling package. Even with a fast racecar, it'll mean very little to a racer if their steel chariot is a tight handling beast. Negotiating around the track's short chutes and corners are just as important as dropping the hammer on the straights.
Fuel mileage may be an issue but it's not as urgent as Michigan or the road courses in Sonoma or Watkins Glen, tracks which place a premium on this particular game in NASCAR. Then again, if there's a rash of late cautions, overtime will come into play and that means gas will become a premium in the closing laps.
Passing isn't an easy thing to come by at The Brickyard, as most of these happen during restarts and in the corners. Essentially, selecting the right gear ratio comes into hand here and just being a tick off on this means trouble come race day.
Indy is technical as much as it is physical because it is a track that can really beat and wear on a racer, especially if they hit the SAFER barrier at this track. Kyle Petty can attest to this as he injured himself in the 1996 running of this race, sitting out most of the races in August of that season.
Who'll win this Sunday's Brickyard 400? You've come to the right place here on The Podium Finish, and we'll be "Going Green: Five Faces to Follow for Sunday's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis!" Start your engines, ladies and gentlemen - get ready for racing from Speedway, IN!