NASCAR heads to hallowed motorsports turf for the Crown Royal Presents the “Your Hero’s Name Here” 400 at the Brickyard, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at Indianapolis, Indiana. The 2.5-mile flat rectangular oval built in 1909 will host NASCAR speed through low-banked turns at 3:30 p.m. ET, July 26.
A couple billion cars have come and gone since the Brickyard opened for business, but back then it didn’t take long after the first cars were manufactured for motorsports competition to begin.
Technology and safety on race tracks has advanced exponentially since 1909, but the 9-degree banking still challenges modern race cars.
Top NASCAR drivers shared their comments about Indianapolis prior to busy weekend. Fans can be privy to what they anticipate once the green flag flies.
Kevin Harvick talked about the reverence for the iconic race track.
“The history itself at Indianapolis is what makes Indy what it is,” he said. “It’s a race track that has 100 years of history before we even get started about talking about anything else. Going there every year is something that is a bit of a childhood dream.”
Jimmie Johnson worried about recent rule changes.
“Indianapolis is going to be a challenge for us,” he said. “We are starting from scratch. The downforce package should make it more comfortable for us, but passing is tough there–it’s a narrow track. Its lots of fun there and would love to get another win.”
Martin Truex Jr. pointed out the significance and the difficulty of the Brickyard.
“Indy is a super prestigious race,” he said. “It’s the one that everybody wants to win. It’s obviously an honor to race at Indy and I look forward to going there every year. Indy is a super challenging track and really different from any other track we go to.”
Matt Kenseth noted specifics about the challenges.
“Indy is four unique 9-degree corners,” he said. “It’s like no other track that we go to on this circuit. To have a good car there, you need to get through the middle and get off of those corners fast into the next straightaway so that you don’t get passed.”
Kurt Busch revealed characteristic details.
“What is tough about a stock car versus an Indy car at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is it is a flat track and a stock car is so heavy it chews up the tires and it doesn’t corner well,” he said.
Busch added particulars.
“We are hoping that the drag will create a big wake going down the straightaways for cars to make big bold moves going into the corners.”
Jeff Gordon would welcome any win during his final season, but a win like he got in NASCAR’s first Brickyard would be extraordinary to him.
“For me to be able to compete at Indianapolis Motor Speedway was something I dreamed of,” he said. “And the inaugural Brickyard 400 may have been more meaningful because we went there with a chance to win–not just to compete.”
Gordon triumphantly added.
“To win that race and go on to win four more is just incredible to me.”
Aric Almirola reinforced the obstacles drivers face.
“Indy is a tough track, but we’ll work hard to make the best out of our car like we have all year,” he said. “Indy is a very challenging and fast track. It’s one of the races that we all love to go to because of its history, but everything has to be perfect to run well there.”
Carl Edwards noted the aura all feel when they arrive at Indianapolis.
“It’s kind of surreal to get in the car in that garage and roll out onto that race track because of all of the history that has happened there, all of the great moments in motorsports,” he said. “It’s one that everybody marks on their calendars to try to win.”
Drivers and teams are eager to race at the Brickyard. Fans can join in the enthusiasm with a ticket to the abundant grand stands or by viewing NBCSN this Sunday.
FYI WIRZ is the select presentation of topics by Dwight Drum at Racetake.com. Unless otherwise noted, information and all quotes were obtained firsthand or from official release materials provided by sanction and team representatives.