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‘Motor Sports’ Articles

FWAA-NFF Super 16 Poll — Sept. 8, 2019 (Week 2) SEC has teams 2,3,4 behind Clemson

 

 

Clemson Holds No. 1 Spot; Alabama, LSU, Georgia and Oklahoma Round Out Top Five in Week 2 Super 16 Poll.

NOTES:
Clemson once again led the poll, and the Southeastern Conference now has teams in slots 2-4 after LSU’s impressive 45-38 victory over Texas in Austin on Saturday night. The Tigers jumped three spots in the rankings to No. 3 and unseated fellow SEC member Georgia in that spot. 

Clemson received 38 first-place votes, followed by No. 2 Alabama (four first-place votes), LSU (three) and No. 4 Georgia (one). After the home loss to LSU, Texas fell four spots to No. 12.

Washington dropped out of the poll after being upset by California, and Oregon re-entered the poll after a decisive victory over Nevada. Texas A&M fell four spots to No. 16 after losing at Clemson. Michigan averted a home loss to Army in overtime, but still fell three spots to No. 10.

The SEC now has five teams among the top nine teams in the poll and six total. The Big Ten has four teams in the poll. The Big 12 and Pac-12 have two each, The Atlantic Coast Conference and Independents one each.

THIS WEEK’S GAMES:
No. 1 Clemson at Syracuse

No. 2 Alabama at South Carolina
Northwestern State at No. 3 LSU
Arkansas State at No. 4 Georgia
No. 5 Oklahoma at UCLA
No. 6 Ohio State at Indiana
New Mexico at No. 7 Notre Dame
Kent State at  No. 8 Auburn
No. 9 Florida at Kentucky
No. 10 Michigan is idle
Idaho State at No. 11 Utah
No. 12 Texas vs. Rice (NRG Stadium, Houston)
No. 13 Wisconsin is idle
Pitt at No. 14 Penn State
Montana at No. 15 Oregon
Lamar at No. 16 Texas A&M

About the FWAA-NFF Super 16 Poll
The FWAA-NFF Super 16 Poll was established at the conclusion of the 2013 season by long-time partners, the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and the National Football Foundation (NFF). Voters rank the top 16 teams in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, and the results will be released every Sunday of the 2019 season; the individual votes of all members will also be made public. The first regular season poll will be released on Tuesday, Sept. 3 (to account for Labor Day games), and the final poll will be released Sunday, Dec. 8. The pollsters consist of FWAA writers and College Football Hall of Famers who were selected to create a balanced-geographical perspective. The poll utilizes a program designed by Sports Systems to compile the rankings.

 

Playoff scenarios for NASCAR Monster Cup Energy Series

With one regular-season race remaining in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and two remaining in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, it’s time to keep watch on drivers who can clinch a spot in the NASCAR Playoffs. Of course, the easiest way to clinch is to win this weekend at Indianapolis.

 

But if that doesn’t happen, here are the drivers who have a chance to clinch on points when the checkered flag drops at the Brickyard.

At Darlington, four winless drivers clinched on points: Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson, William Byron and Aric Almirola. In addition, Kyle Busch clinched the regular-season championship and Erik Jones won the race to punch his ticket.

Fourteen drivers have now clinched. Two spots in the 16-driver field remain. Below is how drivers can claim them.

Clint Bowyer: Would clinch with a win. Would clinch on points with 48 points and a new winner. If there is a repeat winner (or a win by Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney, William Byron or Aric Almirola), he would clinch on points with 46 points.

Daniel Suarez: Would clinch with a win. If there is a repeat winner (or a win by Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney, William Byron, Aric Almirola or Clint Bowyer), he would clinch on points with 54 points. Could clinch on points with a new winner outside the top 16 in the standings and help.

Ryan Newman: Would clinch with a win. If there is a repeat winner, he would clinch on points with 54 points. Could clinch on points with a new winner outside the top 16 and help.

Jimmie Johnson: Would clinch with a win. Could clinch on points with help.

All other drivers can only clinch with a win.

 

WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF NASCAR COMMUNICATIONS

 

 

NASCAR: Statistical analysis of the Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard

Statistical Advance: Analyzing the Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard

DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (September 4, 2019) – Below is a look at some of the top statistical performers at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana going into the Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard Powered by Florida Georgia Line on Sunday, September 8 at 2 p.m. ET on NBC, IMS and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Rank Driver Points Starts Race Wins Stage Wins Playoff Pts Pts From Cutoff
1 Kyle Busch 983 25 4 10 30 Regular Season Champ
2 Denny Hamlin 877 25 4 3 23 In On Wins
3 Martin Truex Jr. 862 25 4 3 23
4 Brad Keselowski 832 25 3 4 19
5 Joey Logano 919 25 2 7 17
6 Kevin Harvick 864 25 2 4 14
7 Chase Elliott 780 25 2 4 14
8 Kurt Busch 790 25 1 3 8
9 Alex Bowman 694 25 1 0 5
10 Erik Jones 694 25 1 0 5
11 Kyle Larson 714 25 0 4 4 Clinched On Points
12 Ryan Blaney 710 25 0 2 2
13 William Byron 683 25 0 1 1
14 Aric Almirola 674 25 0 1 1
15 Clint Bowyer 625 25 0 0 0 8
16 Daniel Suarez 617 25 0 0 0 0
17 Ryan Newman 617 25 0 0 0 0
18 Jimmie Johnson 599 25 0 1 1 -18
19 Paul Menard 548 25 0 0 0 -69
20 Chris Buescher 531 25 0 0 0 -86
21 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 483 25 0 0 0 -134
22 Matt DiBenedetto 467 25 0 0 0 -150
23 Austin Dillon 454 25 0 2 2 -163
24 Ty Dillon 417 25 0 2 2 -200
25 Daniel Hemric # 370 25 0 0 0 -247
26 Ryan Preece # 333 25 0 0 0 -284
27 Bubba Wallace 317 25 0 0 0 -300
28 Michael McDowell 304 25 0 0 0 -313
29 Corey LaJoie 280 25 0 0 0 -337
30 David Ragan 268 25 0 0 0 -349

 

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Data

Season Race #: 26 of 36 (09-08-19)

Track Size: 2.5-miles

Banking/Turns 1 & 2: 9 degrees

Banking/Turns 3 & 4: 9 degrees

Banking/Straights: 0 degrees

Frontstretch Length: 3,330 feet

Backstretch Length:  3,300 feet

Race Length: 160 laps / 400 miles

Stages 1 & 2 Length: 50 laps (each)

Final Stage Length: 60 laps

 

Top 10 Driver Ratings at Indianapolis

Kyle Busch…………………………….. 106.7

Jimmie Johnson……………………… 101.3

Kevin Harvick…………………………… 98.6

Kyle Larson……………………………… 98.6

Denny Hamlin………………………….. 94.1

Erik Jones……………………………….. 93.4

Brad Keselowski………………………. 91.6

Joey Logano……………………………. 90.2

Clint Bowyer…………………………….. 86.0

Ryan Blaney……………………………. 81.9

Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2018 races (14 total) among active drivers at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

 

Qualifying/Race Data

2018 pole winner:

None – Due to inclement weather

2018 race winner:

Brad Keselowski, Ford

128.629 mph, (03:06:35), 09-10-18

Track qualifying record:

Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet

188.889 mph, 47.647 secs. 07-25-14

(Set in Round 1 of 3)

Track race record:

Bobby Labonte, Pontiac

155.912 mph, (02:33:56), 08-05-00

INDIANAPOLIS-SPECIFIC STATISTICS

(Driver stats in the below section are from 2005-Present)

 

Ryan Blaney (No. 12 Team Penske Ford)

  • Two top 15s
  • Average finish of 20.5, 13th-best
  • Average Running Position of 13.762, ninth-best
  • Driver Rating of 81.9, 10th-best
  • 8 Fastest Laps Run, 13th-best
  • 382 Laps in the Top 15 (58.7%), 15th-most
  • 96 Quality Passes, 17th-most

 

Clint Bowyer (No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford)

  • Three top fives, four top 10s
  • Average finish of 14.231, eighth-best
  • Average Running Position of 14.735, 10th-best
  • Driver Rating of 86, ninth-best
  • 28 Fastest Laps Run, eighth-best
  • 1,187 Laps in the Top 15 (56.8%), fifth-most
  • 271 Quality Passes, seventh-most

 

Kyle Busch (No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota)

  • Two wins, five top fives, 11 top 10s; two poles
  • Average finish of 10.714, second-best
  • Average Running Position of 10.836, third-best
  • Driver Rating of 106.7, series-best
  • 201 Fastest Laps Run, series-best
  • 1,733 Laps in the Top 15 (77.0%), series-most
  • 391 Quality Passes, series-most

 

Kurt Busch (No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet)

  • One top five, six top 10s
  • Average finish of 19.714, 12th-best
  • Average Running Position of 18.215, 12th-best
  • Driver Rating of 78.9, 12th-best
  • 23 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-best
  • 1,182 Laps in the Top 15 (52.5%), sixth-most

 

  • 292 Quality Passes, fifth-most

Monster Energy Series
Indianapolis Pole Winners
Pole Winners Poles
1 Jeff Gordon 3
2 Ernie Irvan 2
3 Kevin Harvick 2
4 Kyle Busch 2
5 Carl Edwards 1
6 Casey Mears 1
7 David Ragan 1
8 Denny Hamlin 1
9 Elliott Sadler 1
10 Jeff Burton 1
11 Jimmie Johnson 1
12 Jimmy Spencer 1
13 Juan Pablo Montoya 1
14 Mark Martin 1
15 Reed Sorenson 1
16 Rick Mast 1
17 Ricky Rudd 1
18 Ryan Newman 1
19 Tony Stewart 1

Denny Hamlin (No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota)

  • Five top fives, seven top 10s; one pole
  • Average finish of 12.846, sixth-best
  • Average Running Position of 13.584, eighth-best
  • Driver Rating of 94.1, fifth-best
  • 79 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-best
  • 1,412 Laps in the Top 15 (67.5%), fourth-most
  • 350 Quality Passes, fourth-most

 

Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford)

  • One win, six top fives, 12 top 10s; two poles
  • Average finish of 10.286, series-best
  • Average Running Position of 11.722, fifth-best
  • Driver Rating of 98.6, third-best
  • 98 Fastest Laps Run, third-best
  • 1,633 Laps in the Top 15 (72.5%), second-most
  • 377 Quality Passes, second-most

 

Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet)

  • Four wins, six top fives, seven top 10s; one pole
  • Average finish of 14.214, seventh-best
  • Average Running Position of 11.589, fourth-best
  • Driver Rating of 101.3, second-best
  • 182 Fastest Laps Run, second-best
  • 1,576 Laps in the Top 15 (70.0%), third-most
  • 360 Quality Passes, third-most

 

Erik Jones (No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota)

  • One top five, one top 10
  • Average finish of 16, 11th-best
  • Average Running Position of 10.271, second-best
  • Driver Rating of 93.4, sixth-best
  • 7 Fastest Laps Run, 17th-best
  • 263 Laps in the Top 15 (80.4%), 18th-most

 

  • 62 Quality Passes, 22nd-most

Monster Energy Series
Indianapolis Race Winners
Race Winners Wins
1 Jeff Gordon 5
2 Jimmie Johnson 4
3 Dale Jarrett 2
4 Kyle Busch 2
5 Tony Stewart 2
6 Bill Elliott 1
7 Bobby Labonte 1
8 Dale Earnhardt 1
9 Jamie McMurray 1
10 Kasey Kahne 1
11 Kevin Harvick 1
12 Paul Menard 1
13 Ricky Rudd 1
14 Ryan Newman 1
15 Brad Keselowski 1


Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Team Penske Ford)

  • One win, two top fives, five top 10s
  • Average finish of 11.111, third-best
  • Average Running Position of 13.533, seventh-best
  • Driver Rating of 91.6, seventh-best
  • 47 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-best
  • 912 Laps in the Top 15 (62.9%), 11th-most
  • 225 Quality Passes, 11th-most

 

Kyle Larson (No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet)

  • One top five, three top 10s
  • Average finish of 12.6, fifth-best
  • Average Running Position of 9.735, series-best
  • Driver Rating of 98.6, fourth-best
  • 7 Fastest Laps Run, 16th-best
  • 715 Laps in the Top 15 (88.2%), 12th-most
  • 185 Quality Passes, 13th-most

 

Joey Logano (No. 22 Team Penske Ford)

  • Three top fives, six top 10s
  • Average finish of 11.8, fourth-best
  • Average Running Position of 12.891, sixth-best
  • Driver Rating of 90.2, eighth-best
  • 22 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-best
  • 1,048 Laps in the Top 15 (65.1%), eighth-most
  • 252 Quality Passes, ninth-most

 

Ryan Newman (No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford)

  • One win, three top fives, five top 10s; one pole
  • Average finish of 15.643, ninth-best
  • Average Running Position of 18.23, 13th-best
  • Driver Rating of 78.9, 13th-best
  • 30 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-best
  • 1,033 Laps in the Top 15 (45.9%), ninth-most
  • 241 Quality Passes, 10th-most

 

 

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 2019 Top 16 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Rank Driver Races Poles Wins Top Fives Top 10s DNFs Average Finish Driver Rating
1 Kyle Busch 14 2 2 5 11 1 10.7 106.7
2 Joey Logano 10 0 0 3 6 0 11.8 90.2
3 Denny Hamlin 13 1 0 5 7 0 12.8 94.1
4 Kevin Harvick 18 2 1 6 12 0 9.4 98.6
5 Martin Truex Jr 14 0 0 1 3 3 20.9 78.4
6 Brad Keselowski 9 0 1 2 5 0 11.1 91.6
7 Kurt Busch 18 0 0 1 6 3 18.8 78.9
8 Chase Elliott 4 0 0 0 0 1 21.8 68.7
9 Kyle Larson 5 0 0 1 3 1 12.6 98.6
10 Ryan Blaney 4 0 0 0 0 2 20.5 81.9
11 Alex Bowman 3 0 0 0 0 1 38.7 34.3
12 Erik Jones 2 0 0 1 1 1 16.5 93.4
13 William Byron 1 0 0 0 0 0 19.0 73.2
14 Aric Almirola 7 0 0 0 0 0 22.3 67.5
15 Clint Bowyer 13 0 0 3 4 1 14.2 86.0
16 Daniel Suarez 2 0 0 0 1 0 12.5 76.3

* – Based on last 14 races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (2005 – 2018)

Loop Data Leaders: Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Monster Energy Series – Top 3 In Key Loop Data Statistics
Driver Rating Avg. Running Position Laps Led
Kyle Busch 106.7 Kyle Larson 9.735 Kyle Busch 324
Jimmie Johnson 101.3 Erik Jones 10.271 Jimmie Johnson 302
Kevin Harvick 98.6 Kyle Busch 10.836 Kevin Harvick 152
Fastest Laps Run % of Laps in the Top 15 Quality Passes
Kyle Busch 201 Kyle Busch 1,733 (77.0%) Kyle Busch 391
Jimmie Johnson 182 Kevin Harvick 1,633 (72.5%) Kevin Harvick 377
Kevin Harvick 98 Jimmie Johnson 1,576 (70.0%) Jimmie Johnson 360
Loop Data stats are from 2005 – Present

At Indianapolis Motor Speedway:

History

  • Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) has existed since 1909, and is the original “Speedway”, the first racing facility to incorporate the word into its name.
  • With a permanent seating capacity for more than 250,000-plus people and infield seating that raises capacity to an approximate 400,000, it is the largest and highest-capacity sporting facility in history.
  • The first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway was August 6, 1994 – won by Hendrick Motorsport’s driver Jeff Gordon (Chevrolet).
  • There have been 25 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway; one per year from 1994 through 2018.

Starts

  • A total of 157 different drivers have competed in at least one Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway; 125 have competed in more than one.
  • Jeff Gordon leads the Monster Energy Series in starts at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with 23.
  • Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch and Ryan Newman lead all active series drivers in starts at Indianapolis with 18 each.
  • Three drivers have made their first Monster Energy Series career start at Indianapolis Motor Speedway – Danny Sullivan and Geoff Brabham (8/6/1994); Ron Barfield Jr. (8/3/1997).
  • David Green (two starts) leads the series in average starting position at Indianapolis with a 6.0.
  • Ryan Newman leads all active series drivers in average starting position at Indianapolis with a 9.7.

Top 10 in Average Starting Position at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (All-Time & Active)

Rank All-Time Drivers Avg. Start Starts Rank Active Drivers Avg. Start Starts
1 David Green 6.000 2 1 Ryan Newman 9.667 18
2 Juan Pablo Montoya 6.625 8 2 Erik Jones 11.000 2
3 Kenny Irwin Jr 9.500 2 3 Brad Keselowski 11.778 9
4 Ryan Newman 9.667 18 4 Jimmie Johnson 12.059 17
5 Erik Jones 11.000 2 5 Joey Logano 12.300 10
6 Brad Keselowski 11.778 9 6 Denny Hamlin 12.385 13
7 Kasey Kahne 11.929 14 7 Kyle Larson 12.400 5
8 Jimmie Johnson 12.059 17 8 Kevin Harvick 12.722 18
9 Dale Earnhardt 12.286 7 9 Kurt Busch 15.056 18
10 Joey Logano 12.300 10 10 Kyle Busch 15.143 14

 

 

Poles

Monster Energy Series
Active Indianapolis Pole Winners
Pole Winners Poles
1 Kevin Harvick 2
2 Kyle Busch 2
3 Denny Hamlin 1
4 Jimmie Johnson 1
5 Ryan Newman 1
  • In total 19 different series drivers have won a Busch Pole Award at Indianapolis Motor Speedway; five are active this weekend.
  • NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon leads the Monster Energy Series in poles at Indianapolis with three (1995, 1996, 1999).
  • Kevin Harvick (2003, 2014) and Kyle Busch (2016, 2017) lead all active drivers in poles at Indianapolis with two each.
  • Rick Mast won the inaugural Busch Pole Award at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1994 with a speed of 172.414 mph (Ford). 
  • Three drivers have won consecutive Busch poles at Indianapolis: Kyle Busch (2016-17), Jeff Gordon (1995-96) and Ernie Irvan (1997-98).
  • Youngest Indianapolis Busch pole winner: Reed Sorenson (07/29/2007 – 21 years, 5 months, 24 days).
  • Oldest Indianapolis Busch pole winner: Mark Martin (07/26/2009 – 50 years, 6 months, 17 days).
  • Reed Sorenson (07/29/07) is the only driver to post his first career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series pole at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
  • Five different manufacturers have won at least one pole in the Monster Energy Series at Indianapolis Motor Speedway; led by Chevrolet with 10, followed by Ford (six), Toyota (four), Dodge (two) and Pontiac (two).

Wins

Monster Energy Series
Active Indianapolis Race Winners
Race Winners Wins
1 Jimmie Johnson 4
2 Kyle Busch 2
3 Kevin Harvick 1
4 Paul Menard 1
5 Ryan Newman 1
6 Brad Keselowski 1
  • A total of 15 different Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers have won at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, six are active this weekend.
  • NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon leads the series in wins at Indianapolis with five victories (1994, 1998, 2001, 2004, 2014).
  • Jimmie Johnson leads all active series drivers in wins at Indianapolis with four victories (2006, 2008, 2009, 2012).
  • Kyle Busch is the only other active driver with multiple wins (2015, 2016).
  • Jimmie Johnson (2008-09) and Kyle Busch (2015-16) are the only two drivers to win consecutive Monster Energy Series races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
  • Youngest Indianapolis winner: Jeff Gordon (08/06/1994 – 23 years, 0 months, 2 days).
  • Oldest Indianapolis winner: Bill Elliott (08/04/2002 – 46 years, 9 months, 27 days).
  • Paul Menard (07/31/11) is the only series driver to post his first career MENCS win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
  • Four of the 25 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races (16%) at Indianapolis have been won from the Busch pole: Kevin Harvick (2003), Jimmie Johnson (2008), Ryan Newman (2013) and Kyle Busch (2016).
  • The pole position is the most proficient starting positions in the field, producing four winners – more than any other starting position at Indianapolis.
  • Six of the 25 (24%) Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Indianapolis have been won from the front row: four from the pole and two from second-place.

MENCS Wins by Starting Positions at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Starting Position Wins Winning % Starting Position Wins Winning %
1 4 16.00% 13 1 4.00%
2 2 8.00% 14 1 4.00%
3 3 12.00% 15 1 4.00%
4 2 8.00% 16 1 4.00%
5 1 4.00% 19 1 4.00%
6 2 8.00% 22 1 4.00%
7 1 4.00% 24 1 4.00%
9 1 4.00% 27 1 4.00%
11 1 4.00%  
Stats Winning % Wins
Winning from the First Starting Position: 16.00% 4
Winning from the Front Row: 24.00% 6
Winning from a Top-Five Starting Position: 48.00% 12
Winning from a Top-10 Starting Position: 64.00% 16
Winning After Starting Outside the Top 20: 12.00% 3

 

  • The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Indianapolis is 27th, by Jeff Gordon in 2001.
  • In 2016, Kyle Busch became the first driver in history to sweep both the NASCAR Xfinity Series race from the pole and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race from the pole in the same weekend at Indianapolis.
  • All seven active Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race winners at Indianapolis Motor Speedway participated in at least one or more races before visiting Victory Lane.
  • Jeff Gordon won the Brickyard 400 in his first start at Indianapolis (inaugural event 1994).
  • Ryan Newman competed at Indianapolis Motor Speedway 12-times before winning in 2013; the longest span of any the six active series winners.
  • Kurt Busch leads the series among active drivers with the most starts at Indianapolis without visiting Victory Lane at 18; followed by Martin Truex Jr. (14).
  • Hendrick Motorsports leads the series in wins at Indianapolis in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series with 10; followed by Joe Gibbs Racing (five) and Richard Childress Racing (three).
  • Four different manufacturers have won at Indianapolis; led by Chevrolet with 17 victories; followed by Ford (four), Toyota (two), Dodge and Pontiac each have one.
  • Chevrolet won 12-straight from 2003-2014.

 

Additional Finishing Positions

  • A total of 18 different drivers have finished runner up in Monster Energy Series at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
  • NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace and Matt Kenseth lead the series in runner-up finishes at Indianapolis with three each.
  • Kyle Busch leads all active Monster Energy Series drivers in runner-up finishes with two.
  • A total of 43 different Monster Energy Series drivers have finished in the top-five at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
  • NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon leads the series in top-five finishes at Indianapolis with 12; followed by Matt Kenseth (nine) and Tony Stewart (seven).
  • Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick lead all active drivers in top fives with six each.
  • A total of 63 different Monster Energy Series drivers have finished inside the top-10 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
  • NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon leads the series in top-10 finishes at Indianapolis with 17.
  • Kevin Harvick leads all active series drivers in top 10s at Indianapolis with 12.
  • Daniel Suarez leads the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in average finishing position at Indianapolis with a 7.0 in one start. Below are the top five MENCS drivers (all-time and active) in average finish at IMS:

Top 10 in Average Finishing Position at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (All-Time & Active)

Rank All-Time Drivers Average Finish Starts Rank Active Drivers Average Finish Starts
1 Kevin Harvick 9.389 18 1 Kevin Harvick 9.389 18
2 Tony Stewart 9.722 18 2 Kyle Busch 10.714 14
3 Morgan Shepherd 10.000 4 3 Brad Keselowski 11.111 9
4 Jeff Gordon 10.043 23 4 Joey Logano 11.800 10
5 Rusty Wallace 10.250 12 5 Daniel Suarez 12.500 2
6 Dale Earnhardt 10.429 7 6 Kyle Larson 12.600 5
7 Kyle Busch 10.714 14 7 Denny Hamlin 12.846 13
8 Brad Keselowski 11.111 9 8 Clint Bowyer 14.154 13
9 Ernie Irvan 11.800 5 9 Jimmie Johnson 15.412 17
10 Joey Logano 11.800 10 10 Chris Buescher 16.000 3

Track Specific Stats

  • Since the advent of electronic scoring (1993) the closest margin of victory (MOV) in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Indianapolis Motor Speedway was the August 3, 1997 race won by Ricky Rudd over Bobby Labonte with a margin of victory of 0.183 second.

Top Five Monster Energy Series Margin of Victory Finishes at Indianapolis

Date Margin of Victory Race Winner Runner-Up
8/3/1997 0.183 Ricky Rudd Bobby Labonte
7/27/2008 0.332 Jimmie Johnson Carl Edwards
7/26/2015 0.332 Kyle Busch Joey Logano
8/5/1995 0.370 Dale Earnhardt Rusty Wallace
7/26/2009 0.400 Jimmie Johnson Mark Martin

 

  • Four of the 25 series races at Indianapolis have resulted with NASCAR Overtime:
Date Scheduled No. of Laps Actual No. of Laps NASCAR Overtime Laps Race Winner
7/23/2017 160 167 7 Kasey Kahne
7/24/2016 160 170 10 Kyle Busch
7/26/2015 160 164 4 Kyle Busch
8/8/2004 160 161 1 Jeff Gordon

 

  • None of the 25 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway have been shortened due to weather conditions.
  • Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Indianapolis Motor Speedway only once – last season’s event (2018).

 

Lap Leader Stats

  • A total of 82 different series drivers have led at least one lap at Indianapolis.
  • NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon leads the series in laps led at Indianapolis with 528 laps led in 23 starts.
  • Kyle Busch leads all active series drivers in laps led at Indianapolis with 324 laps led in 14 starts.

Top 10 Monster Energy Series Lap Leaders at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Rank All-Time Drivers Laps Led Laps Completed % Starts
1 Jeff Gordon 528 3,519 15.0% 23
2 Kyle Busch 324 2,156 15.0% 14
3 Jimmie Johnson 302 2,543 11.9% 17
4 Tony Stewart 227 2,895 7.8% 18
5 Juan Pablo Montoya 203 1,229 16.5% 8
6 Kevin Harvick 203 2,890 7.0% 18
7 Dale Jarrett 186 2,003 9.3% 13
8 Kasey Kahne 170 2,140 7.9% 14
9 Bill Elliott 157 2,558 6.1% 16
10 Rusty Wallace 148 1,852 8.0% 12

 

  • The most laps led in a Monster Energy Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is 149 laps led of 170 laps completed by Kyle Busch on July 24, 2016 – he won the event starting from the pole position.
  • The most laps led in a Monster Energy Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway by a driver that did not win the event was 116 laps led by Juan Pablo Montoya who finished 11th on July 26, 2009 – he started second.

 

Female Competitor Stats

  • Danica Patrick became the first female driver to compete in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2013.
Driver Starting Position Finishing Position Driver Rating Date
Danica Patrick 23 11 62.3 7/23/2017
Danica Patrick 24 22 57.8 7/24/2016
Danica Patrick 15 27 76.0 7/26/2015
Danica Patrick 14 42 67.0 7/27/2014
Danica Patrick 33 30 48.5 7/28/2013
Averages 21.8 26.4 62.3
  • Shawna Robinson (08/05/01) is the only other female driver to attempt to compete in the series at Indianapolis, but she failed to qualify for the event.

NASCAR in Indiana

  • A total of 81 NASCAR national series races have been held in the state of Indiana.
Tracks in Indiana
Track Name City MENCS NXS NGOTS Total Races
1 Indianapolis Motor Speedway Speedway 25 7 0 32
2 Lucas Oil Raceway Indianapolis 0 30 17 47
3 Funks Speedway Winchester 1 0 0 1
4 Playland Park Speedway South Bend 1 0 0 1
Totals 27 37 17 81
  • The first NASCAR national series race held in the state of Indiana was at Funks Speedway in Winchester on October 15, 1950. The race was won by Lloyd Moore in a Mercury.

 

Indiana Drivers in NASCAR

  • A total of 82 different drivers in NASCAR national series history have their home state recorded as Indiana.
  • 12 of the 82 drivers from Indiana have won a NASCAR national series event; led by Tony Stewart from Columbus, Indiana with 62 NASCAR national series combined wins.
  • Tony Stewart (2005, 2007) from Columbus and Ryan Newman (2013) from South Bend are the only two drivers from Indiana to win at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Drivers From Indiana
Driver MENCS NXS NGOTS Totals
1 Tony Stewart 49 11 2 62
2 Ryan Newman 18 7 1 26
3 Darel Dieringer 7 0 0 7
4 Charlie Glotzbach 4 0 0 4
5 John Andretti 2 0 0 2
6 Earl Balmer 1 0 0 1
7 Larry Frank 1 0 0 1
8 Justin Haley 1 0 3 4
9 Dick Passwater 1 0 0 1
10 Tony Raines 0 0 4 4
11 Chase Briscoe 0 2 2 4
12 Kenny Irwin Jr 0 0 2 2
Totals 84 20 14 118

 

Monster Energy Series – Achievable Milestones
Wins            
Jimmie Johnson   Has: 83   Needs: 1
To tie Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip for fourth on the all-time series wins list.
Kyle Busch   Has: 55   Needs: 21
To tie Dale Earnhardt for eighth on the all-time Monster Energy Series wins list.
Kevin Harvick   Has: 47   Needs: 1
To tie Herb Thomas for 15th on the all-time Monster Energy Series wins list.
Denny Hamlin   Has: 35   Needs: 2
To tie Bobby Isaac (37) for 22nd on the all-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series wins list.
Kurt Busch   Has: 31   Needs: 1
To tie Dale Jarrett for 25th on the all-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series wins list.
Brad Keselowski   Has: 30   Needs: 2
To tie Dale Jarrett for 25th on the all-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series wins list.
Joey Logano   Has: 23   Needs: 2
To tie Jim Paschal and Joe Weatherly for 32nd on the all-time Monster Energy Series wins list.
Martin Truex Jr.   Has: 23   Needs: 2
To tie Jim Paschal and Joe Weatherly for 32nd on the all-time Monster Energy Series wins list.

Monster Energy Series – Achievable Milestones
Busch Poles            
Ryan Newman   Has: 51   Needs: 3
Tie Bill Elliott for eighth on the all-time Monster Energy Series poles list.
Jimmie Johnson   Has: 36   Needs: 1
To tie Geoff Bodine for 16th on the all-time Monster Energy Series poles list.
Kyle Busch   Has: 31   Needs: 1
To tie Fred Lorenzen and Fireball Roberts for 21st on the all-time series poles list.
Denny Hamlin   Has: 31   Needs: 1
To tie Fred Lorenzen and Fireball Roberts for 21st on the all-time series poles list.
Kevin Harvick   Has: 29   Needs: 1
To tie Denny Hamlin for 25th on the all-time Monster Energy Series poles list.
Kurt Busch   Has: 27   Needs: 1
To tie Kevin Harvick for 27th on the all-time Monster Energy Series poles list.
Joey Logano   Has: 22   Needs: 1
To tie Dale Earnhardt, Jack Smith, Ken Schrader for 33rd on the all-time series poles list.
Laps Led            
Jimmie Johnson   Has: 18,787   Needs: 213
To become the ninth driver in the series to lead 19,000 laps.
Kyle Busch   Has: 17,015   Needs: 985
To become the 10th driver in the series to lead 18,000 laps.
Kevin Harvick   Has: 13,675   Needs: 325
To become the 11th driver in the MENCS all-time to lead 14,000 laps.
Kurt Busch   Has: 9,709   Needs: 291
To become the 18th driver in the MENCS all-time to lead 10,000 laps.
Denny Hamlin   Has: 9,596   Needs: 404
To become the 18th driver in the MENCS all-time to lead 10,000 laps.
Martin Truex Jr.   Has: 8,149   Needs: 851
To become the 21st driver in the MENCS all-time to lead 9,000 laps.
Brad Keselowski   Has: 7,281   Needs: 719
To become the 26th driver in the MENCS all-time to lead 8,000 laps.
Joey Logano   Has: 5,758   Needs: 242
To become the 36th driver in the MENCS all-time to lead 6,000 laps.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF NASCAR COMMUNICATIONS

NASCAR visits Indianapolis for 26th Annual Brickyard 400th

 

 

 

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series

Next Race: Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard powered by Florida Georgia Line

The Place: Indianapolis Motor Speedway

The Date: Sunday, September 8

The Time: 2 p.m. ET

TV: NBC, 1:30 p.m. ET

Radio: IMS Radio, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 400 miles (160 laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 50),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 100), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 160)

2018 Race Winner: Brad Keselowski

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Next Race: Indiana 250

The Place: Indianapolis Motor Speedway

The Date: Saturday, September 7

The Time: 3 p.m. ET

TV: NBCSN, 2:30 p.m. ET

Radio: IMS Radio, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 250 miles (100 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 30),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 60), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 100)

2018 Race Winner: Justin Allgaier

NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series

Next Race: World of Westgate 200

The Place: Las Vegas Motor Speedway

The Date: Friday, September 13

The Time: 9 p.m. ET

TV: FS1, 8:30 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 201 miles (134 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 30),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 60), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 134)

2018 Winner: Grant Enfinger

 

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series

 

Last race to make the Playoffs

There have been 25 race trophies awarded this season – 25 opportunities to lock in a Playoff berth – but for the four drivers on the bubble, the last two Playoff positions will depend on their outing in Sunday’s Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard powered by Florida Georgia Line at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on NBC, IMS and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

 

Veteran Clint Bowyer in 15th holds an eight-point edge on Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Daniel Suarez and Roush Fenway Racing driver Ryan Newman, who are tied in points. Suarez, however, holds the tiebreaker and is currently slotted into the 16th and final Playoff position entering the race while Newman is on the outside in 17th.

 

Seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson is ranked 18th – 18 points behind Suarez and Newman and 26 points behind Bowyer.

 

But there is also the possibility that a driver ranked below this foursome could earn one of those Playoff spots with a victory Sunday – which would leave room for only one of them to advance to the postseason on points.

 

Of the four still eligible to point their way in – Johnson holds a clear statistical advantage. Only NASCAR Hall of Famer and former Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon has won more Indianapolis races (five) than Johnson’s four. And Newman is the only other driver among this Playoff-hopeful quartet with a victory at Indianapolis – winning the 2013 race from the pole position.

 

In order of their current ranking, Bowyer has three top-five and four top-10 finishes in 13 Indianapolis starts, including a fifth place last year when he tied Denny Hamlin with a race-best 37 laps led.

 

Suarez has finishes of seventh and 18th in two starts at Indianapolis but has never led a lap.

 

Newman has had three top-five and five top-10 finishes in 18 career starts, including a third place in 2017. He’s finished in the top 10 in his last two Indianapolis starts, adding in a 10th-place result last year.

 

With his four Brickyard trophies, Johnson is not only best among those still vying for a Playoff positions but also best in Sunday’s field. He has six top-five and seven top-10 finishes in 17 starts. He won there four times in a seven-year span between 2006-2012, was runner-up in 2013 and then third in 2016. He was 16th last year.

 

Last week Bowyer bested the four drivers with a sixth-place finish at Darlington – good enough to move him up from 17th in the standings to a Playoff-eligible 15th. His SHR teammate Suarez was 11th at Darlington, securing him that 16th-place designation while Newman was 23rd Saturday night, putting him 17th in the Playoff standings – one spot out of the postseason.

 

Johnson finished 16th but earned some important stage points. He was running fourth when he was collected in a multi-car accident on Lap 276 of the 367-lap race.

 

Of note – Johnson has never missed the Playoffs in the 15 years the postseason has been in place for the Monster Energy Series.

 

And a historical note that Newman and Johnson will try to overcome…in the most recent two seasons, no driver raced into the Playoffs by virtue of his finish in the regular season finale.

 

Keselowski looking to go back-to-back at Indianapolis

The defending winner of the Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard powered by Florida Georgia Line at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on NBC, IMS, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) comes from a team whose owner knows how to find Victory Lane at the historic 2.5-mile track.

 

Brad Keselowski’s Team Penske owner Roger Penske is the winningest team owner in Indianapolis 500 history (18 victories, including this year). And Keselowski’s victory at the historic track last year made Penske a proud winner of NASCAR’s race at the venue, as well.

 

Keselowski is living up to the Penske tradition at Indianapolis. He won the race last year, finished runner-up in 2017 and has five top-10 finishes in nine starts. Also very telling, Keselowski has led laps in seven of the nine races he’s run – 108 laps total.

 

Only two drivers – Jimmie Johnson (2008-2009) and Kyle Busch (2015-16) – have won back-to-back Indianapolis races, but Keselowski has to be a favorite to become the third.

 

This season he has three victories in the No. 2 Team Penske Ford – at Atlanta, Martinsville, Va., and Kansas. Keselowski has nine top-five and 14 top-10 finishes through the opening 25 races – including top-10 results in five of the last six. He’s coming off top-five showings at Bristol, Tenn. (third place) and last weekend at Darlington, S.C. (fifth).

 

He sits sixth in the points standings and his 966 laps led with 11 races remaining is more than he totaled in each of the three previous complete seasons.

 

Keselowski in locked into the Monster Energy Series Playoffs and is chasing his second title after winning the championship trophy for Team Penske in 2012 with a five-win season.

 

Kyle Busch locks up regular season championship

Kyle Busch wrapped up his second straight regular season championship last week at Darlington Raceway with a third-place finish and another stage win. He had been battling Team Penske driver Joey Logano for that top position all season, finally taking it back for good four races ago after the Watkins Glen, N.Y. road course race.

 

Busch has led the standings for 14 of the 25 weeks – most among drivers this season – and was never ranked lower than fourth, where he spent one week after the race in his native Las Vegas. He has a series-best 10 stage victories.

 

The title gives the four-time winner an extra 15 Playoff points for the postseason, which begins next week in Vegas.

 

“Obviously we set out to do that here a few weeks back,’’ Busch said of his regular season championship. “We knew when he [Logano] passed us and got the lead from us that it was going to be hard to get it back. But fortunately, we went back into stage racing a little bit more and tried to get some of the stage points and that helped us.’’

 

The bad news for Busch’s competition is that this week’s regular season finale at Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been an especially successful venue for the 2015 Monster Energy Series champion of late. He has won the last three pole positions and two of the last four Brickyard 400s. In fact, Busch (2015-16) and Jimmie Johnson (2008-09) are the only drivers in history to win back-to-back races at the historic 2.5-mile facility.

 

Busch has an impressive 11 top-10 finishes in 14 Indianapolis races, second only to Kevin Harvick’s 12, including seven straight from 2010-2016. He led a record 149 of 170 laps – from pole position – en route to his dominating 2016 win, one of only five times in the race’s 25-year history a driver has led at least 100 laps.

 

With the regular season title in hand, a series-best 1,166 laps led and seven top-10 finishes in the last 10 races, Busch is in good form as the Playoffs approach. But his last victory was 11 races ago during the first visit to Pocono, and he’s hungry for another win.

 

Hamlin riding a hot streak into the Playoffs

Despite a rough outing at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway over the weekend, Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin is easily one of the hottest drivers headed into NASCAR’s postseason. He, along with several other race front-runners, was involved in a late-race, multi-car accident – not of his doing – the 29th-place finish that resulted snapped an impressive streak of six consecutive top-five finishes for the four-time race winner.

 

Hamlin has led 373 laps in the No. 11 JGR Toyota with wins in the Daytona 500 and at Texas, Pocono-2 and then two weeks ago at Bristol from the pole position. The combined work of his 13 top-five finishes this year and the four victories has him ranked third in the Monster Energy Series points standings as the series holds its last regular season race this week at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a venue where the championship challenger has never won.

 

Hamlin has come close, however.

 

He has five top-five and seven top-10 finishes in 13 starts at Indianapolis with a best showing of third place – in 2014 and last year. He’s finished among the top-five in four of the last five races at Indianapolis and his 37 laps led last year is the most time he’s had out front at the track.

 

A good showing at Indy would certainly boost his momentum heading into the 10-race championship Playoff that begins next week in Las Vegas. Among the other four-race winners – JGR teammates Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. – Hamlin has had the most recent success.

 

It’s been 10 races since Truex claimed his fourth trophy at the Sonoma, Calif. road course and it’s been 12 races since Busch last won – at the first Pocono, Pa. race of the summer.

 

After slow start (by his standards), Harvick is on a roll

As many predicted, getting that first victory of 2019 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway six weeks ago may have been the boost Kevin Harvick needed to make a true Playoff run. He has 16 top-10s through the opening 25 races, but since that first win, he has five top-10 finishes (and another win at Michigan) in the last six races. The only sore spot on this run was a 39th place at Bristol two weeks ago after his No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford suffered a clutch problem.

 

Harvick answered that tough day with a fourth-place result at Darlington on Sunday night and is also in fourth place in the points as the regular season closes this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where Harvick is always a favorite.

 

He has an impressive 12 top-10 finishes, best in the field, in 16 starts at Indianapolis and won from the pole in 2003. Harvick has finished eighth or better in the last five races there, including finishing fourth last year. He’s led laps in three of the last five races.

 

Indianapolis Motor Speedway has always been a special venue for Harvick, who grew up in Bakersfield, Calif. – also home to four-time Indy 500 winner Rick Mears. To win at the same track as his lifelong racing hero has a sentimental value unlike any other place the series races.

 

“For me, I grew up in Bakersfield, California, as a Rick Means fan,’’ Harvick said. “Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as a child, that was your racing dream. That was where you wanted to race. I’ve been fortunate to have won the Brickyard 400 and kind of live out that childhood dream.

 

“There is a mystique and history, and everything you can think about in racing that has happened for over 100 years has happened at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. … I always feel like it is one of the most special places that you can race because that is all I wanted to do as a kid.’’

 

Teams sweeping their way into the Playoffs

With one race left to formally set the 2019 16-driver Playoff field, there are three teams that have “swept” their way into the championship battle – and two others whose could match that mark after this week’s Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

 

One that’s certain – Joe Gibbs Racing has earned a Playoff opportunity for all four of its drivers – four-time winner and regular season champion Kyle Busch, four-race winners Martin Truex Jr. and Denny Hamlin and the newest winner this season, last weekend’s Darlington victor, Erik Jones.

 

Team Penske will field all three of their cars in the Playoffs. Defending Monster Energy Series champion Joey Logano challenged Busch for the regular season title all year and has a pair of wins heading to Indy. His teammate – the defending Brickyard 400 winner – Brad Keselowski has three wins in 2019 and the third driver, Ryan Blaney, is ranked 10th in the standings now and has locked himself in the Playoffs on points.

 

Chip Ganassi Racing is the other team with both of its drivers already eligible for the championship run. First-year CGR driver Kurt Busch won at Kentucky Speedway this summer. And Kyle Larson is ranked ninth in the standings, still looking for his win.

 

Stewart-Haas Racing is looking to get all four of its cars into the Playoffs for the second time. Two-race winner Kevin Harvick is locked in on wins, while teammate Aric Almirola secured a spot on points. Clint Bowyer (15th) and Daniel Suarez (16th) are looking to complete the SHR sweep heading into the regular season finale.

 

And Hendrick Motorsports currently has three of their four drivers in – Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman locked themselves in with wins, while William Byron is in on points. The fourth, and most veteran, member of the team – Jimmie Johnson – currently sits in 18th, just outside the Playoff cutoff.

 

Only eight points separate Bowyer (15th) from Suarez (16th) and Newman (17th). And 26 points separate Bowyer from 18th-place Jimmie Johnson. Of those four drivers, Johnson is a four-time Indianapolis winner and Newman won the 2013 race from the pole position.

 

Leading the way at Indianapolis

Only five times in 25 races has a driver led at least 100 laps in the 170-lap Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Kyle Busch holds the record for laps led en route to a win – leading for 149 of 170 laps in his 2016 victory from pole.

 

NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett was the first to lead 100 laps and win the race – famously kissing the bricks after a dominating 1999 victory when he led 117 laps and beat Bobby Labonte to the checkered.

 

Labonte answered that however, with a unique honor the very next year. He led 21 laps in earning the 2000 Brickyard 400 title over second-place Rusty Wallace, who led 110 laps on the day. It marked the first time a driver led 100 laps and did not win the race. The other time was 2009 when Juan Pablo Montoya – a two-time Indy 500 winner – led 116 laps but finished 11th.

 

Jeff Gordon led 124 laps to take the 2004 Brickyard victory – the most dominating win of his record five Indy triumphs.

 

Parade Laps: Insights ahead of this week’s driver media rotations

Six drivers from the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series – Hendrick Motorsports’ William Byron and Chase Elliott; Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kyle Larson; Joe Gibbs Racing’s Erik Jones; Roush Fenway Racing’s Ricky Stenhouse Jr.; and Wood Brothers Racing’s Paul Menard will be participating in this week’s media rotations at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in advance of Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series’ Big Machine Vodka 400 (2 p.m. ET on NBC, IMS and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

 

William Byron, 21, of Charlotte, N.C. is looking to head into his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff with some of the momentum he showed midseason. He earned his career-best finish of runner-up at the summer Daytona race, has won four pole positions and tallied a career high eight top-10s and two-top-fives with a third of the season still remaining. Byron’s 180 laps led in 2019 is also a career best for the second-year Cup driver, but he hasn’t led a lap since Chicago two months ago. He won the pole position last week at Darlington, S.C. in the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet but finished 21st. He has only one previous Cup start on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway starting 22nd and finishing 19th last year. However, Byron won his Xfinity Series debut at Indianapolis in 2017. He’s ranked 13th in the championship standings.

 

Chase Elliott, 23, of Dawsonville, Ga., is enjoying another career year with victories at Talladega, Ala. and Watkins Glen, N.Y. already highlighting an impressive season total of 10 top-10s and eight top-fives. He had a streak of three consecutive top-10 finishes snapped at Darlington Sunday night with a 19th place run. He’s led laps in three of the last four races and is ranked eighth in the championship. Indianapolis has been a challenging venue for the driver of the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. He has yet to lead a lap or score a top-10 in four previous starts at the big track. His best showing is 15th – his finish last year and also in 2016.

 

Kyle Larson, 27, of Elk Grove, Calif., finished runner-up to Erik Jones Saturday night at Darlington, S.C.- his second runner-up finish this season and fifth consecutive top-10 this summer. He’s finished in the top-10 six of the last seven races and has 12 top-10s on the season along with six top-five efforts. Larson’s ninth place ranking in the Cup standings is his highest since being eighth after the third race (Fontana) of the season. The driver of the No.42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet has plenty of reason to be optimistic about this weekend’s Indianapolis stop. He has three top-10s – including a career best fifth in 2016 – in five starts. He was 14th last year.

 

Erik Jones, 23, of Byron, Mich., earned his first victory of 2019 last weekend at Darlington, S.C. leading a season high 79 laps and becoming the fourth driver on his Joe Gibbs Racing team to celebrate in Victory Lane this year. Jones has had a remarkable year in the No. 19 JGR Toyota with 13 top-10 and nine top-five efforts. His victory helped him jump three positions in the Cup standings and he’s now 11th – his best position since March. Best of all for Jones, he takes his trophy to Indianapolis this week where he was runner-up to Brad Keselowski last summer in only his second start at the track. He led 10 laps in 2017 his maiden race at Indianapolis but was in a crash and finished 31st.

 

Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 31, of Olive Branch, Miss., is hoping to capitalize on his one last Playoff opportunity this week. It’s been a trying season with only two top-10 and a single top-five effort. His best work was a fifth place at Charlotte in May. He has two top-20s in the last eight races and was 33rd at both of the series’ last races in Bristol, Tenn. and Darlington, S.C. The driver of the No. 17 Roush-Fenway Racing Ford is looking for his first top-10 finish at Indianapolis. His best showing in six previous races is 12th in 2016. He was 34th at Indianapolis last year.

 

Paul Menard, 39, of Eau Claire, Wisc., earned his only career Cup victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2011 and had a top 10 (ninth) last year. A good showing this weekend – a win is his only opportunity at a Playoff berth – would be important for the driver of the famed No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford entry. He has three top-10s on the season including a best of sixth place at Bristol, Tenn. in the Spring. He was ninth last week at Darlington and has seven top-20 showings in the last eight races.

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Back to the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Indianapolis Motor Speedway is considered one of the most prestigious and historic tracks in American racing history, and this weekend the NASCAR Xfinity Series returns to the Brickyard for the Indiana 250 on Saturday, September 7, at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, IMS and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

 

The almost rectangular-shaped, four-corner track is 2.5-miles in length, located in Indianapolis, Indiana, with nine degrees of banking in the four turns. This season’s Indiana 250 will be 100 laps (250 miles) with the first stage ending on Lap 30 and the second stage ending on Lap 60.

 

Indianapolis Motor Speedway has hosted seven NASCAR Xfinity Series races, engendering three different pole winners and five different race winners. Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch leads the series in poles (four) and wins (three) at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

 

JR Motorsport’s Justin Allgaier won the 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Indianapolis; he is still looking for his first victory of the 2019 season this weekend.

 

Regular season championship on the line

With the regular season coming to a close, Richard Childress Racing’s Tyler Reddick has the opportunity to clinch the NASCAR Xfinity Series regular season championship this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the Indiana 250 on Saturday, September 7 at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, IMS and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

 

Reddick can clinch the regular season title at Indianapolis if he leaves the race with a 61-point lead on second in the NASCAR Xfinity Series driver standings. He currently holds a 51-point lead on second-place Christopher Bell.

 

Reddick has made two series starts at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, posting a best finish of runner-up last season.

 

Playoff Crunch: To clinch or not to clinch

Just two races remain in the NASCAR Xfinity Series regular season for drivers to lock themselves into the Playoffs with a win or by points. Noah Gragson clinched a spot in the postseason on points last weekend at Darlington Raceway, joining Tyler Reddick (four wins, standings leader), Christopher Bell (six wins), Cole Custer (six wins), Austin Cindric (two wins), Chase Briscoe (one win), Michael Annett (one win) and Justin Allgaier (one win) as the eight drivers who have now clinched. Four spots remain.

 

Here are the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff clinch scenarios for Indianapolis Motor Speedway:

The magic number is 56:

    • If there is a new winner, a clinching driver needs to be 56 points ahead of the fifth-highest winless driver.
    • If there is a repeat winner (or wins by Allgaier, Gragson, Haley, Nemechek, Jones) (possible: Haley, Nemechek, Jones), a clinching driver needs to be 56 points ahead of the sixth-highest winless driver.

Justin Haley – Would clinch with a win or would clinch on points with 45 points and a new winner.  If there is a repeat winner (or a win by Justin Allgaier, Noah Gragson, John Hunter Nemechek or Brandon Jones), he would clinch on points with 23 points.

 

Haley will be making his series track debut this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

John Hunter Nemechek – Would clinch with a win or could clinch on points with help.

 

Nemechek made his series track debut at Indianapolis last season. He started sixth and led two laps, but was caught in an incident that relegated him to a 25th-place finish.

Brandon Jones – Would clinch with a win or could clinch on points with a repeat winner (or a win by Justin Allgaier, Noah Gragson, Justin Haley or John Hunter Nemechek) and help.

 

Jones has made three series starts at Indianapolis, posting three top 10s and an average finish of 9.7.

 

All other drivers can only clinch with a win.

 

Xfinity’s Big 3 continue to win

The 2019 season has been dominated by three talented drivers – Richard Childress Racing’s Tyler Reddick, Joe Gibbs Racing’s Christopher Bell and Stewart-Haas Racing’s Cole Custer – and their winning ways don’t seem to be slowing. In total they have claimed 18 of the first 24 races of the season – a 75% winning percentage – and this weekend they turn their attention to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Indiana 250 on Saturday at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, IMS and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

 

Cole Custer is the most recent of the “Big 3″ to win, clutching his sixth victory this past weekend after Denny Hamlin was disqualified for failing post-race inspection. Custer is now looking for win No. 7 this weekend at Indianapolis, a track where he has made two starts, finishing fifth in 2017 and then 29th last season due to an incident.

 

Christopher Bell is also looking for his seventh win of the season and his first at Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend. The JGR standout made his series track debut at Indianapolis last season, starting seventh and finishing seventh.

 

Xfinity points leader Tyler Reddick has four wins on the season but would gladly add a fifth this weekend at Indianapolis. Reddick has made two series starts at Indianapolis Motor Speedway posting a best finish of runner-up last season.

Kyle Busch and Austin Dillon to pull double duty in Indianapolis

Two big names in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series – Kyle Busch and Austin Dillon – are pulling double duty this weekend and will compete in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race the Indiana 250 on Saturday, September 7 at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, IMS and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

 

Kyle Busch will drive the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota with crew chief Ben Beshore. Busch will be quite the contender to challenge this weekend at Indianapolis as the Las Vegas native leads the series in poles (four) and wins (three) at the 2.5-mile track. Plus, in 2016, he became the first driver to win both the NASCAR Xfinity and Monster Energy Series races at Indianapolis from the pole.

 

Austin Dillon will be piloting the No. 10 Kaulig Racing’s Chevrolet with crew chief Lennie Chandler. Dillon has made three Xfinity Series starts at Indianapolis, posting one top five and two top 10s.

 

Parade Laps: Insights into the drivers participating the media breakouts

This weekend’s NASCAR Xfinity Series media breakouts will be Saturday, Sept. 7 at 10-10:15 a.m. in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway media center deadline room and will include the following drivers – Kaulig Racing’s Justin Haley, Stewart-Haas Racing with Fred Biagi’s Chase Briscoe, JR Motorsport’s Justin Allgaier and Stewart-Haas Racing’s Cole Custer.

Justin Haley (No. 11 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet Camaro)

Birthdate: April 28, 1999

Driver’s Age: 20

Hometown: Winamac, Indiana

Hobbies: Muscle car restoration, sports car racing, surfing, fishing and hunting, triathlons,

mountain biking, fitness, graphics & design, anything competitive

Team: Kaulig Racing

Crew Chief: Alex Yontz

Xfinity Career Highlights:

  • Signed with Kaulig Racing in the off-season to run his first full season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2019 – a Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender.
  • Posted series career-best finish of runner-up – this season at Daytona in July.
  • Made NASCAR Xfinity Series career debut last season – making three starts for GMS Racing posting a best finish of 12th at Iowa Speedway.

2019 Season Highlights:

  • Currently ninth in the NASCAR Xfinity driver championship standings, 327 points back from the series standings leader Tyler Reddick, and 207 points ahead of the Playoff cutoff.
  • In 24 starts this season he has posted two top fives, 16 top 10s and an average finish of 10.7.
  • Currently third in Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings, 66 points back from Chase Briscoe in the rookie standings lead.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Performance:

  • This weekend he will be making his series track debut at Indianapolis.

Chase Briscoe (No. 98 Stewart-Haas Racing with Fred Biagi Ford Mustang)

Birthdate: December 15, 1994

Driver’s Age: 24

Hometown: Mitchell, Indiana

Hobbies: Spending time with family, online racing, watching sports

Team: Stewart-Haas Racing with Fred Biagi

Crew Chief: Richard Boswell II

Xfinity Career Highlights:

  • Made NASCAR Xfinity Series debut in 2018 at Atlanta.
  • Ran 17 Xfinity races last season for Roush Fenway Racing (12) and Stewart-Haas Racing with Fred Biagi (five) and won the inaugural race at the Charlotte ROVAL.

2019 Season Highlights:

  • Currently sixth in the NASCAR Xfinity Series driver standings, 233 points back from the series standings lead.
  • In 24 starts this season he has posted one win (Iowa-2), nine top fives, 19 top 10s and an average finish of 8.2.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Performance:

  • Made his series track debut at Indianapolis last season; he started 22nd and finished ninth.

 

Justin Allgaier (No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro)

Birthdate: June 6, 1986

Driver’s Age: 33

Hometown: Riverton, Illinois

Hobbies: R/C cars, wakeboarding, graphic design, dirt racing

Team: JR Motorsports

Crew Chief: Jason Burdett

Xfinity Career Highlights:

  • In 2018, he won the NASCAR Xfinity Series regular season championship and made the Playoffs for the third consecutive season after posting a career-high five wins on the season.
  • In 2016 and 2017, made the Championship 4 in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs.
  • In 2011, 2016 and 2017, scored career-best third-place finish in NASCAR Xfinity Series standings.
  • Won first career NASCAR Xfinity Series race in 2010, at Bristol in March. Currently has 10 career Xfinity wins.
  • Won 2009 NASCAR Xfinity Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors.

2019 Season Highlights:

  • Currently fourth in the NASCAR Xfinity driver points standings (highest ranked driver without a win), 172 points back from the series standings leader Tyler Reddick. He has already clinched a Playoff spot on points.
  • In 24 starts this season he has posted nine top fives, 16 top 10s and an average finish of 10.6.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Performance:

  • Has made five series starts at Indianapolis posting one win (2018) and two top fives.

Cole Custer (No. 00 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Mustang)

Birthdate: January 23, 1998

Driver’s Age: 21

Hometown: Ladera Ranch, California

Hobbies: Watching sports

Team: Stewart-Haas Racing

Crew Chief: Mike Shiplett

Xfinity Career Highlights:

  • In 2018, he made the Playoff’s Championship 4; ultimately finishing runner-up in the final driver standings while his No. 00 Ford won the owner’s title for Stewart-Haas Racing.
  • Made the Playoffs and finished fifth in the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship standings in his rookie year (2017).
  • Has eight career NASCAR Xfinity Series wins (Homestead-Miami, Texas, Auto Club Speedway, Richmond, Pocono, Chicago, Kentucky and Darlington); including last season’s Playoff race at Texas Motor Speedway to win his way into the Championship 4 finale.

2019 Season Highlights:

  • Currently third in the NASCAR Xfinity driver points standings, 136 points back from the series standings leader Tyler Reddick. Has already clinched a Playoff spot on wins.
  • In 24 starts this season he has posted five poles (Bristol, Dover, Pocono, Iowa, New Hampshire), six wins (California, Richmond, Pocono, Chicago, Kentucky and Darlington), 12 top fives and 16 top 10s.
  • Has won six stages and accumulated 36 Playoff points.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Performance:

  • Has made two series starts at Indianapolis posting one top-five finish.

 

NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series

 

Breaking down the 1.5-mile tracks for the Playoff contenders

Following one more weekend off, the opening round of the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs will conclude with the 1.5-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Friday, September 13 at 9 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

 

And the field will face one more track of this length in the Playoffs – the championship-deciding venue of Homestead-Miami Speedway.

 

Here’s a look at the performances of the eight Playoff contenders at 1.5-mile tracks – organized by points standings:

 

Brett Moffitt – Moffitt has already won his way into the second round after winning the opening two races of the Playoffs at Bristol and Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. And if his history at 1.5-mile tracks counts for anything, he has a solid shot of the sweep of the Round of 8 races. Moffitt has four wins on intermediate tracks, all within the past two seasons. His first came at Atlanta in 2018. Overall in 23 races at venues of this length, he has nine top-five and 12 top-10 finishes.

 

Ross Chastain – On the surface, it doesn’t look like Chastain’s 1.5-mile statistics are that impressive. He has one win, two top fives and 13 top 10s in 34 races at venues of that size. But it’s when those stats occurred in his career that matter now. His one win came earlier this year at Kansas, before he had declared for points in the Gander Trucks. Both of his top fives were this year (Kansas and Kentucky) and eight of the top 10s have been in 2019. (Also, of note for Chastain, 15 of his 30 total career top-10 finishes have happened during the opening 18 races of this season. He has 77 total series starts.)

 

Stewart Friesen – Friesen is looking for his first win on a 1.5-mile track (his lone series win came earlier this season at Eldora). In 28 starts at this distance he has 10 top-five and 14 top-10 results. Five of those top fives and top 10s have come this season. Of those, he has a pair of runner-up results (Texas-1 and Kentucky) and two third-place finishes (Charlotte and Chicago) at this distance.

 

Matt Crafton – Once the king of the 1.5-mile tracks in the Gander Trucks, Crafton has faded as of late. In 162 starts on those tracks (53 more than the next closest in the Playoff field – Johnny Sauter), Crafton has nine wins (second to Sauter’s 10), 54 top fives, and 103 top 10s. All impressive numbers. But he hasn’t won at a 1.5-mile circuit since Charlotte in May of 2016…and in fact, hasn’t won a race since Eldora in July of 2017. His performance has been steady and solid this year – both at this distance and overall, just lacking a Victory Lane visit. He hasn’t had a finish worse than 14th (Atlanta in the second race of the year) and crossed the line second at Texas in June. His average finish at 1.5-mile tracks this season is 7.0.

 

Austin Hill – Hill is another driver whose numbers at 1.5-mile venues may not be impressive on the surface, but if you look at his recent performances, you’ll be more impressed. Overall in 28 starts at that distance, he has three top fives and nine top 10s. Two of those top fives (Kansas, Chicago) came this year, as did five of the top 10s. He also started on the pole at Chicago this season – his first time leading the field to green in the Gander Trucks.

 

Grant Enfinger – Enfinger has one win in 33 starts at 1.5-mile circuits – but it’s particularly relevant because that victory came at Las Vegas last fall. It’s one of two series wins that he has (Talladega, 2016). Overall he has 10 top-five and 23 top-10 finishes at this distance in the series. He has three top fives this season, including at both Texas races and at Atlanta. His best finish at a 1.5-miler this year was third at Atlanta.

 

Tyler Ankrum – Ankrum’s experience is limited at 1.5-mile tracks because he just turned 18 in March, so he hasn’t even had a chance to race on the upcoming Las Vegas Motor Speedway track. But he’s made his mark at that distance. In six starts this season on 1.5-mile circuits he has one win (Kentucky), two top fives (also finished third at Texas in June) and three top 10s.

 

Johnny Sauter – Sauter is in a tough spot in the Playoff standings, as he sits in eighth out of eight drivers with only six moving on to the next round after Las Vegas. In 109 starts at 1.5-mile tracks, Sauter has 10 wins (one more than fellow Playoff contender Crafton), 41 top fives and 66 top 10s. Only two of those top fives have come this season – in the second race in Atlanta and then in the fifth race of the year at Texas. In regards to recent history, five of his wins at this distance have come since the introduction of the elimination-style Playoff format in 2016, with the most recent being at the June Texas race last year.

 

Brett Moffitt looking to sweep opening round of Playoffs

Since the introduction of the elimination Playoff format in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series in 2016, no driver has swept a round’s worth of races.

 

Prior to this season, twice has one driver won two races in a round – Johnny Sauter in the Round of 6 in 2016 (Martinsville Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway) and 2017 (Texas, ISM Raceway).

 

Brett Moffitt is now hoping to achieve that feat after winning the opening two races of the 2019 Gander Trucks Playoffs at Bristol Motor Speedway and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

 

The Gander Trucks have two weeks off before returning to the track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on September 13 for the final race in the opening round of the Playoffs. And Moffitt’s track record in the Nevada sun shows that he may be the truck to bet on for the hat trick.

 

Moffitt has a trio of starts at the 1.5-mile track, including a runner-up finish to Kyle Busch this spring. He was third in his first start at the beginning of 2018 and then was 11th last fall.

 

And the driver of the No. 24 GMS Racing Chevrolet Silverado would just be building on what is quickly becoming his second straight career season. In 2018, Moffitt tallied six wins, 13 top fives and 13 top 10s en route to the Gander Trucks title.

 

So far, through 18 races in 2019, Moffitt has four wins, 11 top fives and 13 top 10s. And he’s bettered his 2018 season in another statistical column – he has three pole awards this year compared to none last year.

What a difference a year makes

One year ago, heading into the cutoff race for the first round of the Playoffs, Johnny Sauter held the lead in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series points standings and had no doubt he would be advancing the Round of 6.

 

But this year, Sauter is in danger of “going home” following the upcoming Round of 8 cutoff race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Friday, September 13 at 9 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Currently, Sauter sits in seventh on the Playoff grid – two points and one spot behind his ThorSport Racing teammate Grant Enfinger, who currently holds the final position that would transfer to the Round of 6.

 

Sauter has never been eliminated from Gander Trucks title contention before the final race of the season during the era of the elimination Playoffs format (since 2016).

 

He doesn’t find himself on the outside looking in because of a particularly bad performance in either of the opening races of the Playoffs – he was 11th at Bristol and sixth at Canadian Tire. Instead, all of the 2019 Gander Trucks postseason contenders are proving they belong in the title talk and are also posting strong finishes – which gives Sauter little to no room to rise up in the standings.

 

Here is where each of the eight Playoff drivers finished in the first two races:

 

Drivers Bristol             Canadian Tire            Avg. Finish

Brett Moffitt                 1                      1                                  1

Ross Chastain            3                      8                                  5.5

Stewart Friesen           4                      7                                  5.5

Grant Enfinger            5                      13                                9

Matt Crafton                7                      11                                9

Austin Hill                    10                    5                                  7.5

Johnny Sauter             11                    6                                  8.5

Tyler Ankrum              20                    9                                  14.5

 

Sauter hasn’t won a race since Dover at the beginning of May – a streak of 12 races without visiting Victory Lane. That’s a bit of an unusual drought for the driver of the No. 13 ThorSport Racing Chevrolet – but it might not be a bad sign for his Playoff hopes. This season, in a way, looks a bit similar to his 2016 campaign – a campaign that ended with the championship trophy hoisted above his head in Miami.

 

In 2016, he started off the season with a win at the opener in Daytona. He then went winless for 18 races – but excelled when it counted by winning at Martinsville and Texas in the second round of Playoffs. Those were his only three wins that season.

 

Sauter will need to turn it up at Las Vegas, a track he has one win at – in his first race there in 2009, in order to have a shot at repeating the magic of 2016. He’s recorded six top fives and nine top 10s in 12 starts at the track. And of those, four are runner-up finishes, including both races in 2018.

 

Playoff contenders’ history at Vegas

Only two of the eight NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Playoff drivers have made their way to Victory Lane at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

 

Johnny Sauter took the win in his first trip to the track in 2009. Second place in that race? His current ThorSport Racing teammate and Playoffs competitor Matt Crafton.

 

And Grant Enfinger comes to Las Vegas without a win this season, despite taking the regular season championship trophy home. However, he is the defending winner of this fall race at Las Vegas. Second place in that race? Sauter.

 

Current Playoff drivers finished first (Enfinger), second (Sauter), fifth (Crafton), seventh (Chastain), 11th (Brett Moffitt), 17th (Stewart Friesen) and 23rd (Austin Hill) in last year’s fall race.

 

The upcoming race will mark Tyler Ankrum’s first race at the 1.5-mile oval – he just turned 18-years old on March 6 – a week after the first trip to the desert this spring.

 

Overall, Sauter has a win, six top fives and nine top 10s in 12 starts at Las Vegas. His ThorSport teammates Crafton (eight top fives, 12 top 10s in 20 starts) and Enfinger (one win, two top fives and four top 10s in six starts) have also been consistently near the top of the finishing order.

 

Friesen has the next most starts in the Playoff grid, posting a pair of top-five and top-10 finishes in five starts. Chastain has two top 10s in four starts, while Moffitt as a pair of top-five and top-10 results in three appearances.

 

RACE PREVIEW WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF NASCAR COMMUNICATIONS

Indiana native Justin Haley rules the day in Opening Practice for NASCAR Xfinity Series race at IMS

 

 

 

INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, Sept. 6, 2019 – Indiana native Justin Haley was the fastest driver overall in two NASCAR Xfinity Series practice sessions Friday for the Indiana 250 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Haley, 20, from Winamac, Indiana, topped the charts at 168.227 mph in his No. 11 LeafFilter Chevrolet that features a paint scheme honoring his grandfather. Xfinity Series championship leader Tyler Reddick was second at 168.199, followed by Brandon Jones at 168.196 in No. 19 First Foundation Toyota, Austin Dillon at 167.713 in the No. 10 Ellsworth Advisors Chevrolet and three-time Indiana 250 winner Kyle Busch at 167.710 in the No. 18 Combs Toyota.

Drivers ran in large packs of sometimes 10 or more cars in the final practice session as they tried to draft and slingshot past each other to simulate race conditions expected in the 100-lap race Saturday, which starts at 3 p.m.

The second practice session included contact between Mike Harmon and Michael Annett exiting Turn 4, with damage to the rear bumper of Annett’s No. 1 Pilot Flying J Chevrolet. The contact prompted an intense discussion between the two in the Gasoline Alley garage area.

Joe Gibbs Racing swept the top three spots in opening NASCAR Xfinity Series practice. Christopher Bell was fastest at 168.218 in the No. 20 Rheem-Parker Hannifin Toyota. Jones was second at 168.215, followed by Busch at 167.782 mph.

The NASCAR Xfinity Series returns to the track Saturday for Indiana 250 qualifying at noon, followed by the race at 3 p.m.

Drivers from the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series turn laps on the famed 2.5-mile oval for the first time this weekend with a pair of Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard Powered by Florida Georgia Line practice sessions, at 11:05 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

The Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard Powered by Florida Georgia Line has an action-packed day Sunday. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers will qualify for the race at 10:35 a.m. The 26th running of the race starts at 2 p.m.

Visit ims.com to purchase tickets for the Indiana 250, FGL Fest and the Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard Powered by Florida Georgia Line. Also visit ims.com/planahead to review parking, gate regulations and more information.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF IMS COMMUNICATIONS

 

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