The most prestigious race track in the world will be occupied by nearly 300,000 spectators this weekend when the NASCAR series takes to Indianapolis. Since 1994 the series had made their annual stop in the middle of the summer whereas the Indy circuit stops here during Memorial Day Weekend. The winners of the Brickyard 400 are a list of who's who. From Jeff Gordon to Bill Elliot the best drivers show up to race and at the end, kiss the bricks.
The drivers are coming off of a bye week in preparation for this event. Teams have had time to set up and tweak as much as they can. Now it is showtime on this 2.5-mile track. It's a long flat track with four distinct turns making the track look much like a square rather than an oval. Consider this the Kentucky Derby of NASCAR and here's how the hundreds of horses finish.
1. Jimmie Johnson - It's a coin-flip for me. How can you go against Jimmie Johnson. He won here last year and in 2006. Last year Johnson started on the pole and won. It all depends on where Johnson starts. When he starts 10th or worse his average finish is 28th when he starts 9th or better his average finish is 14th.
2. Tony Stewart - Then again, how can you go against Tony Stewart. He won in 2005 & 2007. He is an Indianapolis boy and has been the best driver by far this year. In the last 10 races here he is 2nd in points with 6 top 10s.
3. Mark Martin - If Tony Stewart is the best driver this year then Mark Martin is the hottest. All the pieces are falling together and with some great Hendrick Motors parts and excellent teammates, his confidence is at an all time high. Over the last 10 races here Martin is 4th in points with 5 top-10 finishes.
4. Jamie McMurray - The Wild Card. In six career races here he has finished in the top-10 in three of them. In 2007 McMurray finished 21 laps down, the only time he has failed to finish on the lead lap. I have a feeling about him coming on strong this week.
5. Matt Kenseth - Another Roush Racing car to finish in the top 5. Remember way back when at the beginning of the year when he won the first two races? Well mark this race as the race that gets him off the bubble as he currently sits 12th in points. In 9 races Kenseth has 4 top 5's.