5 Drivers To Watch


5 Drivers To Watch

Another Menard moment?: Don’t expect another Menard miracle. Paul Menard became the first driver to win his first Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, doing so in 2011. With no first-time winners through the first 19 races it’s unlikely to happen again at the Brickyard. But don’t tell that to Aric Almirola. At 22nd in the points standings he’s the highest ranked driver without a career win.

Chevy paving the way: Chevy has dominated at IMS, winning the last nine races, the best winning streak at a track currently on the Cup schedule. It gets worse for the other manufacturers: Chevy has won 10 of the last 11 and 13 of the 18 Brickyards. In 2011, Chevy took the top four spots and six of the top eight.

O-fer Indy: Roush Fenway Racing has the most wins in NASCAR history with 303 and leads Nationwide and Truck Series in all-time wins. But Roush was winless at Indy heading into Saturday’s Nationwide race. “Indy has eluded us, but there have been a number of occasions where our cars were good enough to have won,” team co-owner and founder Jack Roush said. Roush has four runner-up finishes at Indy and looks to claim a victory at one of two tracks on the Sprint Cup circuit where he’s never won (Chicagoland).

Passing fancy: NASCAR racing at IMS has often been criticized for lack of passing, turning the race into a game of follow the leader. Still, it’s one of the most coveted wins in racing. Track position and momentum are both vital. “It’s just always such a momentum track; if you’re off a little bit, you’re off a lot,” two-time Brickyard winner Tony Stewart said.

Hoosier hospitality: Don’t count on it today. Stewart, teammate Ryan Newman and David Stremme are all natives of Indiana. Kissing the bricks is special no matter what state a driver hails from. But for a Hoosier it’s a dream come true.

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