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Montoya on Brickyard Pole, Johnson Starts Second
Can Jimmie Johnson make it three in a row?
Photo By Dan Peters
2010 Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson will attempt to become the first driver to win a major oval-racing event at the famed Brickyard for three consecutive years.
Only seven-time Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher has won more consecutive major races at IMS, capturing the United States Grand Prix on the road course four years in a row from 2003-06. Also, with a victory, Johnson also would join teammate Jeff Gordon as the only four-time winners of the Brickyard.
Johnson, a new Daddy, will hope to have a better run at Indy after one of his worst races in recent memory at the LifeLock.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway July 10th.
Colts’ star Clark to serve as grand marshal for The Brickyard 400
INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, July 21, 2010 – Indianapolis Colts tight end Dallas Clark, selected to the Pro Bowl for the first time after the 2009 season, will serve as the grand marshal of the Brickyard 400 on Sunday, July 25 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Clark will wave the green flag to send the field of 43 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers at speed into Turn 1 at IMS. The race starts at 1 p.m. (ET).
“Being a NASCAR fan, it is an honor to be grand marshal for the Brickyard 400,” Clark said. “We were at training camp for so many years prior to this, so it will be my first opportunity to see a race at the Brickyard. I am really excited.”
Clark has spent his entire eight-year NFL career with the Colts and was an integral part of the team’s Super Bowl championship run in the 2006 season. He holds Colts’ career tight end marks for receptions and touchdowns and was the second tight end in NFL history to have at least 100 receptions in one season.
McMurray Make Indy History.... Gives Ganassi a Trifecta at Brickyard
Photos By Dan Peters
Jamie McMurray does an impressive victory Burn-out, in fact he was the first driver to “Burn” the famous Bricks
Car owner Chip Ganassi got the desired Victory in Sunday’s Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but not from Juan Pablo Montoya, but Jamie McMurray. He now joines one of NASCAR Sprint Cup racing’s most exclusive clubs.... winning the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 in the same year.
The only other members of this exclusive club are Dale Jarrett in 1996 and Jimmie Johnson ten years later in 2006.
The “Team” Win...
Montoya came up short for the second straight year, but his efforts very well could have had some bearing on this races outcome.
“Well, first off, the 42 car had a great tire test here. It gave us a really good starting point. Qualifying went well. I think everybody saw last year that track position is key to running well here. So after qualifying, we felt like if we could keep our track position, we would be okay. said McMurray.
“Honestly, our times were pretty good in practice, but I didn't feel like our car handled that well. Bono just kept preaching to me that, There's not going to be a tremendous amount of passing. We have enough speed to maintain, keep our track position all day.
We had a third- or fourth-place car, felt like. Didn't feel like we had a dominant car. But we had a really smart race. We didn't make any mistakes.”
Good Pit Strategy was a key to victory....
Restarting second thanks to a smart two-tire stop on a Lap 140, McMurray motored his No. 1 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet past Kevin Harvick’s No. 29 Chevy on a restart with 11 laps left and pulled away to beat Harvick to the finish line by 1.391 seconds.
The Final Restart.. Harvick and McMurray are neck and neck…
Then he pulled away and never looked back…
“I get to kiss the bricks,” McMurray said after he crossed the stripe, adding another milestone to his career and Ganassi’s unbelievable year.
The Rare racing Trifecta.....
McMurray gave Ganassi his first Daytona 500 win in February. In May, Dario Franchitti won the Indianapolis 500 in one of Ganassi’s cars. On Sunday, Ganassi hit the unprecedented trifecta. No other car owner has won all three major races, much less in the same year.
“I’m the luckiest guy on the planet,” Ganassi said. “You wouldn’t dare to dream this. You wouldn’t dare to dream this kind of year.”
The Brickyard victory, however, had a bittersweet edge to it. McMurray’s teammate, Juan Pablo Montoya, tabbed as the driver more likely to finish the triple for his owner, did nothing to dispel that notion early on. Montoya led a race-high 86 laps but lost the lead when six teams—including those of McMurray and Harvick—opted for two tires on the Lap 140 pit stop under caution for debris. Montoya took four tires.
Montoya foundered in dirty air, dropped four positions and ultimately lost control of his car and crashed on Lap 145. For the second straight year, the Brickyard 400 ended in heartbreak for Montoya, who led 116 of 160 laps last year only to be thwarted by a pit road speeding penalty.
Ford Power shows some muscle....
Ford driver Greg Biffle finished a strong third in his No. 16 Ford, the only non-Chevrolet to qualify in the top 10.
Biffle’s Roush Fenway teammate Matt Kenseth also seemed strong at times as well. Maybe Ford has finally found the setup and turned a corner and victory lane is in the horizon.
RCR driver Clint Bowyer was fourth and Tony Stewart fifth. Jeff Burton, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano and Kurt Busch completed the top 10.
Not a cake walk by all means...
McMurray became nervous when 2003 WinnerHarvick passed him two laps after a restart on Lap 143.
“When Kevin got by me a few laps from the end, I thought it was over,” McMurray said. “It’s unreal right now. How about Chip winning the (Indianapolis) 500 and both of these big races? We’re just a great team right now.
“Honestly, when Juan was leading and I was in second (before the debris caution on Lap 137)—I’m a big believer in fate—I thought this was how it was meant to be. I won the Daytona 500, Dario won the 500, and I thought Juan was going to win this one. I’m just shocked I won the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400 in the same year.”
Harvick was philosophical. He could afford to be, having increased his Cup series lead to 184 points over second-place Jeff Gordon, who finished 23rd.
Sometimes a gamble does not pay off, just ask Harvick
“We took a gamble there at the end to take two tires,” Harvick said. “On the first restart (Lap 143), it took off great. We were able to run Jamie down and pass him. Second restart (Lap 150), it didn’t take off so great. Just got tight. He drove around the outside of me.
“I guess just the first cycle on those new right-side tires carried us through. We were just tight the whole second restart. But still — a great day. Took a chance to try to win the race. All but capitalized on it and came up one short.”
As One Team rises… another falls…
Johnson was up front early but faded back
The Hendrick Motorsports teammates of defending Brickyard 400 winner Jimmie Johnson and four-time Brickyard 400 winner Jeff Gordon both uncharacteristically struggled. Johnson finished 22nd and Gordon 23rd. For Johnson, it was his second consecutive race resulting in bad strategy and racing.
For Gordon, it was another tire problem that pushed him back in the field.
Earlier in the race, it was starting to look like another “Tire Gate” at Indy as several drivers had issues early on. NASCAR was right on top of the situation, calling a “competition” caution to make sure things were in order… They were.
1995 Indianapolis 500 winner Jacques Villeneuve (#32) finished 29th in his first Brickyard 400 appearance. He became just the second driver, along with Montoya, to compete in all three major auto races at IMS – the Indianapolis 500, Brickyard 400 and United States Grand Prix Formula One race
2010 BRICKYARD 400 Photo Gallery
AFLAC AND NASCAR DRIVER CARL EDWARDS HONOR CANCER SURVIVOR
WITH CREW OF COURAGE INDUCTION AT THE BRICKYARD 400
Indianapolis Resident Joins Program Honoring Individuals with Inspirational Stories
Columbus, Ga. – July 21, 2010 – Aflac, NASCAR driver Carl Edwards and the No. 99 Aflac Roush Fenway team have announced that Indiana resident and three-time cancer survivor Jerry Snyder will be inducted July 25 as the newest member of the Aflac Crew of Courage during the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Crew of Courage is a season-long campaign that spotlights stories of amazing bravery.
Snyder, who has overcome throat, tongue and lung cancer, continues to fight a longtime battle with multiple sclerosis. Through multiple rounds of cancer treatment, Aflac was by his side. To recognize Snyder for being an inspiration to those around him, he will be treated to an exclusive at-track race experience where he will have the opportunity to meet Edwards, his favorite driver.
“I’m fortunate to meet many Aflac policyholders and hear their stories of personal triumph,” Edwards said. “Jerry Snyder is one of these individuals, and he deserves to be recognized and honored. We’re proud to welcome him into the Aflac Crew of Courage and I look forward to spending time with him.”
Crew of Courage members are Aflac policyholders who know firsthand how the company helps individuals in times of need. They have benefited from Aflac when they were sick or hurt by using their claims payments to help with expenses not covered by other major insurance policies.
“When you are as sick as I was, the last thing you want to worry about is finances,” Snyder said. “Aflac helped make sure that I had nothing to worry about. The policy from Aflac was and has been the best thing that could have ever happened to my wife and me.”
In select race markets this season, Aflac Racing and Edwards are welcoming inspirational Aflac policyholders into the Crew and giving them VIP experiences at their local tracks. Selected Crew of Courage members share one-on-one time with Edwards and receive special access to the garage and pit areas, as well as tickets to the race. What’s more, Edwards will honor Crew members by wearing their names on feather-shaped stickers on his helmet throughout the season. Crew members will also receive autographed replica race helmets as mementos of their experiences.
“We’re touched when Aflac policyholders share their stories with us and say thanks for helping them through tough times,” said Danny Fleishman, vice president of sponsorships and emerging markets at Aflac. “We’ve been proud to honor this year’s inductees and look forward to adding more members to the Crew of Courage as the racing season continues.”
The Crew of Courage officially launched at Talladega Superspeedway on April 25, the anniversary of Edwards’ 2009 last-lap, airborne crash. Blake Bobbitt, a racing fan injured in the Talladega crash, was honored as the program’s inaugural member. Bobbitt was covered by an Aflac hospital confinement indemnity insurance policy that paid cash benefits she could use to help with things like recovery expenses.
On May 16, Aflac and Edwards inducted Delaware resident Malania Smith into the Crew of Courage during the Autism Speaks 400 at Dover International Speedway. After suffering an ankle injury that required surgery and a lengthy recovery, Smith battled through her rehabilitation. An Aflac accident insurance policy helped Smith by paying cash benefits that she used to cover some of her most-costly bills.
The Crew of Courage experience extends beyond the track. Other Aflac policyholders are invited to join the online Crew of Courage by visiting www.aflacracing.com and submitting a video to share their own stories of personal triumph — with the possibility of being selected by Edwards for a future at-track experience.
For more information, visit www.aflacracing.com.
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