Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard Powered By Florida Georgia Line Preview By Sir Holden Asworth

FirstAndMonday’s

Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard Powered By Florida Georgia Line Preview

 

 

 by Sir Holden Asworth

 

Today’s the day, it’s the last race before the Playoffs officially start. In NASCAR, the top 16 drivers advance to the postseason. Drivers can automatically qualify by winning a race. Those who don’t find themselves with a victory can try to qualify on points, and the number of non-winners who advance varies each year (depends on how many different drivers won).

Indianapolis serves as the last chance for many. Drivers like Jimmie Johnson, no stranger to winning, may have to rely on a solid finish or a win to qualify. Others, like Daniel Suarez and Ricky Stenhouse Jr need a win to make it, and anything less effectively ends their chances at racing for the title. On the flip side, drivers like Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick have won so much that their playoff points will help carry them to the final round (as a refresher, the playoffs have four rounds, and a win in each round auto-qualifies you to the next – starts with sixteen, then narrows to twelve, eight, and four). The Brickyard is one of NASCAR’s most iconic races, but it’s often been looked down upon as a boring, too-long-to-enjoy and too-big-to-be-competitive type of track. Same length as Daytona, but without the ability to run wide open through the turns. This may change now that NASCAR has moved the track to the regular season finale spot, where it’s proven that drivers will sometimes do anything they can to advance.

Who to Watch:

The Big Three – Hard to pick against them, however the last two races marked the longest stretch where one of these three (Busch, Harvick, Truex) have not won a race. Truex may have extra motivation, with the recent announcement of Furniture Row Racing’s doors closing at season’s end. Since qualifying was rained out, the big three will hold the top three qualifying spots. Busch and Harvick have won here, Busch being a two-time champ.

Paul Menard – a name not mentioned in these pieces so far this season, I know. Menard has history here, winning in 2011. Things have obviously changed since then, but he’s got the experience and he needs the win to advance. He’ll start 19th.

 

Jimmie Johnson – Unless 7-time completely fails today, he’ll likely move on to the playoffs based on points alone – but Johnson isn’t about that “coast on in” type of life (he did win 5 titles in a row, after all). Look for Johnson to shut up the naysayers. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s the winningest active driver here. He starts 14th.

Pos Car Driver Team
1 18 Kyle Busch M&M’s Caramel Toyota
2 4 Kevin Harvick Jimmy John’s Ford
3 78 Martin Truex Jr. Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota
4 41 Kurt Busch Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford
5 22 Joey Logano Shell Pennzoil Ford
6 2 Brad Keselowski Discount Tire Ford
7 42 Kyle Larson Credit One Bank Chevrolet
8 14 Clint Bowyer Mobil 1/Rush Truck Centers Ford
9 12 Ryan Blaney BODYARMOR Ford
10 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Possibilities Toyota
11 9 Chase Elliott NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet
12 10 Aric Almirola Smithfield Ford
13 20 Erik Jones buyatoyota.com Toyota
14 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe’s for Pros Chevrolet
15 88 Alex Bowman Axalta Chevrolet
16 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. John Deere Ford
17 31 Ryan Newman Grainger Chevrolet
18 3 Austin Dillon Dow MOLYKOTE Chevrolet
19 21 Paul Menard Menards/Dutch Boy Ford
20 19 Daniel Suarez STANLEY Toyota
21 1 Jamie McMurray Cessna/McDonald’s Chevrolet
22 24 William Byron # Liberty University Chevrolet
23 37 Chris Buescher Bush’s Beans Chevrolet
24 47 AJ Allmendinger Kroger ClickList Chevrolet
25 38 David Ragan MDS Transport Ford
26 34 Michael McDowell Race For Riley Ford
27 95 Regan Smith WRL General Contractors Chevrolet
28 43 Bubba Wallace # World Wide Technology Chevrolet
29 6 Matt Kenseth Wyndham Rewards Ford
30 13 Ty Dillon GEICO Chevrolet
31 32 Matt DiBenedetto Anest Iwata Ford
32 15 Ross Chastain Low T Centers Chevrolet
33 72 Corey LaJoie ARK.io Blockchain Solutions Chevrolet
34 00 Landon Cassill StarCom Fiber Chevrolet
35 23 JJ Yeley Toyota
36 51 David Starr Jacob Companies Chevrolet
37 96 Jeffrey Earnhardt iK9/Xtreme Concepts Inc. Toyota
38 7 Reed Sorenson Chevrolet
39 66 Timmy Hill Ternio Toyota
40 52 BJ McLeod Jacob Companies Ford

To the Rear: Martin Truex Jr., Daniel Suarez (failing pre-race inspection multiple times)

 

 

 

 

When to Watch:

Sunday, 1pm EST on NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR (Channel 90)

Why to Watch:

Drivers don’t kneel, bruh.

 

 

 

 

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