When it comes to racing, there are places that mean something when a driver achieves a win. And then, there’s Indianapolis. Quite possibly, the most hallowed ground for any racer, it just speaks history.
The moment anyone steps onto the property of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, its vast history comes pouring in like water at Niagara Falls. Over 100 years of incredible history, the majority of it because of the open-wheel races, and also the 19 years of NASCAR competition. It just speaks to any racer that this speedway is one you just have to be at to experience.
NASCAR first came to Indy in 1994, and it wasn’t known if the stock car industry would be welcomed to a place where open-wheel racing is the preferred style. However, after 19 years, NASCAR has written its own book at Indy, one that includes some of the greatest drivers to ever step behind the wheel of these cars.
Names like Gordon, Jarrett, Earnhardt and Elliott have each tasted victory here.
NASCAR has even brought Indy a new tradition, one that even those racing in the Indianapolis 500 now do after doing their own victory tradition, which has been drinking a glass of milk. In 1996, after Dale Jarrett won his first of two Brickyard 400’s, he posed for a photo on the track, right where the paved speedway was broke up by the infamous “Yard of Bricks,” which represents the original track surface. Jarrett then knelt down, and actually kissed the yard of bricks.
Yes, the same track surface that 43 cars had just run on for 400 miles, building up rubber, grit and exhaust fumes, just got planted by a driver’s lips. It was at the time a strange occurrence.
The following year, Ricky Rudd posed for the same photo…then Gordon the next year…and Jarrett again. NASCAR not only was writing a new chapter at Indy, but kicked off a new tradition.
Now, even winners of the Indy 500 take a victory lap and do it, and since then the entire crew of the winning team joins in the kissing process, along with the driver’s family.
Who would have thought a unique occurrence would set forth one of the greatest victory poses for any Indy winner.
In a way, many fans wish they could do the same thing. It certainly would be a unique experience for anyone. It may be the nastiest tasting kiss for anyone to have, but in reality, it’s well worth it.
RESULTS: 1-Johnson 2-Kyle Busch 3-Biffle 4-Earnhardt Jr. 5-Gordon 6-Hamlin 7-Newman 8-Truex Jr. 9-Keselowski 10-Stewart
NOTABLE FINISHES: 12-Kahne 13-Harvick 29-Edwards 35-Kenseth
CAUTIONS: 5 for 25 laps. Lap 42-45 (#93 accident-T2), 48-51 (#15 accident-T2), 95-100 (#13 accident-T2), 126-129 (Debris-BS), 134-140 (#17, 20, 21, 47 accident-T1).
LEAD CHANGES: 17 among 9 drivers. Hamlin 1-26, Kyle Busch 27-28, Johnson 29-41, Hamlin 42, Keselowski 43-45, Johnson 46-71, Gordon 72, Kenseth 73, Labonte 74, Cassill 75, Keselowski 76-89, Johnson 90-95, Keselowski 96-100, Johnson 101-125, Kyle Busch 126, Cassill 127, Biffle 128-131, Johnson 132-160.
TIME OF RACE: 2 Hrs, 54 Mins, 19 Secs.
AVERAGE SPEED: 137.680 MPH
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 4.758 Seconds
POINT STANDINGS (Top-10/WILD CARDS): 1. Earnhardt Jr, 731 points; 2. Kenseth, -14; 3. Biffle, -22; 4. Johnson, -27; 5. Hamlin, -64; 6. Harvick, -78; 7. Truex Jr, -78; 9. Keselowski, -82; 10. Bowyer, -88. WILD CARDS: Kahne (13th, 2 wins), Kyle Busch (11th, 1 win)