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The Brickyard 400 is an annual 400-mile (644 km) NASCAR Sprint Cup points race held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedwaymarker in Speedway, Indianamarker. The event, when first held in 1994, marked the first race other than the Indianapolis 500marker to be held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway since 1916. Since the inaugural race, the Brickyard 400 has become NASCAR's most-attended event, drawing an estimated crowd of more than 250,000 fans annually. It also has become NASCAR's second highest paying race in dollars (behind the Daytona 500).

The term "Brickyard" is in reference to the nickname historically used for the Indianapolis Motor Speedwaymarker since 1910. The course was paved in brick in 1909, and a three foot strip of brick remains exposed the start/finish line. From 2005-2009, the race was known as the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, under a naming rights arrangement with Allstate Insurance.

Race origins

Early tests

In 1954, a 24-hour stock car endurance record run was conducted by Tony Bettenhausen, Pat O'Connor, and Bill Taylor. The drove a stock Chrysler to an average speed of approximately .

In 1956, Ford attempted a 24-hour stock car record with drivers Johnny Mantz, Chuck Stevenson, and Chuck Davis. Though some records were set, the team failed to break the 24-hour record, and was forced to quit after the 18 hour mark.

On November 20, 1961, Nichels Engineering prepared a 1962 Pontiac Catalina Coupe and 1962 Pontiac Enforcer for an attempt at the one-lap, , and 24-hour world stock car speed and endurance records at the Indianapolis Motor Speedwaymarker. The two Nichels Engineering driving teams consisted of Rodger Ward, Paul Goldsmith, Len Sutton from USAC and Fireball Roberts, Joe Weatherly and Marvin Panch from NASCAR. Roberts set a one-lap record at , and the NASCAR team set the record of . Both teams shattered the previous 24-hour records, running 2,586.878 miles (107.787 mph) and 2,576.241 miles (107.343 mph) respectively.

In 1970, Pete Hamilton drove a Camaro stock car at the Speedway for a test run. Around 1979-1980, A. J. Foyt also reportedly tested his Winston Cup stock car around the Speedway for a few unofficial test laps.

Recent tests

In September 1991, A. J. Foyt filmed a commercial for Craftsman tools at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. While filming in the garage area, Foyt, and Speedway president Tony George decided to take Foyt's NASCAR Winston Cup car for a few laps around the track. Foyt was the first driver to do so, and later on, George himself took a few laps. The event was not planned, and had no implications, but caused some interest and speculation for the future.

In March 1992, IROC drivers Dave Marcis and Dick Trickle were invited to test at the Speedway. Trickle reportedly ran a lap hand-timed at . At the time, the Speedway was considering hosting an IROC event during the month of May during activities leading up the Indianapolis 500marker. The second weekend of qualifying was becoming less-popular with fans, and an additional event was an idea to boost attendance. The test was considered successful, but several improvements would have to be made to the track before it was safe for the IROC cars to race there. After much consideration, it was determined that it would not be economically feasible to hold the IROC race. Plans for that event were put on hold.

On June 22–23, 1992, nine top NASCAR Winston Cup series teams were invited to Indymarker to participate in a Goodyear tire test. Over the weekend, the teams had raced in the Miller Genuine Draft 400 at Michigan International Speedwaymarker. Although no official announcements were made, it was in fact an unofficial compatibility test to see if stock cars would be competitive at the circuit. An estimated 10,000 spectators watched a rather exciting two days of history in the making. A. J. Foyt, took a few laps around the track in Dale Earnhardt's car on the second day.

Following the test, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway started an extensive improvement project. The outside retaining wall and catch fence were replaced. The new wall and fence were decidedly stronger, and could support the 3,500 pound NASCAR stock cars. The pit area was widened, and the individual pit stalls were replaced in concrete. This was done to better support the pneumatic jacks used by the Indy cars, and to handle the refuel spillage of gasoline from the NASCAR machines. The largest project, however, involved the removal of the track apron, and the construction of the new warm up lane, similar to that built at Nazareth Speedwaymarker in 1987.

On April 14, 1993 Speedway President Tony George, and the president of NASCAR, Bill France, Jr. jointly announced the Inaugural Brickyard 400 would be held Saturday August 6, 1994. A new race logo was also unveiled.

Later that same year, on August 16–17, thirty-five NASCAR teams took part in an open test at the Speedway. It was held as the teams returned from the second race at Michiganmarker, the Champion Spark Plug 400. The top 35 teams in NASCAR points received invitations. Hosting the test in August mimicked the weather conditions expected for the race in 1994. Several thousand spectators attended, and many announcements were made. Recently retired NASCAR legend Richard Petty took a few fast laps by himself, and then donated his car to the Speedway museum.

During the summer of 1994, leading up to the race, private testing sessions conducted by the manufacturers (Ford and GM) were held.

Television and radio

ABC

From 1994 to 2000 the race was broadcast live on ABC Sports. ABC had televised the Indianapolis 500marker since 1965. ESPN carried live coverage of qualifying. The race was scheduled for the first Saturday in August, at 12:15 p.m. EST (1:15 p.m. EDT). Saturday was chosen for the running of the race to allow for Sunday as a rain date. In 1995, rain delayed the start until 4:25 EST (5:25 EDT). ABC had already signed off, and made the decision to air the race via tape delay on ESPN the following day. In the greater Indianapolis area, the race was shown tape delay that night at 7 p.m. on WRTVmarker. The 1995 race ran until 7:03 p.m. EST (8:03 p.m. EDT), which is believed to be the latest cars have ever run at the circuit.

NBC

From 2001-2006, the race was broadcast on NBC, as part of a new eight-year $2.4 billion television deal involving FOX/FX and NBC/TNT. The race was moved from Saturday to Sunday, and the start time was moved to 1:45 p.m. EST (2:45 p.m. EDT). In 2006, Indiana began observing Daylight Saving Time, and the race was scheduled for 2:45 pm EDT.

ESPN

From 2007-2014, under the terms of a new $4.48 billion contract, television rights will be held by ESPN. The race swapped dates with the Pennsylvania 500, and effectively moved up one weekend. The change was made so that ESPN/ABC could kickoff their NASCAR coverage with the more attractive telecast. The move to cable drew some mild controversy after thirteen years of having been on network television. The starting time was slightly earlier than in the past, at 2:30 p.m. EDT.

In 2009, the race was advertised on ESPN as Brickyard 400 broadcast presented by Golden Corral. The differing name is due to a standing policy by the network since 2007 to not use the race's title sponsor on-air unless an advertising premium is paid to the network (though television commercials from Allstate did air during breaks).

Radio

All races have been broadcast on radio through the IMS Radio Network. From 1994-1999, Mike Joy anchored the broadcast. From 2000-2003, Mike King served as chief announcer. In 2004, PRN began co-producing the race. Doug Rice joined King as co-anchor. In 2007, Bob Jenkins replaced King as co-anchor with Rice.

In 2008, the radio network crew was split, due to coverage of the Edmonton Indymarker a day earlier. Mike King covered the Edmonton race, while Jenkins remained at the Brickyard with Doug Rice. In 2009, the Edmonton race was moved to the same day. King covered the Edmonton race on the radio, while Jenkins covered the race for Versus. As a result, Chris Denari took over as Brickyard co-anchor with Doug Rice.

Race details

Scheduling

For its first running in 1994, the race was scheduled for a Saturday afternoon timeslot, at 12:15 p.m. EST (1:15 p.m. EDT). Since the race was not being held on a holiday weekend, track officials decided that a built-in rain date was necessary. Scheduling the race for Saturday allowed Sunday as a make-up date in case of rain.

In 1994, practice and pole qualifying was held Thursday. Practice, second round qualifying, and "Happy Hour" final practice was scheduled for Friday. In addition, during the first year, a special "pacing" practice was held where the field followed behind the pace car to measure pit road speed.

Starting in 1995, an additional practice session was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. Pole qualifying was still held Thursday, and second round qualifying was held Friday. This schedule continued through 2000.

Starting in 1998, an IROC event was situated in the schedule. IROC practice would be held Friday, and the IROC race would be held Saturday.

Starting in 2001, the race was moved to Sunday. In addition, NASCAR eliminated second round qualifying. The schedule was compressed such that practice was held Friday, and the single pole qualifying round was held Saturday. "Happy hour" final practice was also held Saturday. This scheule differed from typical NASCAR weekend schedules, which normally saw practice and pole qualifying on Fridays. Moving the pole qualifying to Saturday allowed for a larger audience, and also opened up the schedule for the Kroger 200 held at nearby Indianapolis Raceway Parkmarker.

Race recaps

1994: The first running of the Brickyard 400 in 1994 saw the largest crowd to-date to witness a NASCAR event, and the single-largest race purse to-date. Rick Mast won the pole position, and became the first stock car driver to lead a lap at Indy. Young second-year driver Jeff Gordon took the lead late in the race after Ernie Irvan suffered a flat tire. Gordon drove on to a historic win in NASCAR's debut at the Brickyard. In an effort to attract more entries, the event was concurrently included on the NASCAR Winston West schedule. No Winston West competitors qualified on speed, but points leader Mike Chase made the field via a Winston West provisional.

1995: Second-round qualifying was rained out on Friday, and only a short "Happy Hour" practice followed. On Saturday, rain delayed the start of the race until late in the afternoon. Dale Earnhardt cruised to victory, in a race that was slowed only once for four laps under yellow.

1996: Dale Jarrett and his Robert Yates Racing crew began the tradition of the winning driver and crew kissing the row of bricks at the start-finish line.[69724], which has carried over to the Indianapolis 500marker.

1997: Ricky Rudd gambles on fuel and drives the final 46 laps without a pit stop to take the victory. Contenders Dale Jarrett, Jeff Gordon, and Mark Martin lose after being forced to pit in the final laps.

1998: Jeff Gordon became the first repeat winner, holding off Mark Martin for the win. Dale Jarrett loses his chance near the halfway point when he runs out of fuel, and coasts back to the pits. Gordon's victory is the first ever in the Winston No Bull 5 program.

2000: Rusty Wallace leads 114 laps, and is leading late when Bobby Labonte charges down the backstrech. Labonte takes the lead at the stripe, and pulls away for the win. The race is slowed by only two cautions for 7 laps.

2001: With 25 laps to go, Jeff Gordon passes Sterling Marlin on a restart, and pulls away for the win. Godon becomes the first three-time winner of the Brickyard 400.

2002: Kurt Busch and Jimmy Spencer continue ongoing antics on lap 36, when Busch is spun into the turn 3 wall. Veteran Bill Elliott adds the Brickyard to his long resume, and Rusty Wallace finishes second for the third time.

2003: With 16 laps to go, Kevin Harvick uses lap traffic to get by Matt Kenseth on a restart. A huge pileup occurs in turn three, and Harvick hold off over the final ten laps to become the first polesitter to win the Brickyard 400.

2004: For the first time in Sprint Cup series history, the Green-white-checker finish rule causes a race to be extended, in this case for 1 additional lap. On the extra lap, Mark Martin suffers a flat tire and Dale Earnhardt Jr. suffers engine failure as Jeff Gordon retains the lead on his way to his fourth Brickyard win.

2005: Hometown favorite Tony Stewart won his first race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and climbed the catch fence to celebrate, in the same fashion as Hélio Castroneves.

2007: Juan Pablo Montoya became the first (and, to date, only) driver to race in all three of the major events hosted by the Indianapolis Motor Speedwaymarker (Indy 500marker, Allstate 400, and the U.S. Grand Prix. Montoya, a rookie in the Sprint Cup series, finished second to Tony Stewart.

2008: The Car of Tomorrow was used at the race for the first time. The Goodyear tires suffered bad wear patterns, causing blowouts in some cases after only 10 laps of green flag racing. Lengthy competition cautions were put out at roughly 10-lap intervals for teams to change tires. However, Jimmie Johnson managed to tame the field and tire problems by winning for the 2nd time in his career at Indy. Johnson's win didn't come easy as he had to fend off Carl Edwards in the closing laps.

2009: Former Indy 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya dominated most of the race, leading 116 laps. However, with 35 laps to go, Montoya was penalized for speeding in the pits. The infraction left Jimmie Johnson holding off polesitter Mark Martin for the victory. Johnson becomes the second three-time winner, and the first back-to-back winner of the 400.

Past winners

Year Date Driver (wins) Car Make Winner's Prize
(USD)
Distance
(miles)
Average Speed
(mph)
Team
Brickyard 400
1994 August 6 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet $613,000 400 131.932 Hendrick Motorsports
1995 August 5 Dale Earnhardt Chevrolet $565,600 400 155.218 Richard Childress Racing
1996 August 3 Dale Jarrett Ford $564,035 400 139.508 Robert Yates Racing
1997 August 2 Ricky Rudd Ford $571,000 400 130.828 Rudd Performance Motorsports
1998 August 1 Jeff Gordon (2) Chevrolet $1,637,625*||400||126.770||[[Hendrick Motorsports]] |- | [[1999 NASCAR Winston Cup Series|1999]] || August 7 || {{flagicon|North Carolina}} [[Dale Jarrett]] (2) || Ford ||align=right|$712,240||400||148.288||[[Robert Yates Racing]] |- | [[2000 NASCAR Winston Cup Series|2000]] || August 5 || {{flagicon|Texas}} [[Bobby Labonte]] || [[Pontiac]] ||align=right|$831,225||400||155.918||[[Joe Gibbs Racing]] |- | [[2001 NASCAR Winston Cup Series|2001]] || August 5 || {{flagicon|California}} [[Jeff Gordon]] (3) || Chevrolet ||align=right|$428,452 || 400||130.790||[[Hendrick Motorsports]] |- | [[2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series|2002]] || August 4 || {{flagicon|Georgia (U.S. state)}} [[Bill Elliott]] || [[Dodge]] ||align=right|$449,056||400||125.033||[[Evernham Motorsports]] |- | [[2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Series|2003]] || August 3 || {{flagicon|California}} [[Kevin Harvick]] || Chevrolet ||align=right|$418,253||400||134.548||[[Richard Childress Racing]] |- | [[2004 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series|2004]] || August 8 || {{flagicon|California}} [[Jeff Gordon]] (4) || Chevrolet ||align=right|$518,053||402.5* ||115.037||[[Hendrick Motorsports]] |- |colspan=8 align="center"|'''Allstate 400 at the Brickyard''' |- | [[2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series|2005]] || August 7 || {{flagicon|Indiana}} [[Tony Stewart]] || Chevrolet ||align=right|$554,661||400||118.782||[[Joe Gibbs Racing]] |- | [[2006 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series|2006]] || August 6 || {{flagicon|California}} [[Jimmie Johnson]] || Chevrolet ||align=right|$452,861||400||137.182||[[Hendrick Motorsports]] |- | [[2007 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard|2007]] || July 29|| {{flagicon|Indiana}} [[Tony Stewart]] (2) || Chevrolet ||align=right|$463,111* 400 113.379 Joe Gibbs Racing
2008 July 27 Jimmie Johnson (2) Chevrolet $509,236 400 115.117 Hendrick Motorsports
2009 July 26 Jimmie Johnson (3) Chevrolet $448,001 400 145.882 Hendrick Motorsports
  • 1998: Includes Winston No Bull 5 $1 million bonus which Jeff Gordon was eligible to win.
  • 2004: 402.5 miles / 161 laps due to Green-white-checker finish
  • 2007: Net total includes $25,000 subtracted for use of an obscenity in ESPN post-race interview. Stewart was also fined the prerequisite 25 points per NASCAR policy for language.


Pole winners



Statistics

Multiple victories

4 drivers have won the Brickyard 400 more than once, accounting for 11 wins out of 16 races held.
Wins Driver Years
4 Jeff Gordon 1994, 1998, 2001, 2004
3 Jimmie Johnson 2006, 2008, 2009
2 Dale Jarrett 1996, 1999
Tony Stewart 2005, 2007


Records

Through 2008

Manufacturers

Rank Manufacturer Wins
1 Chevrolet 11
2 Ford 3
3 Pontiac 1
3 Dodge 1


Sprint Cup champions

The winner of the Brickyard 400 has notably gone on to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship the same season eight times out of 16 runnings from 1994-2009.

  • 1998 Jeff Gordon
  • 1999 Dale Jarrett
  • 2000 Bobby Labonte
  • 2001 Jeff Gordon
  • 2005 Tony Stewart
  • 2006 Jimmie Johnson
  • 2008 Jimmie Johnson
  • 2009 Jimmie Johnson


Sources

  • 1994 Brickyard 400 Official Program


External links



References

  1. Nichels Engineering shattered speed and endurance records at Indianapolis



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