The Brickyard 400 is arguably the second most prestigious race on the Cup Series schedule and one of four crown jewel races so to speak, along with the Daytona 400, Southern 500 and Coca-Cola 600. Aside from Kevin Harvick's victory in the 600-mile even at Charlotte, NASCAR's biggest races have been won by some unexpected names in 2011. Rookie Trevor Bayne won at Daytona, and Regan Smith scored his first career Cup Series win at Darlington.
Granted, there is no guarantee that trend will continue, but David Ragan did shock a lot of people by winning the pole for Sunday's race at Indianapolis. He also pulled of a surprise win of his own at Daytona in July, but winning at Indy would be a completely different feat altogether. He will be joined in the top 10 by A.J. Allmendinger, who is another driver worth keeping an eye on. After all, Allmendinger has had top-10 runs at Indy in the past, and qualifying near the front goes a long way. Only three races have been won by drivers starting worse than 16th at the 2.5-mile track.
In many ways, this weekend's race will put two trends against one another. Upsets don't happen at the Brickyard very often, and no driver has ever made the race the site of their first career win. That being said, surprises have been a theme in 2011, but this Sunday, something has to give.
About Brian Polking
Racing has been part of Brian's life ever since he can remember, and he spent his childhood at dirt tracks throughout Ohio and Kentucky watching his father race. NASCAR naturally became his favorite sport, and he has been following the Cup, Nationwide and Truck Series for most of his life. Brian majored in journalism and economics at Ohio State University and becoming a sports writer has always been his dream. Although he has covered everything from minor league baseball to the NCAA tournament, his passion has always been NASCAR. Brian has served as a NASCAR writer for a variety of sites, eventually becoming head editor of the NASCAR section for Fanball.com. His knowledge of NASCAR comes from his life-long love of racing, and he tries to add a personal touch to every article he writes. Brian is always up for talking NASCAR with anyone that wants to. Brian joined KFFL's team in 2011.
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