The Batesville Herald-Tribune
By Ken de la Bastide
CNHI News Service
There is a good chance that history will be made at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this Sunday in the race formerly known as the Brickyard 400.
No I don’t expect Danica Patrick to win the pole position or contend for the victory at IMS. She probably will be running in the back half of the pack, several laps down to the leaders. Although there will be a great deal of media buzz about Patrick being the first women to compete in the Brickyard 400.
The history that could take place is that IMS could be looking at its first five-time winner in any event at the historic speedway.
Both Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon have scored four wins in the Brickyard 400 joining A.J. Foyt, Rick Mears and Al Unser Sr. as members of that exclusive club.
Johnson, the current Sprint Cup point leader and five time champion, is coming off a victory in 2012 at IMS and is considered the favorite for the win. He has scored wins in 2006, 2008 and 2009. He is the only driver to record back-to-back wins at IMS. Gordon has not won at IMS since 2004; his other victories came in 1994, 1998 and 2001.
There are two other factors that make a win by either Johnson or Gordon a strong possibility. The team they drive for, Hendrick Motorsports, has eight of the 19 Brickyard races. The manufacturer they drive for (Chevrolet) has won 14 of 19 races.
The one driver that I hope has an outstanding day at IMS is Ryan Newman. Newman became the odd man out for Tony Stewart’s three car team earlier this month. Kevin Harvick is bringing the Budweiser money to the team.
When Stewart first obtained a partial ownership in the team, his comment was that he wanted his Indiana short-track buddy as a driver.
How things have changed. This year the team added Patrick, along with the “Go Daddy” sponsorship money, she will keep her ride with the team in 2014.
Currently Stewart is 13th in the points, only five from the 10th spot to make the Chase and has one victory. Newman is 19th in the points.
In other racing news: The ARCA/CRA Jegs All-Stars Tour and Super Series will be competing at Lucas Oil Raceway on Friday in twin 100-lap features.
Racing starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are priced at $20. Ken Schrader, Kenny Wallace and David Stremme are scheduled to compete in the Super Series race.
The USAC Silver Crown cars will be running a 100-lap feature with the pavement Midget series on Saturday.
This is all that is left of what used to be the Kroger Speedfest at LOR for many years with USAC on Thursday, the Camping World Truck Series on Friday and Nationwide Series on Saturday.
A tradition that is still sadly missed by many racing fans in central Indiana.