Brickyard 400 Notes And Quotes

Jeff Gordon (88) and Tony Stewart cross the yard of bricks on a final lap around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. [John Wiedemann Photo]

Jeff Gordon (88) and Tony Stewart cross the yard of bricks on a final lap around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  [John Wiedemann Photo]


Many fans hoped that Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart would have good, possibly winning results in what is likely the final Brickyard 400 for both. The finish told them otherwise however, as both Gordon and Stewart failed to finish higher than11th. Stewart and Gordon were slightly involved in the end of the race melees and both suffered minor body panel damage. In an emotional scene Jeff and Tony hugged at the Start/Finish line after the race. Gordon: “I need a refresher on restarts. It took us awhile to get the balance right. I hope we did well for Dale Jr. I look forward to going to Pocono. That was a special moment there at the Start/Finish line with Tony. We’ve really become good friends over the years. Our relationship has gone through a lot of obstacles over the years. The last few years I’ve gained so much respect and admiration for who he is as a race car driver. It means the world to me to be here today and be a part of this celebration of having him here at Indy…I thought I was going to have my last one last year. So, you never know with Tony Stewart.”

  • Busch set a record as he captured the pole and won the race in both the Lilly Diabetes 250 on Saturday and the Crown Royal Brickyard 400 today.
  • Despite the specter of three restarts near the end of the race, Busch, on worn tires, bolted to a 2.126 second win as he pulled away from Kenseth, Johnson and Hamlin on that final restart. This was his 38th Sprint Cup win in 410 races. He led three times for 149 of 170 laps.
  • With his fifth-place finish, Kevin Harvick leads the series’ point standings by 24 points over Brad Keselowski.
  • Greg Biffle, already struggling after the recent death of his father, completed just 53 laps before a blown right-front tire sent him into the Turn 1 wall. “I don’t know what happened. The right-front went down at the end of the straightaway. That’s the worst possible place, but, unfortunately it happened.”
  • Kasey Kahne holds the final “Chase “spot (16th), just one point ahead of Kyle Larson and three up on Trevor Bayne.
  • Jeff Gordon, just a year removed from the fanfare of his own retirement, gave a salute to 2016’s retiree, Tony Stewart, during Sunday morning’s Sprint Cup driver’s meeting. As someone noted; it was all about mutual respect, followed by a standing ovation from his peers. Gordon said in part, “…As we’ve gotten to know one another as friends and competitors over the years, (I know) what this place means to you. And I think that this is not a year about saying goodbye, it’s about celebrating what you’ve done on and off the track. I think it’s only fitting that all of us in the room what you’ve brought to the sport, congratulate you on all that you’ve done- and say thank you.” That standing ovation lasted for more than 20 seconds.
  • Alexander Rossi, the 2016 Indianapolis 500 champion was at the track for his first NASCAR race. Rossi has yet to announce his 2017 plans, but it’s likely to be a choice between Formula One, a world from which he came, or continuing in Indy Car. “NASCAR is simple in one way, but very advanced in another way. It’s a bit of a strange thing to look at. Without all of the data and sensors and telemetry, they rely on a lot of different ways to understand what the car is doing. I think that’s very, very cool to see and learn about…I’m focused on representing the Verizon Indy Car Series and the Indianapolis 500 for the next year, and doing the best job I can to keep the interest high.”
  • This is the first career NASCAR Cup race in which Gordon drove something other than a car numbered 24.
  • After leading Lap 54, Kyle Busch became the 12th Brickyard driver in history driver to lead 100 laps or more.
  • Attendance today was certainly affected by the boiling temperatures with the Heat Index hovering at over 100 degrees. Even the last IMS appearance of Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon’s return to the cockpit couldn’t bring the crowd up to last year’s 75,000 estimate. What to do?


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