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NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400 | Indianapolis Motor Speedway open race thread

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History is set to be made again on Sunday afternoon as the stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series take to the timeless Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 17th running of the Brickyard 400.

Short of winning the Daytona 500, a single victory could not mean more to the 43 drivers on the starting grid of today's event.

Find out why after the fold.


The favorite and pole-sitter for today's Brickyard 400 knows what it takes to win at The Speedway but has yet to do so in NASCAR. Juan Pablo Montoya dominated the 2009 event before a pit road violation handed the win to series champion Jimmie Johnson. Most felt that Montoya was unjustly routed of a career-defining victory but the fact remains that Montoya was over the mandated pit road speed. The Columbian was placed in the back of the longest line and finished in 11th.

If Montoya is the favorite and 'Driver 1A'  to win today's race then Johnson has to be 'Driver 1B'.

The Brickyard lends itself to championship calibur drivers as the winner of the Brickyard 400 has notably gone on to win the Sprint Cup championship in the same season eight times out of 16 runnings from 1994-2009.

Most recently, that driver has been Johnson, kissing the bricks in 2006, 2008 and 2009. Only two winners of the Brickyard has failed to win a Cup Series championship and one of those drivers, Kevin Harvick, leads the 2010 standings.

With the Chase for the Championship just seven races away, the numbers heavily favor that NASCAR could crown its champion today; not in the numbers but by the tradition and history of the Brickyard 400.

Pre-race coverage will be covered by ESPN Countdown and SPEED Raceday. Live flag-to-flag coverage will air on ESPN and espn3.com starting at 1 p.m./ET. Green flag is set for 1:15 with Marty Reid, Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree providing the calls.

Let this post serve as Ranting and Raving's official race thread. A brief post race will post shortly after the finish.

"See you on the other side!"

Starting Line Up by Row
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Brickyard 400 (17th Running)
Provided by NASCAR Statistics - Sat, July 24, 2010 @ 12:08 PM Eastern
Track Race Record: Bobby Labonte 08/05/00 02:33:56 155.912
Row Pos Car Driver Team Time Speed
1 1 42 Juan Pablo Montoya Target Chevrolet 49.375 182.278
2 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe's Chevrolet 49.412 182.142
2 3 5 Mark Martin GoDaddy.com Chevrolet 49.504 181.803
4 1 Jamie McMurray Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boats Chevrolet 49.519 181.748
3 5 39 Ryan Newman Haas Automation Chevrolet 49.521 181.741
6 33 Clint Bowyer Wheaties Fuel Chevrolet 49.582 181.517
4 7 16 Greg Biffle 3M Ford 49.627 181.353
8 24 Jeff Gordon DuPont Chevrolet 49.655 181.251
5 9 29 Kevin Harvick Shell / Pennzoil Chevrolet 49.666 181.210
10 31 Jeff Burton Prilosec OTC Chevrolet 49.681 181.156
6 11 12 Brad Keselowski Penske Dodge 49.756 180.883
12 56 Martin Truex Jr. NAPA Auto Parts Toyota 49.798 180.730
7 13 17 Matt Kenseth Crown Royal Ford 49.842 180.571
14 2 Kurt Busch Miller Lite / Vortex Dodge 49.882 180.426
8 15 14 Tony Stewart Old Spice / Office Depot Chevrolet 49.894 180.382
16 43 A J Allmendinger Valvoline Ford 49.901 180.357
9 17 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. AMP Energy / National Guard Chevrolet 49.928 180.260
18 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Express Toyota 49.931 180.249
10 19 99 Carl Edwards Aflac Ford 49.939 180.220
20 71 Landon Cassill TaxSlayer.com Chevrolet 49.941 180.213
11 21 7 Robby Gordon SpeedFactory.TV Toyota 49.957 180.155
22 78 Regan Smith FarmAmerican.com Chevrolet 49.987 180.047
12 23 18 Kyle Busch M&M's Toyota 50.043 179.845
24 9 Kasey Kahne Budweiser Ford 50.058 179.791
13 25 77 Sam Hornish Jr. Mobil 1 Dodge 50.114 179.591
26 98 Paul Menard Mastercraft / Menards Ford 50.140 179.497
14 27 19 Elliott Sadler Stanley Ford 50.290 178.962
28 6 David Ragan UPS Ford 50.303 178.916
15 29 00 David Reutimann Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota 50.310 178.891
30 82 Scott Speed Red Bull Toyota 50.312 178.884
16 31 21 Bill Elliott Motorcraft / Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center 50.323 178.845
32 83 Reed Sorenson Red Bull Toyota 50.325 178.838
17 33 87 Joe Nemechek NEMCO Motorsports Toyota 50.326 178.834
34 20 Joey Logano Home Depot Toyota 50.341 178.781
18 35 13 Max Papis GEICO Toyota 50.386 178.621
36 09 Bobby Labonte Phoenix Construction Chevrolet 50.455 178.377
19 37 55 Michael McDowell PRISM Motorsports Toyota 50.465 178.341
38 37 Travis Kvapil Long John Silver's Ford 50.558 178.013
20 39 64 Todd Bodine Fred's Hometown Discout Store Toyota 50.593 177.890
40 66 Dave Blaney PRISM Motorsports Toyota 50.682 177.578
21 41 47 Marcos Ambrose Kroger / Clorox Toyota Owner Points
42 34 Kevin Conway # Extenze Ford Owner Points
22 43 32 Jacques Villeneuve Dollar General Toyota 50.714 177.466
Did Not Qualify: # 38 David Gilliland; # 36 Casey Mears; # 26 David Stremme; # 46 J J Yeley.
Manufacturer Starting Lineup DNQs Manufacturer Starting Lineup DNQs
Chevrolet 14 1 Ford 11 2