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Brickyard 400

Horsepower Fantasy Racing: Picks for the Brantley Gilbert Big Machine Brickyard 400

The sweet taste of victory usually includes confetti falling down from the sky as a shower of Gatorade, soda, or beer overtakes the victory lane celebration.  It includes lifting a trophy with the team, and doing the hat dance for all the sponsors, followed by a trip to media for what often is a lengthy night of questions.

It is well worth the late night when the team works so hard to earn the right to hold up that trophy.

But, the taste of victory never met a more literal feeling than what began in 1996, on a whim, when Dale Jarrett did something after tasting victory.

It was Indianapolis, the third race for NASCAR at the ground where open wheel racing is king, and after his victory lap in front of the crowd, he came right to the finish line, where the bricks of long ago remained intact.  He knelt down, and literally tasted victory when his lips met those bricks.  At that very moment, a new tradition began, and it has become the nastiest, grimiest, sometimes smokiest, but also the most thrilling kiss in all of NASCAR.

This year marks 23 years since the first time NASCAR came to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but it remains a marque event on the schedule.  Come next year, this event moves to September, and will determine the final playoff field for the 2018 season championship.  But, that is still a season away.

It’s all about now, and the participants in the pool want that taste of victory extremely bad.  They are all set, so here’s the picks for the Brantley Gilbert Big Machine Brickyard 400:


Misan Akuya:  Jamie McMurray

The 2010 champion of his race made perhaps one of the most impressive passes that I’ve ever seen, passing Harvick around the outside.  Jamie Mac has had a really good season.  What’s stopping it from being great?  Top fives (two), leading laps (15) and wins (0).  This is one of his best tracks and a place where he can start to go past his potential and go towards his first Sprint Cup series championship.

Rob Blount:  Jimmie Johnson

No reason given.

Billy Fellin:  Chase Elliott

No reason given.

Dalton Hastings:  Kyle Busch

No reason given.

Ashley Hobbs:  Kyle Busch

For real this time.

Ashley Hull:  Kyle Busch

No reason given.

Ashley McCubbin:  Martin Truex Jr.

No reason given.

Klarissa Mitchell:  Jamie McMurray

No reason given.

Dustin Parks:  Kyle Larson

So he doesn’t have his usual crew chief, that didn’t stop him at New Hampshire.  Plus, let’s face it, Ganassi and Indy go together like wings and beer.  I’m taking a chance that Larson finally gets a win on a track that isn’t two miles long, and a D-shape.

Patti Rodisch:  Jimmie Johnson

No reason given.

Sal Sigala Jr:  Kyle Busch

No reason given.

Rob Tiongson:  Denny Hamlin

After delivering the goods at Loudon, Denny Hamlin runs away from the lobster and kisses the bricks at Indianapolis.

Penny Whitecotton:  Kevin Harvick

No reason given.


Standings after New Hampshire:

Ashley Hobbs (632) Martin Truex Jr. finished 3rd – [2] 14

Rob Tiongson (631) Clint Bowyer finished 7th – [2] 7

Misan Akuya (604) Kevin Harvick finished 5th – [2] 15

Penny Whitecotton (568) Kevin Harvick finished 5th – [1] 6

Patti Rodisch (539) Chase Elliott finished 11th – [2] 14

Sal Sigala Jr. (533) Kyle Busch finished 12th – [1] 11

Ashley Hull (530) Joey Logano finished 37th – [2] 12

Ashley McCubbin (527) Denny Hamlin WON – [1] 9

Billy Fellin (525) Joey Logano finished 37th – [2] 9

Dalton Hastings (523) Kurt Busch finished 8th – [0] 3

Klarissa Mitchell (522) Matt Kenseth finished 4th – [0] 0

Dustin Parks (508) Matt Kenseth finished 4th – [1] 8

Rob Blount (499) Joey Logano finished 37th – [0] 3


Summary of Picks:

Kyle Busch-4

Jimmie Johnson-2

Jamie McMurray-2

Chase Elliott-1

Denny Hamlin-1

Kevin Harvick-1

Kyle Larson-1

Martin Truex Jr-1


About Dustin Parks

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