A UNIQUE VIEW: Attitude and Happiness are Keys for Patrick
Indianapolis Motor Speedway is considered to be the “epicenter of racing” because it plays host to a number of different motorsports entities that include the IndyCar, MotoGP, NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series. The “Indianapolis 500” and “Brickyard 400” are two of the most highly anticipated events of the race season.
After some well-deserved rest and relaxation, the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers are getting ready to strap in, fire the engines and hit the bricks – literally.
Three pondering thoughts that I have going into “The Brickyard 400”:
Can Jeff Gordon make a charge at the Chase?
The 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup season has been a challenging one for four-time champion Jeff Gordon. He has been able to capture four top 5s and 7 top 10s but wins have eluded him. It hasn’t helped that Gordon has been involved in four crashes this season and currently sits 12th and 175 points behind leader/teammate Jimmie Johnson.
Heading to a track where he has been successful may prove to be a turning point for Gordon’s team. He has four wins, 11 top 5s and 15 top 10s, fast cars and engine prowess haven’t been much of an issue for this team. Evading trouble on the track and positioning himself up front could produce a long awaited season win.
Will Danica Patrick serve up another “first” this weekend?
In the Indy Car Series, Danica Patrick made history by becoming the first female driver to lead a lap in the 2005 Indianapolis 500, winning the 2008 Indy Japan 300 and becoming the highest finishing woman in the 2009 Indianapolis 500 – finishing third.
Fast forward – in 2013, she became the first woman to win a Daytona 500 pole and leading a few laps under green. Finishing eighth in this race placed her in the record books (again) as the highest finishing female driver in this historic race.
In an interview with NASCAR.com, Patrick expressed how she felt about racing back in Indy. “I feel like I know the surface, the circuit. I enjoy going there and I think sometimes one of the most beneficial things on a weekend is to just be having a good attitude and being happy. I’m always happy there.”
Will that happiness translate into another “first” for this history-making driver? Granted, she only has one top 10 and an average finish of 25th but there is always the possibility that Patrick can find success at a track where she is in her comfort zone.
Can Chevrolet take home their 15th win on Sunday or will their streak be broken?
Chevrolet has been a dominating force in Indy. Out of the 19 Sprint Cup races run at this track, they have accounted for 14 wins that include the last 10 consecutive races (2003-2012). Some of these winning drivers have included Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson. It has definitely been proven that there is some dynamic horsepower under the hood of those racecars.
Ford is the second winning manufacturer at this track, accounting for three wins – two with Dale Jarrett (’96 & ’99) and one with Ricky Rudd (’99). So far, this season, Ford has managed to win three races (Phoenix, Talladega and Michigan) and they have been very competitive on the track.
Will Chevy be able to put another “W” in the record books? Or will Ford pull off an upset and “kiss the bricks?” Only time will tell with these two highly competitive manufacturers.
Despite the outcome, I am sure there will be a dual until the checkered flag waves in Indy.