With the Southern 500 coming our way from Darlington this weekend, it seems like a good time to talk about tradition. The first one in the books was back in 1950, making it the oldest of the sport’s iconic events. Most of the time, it goes to someone who is in or will be in, the Hall of Fame. That number will only grow once Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson get in, along with a few other contenders I can think of.
Did his lack of success over recent years stunt NASCAR's growth? Maybe, it was his continued presence that kept it from sliding further down the tubes. In fact, the champion has only taken the Most Popular Driver award six times in the season they won the championship. The last was Bill Elliott nearly 30 years ago. So much for Harvick's theory.
1. Martin Truex Jr.: Truex and Kyle Busch wrecked as they battled for the lead on a restart with 50 laps remaining at Indianapolis. Both cars were unable to continue, and Truex's No. 78 became engulfed in flames. Truex finished 33rd.
While the track is best known for the Indianapolis 500, NASCAR has made its mark there as well. Did you know that “kissing the bricks” was started by Dale Jarrett? In 1996, after winning the Brickyard 400, Jarrett and his crew chief, Todd Parrott, paid tribute to the track’s history by kneeling down and kissing the “Yard of Bricks.”
The most anticipated race of the week is not the one slated for Sunday in Indianapolis. Sure, the Brickyard has been around since 1909. Sure, it has been home to the Indianapolis 500 since 1911. Yes, it has hosted NASCAR’s Brickyard 400 since 1994, when Jeff Gordon won his first of five at the iconic track.
1. Kyle Larson: Larson started on the pole at Michigan and led 96 laps on his way to the win at Michigan. Larson pulled away from Chase Elliott on a restart with five laps to go to claim his second win of the year.
1. Jimmie Johnson: Johnson started at the rear of the field due to a gear change and charged to the front to win the AAA 400, his 11th career win at Dover and 83rd career Cup victory, tying Cale Yarborough.