2011 Brickyard 400

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2011 Brickyard 400
Race details[1][2][3][4][5]
Race 20 of 36 in the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season
2011 Brickyard 400 logo.jpg
Date 31 July 2011 (2011-07-31)
Location Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana
Course Permanent racing facility
2.5 mi (4.0 km)
Distance 160 laps, 400 mi (643.73 km)
Weather Mostly sunny with a high around 90; wind out of the NNW at 4 mph
Average speed 140.762 miles per hour (226.534 km/h)
Pole position
Driver David Ragan Roush Fenway Racing
Time 49.182
Most laps led
Driver Kasey Kahne Red Bull Racing Team
Laps 48
Winner
No. 27
Paul Menard
Richard Childress Racing
Television in the United States
Network ESPN
Announcers Allen Bestwick, Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree

The 2011 Brickyard 400 presented by BigMachineRecords.com, the 18th running of the event, is a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stock car race held on 31 July 2011 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Contested over 160 laps on the 2.5-mile (4.0 km) asphalt rectangular oval, it was the 20th race of the 2011 Sprint Cup Series season.

Paul Menard won the race, the first win of his Sprint Cup career, driving for Richard Childress Racing, while Jeff Gordon finished second, and Regan Smith clinched third.

Pole position driver David Ragan maintained his lead on the first corner to begin the race, as Kasey Kahne, who started in the second position on the grid, remained behind him. However, Kahne overtook Menard to lead the first lap at the finish line. Kahne continued to lead until the 34th lap, when the first caution was given because of debris. Following the final caution, Gordon and several others pitted because of not having enough fuel. Gordon was quicker than the drivers who were saving fuel, but Menard held off Gordon for his first career win.

There were five cautions and 22 lead changes among 13 different drivers throughout the course of the race. It was Menard's first win in the 2011 season. The result moved Menard to the 15th position in the Drivers' Championship. He remained 53 points behind tenth place driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and two ahead of Kasey Kahne in seventh. Chevrolet maintained its lead in the Manufacturers' Championship, 20 points ahead of Ford and 28 ahead of Toyota, with 16 races remaining in the season. A total of 138,000 people attended the race, while 6.4 million watched it on television.

Report[edit]

Background[edit]

Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the race track where the race was held.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway is one of six superspeedways to hold NASCAR races, the others being Michigan International Speedway, Auto Club Speedway, Daytona International Speedway, Pocono Raceway and Talladega Superspeedway.[6] The standard track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a four-turn rectangular-oval track that is 2.5 miles (4.0 km) long.[7] The track's turns are banked at 9 degrees, while the front stretch, the location of the finish line, has no banking. The back stretch, opposite of the front, also has none.[7] The racetrack has seats for 250,000 spectators.[8]

Before the race, Carl Edwards led the Drivers' Championship with 652 points, and Jimmie Johnson stood in second with 645. Kurt Busch was third in the Drivers' Championship with 641 points, four ahead of Kevin Harvick and nine ahead of Kyle Busch in fourth and fifth. Matt Kenseth with 626 was 39 ahead of Jeff Gordon, as Ryan Newman with 586 points, was nine ahead of Dale Earnhardt, Jr., and 16 in front of Denny Hamlin.[9] In the Manufacturers' Championship, Chevrolet was leading with 127 points, 17 ahead of Ford. Toyota, with 105 points, was 29 points ahead of Dodge in the battle for third.[10] Jamie McMurray is the defending winner of the race.[11]

Practice and qualifying[edit]

David Ragan recorded his second pole position with a fastest time of 49.182 seconds

Three practice sessions were held before the race; the first two on Friday, both lasting 75 minutes. The third practice session was held on Saturday, and lasted 90 minutes.[12] Kenseth was quickest with a time of 49.668 seconds in the first session, around seven thousandths of a second faster than Kasey Kahne.[13][14] Hamlin followed in the third position ahead of Edwards, David Ragan, and Kurt Busch. Juan Pablo Montoya was seventh, still within a second of Kenseth's time.[14]

In the second practice session, Greg Biffle was fastest with a time of 50.474 seconds, less than four-hundredths of a second quicker than second-placed Martin Truex, Jr. Johnson took third place, ahead of Casey Mears, Harvick and Edwards. Kenseth was only quick enough for the 29th position.[15][16] Also during the second session, Hamlin's engine failed, prompting the session to halt with three minutes remaining.[17] In the third and final practice, Biffle remained quickest with a time of 49.297 seconds. Kahne followed in second, ahead of Kurt Busch and Ragan. Edwards was fifth quickest, with a time of 49.583 seconds. Montoya, A. J. Allmendinger, Kenseth, Brian Vickers, and Johnson rounded out the first ten positions.[18]

Forty-eights cars were entered for qualifying, but only forty-three could qualify for the race because of NASCAR's qualifying procedure.[19] Ragan clinched the second pole position of his career, with a time of 49.182 seconds.[20] He was joined on the front row of the grid by Kahne.[20] Johnson qualified third, Kurt Busch took fourth, and Brad Keselowski started fifth.[20] Allmendinger, Montoya, Gordon, Kenseth and Edwards rounded out the top ten. The five drivers that failed to qualify for the race were David Stremme, Travis Kvapil, Eric Darnell, J. J. Yeley, and Scott Wimmer.[20] Following the conclusion of the session, Ragan commented, "We're working as hard as we ever have. It's finally just showing. We've always had a lot of confidence in our team. The last couple years we've really underperformed. That has not been a secret.[21]"

Race[edit]

The race, the 20th in the season, began at 1:00 pm EDT and was televised live in the United States on ESPN.[1] From a television standpoint, the race was the first time since the 2004 Ford 400 that Allen Bestwick did the play-by-play for a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. The conditions on the grid were dry before the race, the air temperature at 80 °F (27 °C); clear skies were expected.[22] Representative Howard Brammer began pre-race ceremonies, by giving the invocation. Next, Rascal Flatts performed the national anthem, and Mari Hulman George gave the command for drivers to start their engines.[22]

Ragan retained his pole position lead into the first corner, followed by Kahne, who started second. However, Kahne managed to take the first position before the conclusion of the first lap. Two laps later, Allmendinger moved up to the third position after passing Kurt Busch. On the sixth lap of the race, Trevor Bayne had to go to pit lane after overheating. After starting eighth on the grid, Gordon had moved up to fourth, as Kurt Busch fell to seventh. By the 11th lap of the race, Kahne had extended his lead to three seconds over Ragan. Three laps later, Gordon moved up to the second position. By lap 17, Kahne had extended his lead to 4.5 seconds. On the 22nd lap, Kenseth passed Allmendinger for the fourth position. After 25 laps, Allmendinger and Kahne pitted, two laps before Kurt Busch. Everyone had pitted by the 30th lap of the race, which moved Kahne back into the first position.[22]

Four laps later, the first caution was given because of debris on the racing surface. Most of the front runners pitted, except Kahne and Gordon. At the lap 38 restart, Kahne was the leader ahead of Gordon and Johnson. By the 42nd lap, Gordon had passed Kahne and expanded his lead to 1.3 seconds. On the following lap, Hamlin moved up to the fifth position, as Kenseth took over the seventh position. On lap 45, Earnhardt, Jr. pitted to remove grass from his front grille. Five laps later, the second caution was given after David Reutimann collided into the wall. All of the front runners pitted during the caution, as Earnhardt Jr. became the leader. On the 57th lap, Kenseth and Johnson passed Kyle Busch for the fourth and fifth position. On the following lap, Gordon moved up to second after overtaking Ragan. Gordon passed Earnhardt, Jr. to become the leader on the 60th lap.[22]

Four laps later, Kahne moved up to the fourth position. On lap 68, Johnson passed his team-mate Earnhardt, Jr. to take the second position. On the 72nd lap, Jamie McMurray pitted for some adjustments. On the next lap, Keselowski pitted, three laps before Tony Stewart. While pitting, Stewart had to do a pass through penalty for going faster than the proposed speed on pit road. After everyone pitted, Gordon reclaimed the lead on lap 84. Ten laps later, debris on the track prompted the third caution. Most of the leaders pitted during the caution. At the lap 97 restart, Paul Menard was the leader, ahead of Kenseth and Ragan. On the 101st lap, Kahne took the sixth position from Hamlin, as Menard remained the leader. Six laps later, Kenseth passed Menard to become the leader. On the 108th lap, Montoya moved up to the third position, as Johnson moved up to 11th. On lap 114, the fourth caution was given after Kyle Busch collided into the wall. Most of the front runners pitted during the caution, while Keselowski didn't.[22]

At the lap 117 restart, Keselowski was the leader. One the following lap, Montoya moved up to the third position, as Marcos Ambrose had a drive through penalty after switching lanes before the start, finish line. On the 120th lap, Landon Cassill spun sideways, prompting the fifth caution to be given. None of the front runners pitted during the caution. Keselowski continued to lead on the lap 126 restart, as Clint Bowyer moved into the second position. On the 130th lap, Jeff Burton pitted, as Gordon overtook Kenseth for the fourth position. On the following lap, Johnson pitted, one lap before Keselowski, Montoya and Kahne. At lap 133, Earnhardt, Jr. and Joey Logano pitted, a lap before Bowyer, and two laps before Gordon. Afterward, Ragan pitted, moving Stewart into the first position. By lap 140, Stewart had a four second lead over second placed Brian Vickers.[22]

Six laps later, Stewart pitted for fuel, moving Menard into the first position. With ten laps remaining, Trevor Bayne moved up to the tenth position, three laps before McMurray became the leader. By the 155th lap, Gordon had moved up to the fifth position, as the drivers infron of him are at a slower pace from trying to get better fuel mileage. With three laps remaining, Menard reclaimed the first position from McMurray, as Gordon moved to third. On the final lap, Gordon moved into the second position, as Menard crossed the finish line first to score his first Sprint Cup Series victory. Gordon was second, ahead of Regan Smith, McMurray, and Kenseth.[22]

Post-race[edit]

"My first year here was 1989, that I can remember anyway. I think I was here when I was 3 or 4 years old, too. I just spent a lot of time in the garage area. I didn't miss an Indy 500 from 1989 to 2003. I was here for the inaugural Brickyard 400 in 1994. It's just a really special place for my family and myself.

Paul Menard, speaking after the race.[23]

Menard appeared in victory lane after his victory lap to start celebrating his first win of his career,[24] in front of a crowd of 138,000 people.[25] "I went and saw him. His eyes, he's like a deer in headlights. I'm so happy for him. It's one thing to get your first win here, but it's another when you can appreciate how special it is to win here. I think Paul certainly has that." said Gordon of Menard's first victory.[24]

Although Stewart was leading the race near the end, he had to pit for fuel.[22] Stewart, who finished sixth, said, "I'm really happy for Paul Menard. Paul's been around this place for a long time, been here since he was a kid. It couldn't have happened to a better guy. It's a pretty deserving win right there. I'm happy for him."[24] In the subsequent press conference, Gordon stated his happiness for Menard by saying, "Just because he's been here so much as a kid experiencing Indy, he knows how special it is to compete here, let alone win here. So I think the feelings are probably very similar. He probably has a greater appreciation for it than I did in '94, because while I was watching from a distance and my heroes were Indy 500 drivers, I wasn't in the garage like he was."[23]

Smith also commented, "I just know what it means to Paul. I know how hard he's worked. He always talks about coming up here. He always talks about how much he loves this place. I know if he had to highlight one race to get his first win, I'm sure he'd tell you in a minute he couldn't be happier. You only get one chance to get your first win. It's a special thing, especially when you do it here."[24] The race result moved Menard up five positions to 14th in the Driver's Championship with 553 points, 53 points behind tenth.[26] Edwards, who finished fourteenth in the race,[5] remained first in the standings, as Johnson followed in second. Harvick followed in third ahead of Kyle Busch and Kenseth[26] Chevrolet maintained their lead in the Manufacturers' Championship with 136 points.[10] Ford and Toyota placed second and third with 116 and 108 points, while Dodge was fourth with 80.[10] 6.4 million people watched the race on television.[27]

Results[edit]

Qualifying[edit]

No. Driver Team Manufacturer Time Speed Grid
6 David Ragan Roush Fenway Racing Ford 49.182 182.994 1
4 Kasey Kahne Red Bull Racing Team Toyota 49.200 182.927 2
48 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 49.234 182.801 3
22 Kurt Busch Penske Racing Dodge 49.269 182.671 4
2 Brad Keselowski Penske Racing Dodge 49.300 182.556 5
43 A. J. Allmendinger Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 49.330 182.445 6
42 Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 49.351 182.367 7
24 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 49.385 182.242 8
17 Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Racing Ford 49.392 182.216 9
99 Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Racing Ford 49.437 182.050 10
13 Casey Mears Germain Racing Toyota 49.444 182.024 11
5 Mark Martin Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 49.459 181.969 12
31 Jeff Burton Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 49.479 181.895 13
11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 49.480 181.892 14
27 Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 49.486 181.870 15
1 Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 49.492 181.848 16
47 Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Racing Toyota 49.528 181.715 17
16 Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing Ford 49.537 181.422 18
29 Kevin Harvick Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 49.550 181.635 19
20 Joey Logano Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 49.608 181.422 20
9 Marcos Ambrose Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 49.617 181.389 21
88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 49.632 181.335 22
39 Ryan Newman Stewart Haas Racing Chevrolet 49.636 181.320 23
14 Tony Stewart Stewart Haas Racing Chevrolet 49.655 181.251 24
21 Trevor Bayne Wood Brothers Racing Ford 49.687 181.134 25
33 Clint Bowyer Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 49.729 180.981 26
78 Regan Smith Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet 49.744 180.926 27
00 David Reutimann Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 49.748 180.912 28
18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 49.764 180.854 29
56 Martin Truex, Jr. Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 49.829 180.618 30
83 Brian Vickers Red Bull Racing Team Toyota 49.831 180.611 31
51 Landon Cassill Phoenix Racing Chevrolet 49.963 180.133 32
36 Dave Blaney Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet 50.021 179.924 33
37 Scott Speed Front Row Motorsports Ford 50.126 179.451 34
66 Michael McDowell HP Racing Toyota 50.153 179.451 35
87 Joe Nemechek NEMCO Motorsports Toyota 50.196 179.297 36
34 David Gilliland Front Row Motorsports Ford 50.202 179.276 37
60 Mike Skinner Germain Racing Toyota 50.282 178.990 38
71 Andy Lally TRG Motorsports Ford 50.300 178.926 39
50 T. J. Bell LTD Powersports Chevrolet 50.564 177.992 40
7 Robby Gordon Robby Gordon Motorsports Dodge 50.600 177.866 41
32 Mike Bliss FAS Lane Racing Ford 50.601 177.862 42
23 Terry Labonte(P) FAS Lane Racing Ford 51.577 174.496 43
Failed to Qualify
30 David Stremme Inception Motorsports Chevrolet 50.579 177.939
38 Travis Kvapil Front Row Motorsports Ford 50.729 177.413
46 Erik Darnell Whitney Motorsports Ford 50.734 177.396
55 J. J. Yeley Max Q Motorsports Ford 51.009 176.439
77 Scott Wimmer Robby Gordon Motorsports Dodge 51.415 175.046

Race results[edit]

Pos Grid Car Driver Team Manufacturer Laps Points
1 15 27 Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 160 47
2 8 24 Jeff Gordon (W) Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 160 43
3 27 78 Regan Smith Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet 160 41
4 16 1 Jamie McMurray (W) Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 160 41
5 9 17 Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Racing Ford 160 40
6 24 14 Tony Stewart (W) Stewart Haas Racing Chevrolet 160 39
7 18 16 Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing Ford 160 37
8 12 5 Mark Martin Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 160 36
9 5 2 Brad Keselowski Penske Racing Dodge 160 36
10 29 18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 160 34
11 19 29 Kevin Harvick (W) Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 160 33
12 23 39 Ryan Newman Stewart Haas Racing Chevrolet 160 32
13 26 33 Clint Bowyer Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 160 32
14 10 99 Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Racing Ford 160 30
15 31 83 Brian Vickers Red Bull Racing Team Toyota 160 29
16 22 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 160 29
17 17 47 Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Racing Toyota 160 27
18 2 4 Kasey Kahne Red Bull Racing Team Toyota 160 28
19 3 48 Jimmie Johnson (W) Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 160 26
20 32 51 Landon Cassill Phoenix Racing Chevrolet 160 0
21 4 22 Kurt Busch Penske Racing Dodge 160 23
22 6 43 A. J. Allmendinger Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 160 22
23 1 6 David Ragan Roush Fenway Racing Ford 160 22
24 30 56 Martin Truex, Jr. Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 160 20
25 20 20 Joey Logano Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 160 19
26 39 71 Andy Lally (R) TRG Motorsports Ford 160 18
27 14 11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 160 17
28 7 42 Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 160 16
29 11 13 Casey Mears Germain Racing Toyota 160 15
30 25 21 Trevor Bayne Wood Brothers Racing Ford 160 0
31 33 36 Dave Blaney Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet 160 14
32 42 32 Mike Bliss FAS Lane Racing Ford 160 0
33 37 34 David Gilliland Front Row Motorsports Ford 157 11
34 21 9 Marcos Ambrose Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 157 10
35 13 31 Jeff Burton Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 153 9
36 28 00 David Reutimann Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 49 8
37 35 66 Michael McDowell HP Racing Toyota 23 7
38 36 87 Joe Nemechek NEMCO Motorsports Toyota 19 0
39 34 37 Scott Speed Front Row Motorsports Ford 19 0
40 38 60 Mike Skinner Germain Racing Toyota 16 0
41 43 23 Terry Labonte FAS Lane Racing Ford 15 3
42 40 50 T. J. Bell (R) LTD Powersports Chevrolet 10 0
43 41 7 Robby Gordon Robby Gordon Motorsports Dodge 5 1
Source:[5][30]

Standings after the race[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Sprint Cup Series Schedule". ESPN. Retrieved 8 July 2011. 
  2. ^ Brown, Brian. "The Brickyard 400". 27 July 2011. RotoWorld.com. Retrieved 28 July 2011. 
  3. ^ "Ragan takes Brickyard pole". inRacingNews.com. 30 July 2011. Retrieved 31 July 2011. 
  4. ^ "NASCAR Race Trax — Sprint Cup Race Day — Brickyard 400". Fox Sports. Retrieved 13 August 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c "Official Race Results". NASCAR. 1 August 2011. Retrieved 13 August 2011. 
  6. ^ "NASCAR Race Tracks". NASCAR. Archived from the original on 28 June 2011. Retrieved 8 July 2011. 
  7. ^ a b "NASCAR Tracks—The Indianapolis Motor Speedway". NASCAR. Archived from the original on 28 June 2011. Retrieved 8 July 2011. 
  8. ^ "Indianapolis Motor Speedway Fun Facts". Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Retrieved 8 July 2011. 
  9. ^ "Driver's Championship Classification". NASCAR. Retrieved 22 July 2011. 
  10. ^ a b c d "Manufactures' Championship Classification". Jayski.com. Archived from the original on 13 July 2011. Retrieved 22 July 2011. 
  11. ^ "Jamie McMurray wins Brickyard after Juan Pablo Montoya falters — ESPN". ESPN. Associated Press. 28 July 2010. Retrieved 31 July 2011. 
  12. ^ "Jayski'sŽ NASCAR Silly Season Site – Sprint Cup Race Info / Rundown Page". Jayski.com. Retrieved 22 July 2011. 
  13. ^ Jensen, Tom (29 July 2011). "NASCAR — CUP: Kenseth Tops First Session". Speedtv.com. Retrieved 29 July 2011. 
  14. ^ a b "Practice One Timing and Scoring". NASCAR. Retrieved 29 July 2011. 
  15. ^ "Practice Two Timing and Scoring". NASCAR. Retrieved 29 July 2011. 
  16. ^ "Brickyard 400 2nd Practice Speeds — Motor Racing Network". Motor Racing Network. 29 July 2011. Retrieved 29 July 2011. 
  17. ^ Jenson, Tom (29 July 2011). "NASCAR — CUP: Biffle Fastest in P2". Speedtv.com. Retrieved 29 July 2011. 
  18. ^ "Practice Three Timing and Scoring". NASCAR. Retrieved 30 July 2011. 
  19. ^ "Qualifying Entry List". NASCAR. Retrieved 29 July 2011. 
  20. ^ a b c d e "Race Official Lineup". NASCAR. 30 July 2011. Retrieved 30 July 2011. 
  21. ^ Ryan, Nate (30 July 2011). "David Ragan continues NASCAR roll with Brickyard 400 pole — USA Today". USA Today. Retrieved 30 July 2011. 
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h "Race Summary". NASCAR. Retrieved 31 July 2011. 
  23. ^ a b "Menard stretches fuel to win Brickyard 400 - Aug 01, 2011". Sporting News Wire Service. NASCAR. August 13, 2011. Retrieved August 13, 2011. 
  24. ^ a b c d "Paul Menard earns first career win at Brickyard 400 – ESPN". ESPN. Associated Press. 1 August 2011. Retrieved 13 August 2011. 
  25. ^ "2011 Brickyard 400". racing-reference.com. Retrieved 1 August 2011. 
  26. ^ a b c "Post-race Point Standings". NASCAR. Retrieved 13 August 2011. 
  27. ^ "2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup TV Ratings". Jayski.com. Archived from the original on 13 July 2011. Retrieved 13 August 2011. 
  28. ^ "Lineup Statistics". MotorRacingNetwork.com. Retrieved 30 July 2011. 
  29. ^ "Jayski's® NASCAR Silly Season Site — Indianpolis Sprint Cup Qualifying Order/Results, Lineup". Jayski.com. Retrieved 30 July 2011. 
  30. ^ "Brickyard 400 Race Results". Motor Racing Network. International Speedway Corporation. 31 July 2011. Retrieved 13 August 2011. 


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