“The Road to Richmond” Crosses the Famed Brickyard Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Paul Menard kisses the bricks at Indy

“The Road To Richmond” roars back to action this weekend at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns from an off week to make its annual stop at the Brickyard. Sunday’s Brickyard 400 is the third event in the 2012 “Race to The Chase,” meaning only five races remain before the Federated Auto Parts 400 “One Last Race to Make The Chase” at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday night, September 8th.

Similar to the “One Last Race to Make The Chase,” the Brickyard 400 is one of the marquee events on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule. Over the years, the Brickyard 400 has provided a good indication of who will win the series championship. NASCAR’s top series has raced at Indy 18 times with 14 races being won by past, reigning or future series champions.  In eight of those seasons the winner at the Brickyard has gone on to win the Sprint Cup Series title, including in four of the last seven years.

This weekend could also play an integral role in the Wild Card slot. Last year, Paul Menard vaulted himself into the thick of the wild card hunt by notching his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory at the Brickyard. There are two veteran drivers still looking for their first win of the season, which could help them as they fight for a wild card position when the checkered flag flies in the Federated Auto Parts 400 “One Last Race to Make The Chase” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway.  Carl Edwards and Jeff Gordon are both good picks to kiss the bricks this weekend.

Gordon, currently 17th in points, has four career victories at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He hasn’t won at the Brickyard since 2004, but a win this weekend could prove to be the spark that this team needs to be in contention for the wild card come September 8th.

Edwards, while 11th in points, hasn’t won at the Brickyard, but he has three career top ten finishes there. A win this weekend will help secure his chances of getting into the 2012 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

Here is a look at other drivers to keep an eye on as “The Road to Richmond” stops at the Brickyard:

Kevin Harvick:     Currently 6th in points, Harvick is no stranger to winning at the Brickyard and would love nothing more than to put Richard Childress Racing back into victory lane for a second straight year. He has a driver rating this week of 93.5 and four career top five finishes.

Kyle Busch:          As the wild card position battles start heating up, Busch finds himself currently at 13th in points with one win on the season. With the driver rating this week of 92.8, Busch knows a win this weekend could help solidify a wild card berth.

Jeff Burton:          The thought of a Wild Card berth for Virginia native Burton is a stretch.  He’s currently 19th in points, but he’s the eleventh-best on the driver rating list this week at 90.9.  He’s never won at the Brickyard, but does have one top five and five top 10 finishes.

Follow all the excitement on “The Road to Richmond,” which culminates on Saturday, September 8, for the Federated Auto Parts 400, which is the “One Last Race to Make The Chase” at Richmond International Raceway. Tickets for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race start at $45 in advance and can be purchased online by clicking here or by calling 866-455-7223.

The weekend begins on Friday, September 7, with a full day of on-track activity, highlighted by the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race. Advance tickets start at $30, with children 12 and younger admitted free with a ticketed adult in general admission sections. Click here or call 866-455-7223 for tickets and information.

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