2010-07-29 / Sports

McMurray Claims Brickyard 400 Win

By Gerald Hodges
The Racing Reporter

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Jamie McMurray gained the lead from Kevin Harvick on a restart with 15 laps to go in the 17th running of the 160- lap Brickyard 400, and pulled away for his fifth career Sprint Cup victory.

“When Kevin got by me with just a few laps to go, I thought it was over,” said McMurray. “My car was real tight, but he gave me the outside on the restart, and that was what I needed. I was better at the end.”

“With 10 laps to go my crew chief said, ‘Do what you’ve got to do and don’t worry about those other guys.’ ”

McMurray became only the third driver in series history to win both the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 in the same year. The other two drivers were Dale Jarrett (1996) and Jimmie Johnson (2006).

His win also gave team owner Chip Ganassi his first Trifecta; a win in the Daytona 500, Brickyard 400 and Indianapolis 500.

McMurray’s teammate, Juan Montoya started on the pole and led 86 laps. During a caution period late in the race, Montoya’s team elected to put four fresh tires on his car, while most of the other teams only took two.

When Montoya returned to the track he was eighth. Then on Lap 143, he spun out of control and hit the outside wall. As he slid down the track, Dale Earnhardt Jr. ran into him, putting both cars out of the race. Earnhardt finished 27th, while Montoya was 32nd.

Second-place finisher Kevin Harvick is still the points leader.

“I got tight going into the corner and I had to wait on my car, and Jamie was able to use the momentum he had to get by me,” said Harvick. “My car never acted like that again. We had a top-5 car, and we had a chance to win, but couldn’t quite make it happen.”

Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer, Tony Stewart, Jeff Burton, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, and Kurt Busch were the remaining top-10 drivers

Top-20 Chase contenders after 20 of 36 races. Note: Only the top-12 drivers will be in the final 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. 1. Harvick-2920, 2. J. Gordon-2736, 3. Hamlin- 2660, 4. Johnson-2659, 5. Kurt Busch-2658, 6. Kyle Busch-2630, 7. Burton-2615, 8. Kenseth-2573, 9. Stewart- 2544, 10. Edwards-2496, 11. Biffle-2462, 12. Bowyer-2446, 13. Martin-2384, 14. Earnhardt 2353, 15. Newman- 2299, 16. McMurray-2295, 17. Kahne-2290, 18. Reutimann- 2269, 19. Logano-2241, 20. Truex-2145

Kyle Busch bests Edwards in Nationwide Race

There was no controversial finish in last Saturday night’s Nationwide series race, but for the second week race in a row, Carl Edwards went side-by-side for the lead on the final lap, but Kyle Busch held Edwards off to win the Kroger 200 at the 0.686-mile track.

Last week at Gateway International Raceway, Edwards dumped Brad Keselowski coming to the checkered flag, triggering a multicar accident and forcing NASCAR to penalize both drivers.

This time, Edwards raced Busch cleanly, and Busch grabbed his 38th career Nationwide Series victory, second only to Mark Martin on the all-time win list. Martin has 48 wins in the series.

Edwards and some others on the lead lap pitted for fresh tires on Lap 162, with Edwards restarting 11th with 28 laps to go. Edwards sliced through the top 10 to get to second, and a caution came out with six laps to go.

On the green-whitecheckered restart, Busch got the jump on Edwards into Turn 1, though Edwards tried to get to the inside lane on the white-flag lap and on the final lap. But Busch was up to the task. He led four times for 144 laps.

Ron Hornaday, who won Friday night’s Camping World Truck Series race here, ran in the top five for most of the race until he and the lapped car of J.C. Stout got together in Turn 2 on Lap 161, and he finished 28th.

Aric Almirola, Trevor Bayne, Reed Sorenson, Brendan Gaughan, Justin Allgaier, Brad Keselowski, Paul Menard, and Steven Wallace were the remaining top-10 finishers.

Top-10 points leaders after 20 of 35: 1. Keselowski- 3189, 2. Edwards-2989, 3. Allgaier 2691, 4. Kyle Busch- 2681, 5. Menard-2505, 6. Harvick 2434, 7. S. Wallace-2338, 8. Gaughan-2277, 9. Bayne- 2205, 10.Leffler-2161

Hornaday is Indy Truck winner

Ron Hornaday snapped a 22-race winless streak in the Truck Series on Friday night, winning the AAA Insurance 200 at O’Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis ahead of Kyle Busch.

Top-10 points leaders after 12 of 25: 1. Bodine-1861, 2. Almirola-1684, 3. Sauter- 1679, 4. Hornaday-1649, 5. Peters-1649, 6. Dillon-1584, 7. Crafton-1583, 8. Skinner- 1574, 9. Starr-1528, 10. White- 1493

Early NASCAR driver passes away

Earl Brooks of Lynchburg, Va., passed away last week.

His life story proves that not all the winners see victory lane. In his 262-race Cup career, Brooks never got to the checkered flag first, but the man still played an important part in NASCAR history.

Brooks began competing in NASCAR Grand National Racing in 1962, with most of his starts coming between 1967 and 1971, while Richard Petty, Bobby Allison, David Pearson and Bobby Isaacs were trading paint.

But that is not his real claim to fame.

Perhaps he will be best remembered for the way he offered help to the lone African-American to win a top series NASCAR race, Wendell Scott. Brooks and Scott traveled together, shared tools and shared parts. At a time when doing such a thing wasn’t so fashionable, Brooks and Ned Jarrett were a big part of keeping Wendell Scott competitive.

Brooks also owned cars driven by Dave Marcis, Ed Negre and Dick May among others. He was known as the “Earl of Lynchburg,” hailing from that Virginia city. He was 80 years old.

Not all winners get trophies, and not everyone who gets trophies is a winner. Earl Brooks, in his own understated way, was a champion.

Weekend Racing: The Sprint Cup and Truck teams will be at the 2.5-mile Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania. The Nationwide teams travel to Newton, Iowa.

Sat., July 31, Camping World Truck Series race 13 of 25; Starting time: 12:30 p.m. ET; TV: Speed.

Sat., July 31, U. S. Cellular 250 Nationwide Series race 21 of 35: Starting time: 7 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN2.

Sun., Aug. 1 Sprint Cup Pennsylvania 500, race 21 of 36: Starting time: 1 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN.

Racing Trivia Question: Who was the 2005 Sprint Cup champion?

Last Week’s Question: Who was the winner of the inaugural Brickyard 400? Answer. Jeff Gordon won the inaugural Brickyard 400 in 1994.

You may contact the Racing Reporter at: hodgesnews@ earthlink.net

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