Racing at Indianapolis – What it Means to NASCAR Drivers
The NASCAR Cup Race Series returns to Indianapolis for the Brickyard 400 Sunday. You can hear the race on WBKR at 11:00 a.m.The Indy track is racing’s most revered. For nearly a century only one race was run there – the Indianapolis 500. Great names like Shaw, Clark, Foyt and Rutherford preceded the great current crop of drivers who have won since the inaugural NASCAR Cup race in 1994. Here’s what some of those winners have to say about the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis.
He was 23 when he won the first cup series victory in 1994. “Growing up near here, dreaming about racing here and to get to finally do it in 1994, was a dream come true. I couldn’t even imagine winning it, let alone winning three more times”.
“Going to Indy put us (NASCAR) in another position, wow Indy. We went there, put on good races and it was good for us to be there and good for Indy, too. Good for the racetrack, good for the area”.
Four-time by winner Jimmie Johnson says Indy’s history has united generations of race fans: “My grandfather talked about his heroes who raced on that track. I remember that childhood aspect of it and in my upbringing was Rick Mears and Robbie Gordon, that’s the route I went, now to go back to that track and win four times – it’s insane” Jimmie says it is like a Daytona win, maybe better. “Winning at Indy again might top a Daytona win. The track is so technical and hard to drive it. The challenge that goes with it are the rewards”.
2011’s victor says, “It’s the best racetrack in the world and one I always wanted to win at”. His dad, John owned and sponsored an Indy car team and Paul went every one of them from 1989-2003. “I even spotted for a couple of different drivers”. He says his 2011 victory was his greatest win. He was there for the first one and he will be trying to win the 20th one.