Behind the Barriers - Brickyard 400

Tony Stewart will drive the No. 14 Chevrolet Impala SS when he becomes driver and team owner next season. Stewart said he wanted to drive the No. 14 car because it was the number used by his boyhood hero A. J. Foyt. During his first Indianapolis...

Tony Stewart will drive the No. 14 Chevrolet Impala SS when he becomes driver and team owner next season. Stewart said he wanted to drive the No. 14 car because it was the number used by his boyhood hero A. J. Foyt. During his first Indianapolis 500, Stewart said he witnessed Foyt getting out of the car and beating it with a hammer before returning to the race. "That's guy's crazy," said Stewart, and we have a lot in common. "We both like to beat things up, stir things up and neither one of us will ever be a spokesman for Jenny Craig."

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After qualifying at Pocono earlier this year, Mark Martin predicted a victory at Indianapolis. "A few weeks ago, we kind of shocked everyone in the media center when I said that we were going to Indy looking to win the Brickyard 400, but I meant what I said. Indy is one of the crown jewels of racing and we have the team that can get it done. Our car was awesome at Phoenix and Richmond and we parked it after that in order to have it for the Brickyard 400. What we learned at those tracks should really apply well at Indy and I'm excited about our chances this weekend."

Martin has finished in the top-ten in nine of the 14 races at Indianapolis but the historic Speedway is one of six tracks where the veteran driver has failed to score a victory. The other five are Loudon, Daytona, Chicago, Pocono and Homestead.

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Bobby East led all 100 laps to win the USAC Silver Crown race at O-Reilly Raceway Park last night. Ryan Newman finished second. In the USAC Midget division, Chuck Gurney Jr. won the race with NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne finishing second.

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Jeff Gordon will be making a bid to become the second person to win five major auto races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend. Michael Schumacher won the United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis in 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006. Gordon has scored victories in the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard in 1994, 1998, 2001 and 2004. A.J. Foyt Jr., Al Unser and Rick Mears have all scored four victories in the Indianapolis 500.

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Marcus Ambrose will have his work cut out for him when he attempts to qualify for his first NASCAR race at Indianapolis. Ambrose will be making his Speedway debut with a brand new team. JTG/Daugherty Racing, which plans a full-time schedule next year, will make four selected appearances this year, kicking off with one of the biggest races of the stock car season. "This is a dream come true," Ambrose said. "I don't know if I feel quite worthy of this honor. It will take time. I've got questions I can't answer yet. As a team I think that it is a huge advantage to get out there and run against the best in the business. I'm sure that it will give us a head start on our 2009 campaign."

JTG Racing currently fields a pair of Nationwide Series cars with Ambrose and Kelly Bires as drivers. The team's expansion into the Sprint Cup Series this year includes the use of the No. 47 Ford Fusion.

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Five drivers have run in all 14 editions of the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard: Jeff Burton, Bill Elliott, Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte and Mark Martin. All five are entered in this year's event.

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Seven drivers will attempt to qualify for their first Allstate 400 at the Brickyard: Michael McDowell, Regan Smith, Patrick Carpentier, Marcos Ambrose, Stanton Barrett, Sam Hornish Jr., and A.J. Allmendinger.

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Juan Pablo Montoya is the only driver to have competed in the Indianapolis 500 (1st, 2000), Allstate 400 at the Brickyard (2nd, 2007) and the United States Grand Prix Formula One event (2001-2006). 2007 Firestone Indy Lights champion Alex Lloyd is the only driver to have won races on both the road course and the oval at Indianapolis.

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Kyle Busch will compete in all three Indianapolis-area races this weekend. After practice and qualifying at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Busch will head to O'Reilly Raceway Park where he'll compete in the Craftsman Truck Series on Friday night and the Nationwide Series on Saturday night. "It's going to be busy, that's for sure," said Busch. "I'm looking forward to it."

The hectic schedule could prevent Busch from making a qualifying run at ORP. "We may have to start in the back and come through the field at ORP, but I feel like we have a good shot at having some good runs."

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In response to current economic conditions, Lowes Motor Speedway announced this week a plan to reduce the overall cost for fans to attend the tracks's NASCAR races this fall. In an unprecedented move for a NASCAR race market, 35 hotels located within approximately 30 miles of Lowe's Motor Speedway have agreed to reduce their nightly race week room rates by 15 percent and waive their minimum stay requirements. In conjunction with Circle K and Coca-Cola, Lowe's Motor Speedway has introduced the Circle K Family Four-Pack for just $159. The unique race-day experience includes four reserved Diamond Tower seats for the Oct. 11 event along with four hot dogs and four 20-ounce Coca-Colas. The $159 price represents a savings of 30 percent if the same tickets and concession items were purchased separately. In addition, each person purchasing the Family Four-Pack will receive a coupon for a free 12-pack of Coke Zero that may be redeemed at a participating Circle K store.

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During the off-week, Ryan Newman traveled to his hometown of South Bend, Ind., where a road was named in his honor. The half-mile stretch of highway near the South Bend Regional Airport was renamed Newman Way.

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With the addition of a new sponsor, Travis Kvapil and crew chief Todd Parrott will be sporting new colors this weekend. Kvapil will drive the No. 28 Hitachi Power Tools Ford this weekend. "I'm looking forward to getting back behind the wheel this weekend," Kvapil said. "It was great to have time to spend with my family, but I'm very excited to get to Indianapolis and the legendary Brickyard. We have a great new sponsor on our car this weekend with Hitachi Power Tools and our goal is to showcase our No. 28 Hitachi Power Tools Ford with a strong performance all weekend long. I feel that a lot of times, teams who perform well at Pocono Raceway, perform well at Indy. A lot of the information we obtained at Pocono for our test as well as the race in June will help us as we look ahead to this weekend's race." The team will utilize chassis #457 at Indianapolis. This is the same chassis the team last ran at Texas Motor Speedway for the Samsung 500 where they finished 18th.

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Rock superstars The Goo Goo Dolls headline the entertainment Saturday, July 26 at IMS, while legendary country group The Charlie Daniels Band, country star Craig Morgan and rising country talent Casey Jamerson will perform Sunday, July 27.

Every show is free with the price of each day's admission ticket. Multi-platinum rock superstars The Goo Goo Dolls will perform a Miller Lite Rock 'N Racing concert at 4:45 p.m. (ET) Saturday on the Miller Lite Stage behind the Hall of Fame Museum.

The Charlie Daniels Band, Morgan and Jamerson will perform starting at 10 a.m. Sunday on the stage located behind the Hall of Fame Museum.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya