Behind the Barriers: Saturday at the Brickyard

Bill Elliott failed to make the field for the 15th running of the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard leaving only four drivers who have competed in every event. Jeff Gordon, Jeff Burton, Bobby Labonte and Mark Martin have competed in all 15 NASCAR...

Bill Elliott failed to make the field for the 15th running of the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard leaving only four drivers who have competed in every event. Jeff Gordon, Jeff Burton, Bobby Labonte and Mark Martin have competed in all 15 NASCAR races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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ESPN will broadcast the 15th running of the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis on Sunday, July 27, at 1 p.m. ET, the first of 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup races to be televised on ESPN and ABC to close out the 2008 season. Joining the broadcast team of Dr. Jerry Punch, Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree will be In-Race reporter Tony Stewart. ESPN vice president Rich Feinberg said Stewart was an easy choice for the job. "Here at ESPN, it's pretty simple - we love Tony Stewart. Tony speaks his mind. We're all very, very familiar with his passion about that racetrack and his love of the Indiana area and the Midwest, and to me it made absolute perfect sense to have the defending champion and a very outspoken one be our In-Race Reporter and add to the show for the fans."

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Sam Hornish Jr. and Patrick Carpentier became the 12th and 13th drivers to have competed in both the Indianapolis 500 and the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. They join Tony Stewart, John Andretti, Robby Gordon, Juan Pablo Montoya, J.J. Yeley, Jason Leffler, Scott Pruett, Geoff Brabham, Danny Sullivan, A.J. Foyt and Larry Foyt in that category.

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Allstate is using its partnership with NASCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to promote their activities within the motorcycle community. Visitors to the Allstate Mobile Garage Tour during the activities at Allstate 400 will have a rare opportunity to view one of the latest innovations in on-road riding. The street legal, Can-Am Spyder roadster is sure to impress with two wheels in the front and one in the rear. While at the Mobile Garage visitors will be treated to an interactive experience offering massage chairs, misting stations, custom motorcycle displays, and Web access to AllstateGarage.com among other free activities. Fans will also have the chance to check out a completely refurbished classic early model Puch 250 and enter to win a custom-built chopper-style motorcycle, dubbed the "Allstate Chopper," designed specifically for the insurer. Visit AllstateGarage.com for more info.

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Despite Jimmie Johnson's pole speed (181.763 mph) being the slowest since Jimmy Spencer (179.666 mph) was on the pole in 2001, the field separation from pole to slowest is the widest in the history of the race. Clint Bowyer, who will start 40th, averaged 174.856 mph on his qualifying run. His qualifying lap was 1.956 seconds slower than the pole time.

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The traits of Indianapolis Motor Speedway's are notorious for varying given small changes in the weather. The draw for the qualifying order was important as most drivers were hoping to make their run early in the session when temperatures are cool. Four of the top five qualifiers went out in the first 22 cars.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers John Andretti , Jeff Burton , Bill Elliott , Jeff Gordon , Dale Jarrett , Bobby Labonte , Tony Stewart , Jason Leffler , Jimmy Spencer , Robby Gordon , Patrick Carpentier , Scott Pruett , Larry Foyt , Jimmie Johnson , Danny Sullivan , Andy Petree , J.J. Yeley , Clint Bowyer , Geoff Brabham , A.J. Foyt , Sam Hornish Jr. , Mark Martin