What an exciting weekend off the bricks at Indi.
The Brickyard 400 race may have lacked sizzle on the track and in the stands, but the events before and after the race caused quite the stir. Here’s a breakdown of winners and losers from Sunday’s Brickyard 400.
Win: Hendrick Motorsports
Jeff Gordon won the race, dominated the post-race headlines with the fifth career win at the Brickyard narrative and has the most points of any Sprint Cup driver in 2014. Kasey Kahne is now just four points out of the final Chase spot. Jimmie Johnson did nothing to harm himself. Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the tweet of the week award.
I love my mom. pic.twitter.com/eLEe7KDzbt
— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) July 27, 2014
Lose: Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Drivers respect the track. Fans don’t seem respect the experience. The local paper suggests attendance of between 75,000-90,000. Two years ago, the attendance was 125,000. Indi’s seating capacity is 250,000. That can make for some tough visuals both on TV and online.
— IndyStar Sports (@IndyStarSports) July 25, 2014
Nascar has a much larger attendance issue than just this race. But it’s tough for the Brickyard to be the second biggest race on the Sprint Cup schedule and look like that during the race. Coupled with some uneventful action and one of racing’s most historical places didn’t have a historically great weekend.
Draw: Carl Edwards
Talk about burying the lead. By all accounts, Edwards will join a fourth team at Joe Gibbs Racing. On one hand, this looks like an upgrade in technology. Plus Matt Kenseth almost won the Sprint Cup in his first year with JRG; so, the trail has been paved here.
But speaking of Kenseth, several articles suggest it’s not like he and Edwards were best buddies at Roush. Edwards and Kyle Busch also haven’t seen eye to eye. And the last time a team added a fourth car, Richard Childress Racing dropped that fourth car a year later because it messed up the team chemistry so much.
Carl Edwards was a lap away from winning the Sprint Cup in 2011 and hasn’t been within a mile of it since. Maybe the move is Matt Kesneth 2.0. Maybe it fizzles like Brickyard attendance.