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Brickyard 400

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Track Facts

Venue: Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Race length: 400 miles
No. of laps: 160
Qualifying: Sat., 2 p.m. ET
Race: Sun., 1:20 p.m. ET (ESPN)
STAT OF THE WEEK
Chevy dominance: No manufacturer other than Chevrolet has won at Indianapolis since 2003.
LAST JULY'S RACE
Top 5
1. Paul Menard
2. Jeff Gordon
3. Regan Smith
4. Jamie McMurray
5. Matt Kenseth
RECENT WINNERS
2011: Paul Menard
2010: Jamie McMurray
2009: Jimmie Johnson
2008: Jimmie Johnson
2007: Tony Stewart
2006: Jimmie Johnson
2005: Tony Stewart
2004: Jeff Gordon
2003: Kevin Harvick
2002: Bill Elliott
ALSO THIS WEEKEND:
Nationwide Series
Indy 250, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Sat. 4:50 p.m.

EXPERT STANDINGS
Busbee:  593 points (1 win)
Hart:  588 points (2 wins)
Bromberg:  563 points (0 wins)
YAHOO! SPORTS FANTASY AUTO RACING
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Indianapolis preview (PDF)

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for Sunday's Brickyard 400.

Paul Menard is the defending race winner.

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Who Will Win?

Kevin Harvick: This is where it starts for Kevin Harvick. He's one of only two drivers without a win in the top 10, and while he's in no real danger of falling out of the top 10, it's time to start thinking momentum heading into the Chase. Plus, he's got success at Indy: In 11 races, he's finished lower than 11th only twice, and has a win and four top-5 finishes. It's almost Happy time. – Jay Busbee

Jimmie Johnson: It's about this time of year that Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus begin their championship push. Per the usual, they're in the hunt but not necessarily leading at this point of the season – Johnson sits fourth after 19 races – then they kick it into gear at Indy. In three of Johnson's five title years, he won at the Brickyard. He'll grab win No. 4 Sunday. – Jay Hart

Kasey Kahne: In the span of 13 races, the question about Kasey Kahne will have gone from "Can he recover?" to "Is he a favorite to win the Chase?" Kahne's second win all but secured a wild card berth for the Chase. A third would clinch it and close him in on a spot in the top 10 in the points standings where he'll get valuable bonus points for those wins at the start of the Chase. – Nick Bromberg

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Top Storyline

It's now officially win-or-go-home (well, win-or-miss-Chase) for several drivers, including Jeff Gordon, Paul Menard, Marcos Ambrose and Carl Edwards. All of these guys simply have to get a victory to hold onto any faint hope of making the Chase, and the Hail Marys will start this weekend. Fuel mileage gambles and pit-stop quick-stops will be the order of the day; top 5s don't do anyone any good now. – Jay Busbee

Will this Brickyard 400 come down to fuel mileage again? Fuel mileage races haven't been nearly as popular in 2012 as they were last year. We're overdue for a fuel mileage race, so it wouldn't be a shock to see a similar scenario to last year, where Paul Menard outlasted everyone on fuel. – Nick Bromberg

Empty seats – expect a lot of them Sunday. Running at the Brickyard carries some prestige, I guess, but what does it say about the health of a sport when there are 120,000 or so unsold tickets to one of its "premier events"? – Jay Hart

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FROM THE SOURCE

"I've read about the history and read about how it has survived two world wars and how it was basically the proving grounds for the automobile back in the turn of the century. I would love to be able to say I've won a race there. It’s at the top of the list. It battles with tracks like Daytona." – Dale Earnhardt Jr.

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