NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Matt McLaughlin’s Driver Handicaps: 2007 Brickyard 400 Edition

Jeff Gordon – Gordon has won a track record four Brickyard 400s, including the inaugural event in 1994. He’s also managed 10 top-10 finishes here in 13 starts. The Indiana transplant is hugely popular with the fans in Indy, as well.

Denny Hamlin – Hamlin finished 10th here last year in his only Brickyard start to date. Prowess at Pocono is often an indicator of a driver’s chances at Indy, and I don’t think anyone will dispute Hamlin does OK at Long Pond.

Matt Kenseth – Kenseth finished second here last year and also was runner-up in 2003. He has four top-five finishes in seven starts at Indy.

Jeff Burton – Burton won the pole here last year but finished 15th. His average finish in 13 Brickyard starts is 19th.

Carl Edwards – Edwards finished ninth here last year and 12th in 2005.

Tony Stewart – The Indianapolis Motor Speedway holds a special place in Stewart’s heart because of his open wheel and Indiana roots. He won here in 2005 and finished 12th or better in all but one of his seven Brickyard NASCAR starts.

Jimmie Johnson – Johnson won last year’s Brickyard 400, a move which surprised many people. But even with that win, Johnson’s average finish here is still a lowly 20th.

NEFF: 2007 BRICKYARD 400 FANTASY INSIDER

Kevin Harvick – Harvick won the Brickyard 400 in 2003 and has top-10 results in four of his six starts. He’s averaging an eighth-place finish in those six races.

Kyle Busch – Busch has started two Cup races at Indy and produced top-10 finishes in each.

Clint Bowyer – Bowyer qualified for the outside pole here last year and finished fourth in the race itself.

Martin Truex Jr. – To date, Truex has finished 42nd and 19th at the Brickyard. With the roll this team is on right now, I predict much better things for the fish bunch this weekend.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. – Junior posted his best ever Brickyard finish with a sixth-place result here last year. He’s averaging a 19th-place finish at Indy over seven starts.

Ryan Newman – As a former resident of South Bend, this track is important to Newman. But he hasn’t given his hometown fans much to cheer about at Indy; his best finish in six starts here was fourth in 2004, which is offset by three finishes outside the top 30.

Kurt Busch – Busch has three top-10 finishes in six starts here, but he missed the top 10 the last two times out at Indy.

Jamie McMurray – McMurray finished third in the first of his four Brickyard 400 starts. Unfortunately, each subsequent finish here has been poorer than the last. He was down to 26th place last year, so he has a lot more positions to lose before bottoming out.

Greg Biffle – Biffle finished sixth here in 2004, but his other three Brickyard 400 starts resulted in finishes outside the top 20.

Casey Mears – Like Biffle, Mears has a sixth-place finish with three other finishes outside the top 20 at Indy. Unlike Biffle, his family has enjoyed a lot of success here – so maybe that’ll give him a leg up.

Mark Martin – Martin has seven finishes of seventh or better in 13 Brickyard 400 starts.

JJ Yeley – Yeley didn’t fare too well here last year, finishing 34th.

Juan Pablo Montoya – Montoya has won at Indy, just not in a car with fenders.

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