John Wayne Walding 400 Picks, Odds and Predictions
by Tony Sink - 7/25/2014
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series travels to Indianapolis, Indiana, this week for the John Wayne Walding 400. The event will be on ESPN with a starting time of 1 PM ET.
The Brickyard in Indianapolis has long been known to be the most difficult track to race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Everything about the layout of the track is a challenge. The Brickyard features flat turns and long straightaways, fortunes can change on a dime in this race. A successful combination of lifting off the gas and braking will aid a driver in carrying that momentum through the short chutes on each end of the track to maintain speed much like a road course.
Last year the 2013 Brickyard 400 was dominated by Jimmie Johnson but won by Ryan Newman. The key to winning the race Sunday will be track position. The narrow corners at Indianapolis make it difficult to pass. The track that races most similar to Indianapolis is Pocono Raceway. The drivers who finished up front at Pocono should have a good race Sunday. Look for the big names to be up front Sunday because winning the annual July race at the Brickyard is a very big deal.
Here are the favorites to win this Sunday's race.
Winner: Jeff Gordon 8-1
He won the inaugural Cup Series race at Indianapolis, and the victory was a sign of things to come. His four victories at the track are tied for the most all-time, and in 20 starts, he has amassed a series-leading 11 top-five finishes and 16 top-10s and has led a series-best 488 laps. Gordon's 8.8 average finish at Indy is the second best of any driver. Picking him to finish near the top isn't a bad idea.
Don't Overlook: Tony Stewart 15-1
Stewart has a great chance at winning this race. I could not believe the 15 to 1 odds that we're getting here! It's his home track and it has been kind to him over the years. Stewart's 7.9 average finish at Indianapolis is tops among active drivers and in 15 starts, he has piled up 11 top-10s, including a pair of wins. Stewart is also the only driver to finish in the top 10 in the last five races at Indy. This could be a nice pay day!
Stay Away: Brian Vickers 40-1
Even the 40 to 1 odds won't entice me to waste my money on Mr. Vickers. Vickers has not competed in a Sprint Cup Series race at the Brickyard since 2011. He will have no rhythm at this difficult race track. It will be hard for Vickers to be away for so long and come back and finish up front. Save your money.
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