Fast Five: Takeaways from Indianapolis

Fast Five: Takeaways from Indianapolis

Photo Credit: Bobby Ellis/NASCAR via Getty Images

Kyle Busch led a race-high 149 laps in a peerless performance at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday afternoon. The win is Busch’s 38th career Sprint Cup Series victory and his fourth of the 2016 season. For more, read our complete race recap.

1. Kyle Busch — Busch accomplished something that had never been done in the history of NASCAR this weekend. He won both events from pole position. Busch led all but one lap on Saturday in the XFINITY Series race and led a NASCAR Indianapolis record 149 laps on Sunday.

2. Toyota’s dominance in “Crown Jewel” events — Toyota continued their streak of peerless performances in the Sprint Cup Series’ biggest events. Dating back to the 2015 Coca-Cola 600, Toyota is undefeated in the Daytona 500, Coca-Cola 600, Brickyard 400, and Southern 500. Big races mean big exposure and no manufacturer has taken advantage of that in recent memory like Toyota.

3. Attendance — Attendence looked poor at Indianapolis on Sunday. However, there are some things to consider.

A) Weather: the Brickyard 400 has a history of being contested in the hottest part of the year in a humid climate. It’s hard to determine the exact effect, but it’s quite possible that was on the minds of some race fans.
B) Seating Capacity: Indianapolis Motor Speedway has a permanent seating capacity of 235,000 (with room in the infield for tens of thousands more). Estimates asserted that around 50,000 people were in attendance on Sunday. An attendance range of that scope would look excellent at tracks like Homestead, Phoenix, Martinsville, and Chicagoland.

Attendance, for a race of this magnitude, is cause for concern, but all things must be considered.

4. Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart’s last Brickyard ride — Gordon and Stewart have now likely competed in their final Brickyard 400 and they celebrated in remarkable fashion. Both legendary drivers rode side-by-side after the checkered flag flew for one final lap around the famed 2.5-mile speedway. Moments like this in motorsports are precious and should be treasured.

5. Tony Stewart Has Still “Got It” — For the fifth time in the last six races, Tony Stewart brought home a finish inside the top 11. Throughout the past six weeks, Stewart has demonstrated through his driving that he still possesses the sheer determination and ambition to succeed at the pinnacle of American motorsport. He is primed for one final Chase push.