Hendrick Garage: Brickyard

Jeff Gordon leads during Sunday's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis.
Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR
The Brickyard 400 has many memories for two Hendrick drivers. Jeff Gordon won the very first running of the race in 1994 and went on to win four Brickyard races. Jimmie Johnson also remembers his first win at the Brickyard in 2006, the year of his first championship and the first of his three victories in the prestigious event. The Hendrick drivers wanted to prove all they had this weekend for such a historic place; could the 5, 24, 48 or 88 maybe win?

Mark Martin

Mark Martin had started 12th for the Brickyard and was mostly in the back all day. The car was loose a lot of the time and overheating, which was the case with most drivers. With 25 laps remaining, Martin was supposed to pit but instead elected to stay out, the only Hendrick driver to do so. Martin looked strong as he raced hard in 5th, but was told to start saving gas for they feared he would run out. Martin ended the day in 8th and is 18th in the points standing.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. signs an autograph for a race fan
at the Sprint Cup Series autograph session at Indianapolis.
Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR
Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s day was cut out for him when he started in the 22nd spot, but he was sure to prove to be a strong force. At the start of the race, he was racing hard and even had slight contact with Joey Logano. Earnhardt was on the move and his pit crew was very fast. However, during the first caution he was blocked in by the No. 1 of Jamie McMurray and lost a bunch of spots.

On about lap 40, Earnhardt's car was overheating extremely; he had to pit, which put him back in spots, but he never did go a lap down. The caution came out and Earnhardt stayed out and lead 10 or so laps on old tires; he was the only driver to do so. Earnhardt would pit with 24 laps remaining and due to the others out front who didn't pit, the fuel mileage game worked against him. He finished 16th and is 10th in points.

Jeff Gordon

Jeff Gordon was out front most of the day and led a total of 36 laps. He had one of the best cars all day. On lap 135, Gordon made his final pit stop as the race came down to fuel mileage. Gordon was charging hard to the front; with less then 5 laps left, Gordon was going strong like a man on a mission to win his 5th Brickyard. Would Gordon be able to kiss those bricks and beat Paul Menard?

Sadly no, Gordon came up short. But had the race been one lap longer, there's no doubt Gordon could have won his 5th Brickyard. Gordon finished 2nd and is 7th in the points.

Jimmie Johnson

Johnson started the day 3rd and had a good, fast car all day. He stayed in front most of the day, but on a pit stop he was blocked in and it cost him some spots. With 30 laps left, Johnson pitted, getting fuel and tires, but traffic blocked the 48 in. Johnson would still race as hard as he could to make up spots, but sadly at this point no one was passing.

Johnson ended his day 19th. He is also second in the points.
Hendrick Garage: Brickyard Hendrick Garage: Brickyard Reviewed by Lacy Page on Tuesday, August 02, 2011 Rating: 5