Pete Pistone takes a look at some pertinent facts and information to help set your fantasy racing lineup for Sunday’s Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Who’s HOT at Indianapolis
Kyle Busch – Forget last year’s 34th-place finish because Busch will be good at Indianapolis Sunday and has been there for a while. He’s a rare company as a back-to-back winner (2015-2016) and has been in the top-10 seven of the last eight Indy races.
Kevin Harvick – Four straight top-10 runs for Harvick coming into this year’s Indy trip, including a pair of back-to-back sixth place performances.
Joey Logano – Indy means the world to team owner Roger Penske with all of his Indianapolis 500 success and Logano looks to bring “The Captain” his first Brickyard win. His fourth-place last year was Logano’s fifth straight top 10 there.
Ryan Newman – One of the drivers that has to win Sunday to make the playoffs, Newman might have the best chance of the bunch. He’s a former Indy race winner and was third in last year’s wild finish.
Jimmie Johnson – He’s been anything but “hot” this year but Johnson does have the best average finish of series regulars at 10.5 over the last 10 races, including a third as recently as 2016.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – He has to win to repeat last year’s trip to the playoffs and faces long odds based on previous Indianapolis finishes adding to a 26.2 average.
Chase Elliott – The Hendrick Motorsports driver has not finished higher than 15th in three Indianapolis starts and was 39th last year.
Ryan Blaney – Indianapolis on the Cup side has not been kind to Blaney who has also made three career Cup starts with finishes of 12th, 36th and 23rd.
Kurt Busch – He’s in the playoffs and having a good season but overcoming past Indianapolis performance will be key for Busch Sunday. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver’s last 10 starts have added up to an average finish of 22.9.
David Ragan – A long shot driver with very long Indy odds best describes Ragan. His 27.4 average finish over the last ten races has runs of 37th and 38th the last two seasons.
Who to Keep an Eye On at Indianapolis
Kyle Larson – He had a dominating performance last week at Bristol leading 284 laps but finishing third. He’s had three top-10 finishes in four career Indy Cup starts.
Martin Truex Jr. – In the news thanks to the closing of Furniture Row Racing at season’s end and the defending champion will have to deal with the rumors of his future while trying to overcome an 18.0 average Indy finish in the last 10 starts.
Jamie McMurray – He had a penchant for winning big races earlier in his career, including at Indianapolis. He needs another trip to Victory Lane to make the playoffs but hasn’t been in the top five since 2011.
Brad Keselowski – Momentum from last week’s Darlington win and a second-place finish a year ago at Indy makes Keselowski an interesting guy to watch again in the Team Penske stable.
Daniel Suarez – One start and it was a seventh-place finish.