News & Multimedia

Mast Still Cherishes Magical Qualifying Run At Inaugural Brickyard

For the inaugural Brickyard 400 in 1994, Rick Mast’s car number of “1” equaled his starting position in a qualifying effort that made history that has survived and thrived for 17 years.

Seventeen years later, Mast is still autographing inaugural Brickyard memorabilia.

“Believe it or not, I still do,” Mast said. “It’s the craziest thing I’ve ever seen. I suppose it averages about two a month. I was fortunate that I came through the sport the way I did. I’ve been out of the sport eight years. You can ask anybody who won the pole at a race, and it’s like asking who finished second. But not that race.”

On Pole Day, Dale Earnhardt went out 12th and reeled off a lap of 171.726 mph to bump Brett Bodine off the pole in the early going. Mast was next to go.

“We had a number we were shooting for,” Mast said. “We knew how the track changed with sun covers and cloud covers. We had a rain delay, and I went to A.J. (Foyt) and he said the track would be faster, so we didn’t adjust anything.

“Earnhardt put his number up. Then when I ran, it was as good a lap as I had run, but I figured somebody might knock it off.”

Mast’s run was 172.414 mph. And nobody “knocked it off.”

Mast led the first two laps of the inaugural Brickyard 400 before finishing 22nd. The qualifying performance made him an important part of Brickyard lore, history that started even before the inaugural race Aug. 6, 1994.

“My first Cup race was in ’88, and I didn’t run fulltime until ‘91,” Mast said. “When I came in full time, people were starting to talk about Indianapolis. For two years, it was set. Indy was a big deal.

“I think we left Michigan and went down for a tire test. There were so many people at that test, talking to us, getting autographs. We weren’t even in the market, and people knew who we were.

“When we got there for the race, everybody wanted to be first on everything at Indy -- first on the track, first to do this or that. Guys like Earnhardt and (Rusty) Wallace understood the ramifications of the history at the time. I was still relatively new as a full-time driver, and I don’t think I understood it as well as those guys did.

“I totally get it now.”

Mast said drivers have “favorite” tracks.

“Every driver -- there’s some little place at certain tracks that they’re fastest through the turns, or the pressure on the right-side tires is different or they hit the apex a little better,” Mast said. “Certain drivers at certain tracks run fast. Dover was a track like that for me, and so was Rockingham. Indianapolis was like that for me.”

He talked about the new experience at Indy.

“All the guys in the yellow shirts had worked there for years,” he said. “Those guys were nice. NASCAR did a lot of schooling with us on how they did things up there. Bill (France Jr.) told us in the drivers’ meeting not to do anything to embarrass us. He didn’t want everybody to crash in the first turn. We stayed in the Speedway Motel. That’s not there now. We had police escorts everywhere. We went across the street to the Steak ‘n Shake for lunch.”

Since he retired, he hasn’t returned to Indy.

“I have not,” he said. “I go to about four or five races a year and just go on qualifying days when I can talk to people. But I was just thinking last night, ‘Dang, I need to go back up there to Indy.’
“I’ll try to get up there next year. That’d be cool.”

***

2011 Brickyard 400 tickets: Tickets are on sale for the 2011 Brickyard 400 on Sunday, July 31 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Race Day ticket prices start at just $30. Fans can buy tickets online at www.imstix.com, by calling the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700, or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area, or by visiting the ticket office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday.

Children 12 and under will receive free general admission to any IMS event in 2011 when accompanied by an adult general admission ticket holder.

Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are on sale. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at (866) 221-8775 for more information.

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Mast Still Cherishes Magical Qualifying Run At Inaugural Brickyard
 
Mast Still Cherishes Magical Qualifying Run At Inaugural Brickyard
For the inaugural Brickyard 400 in 1994, Rick Mast's car number of "1" equaled his starting position in a qualifying effort that made history that has survived and thrived for 17 years.
Read More
Related Media
Holiday Event
 
IMS Announces Spectacular Holiday Event: 'Lights at the Brickyard' Coming in 2016
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will bring new levels of cheer to this holiday season with a spectacular “Lights at the Brickyard” seasonal event. Attendees will experience more than 40 scenes filled with 400 light displays along a 1.7-mile driving experience, which includes crossing the famous “Yard of Bricks” at IMS.
Read More
Crown Royal 400 at the Brickyard
 
2017 Crown Royal Presents the "Your Hero's Name Here" 400 at the Brickyard Date Set for Sunday, July 23
The 2017 Crown Royal Presents the “Your Hero’s Name Here” 400 at the Brickyard, one of the marquee events in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, will take place on Sunday, July 23, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Read More
Colts Draft Party
 
Indianapolis Colts to Host Fourth and Fifth Round Draft Selections at IMS
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is hosting the Indianapolis Colts’ Official Draft Party for the fourth and fifth rounds of the NFL Draft. Come out to IMS from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 30, to witness the Colts’ selections. The event is free and there will be Colts player and cheerleader appearances. You will be able to watch live picks for the rounds made by Colts personalities and Verizon IndyCar Series drivers. There will be complete draft coverage along with fun activities and games from the Indianapolis Colts organization as well.
Read More
Tony Stewart
 
NASCAR Drivers Turn Test Laps in Advance of July's Crown Royal 400 at the Brickyard
NASCAR drivers Aric Almirola, Carl Edwards, Chase Elliott and Stewart turned laps at IMS on Tuesday and Wednesday for a Goodyear tire test in advance of the Crown Royal presents the “Your Hero’s Name Here” 400 at the Brickyard on July 22-24.
Read More
IMS Mobile App
 
IMS Releases New and Improved Race Day Mobile App
With the historic 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil just around the corner, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has released a new and improved IMS Mobile App.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 676
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at lwyman@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
Re: Fans purchasing on the secondary market. The only ticket or parking pass we can gaurantee is the real one that is purchased from IMS.
about 4 hours ago