News & Multimedia

Countdown To The 20th Running: The 1997 Brickyard 400
Date: August 2, 1997
Location: Indianapolis Motor Speed Way
Race Winner: Ricky Rudd
Pole Winner: Ernie Irvan
From January 1, 1981, to November 20, 2005, Ricky Rudd showed up at the track almost every for 788 consecutive races earning him the moniker as NASCAR’s "Iron Man." However, on August 2, 1997, Rudd was more brick than iron when he scored perhaps his most prestigious victory in the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. 
For the first two-thirds of the 1997 fourth annual Brickyard 400, it seemed that the event was headed for its first two-time winner. Jeff Gordon appeared to have one of the strongest cars in the field and defending champion of the Brickyard 400, Dale Jarrett was right in his tire tracks. The two were either leading or in the battle for the lead, along with others like Jeff Burton and Ernie Irvan.
As the final third portion of the race began, Virginia native Ricky Rudd decided to play a fuel-mileage game, knowing it was his only hope of winning. Rudd’s Tide Ford conserved fuel from the beginning of the race. The fuel window was in the 38-42 lap range for all the teams. With 46 laps to go and a full load of fuel on board, Rudd decided to roll the dice. The final tour of the 2.5-mile oval began. While other teams began plans to make their final pit stop with 10 laps to go, Rudd maintained his conservative pace.
With 14 laps remaining in the race, the yellow flag flew after Robby Gordon slapped the wall between the first and second turns. Most teams headed for pit road but Rudd, Bobby Labonte and Johnny Benson remained on the track and gained the front of the field for the restart. The race restarted on lap 151.
Rudd’s lead was erased when Rich Bickle hit the third turn wall on lap 154 of the 160-lap race. Rudd was still at the point, but he now had to be concerned with a furious dash to the checkered flag if the green flag waved again. The cleanup was speedy, and with three laps left in the event, the green flag flew. Because the restart came with less than 10 laps to go, it was a single-file start, eliminating any problem for Rudd with lapped cars on his left, and he was able to burst away to a small lead. Bobby Labonte followed Ricky Rudd in preparation for a single-file restart with just three laps remaining in the race. Labonte was unable to catch Rudd after the green flag flew, but did manage to protect his position and finish second.
Rudd motored to a .183-second victory, becoming the fourth different driver to win the Brickyard 400. The independent owner/driver had just beaten the biggest teams in the sport in the richest race of the year.
Stories and excerpts used from The Official NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Yearbooks are used with permission of Round 5 Books and UMI Publications.
Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Countdown To The 20th Running: The 1997 Brickyard 400
 
Countdown To The 20th Running: The 1997 Brickyard 400
From January 1, 1981, to November 20, 2005, Ricky Rudd showed up at the track almost every for 788 consecutive races earning him the moniker as NASCAR’s "Iron Man." However, on August 2, 1997, Rudd was more brick than iron when he scored perhaps his most prestigious victory in the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
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
A special message from IMS president @jdouglas4 for fans before you head to The Speedway before the 100th #Indy500 https://t.co/iqddyCct9f
about 7 hours ago