Kroger Super Weekend At The Brickyard Notebook
Danica Patrick will race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car for the first time Sunday, July 28, but she’s still in her comfort zone.
Sprint Cup rookie Patrick will drive the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet in the Crown Royal Presents the Samuel Deeds 400 at the Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com, adding to her start last year in the Indiana 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race and her seven starts in the Indianapolis 500 from 2005-12.
Patrick was named 2005 Indianapolis 500 Chase Rookie of the Year after finishing fourth and leading 19 laps, becoming the first woman to lead in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” She finished third in 2009 in the race.
“I don’t care what I drive around Indy, I love being there,” Patrick said. “I just like everything about it. I like the facility, obviously. And, to me, the special thing about Indy is, obviously, I’ve had great experiences, but it’s about the track. It doesn’t matter what kind of car I drive there, I’ve had great experiences, memories. So that’s what I like so much about it.
“And I love the tradition. The older I get, the more I realize how much history and tradition plays a role in what’s important and what matters and what means the most to you.”
Official Program packed with details: The Official Program for the 20th Running of the Crown Royal Presents the Samuel Deeds 400 at the Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com is on sale now for $10 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
A digital version of the program is on sale for $9.99. The digital program can be downloaded for viewing on an iPhone, iPad, Amazon Kindle Fire or Blackberry. Search for IMS Books in the App Store to find both books.
The Official Program contains 160 pages of interesting, essential content for fans, including driver bios, a track map and historical statistics and highlights from the first 19 editions of the classic NASCAR race.
Feature story subjects include a look back at the inaugural race in 1994, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon, a tribute to Jason Leffler, the IZOD IndyCar Series test by Kurt Busch, the new Gen-6 Sprint Cup car, pit reporter Dr. Jerry Punch, reigning Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski, sports car legend Hurley Haywood and Indianapolis-based GRAND-AM team Wayne Taylor Racing.
Super Weekend on radio: The IMS Radio Network will provide live coverage of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series action this weekend during the Kroger Super Weekend at the Brickyard.
All broadcasts will be heard on IMS Radio Network affiliates and Sirius XM Channel 90. A Sprint Cup qualifying show is scheduled from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, July 27, with coverage of the Indiana 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race from 4-7 p.m.
Live coverage of the Crown Royal Presents the Samuel Deeds 400 at the Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com Sprint Cup race will start at noon Sunday.
The IMS Radio Network team: Doug Rice, anchor; John Andretti, driver analyst; Donald Davidson, historian; Mike King, Turn 1 reporter; Jake Query, Turn 2 reporter; Mark Jaynes, Turn 3 reporter; Chris Denari, Turn 4 reporter; Brett McMillan, Brad Gillie, Pat Patterson, Nick Yeoman, pit reporters.
Quick change: Activity took place on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval and Grand Prix road course on the same day for the first time in IMS history Friday, July 26.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series practice took place in the morning on the 2.5-mile oval, with the Brickyard Grand Prix for the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and the Brickyard Sports Car Challenge for the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge races taking place Friday afternoon on the 13-turn, 2.534-mile Grand Prix road course.
The inaugural Kroger Super Weekend last year was the first time the IMS oval and Grand Prix road course were used in the same weekend. But NASCAR and GRAND-AM did not run on the same day.
Double duty: AJ Allmendinger is participating in unique double-duty this weekend at IMS, competing in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series on the IMS Grand Prix road course and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on the IMS oval.
Allmendinger finished 10th Friday in the No. 6 Aero/Tuvacol/Curb Records Ford Riley Daytona Prototype in the Brickyard Grand Prix and will attempt to qualify Saturday for the Crown Royal Presents the Samuel Deeds 400 at the Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com in the No. 51 Phoenix Construction Chevrolet.
Allmendinger also raced as a rookie in the Indianapolis 500 in May, finishing seventh for Team Penske.
“This is Indy, so this is pretty special,” Allmendinger said. “It is such a prestige race. To be able to race three different cars here in one year is something. To come to a racetrack with so much history really means a lot.”
Home cooking: Indiana native and resident Tony Stewart won the Brickyard 400 in 2005 and 2007, driving for Joe Gibbs Racing. But Stewart, a resident of nearby Columbus, Ind., admitted that earning a third victory – but his first as owner of Stewart-Haas Racing – would be special Sunday in the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet.
“It would be awesome,” Stewart said. “A perfect example was the first year we won the Chili Bowl, which is the biggest Midget race in the country. I won it for good friends of mine, Keith Kunz and Pete Willoughby. Then we were able to win it two years later, but it was the first time I had won it driving my car, and it was just an unbelievable feeling knowing that I had a hand in helping build the program.
“It’s always been a dream to win in Indianapolis, and I’ve been very blessed and fortunate to win it twice now, and that’s something that if I died tomorrow I would die a happy man because of those two races. But it would be that much more special to win it as a team owner, too. It’s been so much fun working with this group of guys, and even if I didn’t win it, if Ryan (Newman) or Danica (Patrick) won the race, I would have the same feeling of gratification just being a part of it and being able to help one of them realize their dream. It would mean just as much to be the winning car owner for Ryan or Danica as it would to win it as a driver and owner.”
Good luck, Jimmie: 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan presented Jimmie Johnson with his winner’s ring for the 2012 Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 Powered by BigMachineRecords.com on Friday, July 26. But Kanaan had a caveat before handing it over.
“I’m going to rub it for luck like (Alex) Zanardi did before he gave me his gold medal before the 500,” said Kanaan, referring to a good-luck gesture done by former CART champion and Paralympic gold medalist Alex Zanardi before Kanaan won the Indy 500 in May.
Johnson, a five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion going for his fifth win at Indianapolis, was honored to receive the ring from Kanaan.
“That was special with TK,” Johnson said. “What a great surprise. The fact he was here racing and was able to present the ring to me was a lot of fun. Excited to receive it and hope I can get another one next year.”
2013 Kroger Super Weekend tickets: Ticket orders for the 2013 Kroger Super Weekend at the Brickyard can be made at www.ims.com/tickets and through 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.
General admission tickets will cost $10 for Thursday, July 25, $30 for Friday, July 26, $25 for Saturday, July 27 and $30 for Sunday, July 28. A four-day Kroger Super Weekend general admission ticket is $80, a great value for the ultimate race weekend. A three-day general admission ticket (Thursday-Saturday) is $65.
Children ages 12 and under will be admitted free any of the four days of the Super Weekend at the Brickyard when accompanied by an adult with a general admission ticket.
Reserved tickets for the Saturday and Sunday action also will be available at various price ranges.