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
Hulman Terrace Club
 
TAG Heuer Becomes Presenting Sponsor of Hulman Terrace Club
TAG Heuer – a pioneer in motorsports sponsorship for over 50 years – has become a presenting sponsor of the Hulman Terrace Club at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. TAG Heuer already is the “Official Timepiece of the Indy 500” and “Official Timepiece of the Verizon IndyCar Series.” In March 2018, just in time for the start of the season in St. Petersburg, Florida, TAG Heuer announced the extension of its partnership with IMS and the series for the next three years.
Read More
Brickyard 400
 
NASCAR Unveils 2019 Season Schedule
NASCAR released the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule on Tuesday.
Read More
Florida Georiga Line
 
Florida Georgia Line To Headline FGL Fest during NASCAR Weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Global superstars Florida Georgia Line will perform live Saturday, Sept. 8 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the track’s 25th annual NASCAR weekend, an expansion of an exciting, unique partnership between IMS and Big Machine Records that also will place the chart-topping duo into the race’s name for years to come.
Read More
NASCAR
 
NASCAR to Expand In-Car Camera Live Streams on Twitter in 2018
NASCAR® announced March 14 it will live-stream one in-car camera on Twitter for 15 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series™ races during the second half of the 2018 racing season, including all 10 NASCAR Playoffs races.
Read More
Kevin Harvick
 
Harvick Captures Third Straight Win in 2018, Triumphs at Phoenix
Harvick beat Kyle Busch to the finish line by .774 seconds to win his third straight Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series of the season, the first time a driver has strung three victories together since Busch accomplished the feat at Kentucky, New Hampshire and Indianapolis in 2015.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 822
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 IMS Sales Department at (317) 492-8739 or email at hospitalitysales@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
It's Pole day on @CrownRoyal Armed Forces Weekend & we can't wait to see you! Check out details on the day: https://t.co/yKQ6Db3YRK
May 21