The Brickyard 400 is in the books, so it’s time for a quick follow-up on how my top five fared:
- Jimme Johnson: The 48 seemed strong at the very beginning (though not as strong as the 42), but he quickly began slipping backward. Atypically, the 48 team then seemed unable to improve the car no matter what they tried on pit road. Johnson lost time in the pits as they tinkered with the setup, and even went a lap down when they changed the shocks (to no avail—the car still sucked). He finished 22nd.
- Juan Pablo Montoya: The 42 had probably the best car of the day, all day, but during a late caution, Montoya lost his lead when the 42 took four tires and several other cars took two. He then proceeded to overdrive his car attempting to move back to the front, and he eventually crashed out of the race.
- Mark Martin: Martin had a really good car through the early and middle portions of the race, but the 5 seemed to tail off a bit in the race’s latter stages. He finished 11th.
- Jeff Burton: Burton had a good car all day but could never improve it enough to run up front. He brought it home 6th.
- Clint Bowyer: Bowyer seemed to have a slightly better car than Burton all day, but like the 31, the 33 couldn’t tune it up well enough to win. He finished 4th.
Surprise of the Day: Jamie McMurray. I rated the 1 around #11 heading into the race, but by the end of the race, he had a terrific car, and he was even able to get back around Kevin Harvick to win.