- The Brickyard 400 takes place on Sunday, September 8 at 11:00 AM EST
- The race will take place at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana
- Brad Keselowski won this race in 2018
It’s last call for playoff qualifying as the drivers head to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Brickyard 400. The race will take place on Sunday, September 8th at 11:00 AMEST, so it’s a bright and early start. Can Jimmie Johnson keep his streak of qualifying for the playoffs alive or will it finally come to an end?
Odds to Win 2019 Big Machine Vodka 400
|Martin Truex Jr.||+700|
*Odds taken 09/04/19.
Busch The Best Bet Among Favorites
Busch is coming off three straight top-six performances but hasn’t actually won a race since taking the checkered flag at Pocono all the way back on June 2nd. To say that Busch is overdue would be an understatement, especially heading in to a race at one of his favorite tracks.
Busch is a two-time Brickyard 400 winner, winning this race in both 2015 and 2016. He’s been on the pole in three straight starts. He placed first in qualifying here a year ago and despite a disappointing run, he still managed to place eighth overall. He has eight Top 10’s here in his last nine starts, including four finishes of second or better.
Newman Can Contend
One of the drivers on the cusp of qualifying for the playoffs is Newman, who will enter this weekend sitting in the 16th and final spot in the postseason standings. While the odds are in favor of Newman making it through, an outright victory from any driver currently below him in the standings would push him outside of the playoff picture.
He’s a bit of a dart throw here but he has a good history at this track. The winner of the 2013 Brickyard 400, Newman placed 10th in this race in 2018 and third here in 2017. He has placed in the Top 11 in six of his last seven starts here. He has eight Top 10 finishes to his name and I’m expecting him to add one more here.
Can Johnson Qualify For The Playoffs?
Another pick for a Top 10 prop is Jimmie Johnson. He’s one of the drivers just on the outside looking into the playoff picture but the good news is this is one of his favorite tracks.
A three-time Brickyard 400 winner, Johnson last recorded a Top 10 finish here back in 2017. He hasn’t been great this season but he’s placed between 15th and 19th in four of his last five starts.
I like the fire that he showed last week as he looked like he had race-winning speed up until he got tied into the wreck on Lap 275. He’s qualified for every Cup Series Playoffs since its inception and I think he’ll make a serious push for it this weekend and get into the Top 10.
Past 5 Winners at the Brickyard 400
Pass On Hamlin
After finishing third or better in five straight weeks – including victories at both Pocono and Bristol – Hamlin finally hit a wall when he placed 29th at Darlington last week. Delving deeper, he didn’t lead a single lap, which shows that he was way off last week.
While he finished third in this race a year ago, Hamlin placed 17th in this race in 2017 and has never won it outright before. I’ll pass on him to win this week.