3 THINGS TO WATCH

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS -

1. The tell

Nine times since the in­au­gu­ral Brick­yard 400 at In­di­anapo­lis Mo­tor Speed­way in 1994, the race win­ner has gone on to win NAS­CAR Cup Se­ries cham­pi­onship hon­ors. The 160-lap race at Indy has be­come some­thing of a ti­tle tell. Jeff Gor­don was the first to do it in 1998, and Kyle Busch pulled it off last sea­son. Other names on the list are Dale Jar­rett, Bobby Labonte, Tony Ste­wart and Jim­mie John­son (three times).

2. 500 boost?

Back in May, In­di­anapo­lis Mo­tor Speed­way hosted the 100th run­ning of the In­di­anapo­lis 500, and ev­ery seat in the house was sold. You have to won­der if some of that Indy magic will spill over to this Sun­day’s race. The Brick­yard 400 lost lus­ter, and fans, af­ter a 2008 fi­asco with tires that forced NAS­CAR to call cau­tions for tire changes ev­ery 10 laps. No mat­ter to the driv­ers, who con­tinue to list it as a stock-car ma­jor.

3. Chas­ing Chase

His­tory may be on Chase El­liott’s side when he races the No. 24 Hen­drick Mo­tor­sports Chevrolet at In­di­anapo­lis. Af­ter all, Jeff Gor­don won a record five Brick­yard 400s in the No. 24 ma­chine, in­clud­ing the ’94 in­au­gu­ral as a 22-year-old sopho­more driver. Chase was born in 1995. Not only that, but Chase’s dad, Bill El­liott, won the 2002 Brick­yard and posted four other top-five fin­ishes dur­ing his ca­reer. — God­win Kelly, god­win. kelly@news-jrnl.com

SUL­LI­VAN GETTY IMAGES/MATT

Kyle Busch cel­e­brates his win at In­di­anapo­lis last year, which acted like a spring­board to the 2015 NAS­CAR cham­pi­onship.

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