Sunday 4:30 PM – The 2011 Brickyard 400 presented by Big Machine Records has come to a close – and the conclusion was an unforgettable one for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Paul Menard and his father John Menard. John Menard is no stranger to the IMS oval with his history in IndyCar racing. He has spent time and money on racing at this track and today his hard work paid off when he saw his son cross over the yard of bricks and win the Brickyard 400. A big congratulations goes out to Paul for his win today, and for this being his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win.
This weekend had something for everyone – and next year’s Brickyard will include even more excitement. So start counting down to the 2012 Super Weekend. 364 days to go…. – Cassie
Sunday 3:45 PM - We’re 123 laps into the 160 lap Brickyard 400 presented by Big Machine Records. Brad Keselowski is currently in the lead as the cars circulate under caution after a small incident on the back stretch. Jeff Burton, Juan Pabolo Montoya, Clint Bowyer and Jimmie Johnson round out the top 5. We stepped out of the nice cool media center to hit the beach… The Brickyard Beach Bash that is.
If you’re looking for a place to cool off the Beach Bash is the spot. There’s pools, cool zones, beach volleyball, a bar, and the best part… LIVE MUSIC. There’s been a DJ running all morning with dance competitions and as we speak Iyaz is on stage performing for the crowd. If you’ve been to the Snake Pit before this is our NASCAR version of the famed turn 3 party. Believe me when I say, it’s a sight to be seen! -Brian
Sunday 1:45 PM – The 2011 Brickyard 400 presented by Big Machine Records is off and running. Kasey Kahne is currently out and front and looking strong (obviously, he’s my pick). Gordon, Ragan, Kenseth, and Allmendinger round out the top 5. It’s a beautiful day, hot, and perfect for racing. It should be a great race as the heat will have the cars slipping and sliding all over the place. Who’s your early pick for victory? What about leader at half distance? – Brian
Sunday 12:30 PM - Emily and I were lucky enough to spend the morning backstage at the Big Machine Records performances. We were up close and personal with Thomas Rhett, The Band Perry, Brantley Gilbert, and Justin Moore. It was an unforgettable experience! The fans loved every minute of the concerts and we got to capture some great pictures that you can find in our Flickr photostream. As soon as Justin Moore concluded the concerts on the Brickfest stage, Rascal Flatts began to rock out on the front straight. Fans who had pre-race pit passes got an awesome 3 song set from Rascal Flatts.
We’re now awaiting Reba McEntire’s performance. The stands are filling up and the waving of the green flag will happen before we know it!
Sunday 11:28 AM – Cars are lined up on pit row. Tires are laid out. The pit stalls are ready. The green flag is inching closer. Who is your pick to kiss the bricks today? We want to know. – Daniel
Sunday 9:28 AM – NASCAR is hosting a tweetup at 10am on the Turn 2 side of the Hall of Fame museum. We’re headed that way. So is Big Machine Records. How about you Tweeps? – Daniel
Sunday 8:20 AM – It’s starting to heat up – and there’s more hustle and bustle. Fans are rolling in and the teams are starting to fill pit lane. Big Machine Records and their star studded line up of Rascal Flatts, Reba, The Band Perry and more, will get started at 9am. Cassie and Emily will be on hand to send out tweets, grab pics and report back later in the blog. In the meantime, put on some sunscreen and head this way. It’s going to be a great day of racing and music. – Daniel
Sunday 6:05 AM – It’s 6 AM and the 2011 Brickyard 400 is off with a bang, literally. Just a few hours until some of the biggest names in country music take the stage at IMS. Big Machine Records has provided a fantastic line up including The Band Perry, Justin Moore, Brantley Gilbert, Thomas Rhett, Rascal Flatts, and the legendary Reba McEntire.
A salute to US troops and the Brickyard Beach Bash are other great activities planned for today. The green flag will be waved at 1 PM and one lucky driver will be given the opportunity to kiss the bricks. We’ll be blogging through all the action, so be sure to keep checking back! – Cassie
Saturday 6:15 PM - The 1st annual Brickfest was a hit – autograph sessions, an exciting round of qualifications, and a great concert by Hinder made the day quite a success. We headed out into the crowd of singing, dancing Hinder fans and searched for our Fan of the Day.
Alissa was decked out in Jimmie Johnson gear with her husband by her side dressed in Dale Jr gear and their son head to toe in Jeff Gordon attire. Alissa told us she waited in line for about an hour to get her wristband to get Jimmie’s autograph at the largest Sprint Cup autograph session of 2011. It seemed to be well worth the wait! She said the autograph session was what she was most looking forward to because she had never gotten an autograph. Alissa and her husband have attended the Brickyard 400 every year since 1998 and plan to attend next year’s Super Weekend.
Tickets go on sale for the 2012 Super Weekend on Monday, be sure to get yours as well!
Saturday 5:45 PM – Qualifying has ended and the driver wheeling the car with the paint scheme commemorating our Grand Marshal, Ned Jarrett, is on pole. David Ragan set the fastest lap in qualifying with a lap speed of 182.994. My choice for pole position, Kasey Kahne was just behind him in second place.
Here’s the top 10 after qualifying:
1.) David Ragan
2.) Kasey Kahne
3.) Jimmie Johnson
4.) Kurt Busch
5.) Brad Keselowski
6.) AJ Allmendinger
7.) Juan Pablo Montoya
8.) Jeff Gordon
9.) Matt Kenseth
10.) Carl Edwards
We’re off to the Hinder concert! – Brian
Saturday 3:25 PM – We caught up with Hope Solo and showed her around pit lane and Gasoline Alley. She got to rub elbows with lots of NASCAR and soccer fans, as well as meet Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon, 2nd place finisher JR Hildebrand, and NASCAR driver David Ragan. Hope talked about how excited she is to drive the pace car, driving over 100mph around IMS, being at such an amazing facility and how overwhelmingly friendly everyone has been. She’s still walking around soaking in all the excitement. – Daniel
Saturday 2:00 PM – We stepped out just a few minutes ago to check out the MASSIVE autograph session taking place in the chalet’s behind the pagoda. Today’s autograph session is actually the largest session in the NASCAR Sprint Cup this season. Drivers like Trevor Bayne, Tony Stewart, Carl Edwards, Mark Martin, and Jeff Gordon were all present for the second half of today’s two part autograph session.
After strolling through the session it was pretty obvious why fans were sprinting through the gates this morning to get in line for the wristband distribution. It’s not too often to get to experience these drivers in a face to face atmosphere, especially this many! It certainly was a rare experience and I’m sure many fans won’t forget anytime soon. – B
Saturday 11:30 AM – The practice session has concluded, and we took the time to check out the view from Club 94. Club 94 is ticket holders that have had tickets since the innagural Brickyard 400 – in 1994. Club 94 is located on the front straight, so it’s pretty much front row seats to all the NASCAR action all weekend long. Not to mention the food and shade from this crazy July heat. – Cassie
Saturday 10:06 AM – Practice is underway at the Brickyard. In other news, US Women’s National Soccer Team Goalie, Hope Solo will be driving tomorrow’s 2011 Chevrolet Corvette. We already know she has good reflexes. – Daniel
Saturday 9:14 AM – Another good morning. We’re ready for a massive day at the Brickyard for Brickfest. Autograph Sessions. NASCAR Qualifying. Club 94. Kids Club activities. An open Hall of Fame Museum. Hinder in concert. And it’s only Saturday. It’s also going to be a hot one – so stay hydrated and well fed. Speaking of which, Cassie and I started our day off with a breakfast sandwich. It’s no breakfast burrito, but it got the job done. What are you eating today? Daniel
Saturday 6:45 AM – Good morning! It’s a bit damp here this morning after the late night showers we had here in Indy but the trucks are already out on the track doing laps in order to dry the track. Today’s a big day, it’s the 1st Annual Brickfest! We’re all looking forward to all the live music, autograph sessions, and obviously on-track activity.
There’s been quite a bit of debate here in the media center as to who will take the pole for the Brickyard 400 presented by Big Machine Records but I’m going to go with Kasey Kahne. It’d be a big story if the week after his spectacular shunt in a World of Outlaws car he took the pole.
Who do you think will be sitting on top of the timing charts this afternoon? -Brian
Friday 5:55 PM - It’s the end of the day and we’re glad the weather held out. Tomorrow’s a big day – autograph session, qualifying with lots of track time and the Hinder concert. The Daily Trackside Report is available now, if you want a good dose of track facts and quotes. And below, we’ve got a slideshow of over 200 images from the Brickyard 400 so far. Have a great night. See you tomorrow? – Daniel
Friday 5:33 PM – It was another hot day, but it seemed much more bearable than yesterday. As practice ended, fans gathered around Gasoline Alley and Thunder Alley to cheer and jeer their favorite teams and drivers. It made me realize how loyal NASCAR fans are. Who’s your favorite driver? – Daniel
Friday 5:00 PM – The final practice session has ended concluding track activity for the day (other than the Richard Petty Driving Experience). This session had a bit more activity as one of the cars had an engine let go. After a yellow flag to clean up the track, we were back to green flag conditions and the practice ended with no other events.
The final top 10 ended up like this:
1.) Greg Biffle
2.) Martin Truex Jr
3.) Jimmie Johnson
4.) Casey Mears
5.) Kevin Harvick
6.) Carl Edwards
7.) Joey Logano
8.) David Reutimann
9.) Jeff Burton
10.) Brian Vickers
Tomorrow’s a big day here at IMS. We’ve got live music all day (including Hinder!), the NASCAR Sprint Cup largest autograph session, Q&A sessions, and of course qualifying. We’ll also have an exclusive behind-the-scenes sneak peak from inside the IMS Hall of Fame museum.
We’ll be here through it all, make sure you follow along. – Brian
Friday 3:45 PM – After the first practice session concluded we headed out towards Turn 3 for the vintage car show that will be going on all weekend, and it was impressive! If you’re coming to the track this weekend, make sure to head over and check it out.
Then it was time to find the Fan of the Day! True fans hang out by the garages and that’s exactly where we found Derek. He was wearing his Jeff Gordon hat, and surrounded by his family of Tony Stewart fans. I asked him why his favorite driver is Jeff Gordon and his little sister answered for him – “because he isn’t our favorite” meaning herself and their parents. This is Derek’s 3rd year in a row at the Brickyard 400 and he can’t wait to see Jeff Gordon win this weekend!
Practice session #2 is almost over and at 5 the Richard Petty Driving Experience is taking over the IMS oval. Keep checking back to stay up-to-date on all of the Brickyard happenings. – Cassie
Friday 2:15 PM – The first practice for the 2011 Brickyard 400 presented by Big Machine Records has just concluded. No major event to speak of as it was a caution free session. Matt Kenseth was the fastest of the session… followed by Kasey Kahne, Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards, David Ragan, Kurt Busch, Juan Pablo Montoya, Jamie McMurray, Jeff Gordon, and Jeff Burton.
The next session starts at 3:15 PM ET. We’re heading out to go find our next Fan of the Day. So if you see us drive by be sure to scream and shout, we just might pick you! -Brian
Friday 11:30 AM – About an hour and a half ago, the 2011 Brickyard 400 pace car was unveiled. Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, and Jamie McMurray had the honor of taking the cover off of the Chevrolet Corvette. This is the 18th year in a row a Chevy has been featured as the Brickyard 400 pace car, in other words, a Chevy has always paced the Brickyard 400.
The driver of this year’s pace car is Hope Solo, the goalie of the US women’s soccer team. Racing, soccer, music, autographs – what more could you ask for in one weekend?- Cassie
Friday 11:00 AM – I was lucky enough to climb onboard one of the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro pace cars and go for a spin around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Any fan who was at IMS today and took a Chevrolet test-drive in the Chevy Experience area was granted a hot lap in a Camaro or Corvette. There aren’t very many feelings in this world like coming off turn 4 at IMS and heading down the front straight.
In the early morning the front stretch is similar to a long dark tunnel with the light at the end being turn 1. Roaring past the Pagoda at over 120 mph is an experience every diehard race fan should have. -Brian
Friday 8:45 AM - Good morning! The track is officially open and the 2011 Brickyard 400 presented by Big Machine Records has begun. It’s Chevy Day and tons of exciting event are planned for today. People were seen sprinting through the gates this morning in order to get in line for the autograph session wristband give away. Vintage cars are rolling through the gates and concession stands are providing the fans with coffee and breakfast sandwiches.
There are TONS of things going on here today. There’s a vintage car show running the entirety of the day, autograph sessions, pace car rides and, of course, Sprint Cup practice. We’ll also have some exclusive behind-the-scenes photos coming from an event at the IMS Hall of Fame Museum. Stay tuned all day! -Brian
9:00 PM- The Hauler Parade was the perfect way to kick off Brickyard 400 weekend! The event was definitely successful, but we can’t say the same about our pit stop competition team. We lost first round, but it was a great time! NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee, Ned Jarrett & David Ragan arrived and answered questions from fans to make the evening even more exciting.
We headed home early to rest up for another day of NASCAR action tomorrow, but the Hauler Parade will continue until around 11 PM. So if you haven’t yet, head to Main Street for some great Thursday night entertainment! – Cassie
6:10 PM - Not gonna lie. It’s a hot one, but there are tons of fans on Main Street. And now they are joined by tons of NASCAR Haulers. The band is still playing and there a lots of refreshments, so it’s worth it. Up next? The pit stop challenge! Daniel
5:10 PM - Headed to the Hauler Parade! We’re competing in the pit stop competition and everything! Head to Main St and join in on the fun and check back here later for full Hauler Parade details! -Cassie
3:40 PM - It’s hot here today and when I say hot, I mean that kind of hot where it feels like your eyes are sweating. Disregarding the heat, my colleague Cassie and I ventured out of the media center here at IMS with the goal of finding our first 2011 Brickyard 400 Fan of the Day. The grounds are mostly filled with workers diligently building stages, kiosks, and fan entertainment zones but we stumbled across this IMS first-timer at the Hall of Fame Museum.
Tony is from Manchester, England and this weekend is his first visit to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. A self-confessed Formula 1 fan, Tony is pulling for his namesake in the 2011 Brickyard 400, Tony Stewart. His favorite racing moment was Lewis Hamilton’s first win in Formula 1, obviously a big moment for all natives of England. When asked which event he’d be most excited to see in 2012 at the newly announced Super Weekend, Tony was eager to return for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race.
We’ll be looking for fans of the day all weekend. So keep your eyes peeled for Cassie, myself and our camera! -Brian
12:45 PM - 2012 is already looking very different with a new Super Weekend at The Brickyard. Today the IMS announced that Crown Royal will become the entitlement sponsor of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday, July 29, 2012 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The announcement was even followed by a whisky tasting. So we’re off to a great start to this weekend – Daniel.
10:45 AM – The 2011 Brickyard 400 has arrived and IMS is making final preparations. We’re all set up in the media center and awaiting the exciting activities! We’ll be covering everything from crazy fans to food being made in the drivers’ garages. At about 11:30 AM today, a HUGE announcement regarding next year’s Brickyard 400 will take place! We’ll be covering it, so check back later to get full details.
If you’re sitting at home wishing you could be here then open this link: Brickyard Tickets and purchase your weekend tickets! Concerts, autograph sessions and great NASCAR racing will be lighting up the Speedway, you don’t want to miss out! Follow us on Twitter (@IMS) and “like” our Facebook page to stay up-to-date all weekend as well! – Cassie