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The Samuel Deeds 400 Betting News and Notes

The Samuel Deeds 400 Betting News and Notes

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Data

Season Race #: 20 of 36 (7-21-13)
Track Size: 2.5-miles
Banking/Turns 1 & 2: 9 degrees
Banking/Turns 3 & 4: 9 degrees
Banking/Straights: 0 degrees
Frontstretch Length: 3,330 feet
Backstretch Length: 3,300 feet
Race Length: 160 laps / 400 miles

Top 12 Driver Rating at Indianapolis
Jimmie Johnson 106.3
Tony Stewart 102.8
Mark Martin 102.5
Jeff Gordon 101.8
Greg Biffle 98.6
Kyle Busch 96.6
Juan Pablo Montoya 95.9
Matt Kenseth 94.7
Kasey Kahne 94.0
Kevin Harvick 91.9
Denny Hamlin 89.9
Jeff Burton 87.9

Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2012 races (eight total) among active drivers at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Qualifying/Race Data

2012 pole winner: Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 182.763 mph, 49.244 secs. 7-27-12

2012 race winner: Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 137.680 mph, (02:54:19), 7-29-12

Track qualifying record: Casey Mears, Dodge, 186.293 mph, 48.311 secs. 8-7-04

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Re: The Samuel Deeds 400 Betting News and Notes

Driver Tale of the Tape at Indianapolis

Greg Biffle (No. 16 3M Safety Ford)

· Three top fives, six top 10s
· Average finish of 12.1
· Average Running Position of 10.2, second-best
· Driver Rating of 98.6, fifth-best
· 58 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most
· 392 Green Flag Passes, 13th-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 169.605 mph, sixth-fastest
· 1,027 Laps in the Top 15 (80.2%), second-most
· 205 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green), sixth-most

Clint Bowyer (No. 15 RK Motors Charlotte Toyota)

· Two top fives, two top 10s
· Average finish of 12.3
· Average Running Position of 14.0, 10th-best
· Driver Rating of 86.7, 13th-best
· 410 Green Flag Passes, fifth-most
· 694 Laps in the Top 15 (62.0%), 11th-most
· 154 Quality Passes, 13th-most

Jeff Burton (No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet)

· One top five, five top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 19.2
· Average Running Position of 14.1, 11th-best
· Driver Rating of 87.9, 12th-best
· 37 Fastest Laps Run, 11th-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 169.350 mph, 10th-fastest

Kyle Busch (No. 18 M&M’s Red-White-Blue M-Prove America Toyota)

· Two top fives, six top 10s
· Average finish of 11.8
· Average Running Position of 12.9, sixth-best
· Driver Rating of 96.6, sixth-best
· 39 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-most
· 408 Green Flag Passes, seventh-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 169.565 mph, seventh-fastest
· 909 Laps in the Top 15 (71.0%), sixth-most
· 219 Quality Passes, fourth-most

Jeff Gordon (No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet)

· Four wins, 11 top fives, 15 top 10s; three poles
· Average finish of 8.8
· Average Running Position of 11.9, fifth-best
· Driver Rating of 101.8, fourth-best
· 98 Fastest Laps Run, third-most
· 406 Green Flag Passes, ninth-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 170.056 mph, second-fastest
· 961 Laps in the Top 15 (75.1%), third-most
· Series-high 240 Quality Passes

Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota)

· One top five, three top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 16.7
· Driver Rating of 89.9, 11th-best
· 40 Fastest Laps Run, eighth-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 169.793 mph, fourth-fastest
· 652 Laps in the Top 15 (58.2%), 12th-most
· 166 Quality Passes, 12th-most

Kevin Harvick (No. 29 Jimmie John’s Chevrolet)

· One win, four top fives, seven top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 10.3
· Average Running Position of 14.2, 12th-best
· Driver Rating of 91.9, 10th-best
· 28 Fastest Laps Run, 13th-most
· 393 Green Flag Passes, 12th-most
· 850 Laps in the Top 15 (66.4%), ninth-most
· 190 Quality Passes, ninth-most

Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet)

· Four wins, four top fives, five top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 16.8
· Average Running Position of 11.8, fourth-best
· Series-best Driver Rating of 106.3
· Series-high 144 Fastest Laps Run
· Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 170.173 mph

Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Great Clips Chevrolet)

· Two top fives, four top 10s
· Average finish of 15.4
· Driver Rating of 94.0, ninth-best
· 58 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most
· 926 Laps in the Top 15 (72.3%), fifth-most
· 210 Quality Passes, fifth-most

Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Dollar General Toyota)

· Five top fives, seven top 10s
· Average finish of 15.8
· Average Running Position of 12.9, seventh-best
· Driver Rating of 94.7, eighth-best
· 943 Laps in the Top 15 (73.7%), fourth-most

Mark Martin (No. 55 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota)

· Six top fives, 11 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 12.8
· Series-best Average Running Position of 9.4
· Driver Rating of 102.5, third-best
· Average Green Flag Speed of 169.688 mph, fifth-fastest
· Series-high 1,067 Laps in the Top 15 (83.4%)
· 220 Quality Passes, third-most

Juan Pablo Montoya (No. 42 Target Chevrolet)

· One top five, one top 10; one pole
· Average finish of 22.2
· Driver Rating of 95.9, seventh-best
· 105 Fastest Laps Run, second-most

Tony Stewart (No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet)

· Two wins, six top fives, 10 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 8.2
· Average Running Position of 11.7, third-best
· Driver Rating of 102.8, second-best
· Series-high 488 Green Flag Passes
· 238 Quality Passes, second-most

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Re: The Samuel Deeds 400 Betting News and Notes

Samuel Deeds 400 Preview
By Micah Roberts

Jeff Gordon makes his 20th career start on the fabled bricks of Indianapolis Motor Speedway this Sunday, and in some ways we can say that NASCAR's rise in popularity happened when Gordon won the inaugural race in 1994. A part of the country that had mostly been exposed to Indy cars was getting their first look stock cars, while the kid who raced midgets in Indiana was about to become the face of NASCAR across the country.

It may not seem like that big of a deal when looking back at everything that has transpired over the last 20 years, but almost everything good that has happened for the sport came as a direct result of NASCAR finally getting to race on the bricks.

Not only was Gordon born at that moment, which kicked off one of the great rivalries in the sport with Dale Earnhardt, but growth began to happen in imaginable proportions. America was ready for Jeff Gordon and stock car racing. Meanwhile, open wheel racing was dying as internal greed and stupidity crippled the sport to being barely a blip in the sports page when they race.

Tony George, owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, should get just as much credit as anyone for NASCAR's rise because of his role in destroying the popularity of the open wheel cars.

Following NASCAR's first race on the bricks, tracks started popping up all over America. California, Texas, Las Vegas, Chicago and Kansas all soon began to have NASCAR events and the sport was off and running. Sponsorship loyalty among the fans proved to greater than other sports, which meant there was plenty of money to be thrown around for anyone selling NASCAR.

Gordon would go to win four NASCAR Sprint Cup titles and also win three other times at Indy. His four Brickyard wins are matched only by teammate Jimmie Johnson, who captured his fourth last season. Gordon's 8.8 average finish in 19 starts is second only to Indiana native Tony Stewart (8.2). Gordon is one of four drivers to have started all 19 NASCAR races on the bricks. Jeff Burton, Bobby Labonte and Mark Martin are the others.

The Gordon-Earnhardt rivalry was capitalized on by both drivers who went into business with each other, but it was the on-track digs that kept the rivalry charged, like in 1995, the year Earnhardt won the second Brickyard 400 and proclaimed, "I am the first man to win the Brickyard 400."

When looking for the top candidates to win the week, besides Gordon, who is always a candidate here regardless of how he is faring on a season, it usually serves well to take a look at what happened at Pocono a few weeks ago. Johnson dominated that race, leading 128 of the 160 laps. The comparison between the tracks is due to the long straightaways and also the sweeping turn 3 at Pocono which resembles the flat turns at Indy.

Greg Biffle finished second at Pocono and was followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman. Biffle is one of many that has fared very well at Indy over their careers, but have yet to win.

Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer and of course, Mark Martin also fit the bill. Martin has a 12.8 average finish in his 19 starts that includes two runner-up finishes.

Top-5 Finish Prediction:

1) #24 Jeff Gordon (12/1)
2) #48 Jimmie Johnson (6/1)
3) #14 Tony Stewart (10/1)
4) #18 Kyle Busch (8/1)
5) #16 Greg Biffle (14/1)

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Re: The Samuel Deeds 400 Betting News and Notes

Driver Handicaps: Indianapolis
By: Pete Pistone’s Pete Pistone takes a look at some of the field for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Samuel Deeds 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway:

Who's HOT at Indianapolis

Jimmie Johnson:
A four-time Indianapolis winner, Johnson takes a hefty Sprint Cup Series points lead into Sunday’s race.  The Hendrick Motorsports driver has won three times in the last five years at "The Brickyard" and always seems to rise to the occasion on the sport’s biggest stages.

Tony Stewart: The home-state Stewart considers Indianapolis more than hallowed ground.  He hasn’t finished outside the top 10 since 2003 and brings a 7.4 average finish into Sunday’s race, best among active Sprint Cup Series drivers.

Jeff Gordon: Although he’s struggled in recent years, Gordon’s name is synonymous with Indianapolis success.  Like teammate Johnson, Gordon is shooting for a fifth Brickyard victory on Sunday and has finishes of second and fifth in his last two outings at the track.

Greg Biffle: Although still searching for his first career Indianapolis victory, Biffle has been one of the most consistent finishers in the past few seasons.  The Roush Fenway Racing driver’s average finish is 12.1 dating back to 2003 and he has five straight top 10 performances.

Kevin Harvick: Harvick was the 2003 Indianapolis winner and has a steady stream of solid finishes, including five top-10 outings.  He came home 13th in the 2012 edition of the race.  Harvick's 2003 victory triggered Chevrolet's current 10-race winning streak at Indy.

Who’s NOT

Juan Pablo Montoya:
Since winning the Indianapolis 500, the Brickyard has been a very disappointing place for Montoya during his stock car career.  He finished second in 2007 but is still reeling from what looked to be a sure victory in 2009 until a pit road speeding penalty ended his chance at finding Victory Lane.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Has struggled at Indianapolis throughout his career with a 21.9 average finish over his last 10 starts - including efforts of 43rd, 34th, 36th and 27th.

Martin Truex Jr.: It’s been a rough go for Truex since winning at Sonoma last month and it won’t get any easier at Indianapolis, based on his past experience.  The Michael Waltrip Racing driver has a 21.5 average finish and only one top-10 performance in eight starts.

Ryan Newman: Newman is looking for a ride in 2014 and will have to step up his Indy game to impress potential future employers.  Although he finished seventh last year, it was the first top 10 for Newman over the last decade.

Kurt Busch: As impressive as Busch has been this year for Furniture Row racing, his recent Indianapolis resume is nothing to write home about.  He was 36th last year for Phoenix Racing and hasn’t finished better than 10th dating back to 2004.

Who to Keep an Eye On at Indianapolis

Jamie McMurray:
The 2010 Brickyard winner, McMurray is enjoying a resurgent season with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing.  He knows his way around the 2.5-mile oval and should be a factor Sunday with a much more potent ride than he’s had the last two years.

Matt Kenseth: Has never set the world on fire at Indy during his Roush Fenway Racing days, but that was then and this is now.  The Joe Gibbs Racing driver figures to be in the mix to kiss the bricks.

Brad Keselowski: Hard to believe that Roger Penske doesn’t have a Sprint Cup Series win at "The Brickyard," with all his Indianapolis 500 success.  Keselowski goes into Sunday’s race off two straight ninth-place Indy finishes.

Kyle Busch: Last year’s runner-up has three straight top-10 Indy performances.

Clint Bowyer: Still looking for his first win of 2013 and knows the clock is ticking toward the end of the regular season and the Chase seedings. Picks

Jeff Wackerlin: Juan Pablo Montoya
Pete Pistone: Jamie McMurray
Dustin Long: Kasey Kahne
John Singler: Greg Biffle

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Brickyard 400 Post-Practice Betting Notes
By: Micah Roberts

If the speeds from Saturday's final practice session at Indianapolis Motor Speedway are any indication, we might be looking at a Chevrolet winning the Brickyard 400 for the 11th straight year. Eight of the top 10 speeds were from drivers sporting the bow-tie on their grill, and between them, they have combined to win 11 of the 19 NASCAR Sprint Cup races run on the world's most historic race track.

Kurt Busch was fastest (188.419 mph) during happy hour -- which was actually two hours -- and was followed by fellow Chevy drivers Kasey Kahne and Juan Pablo Montoya. But the driver that all eyes will be on Sunday afternoon is Jimmie Johnson, who was fourth fastest during the final practice session, as he tries to match his 2009 feat when he became the first driver to win the Brickyard 400 back-to-back seasons.

Johnson has won four of the past sevens races at Indy, which is part of the reason he's such a large 7-to-2 favorite. His status as the favorite goes up even further when you consider that he will be using the same chassis that dominated the June 9 race at Pocono Raceway. He led 128 of the 160 laps run on the 2.5-mile tricky triangle -- a track that comes closest to any on the series as being similar to Indy's 2.5-mile flat layout.

Johnson has everything going for him this week: he's won here before, starts on the front row, he's the current points leader, has four wins on the season, drives a Chevy and also is a past Sprint Cup champion (15 of the 19 races won have been by a champion). The only stain on Superman's cape is consistency on the bricks. Four wins are more than anyone except Jeff Gordon, but those are the only four top-five finishes in his 11 career starts. His 16.8 average finish is so high due to six finishes of 18th or worse, including three finishes of 36th or worse.

Gordon also has four wins on the bricks, including the inaugural race in 1994, but he hasn't won since 2004. While Johnson has been hogging most of the wins since his last victory and tied his NASCAR Brickyard record for wins, Gordon has still routinely raced at a high level. His 8.8 average finish in 19 career starts is second only to Tony Stewart among active drivers. He's finished in the top-10 in six of his past eight starts, and he was runner-up in 2011. He had the seventh fastest lap during happy hour, along with the second fastest 10-consecutive lap average.

Indiana native Stewart had the ninth fastest lap during Saturday's practice, and he always seems to pumped up a little more when racing on his home track. He's a two-time winner, the last coming in 2007, and has an 8.2 average finish in 14 career starts. He's currently on a run of four straight top-10 finishes at Indy.

Kevin Harvick was 10th fastest in practice, and it's about the time when he sneaks up on us again with a win, like he's done twice already this season. He won the 2003 Brickyard 400 and has the third best career average finish (10.3) among active drivers. His teammate, Paul Menard, won there in 2011, which gave car owner Richard Childress his third Brickyard win (Dale Earnhardt won the 1995 race).

Those are three pretty good candidates to unseat Johnson, and the Chevy camp also has a couple of others that could get their first Brickyard win. Drivers like Indiana native Ryan Newman (eighth in happy hour. pole sitter), 2000 Indy 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya (third), Kahne and Kurt Busch all have a great chance of winning Sunday.

The top outsider, or non-Chevy, looks to by Kyle Busch, who was runner-up last year. Busch was sixth fastest during practice and will attempt to be the first Toyota to take the checkers across the bricks.

Dale Jarrett in 1999 was the last Ford to win, and car owner Jack Roush has still yet to win on the famed track. Based on Pocono, Greg Biffle would look to be the best candidate, but he didn't practice well. Carl Edwards was fastest among the Roush cars with the 12th quickest lap, and he will start third on Sunday.

Only seven drivers ran 10-consecutive laps during the session, with Kahne being the fastest. Penske teammates Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski ran the most laps with 32 each.

Incidentally, car owner Roger Penske has a record 15 Indianapolis 500 wins, but he's winless there in NASCAR despite a few valiant attempts by Rusty Wallace.

We'll go out on a limb and say a Chevy will win again, with the best value being offered on Gordon (12/1), Stewart (15/1), Harvick (15/1) and Montoya (20/1). We like Kurt Busch to run well too, but his past history -- 19.8 average -- is alarming. His only top-five finish came as a rookie in 2001 (fifth).

Qualifying faster than ever

Nine drivers shattered the track record set by Casey Mears in 2004 (186.293 mph). Ryan Newman was the last driver to qualify and used the perfect balance of speed and cloud cover to throw down a lap at 187.531 mph. This is the 10th track this season that the new Gen-6 car has set a new track record.

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NASCAR Resumes Season at The Brickyard Sunday
by Brian Graham

After a week off, the NASCAR circuit gets back to action at famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Crown Royal presents the Samuel Deeds 400 at the Brickyard Powered by This 2.5-mile track is oval-shaped with 9° turns and perfectly flat straightaways that each measure 3,330 feet (0.63 miles). Jimmie Johnson is the heavy 3-to-1 favorite on Sunday having won four of the previous seven starts at Indy, which includes last year's victory.

Drivers to Watch

Tony Stewart (12/1) -
Since 2004, Stewart has been a major factor at the Brickyard with a pair of wins and top-10 finishes in six of the other seven Indy starts. History has shown that drivers coming off big performances at Pocono -- also a 2.5-mile track -- usually keep that going at the Brickyard. Stewart finished 4th at Pocono this season, and in his previous two Indy-winning campaigns (2005 and 2007), "Smoke" scored top-10's at Pocono. Stewart is our pick to win his third Brickyard race on Sunday.

Kevin Harvick (15/1) - Harvick has been on roll with top-10 finishes in 10 of his past 11 races, the lone exception being a crash at Talladega. During this run, he placed third at Daytona, was runner-up at Michigan and won at both Richmond and Charlotte. And considering Harvick's success at the Brickyard (10.2 average finish in 12 career starts), the odds are quite favorable for the No. 29 car. He's led at least 18 laps in four of his starts in Indy, including his pole-to-Victory Lane accomplishment in 2003. At 15-to-1 odds, Harvick represents the best value on the board.

Kyle Busch (7/1) - If you feel the need to wager on one of the four single-digit favorites Sunday, let that driver be Busch. His average start this season has been an impressive 5.9, which he's parlayed into two wins and an impressive nine top-5 finishes. This includes his runner-up two weeks ago in New Hampshire, but does not account for a strong 6th-place showing at Pocono, a track similar to the Brickyard. At Indy, Busch has finished better than he's started in seven of eight races, beginning at an average spot of 21.1 and ending at 11.8. He's finished 8th, 10th and 2nd in his past three attempts to kiss the bricks. Also consider that Joe Gibbs Racing used one of their official tests for this race, which also gives Busch another advantage.

Greg Biffle (18/1) - His Sunday odds are extremely favorable considering what Biffle has done at the Brickyard recently. In his past five starts at Indy, Biffle has placed 8th, 4th, 3rd, 7th and 3rd. He was also runner-up at Brickyard-similar Pocono this season, which preceded his victory at Michigan that put him eighth in the Sprint Cup Standings, the same place he currently resides. This darkhorse is certainly worth at least a one-unit wager on Sunday.

Ryan Newman (50/1) - The best longshot on the board goes to Newman getting 50-to-1 odds from Vegas. He has been in the hunt at both Indianapolis and Pocono in each of the past four years, averaging finishes of 12.5 and 10.0, respectively, at these two tracks over this span. He's also been racing better this season, but has been hurt by three crashes in his past 10 starts. However, in the past seven races Newman has actually finished, he's recorded four top-10 finishes, including a 5th-place showing at Pocono.

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