Stock Car Challenge preview: Indianapolis
Jack Roush's teams have never won a Nextel Cup race at two tracks: Chicagoland and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. If one of the Roush boys can break the hex at Indy this week, greater glory could be ahead. Six times, the winner of the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard went on to win the Nextel Cup Championship. In the past two seasons, Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart have both gone on to win the championship after taking victories at Indy. There are seven races remaining before the Chase for the Cup begins at New Hampshire. A total of 41 drivers remain in mathematical contention to end up in the top 12, but only three drivers have a true chance of cracking the top dozen this week. Ryan Newman is 30 points behind 12th-place Dale Earnhardt Jr., while Kurt Busch is 77 points behind Junior and Jamie McMurray is 111 points off the Chase pace.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway is unique, with a relatively flat, rectangular shape. It's a very challenging course for stock car drivers because it was built for the little cars of the Indy Racing circuit. The bigger cars will find it tougher to pass and find the right setup so the car runs well. Sound pit strategy will be important, especially late in the race, for a driver to have a chance to move from the back to the front. Indy also has produced fuel strategy calls, so the teams that have had the most fuel efficiency throughout the season should be in a prime position to win.
Scott Engel covers fantasy sports for ESPN.com. You can contact Scott here.