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Chevrolet and Indianapolis have been a nearly perfect fit in the Cup Series.
The Bowtie’s cars have 17 wins in 25 editions of the race, including 12 straight from 2003 until 2014.
But Chevy has struggled to repeat its dominant form recently, scoring one victory in the last four races at Indy.
It came with Kasey Kahne in 2017, in what would turn out to be his final win in NASCAR competition.
It’s easy to understand how that domination came to be.
Three of the top 4 drivers in the all-time winners list at The Brickyard are Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson.
Gordon tops the list with five victories, followed by Johnson with four, while Stewart is fourth with two.
That’s a total of 11 wins, all coming with Chevrolet cars.
So, Chevy’s dominant run was largely thanks to the trio’s form at Indy.
Kevin Harvick, Jamie McMurray, Paul Menard and Ryan Newman also scored wins for the Bowtie.
What: Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard
Where: Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, IN
When: Sunday, September 8th at 2:00 PM EST
How: NBC (TV) | IMS Radio Network (Web radio) | NBC Sports App
Long story short, Chevrolet faces a bit of an uphill battle this weekend.
The second year Camaro struggled during its Indianapolis debut in 2018.
Chevy only placed two cars inside the top 10, with McMurray seventh and Newman tenth at the checkered.
It doesn’t come as much of a surprise given the Camaro’s season-long struggles.
And while the car has definitely improved in year two, Indianapolis isn’t a particularly good fit for it.
The long straights, on the one hand, play in Chevy’s favor.
But The Brickyard is also a heavily aero-dependant track, which is the Camaro’s Achilles’ heel.
Pocono is the closest possible comparison.
Chevrolet had two cars inside the top 10 in the first race at the Tricky Triangle this season.
It had a much better showing in the July race, with two cars in the top 5 and a third one in the top 10.
Both races, unsurprisingly, went to Toyota.
Indianapolis, similarly to Pocono, will likely play into the Camry’s biggest strength, the aerodynamics.
So, all in all, Toyota is the best pick for Indianapolis, while Chevrolet has an outside shot at reclaiming its dominance.
Kyle Larson is Chevrolet’s leading driver at the moment.
Coming off an impressive run of top 5 finishes, the Chip Ganassi driver will likely continue to lead the charge.
Larson also had great runs in both Pocono races, especially in the first one with two stage wins.
Chase Elliott, as the leading driver for powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports, could also show up as the top Chevrolet car.
He remains the only Chevy driver with multiple wins this season.
Elliott, however, will need to overcome his poor record at The Brickyard.
His best finish in four starts at the legendary track is a 15th place.
Also keep an eye on Will Byron, who ended up as Chevrolet’s top car in the July race at Pocono.
Byron also scored a top 10 in the June race.
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