Some of the greatest drivers in the world of stock car racing avenge the prestigious Indianapolis Motor Speedway. After a full-day thunderstorm delayed the 2020 Brickyard 400, they were ready to go on Monday where Dave Miller looked to win his second Indianapolis event in-a-row, and Scott Jackson looked to win his first event in two full seasons.
The first few laps saw pole-sitter Rick Jackson leading the charge before a lap-4 accident in the back of the field brought out the first yellow flag. Contact between Jimmie Stevens and Aaron Cummings sent the #2 up the racetrack, clipping Scott Drake and slamming into the outside wall. Zach Michael hit Stevens on the nose, coming down and clipping Jonathan Skrabacz, who slid up the track and nudged Glenn Kaufmann, who spun into the outside wall rear-first. Mike Carroll was also involved in the accident. Other than Mike, all drivers involved would finish outside the top-24.
Alan Nesfeder and Scott Deutsch stayed out during the yellow. Scott drifted back, while Alan led the first two laps of the restart before Rick re-took the lead. He held the position for 18 more laps while champion and points leader Tim McDonnell was on his tail. Tim took the lead entering turn 1 on lap 29 and stayed there for 28 laps.
A horrible incident for Ben Geer occurred on lap 47 after contact between he and Dave Butterworth in turn-4. Ben's car spun hard into the outside wall, ricocheting into the path of Donald Stewart, who nailed the passenger side of the #29 with severe brutality at 130 mph. The car flew in the air immediately, with Jimmie Stevens nailing the hood of Ben's car at 136 mph just a quarter-second after the first impact. Ben flipped five times in three seconds, was at least three-stories high in flight during his impact with the catch fence, then landed directly in front of Kevin Corbat.
Kevin's impact at 138 mph barely missed the roof of the #29 machine, but sent Ben flipping four more times in two seconds while slapping the roof of Scott Drake's machine. Ben preceded to get nailed in the rear by Glenn Kaufmann, who could not see from all the smoke and debris. He was thrust forward, slamming into the stopped #9 machine before an inside wall impact and a Jimmie Stevens roof impact stopped the Ben Geer #29 machine for good. Somehow, in the most miraculous of ways, Ben would leave the hospital just one day later to race again. He suffered many bruises and several cracked ribs, and a 41st place finish to add literal insult to injury.
On lap 55, contact between Dale Rosendaul and Dalton Lucas sent Dalton's car flying through the infield access road, clipping Kevin Corbat and sending the two into the outside turn-4 wall. 8 laps later, Dalton and Cristian Torres made contact in the same corner, sending Torres into the same wall and barrel-rolling down the frontstretch four time before ending up on his roof. He would finish 35th on the day, while Dalton blew his engine with 55 laps to go.
Jonathan Skrabacz had inherited the lead on lap 60 after staying out on old tires. 17 other drivers did the same, leaving many to wonder whether the cars that didn't pit could make it on only two more stops. Tim McDonnell was still the leader on new tires, but Craig Lee became the new leader on lap 64 after passing Skrabacz on the inside of turn 1. Matt Raboin took the lead the same way just 5 laps later, keeping the position before pit stops forced him to come in early. Tim and Tony Pizzaro led laps through the cycle, and when all was said and through Craig Lee was up front. He led the entire green flag run.
By lap 130, stops cycled around again and saw Matt Raboin in the top spot once more. The top-4 of Matt, Craig Lee, John Tharp and Dave Miller battled ferociously through the waning laps, losing speed to the rest of the field but also saving gas in the process. With 28 laps to go, it was John's turn to shine, then Dave just 2 laps later. Throughout it all, Tim McDonnell and Ryan Heuser were coming.
With 20 laps to go, it was John Tharp took the top-spot one more time and held it for 8 laps. They were pulling away from the Craig and Matt, and when though safe Dave took the lead entering turn 1 with only 12 circuits left. Tim and Ryan were already past Craig and Matt by this point, and were pushing forward with a vengeance. With only three laps to go, Ryan had overtaken John for second and was side-by-side with teammate Dave for the lead. He would clear him with ease, and sailed off into the sunset.
With the ironic help of Tim McDonnell's draft, his primary battler for the championship, Ryan was able to catch the leaders with fresher tires and sail off into the victory. Some drivers in the back had to pit for furl during the waning laps, though everybody inside the top-10 coasted until the end. Fresher tires just barely won over track position on this day, redeeming Ryan Heuser and continuing his 2020 championship chase. Congrats to Ryan, crew chief Mustard Mahoney, and the entire Quicksilver Motorsports team for an excellent victory!
Brickyard 400 Video