The Brickyard 400 turned out to be everything we expected and more. We saw fast starts, great finishes and a dominating performance from a familiar face. ?Here are three drivers who will build off their great performances:
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Fifteen top-10 finishes, nine top-five finishes and a victory is what Dale Earnhardt Jr. has produced in 2012. It’s been a completely different year from his recent history, and that is a great thing for his fans and his career.
Earnhardt Jr.’s fourth-place finish at the Brickyard 400 pushed him into first place in the points standings. Yes, I know, it’s kind of hard to believe, seeing how it has been eight years since he last accomplished this feat.
This has been a year for building confidence and riding out the highs for Earnhardt Jr. His victory this season was a victory that pushed him to another level of focus heading into his future races.
Now that he’s on top of the standings, expect his run to continue through the rest of the season. Earnhardt Jr. hasn’t given people a reason to believe it won’t continue. He’s been one of the most consistent drivers this season.
Jeff Gordon may have failed to get that elusive victory at the Brickyard, but his fifth-place finish wasn’t so bad. Gordon is now No. 15 in the standings, and this top-five finish will give Gordon the necessary confidence heading down the stretch in 2012.
With eight top-10 finishes and only three top-five finishes, Gordon has dug himself a hole at this point of the season. There is still time to turn it around, and his finish Sunday will be the race people look back on at season’s end and say was the turning point of his season.
Four-time Brickyard 400 winner Jimmie Johnson will build off his dominating performance Sunday. His victory was a reminder of just how great his career has been.
His fourth victory at the Brickyard 400 was the perfect example of what his career has been about — outstanding results. Johnson’s performance was nothing short of spectacular.
Johnson has won three times in 2012; he has 15 top-10 finishes and 10 top-five finishes.
We’re getting to the point of the season where Johnson cranks up the pressure. Judging by what we saw on Sunday, the run toward another title has already begun.