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Five drivers to watch at Indianapolis

The NASCAR America team analyze why Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson are drivers to keep an eye on at the Brickyard 400.

Keep an eye on these drivers this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Kyle Larson

After getting caught in a wreck last week at New Hampshire, Larson tweeted: “Whatever good luck I had a couple of months ago is gone and life is back to normal.” We figure that he feels better after his Camping World Truck Series win at Eldora on Wednesday night. He’ll try to carry that momentum into Indianapolis, a place that he’s adapted to quickly with top-10 finishes in both of his Cup starts there.

Kyle Busch

In his last four starts at Indianapolis, he’s posted a win and two runner-up finishes. Going a little further, he’s earned six consecutive top-10 finishes there, which is tied for the longest such streak at the track (Rusty Wallace, 1998-2003). His Indy average finish is a 9.7, just behind leader Tony Stewart’s average finish of 9.6.

Matt Kenseth

Last week’s winner has come close to victory at Indianapolis on several occasions, as his two runner-ups (2003 & 2006) and seven top-five finishes attest. He’s finished no worse than seventh in four of his last five races at Indy with a crash in 2012 (35th place) the outlier.

Jeff Gordon

Subbing for the ailing Dale Earnhardt Jr., Gordon will have some questions to answer this weekend: How quickly can he adapt to the current low-downforce package? And with temperatures set to soar into the 90s at Indy, how well can he withstand brutal conditions inside the car after being out of one since last year’s finale at Miami? If Gordon can sort these out, he can be a threat. His record is superb at this track (five wins, 17 top-10 finishes in 22 starts). Who dares to think he isn’t capable of delivering another clutch moment on racing’s biggest stage?

Tony Stewart

This was always going to be a special weekend for Tony Stewart, as he makes his final farewell as a Sprint Cup driver to the track he’s loved since childhood. But it’s even more special with Stewart being as competitive as he’s been lately. The two-time Brickyard winner has turned in a win and four top-10 finishes in his last five races, posting an average finish of 8.2 during that span.