Brickyard winners tend to go on to win title
As he celebrated winning the NEXTEL Cup on Nov. 20 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Tony Stewart couldn't forget the dream victory that helped propel him to his second NASCAR season title.
"To win at home in the Brickyard was the win of a lifetime for me," Stewart said, "and to be able to finish it off with a championship -- this is just perfect."
It also continued a trend of drivers winning the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard and the NASCAR season championship in the same year. Stewart recorded the fifth Indy-title "double" in the 12-year history of the annual NASCAR race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Jeff Gordon achieved the feat in 1998 and 2001, while Dale Jarrett and Bobby Labonte pulled it off in 1999 and 2000, respectively. It was a four-year run of Indy-title doubles, a feat resumed this year by Stewart.
Six of the eight drivers who have earned an Allstate 400 at the Brickyard victory also have been a NEXTEL Cup champion during their career, with Ricky Rudd and Kevin Harvick the only exceptions. Among the NEXTEL Cup champions who have won the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, Dale Earnhardt and Bill Elliott are the only drivers who didn't capture the race and a championship in the same year.
Stewart, an Indiana native and resident, held off Kasey Kahne on Aug. 7 for his first victory at Indianapolis in seven Allstate 400 at the Brickyard and five Indianapolis 500 starts.
ALLSTATE 400 AT THE BRICKYARD, NASCAR CHAMPIONSHIP WINNERS
NASCAR Indy winner
NASCAR season champion