Since NASCAR made its debut at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in August 1994, some of the biggest names in racing history have won at least one Cup Series race at the famed facility. Jeff Gordon took the inaugural NASCAR race at the “Brickyard” and Dale Earnhardt Sr., Dale Jarrett, and Ricky Rudd took checkered flags in the three years that followed.
In total, 15 different drivers have won at least one Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Of those 15, six, including Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch, have multiple wins in Indy. And of those six, three have taken at least three checkered flags. Up until 2021, all of these victories came on the same 2.5-mile oval on which the Indy 500 is contested. But a new era has come to NASCAR as the annual Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will now be contested on the 2.439-mile road course.
Kevin Harvick is a three-time Cup Series winner at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Kevin Harvick earned his first checkered flag at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2003 with a 2.758-second victory over Matt Kenseth at the Brickyard 400, becoming the first to win the annual Cup Series race from the pole.
Harvick did the same at the Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard Powered by Florida Georgia Line (yes, that’s an actual race name) in 2019, leading 118 of 160 laps on the way to a dominant 6.118-second win over Joey Logano. He became the third driver with three victories at the track with a narrow .743-second win over Kenseth in 2020.
Jimmie Johnson won four times at the Brickyard
Jimmie Johnson won 83 races over the course of his 20-year career in the Cup Series, four of which came at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a seven-year span. He took his first checkered flag at the 2006 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, which ended under caution.
In 2008, the year of the big tire controversy, Johnson edged Carl Edwards by .332 seconds to notch his second victory at the track and became the race’s first back-to-back winner in 2009 with a .400-second win over Hendrick Motorsports teammate Mark Martin. His fourth win in Indy came in 2012 as he led 99 of 160 laps on the way to a 4.758-second victory over Kyle Busch.
Jeff Gordon has the most NASCAR Cup Series wins at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with five
As mentioned, Jeff Gordon, then just 23 years of age and in only his second full season in the Cup Series, won the inaugural running of the Brickyard 400 in 1994, which featured the largest crowd in NASCAR history. Gordon took the lead late after Ernie Irvan blew a tire and held on for a .53-second win over Brett Bodine.
In 1998, Gordon won his second Brickyard 400, which ended under caution, and took his third checkered flag at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2001 with a .943-second win over Sterling Marlin. The “Rainbow Warrior” dominated in 2004 to pick up win number four, leading 124 laps before again winning under caution. Gordon then went a decade without a win in Indy, although he finished inside the top 10 seven times during that stretch, but became the first five-time winner at the track with a 2.325-second victory over Kyle Busch in 2014.
Stats courtesy of Racing Reference