Indianapolis Motor Speedway Results: Paul Menard and Crew Gamble to Win the Brickyard 400

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Paul Menard became the fourth first-time winner of the 2011 season on Sunday, the most since 2007. Menard joins Trevor Bayne (Daytona 500), Regan Smith (Southern 500) and David Ragan (Coke Zero 400) as the Sprint Cup drivers which have earned their first career victory this season.

Menard conserved enough fuel late in the race and held off a hard charging Jeff Gordon to win the 18th annual running of the Brickyard 400 and finally earn the Menard family an Indianapolis race. Menard, who has been coming to IMS since he was a kid, expressed the emotions afterwards.

“You know I’ve been coming here since I was a kid and my Daddy has been trying to win this race for 35 years,so this is for my Dad. A lot of emotions right now. Slugger Labbe (crew chief) and all of these guys just do a hell of a job. I can’t believe we won Indy.

“1989, I think was my first year here. Spent 14, 15 years in a row just hanging out in the infield being a fan. 2007, I got to race here. It was definitely the highlight of my career up until that point. Here we are in Victory Lane. It’s unbelievable.”

The 400 mile race was filled with dominant cars and long green flag runs, putting the majority of the field on different pit strategies. Slugger Labbe, Menard’s crew chief, decided to stay out and gain track position while most of the field was pitting during green flag runs for fresh tires and fuel.

Defending Brickyard 400 champion Jamie McMurray and Regan Smith were also on the same strategy as Menard, constantly pressuring him for the lead while they conserved nearly two laps worth of fuel. Gordon, who had the four fresh tires and fuel was running laps one second quicker than the leaders but ran out of time, forcing him to settle for second.

“we had a great car you know and we had fresher tires and we had a long way to make up and you know, all we could do was run as hard as we could to put pressure on those guys and hope they would run out,” said Gordon. “I passed all of them but one and when I got to Paul he had enough left that he could get going and by that time I had really worn the tires out and I was pretty tight behind him.”

Smith ended up finishing third, McMurray in fourth and Matt Kenseth in fifth. Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle, Mark Martin, Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch rounded out the top 10.

Here are the complete results from Sunday’s Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway:
1. Paul Menard
2. Jeff Gordon
3. Regan Smith
4. Jamie McMurray
5. Matt Kenseth
6. Tony Stewart
7. Greg Biffle
8. Mark Martin
9. Brad Keselowski
10. Kyle Busch
11. Kevin Harvick
12. Ryan Newman
13. Clint Bowyer
14. Carl Edwards
15. Brian Vickers
16. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
17. Bobby Labonte
18. Kasey Kahne
19. Jimmie Johnson
20. Landon Cassill
21. Kurt Busch
22. A.J. Allmendinger
23. David Ragan
24. Martin Truex Jr.
25. Joey Logano
26. Andy Lally
27. Denny Hamlin
28. Juan Pablo Montoya
29. Casey Mears
30. Trevor Bayne
31. Dave Blaney
32. Mike Bliss
33. David Gilliland
34. Marcos Ambrose
35. Jeff Burton
36. David Reutimann
37. Michael McDowell
38. Joe Nemechek
39. Scott Speed
40. Mike Skinner
41. Terry Labonte
42. T.J. Bell
43. Robby Gordon

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