Paul Menard’s victory Sunday at Indianapolis (The Brickyard) continued the trend of first-time winners this season in NASCAR’s crown jewel events. Trevor Bayne won the Daytona 500, Regan Smith won at Darlington Raceway and David Ragan won earlier this month at Daytona.
For Menard, the win lifted him five spots in the standings to 14th, putting him in contention for a wild card into the 12-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. The final two spots in the field will go to drivers ranked 11th or lower who have the most victories. The two currently in position? Menard and Denny Hamlin, who is 11th in the points.
Gordon settled for second, Smith was third and McMurray fourth as Chevrolets took the top four spots. Matt Kenseth was fifth in a Ford and Tony Stewart, a two-time Brickyard winner, was sixth.