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Brickyard 400: NASCAR Odds, Pick, Predictions, Dark Horses - 7/23/17

The 2017 Brickyard 400

Brickyard 400: Sunday, July 23, 2017 at 3:00 pm (Indianapolis Motor Speedway)

The Line: -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: NBC

We make our first and only trip to Indiana this weekend for the 2017 Brantley Gilbert Big Machine Brickyard 400, an event that debuted in 1994 and usually produces extremely fast times. Over the years, there are five drivers who have won this event more than once and Jeff Gordon leads the way with five victories. It’s always a treat to race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. 

You guys know the drill by now.      

Brickyard 400: NASCAR Odds, Pick, Predictions, Dark Horses - 7/23/17

USA TODAY NETWORK

Here are five drivers to consider throwing on this week’s card. (Odds weren’t available when this article was posted.)

Jimmie Johnson - Jimmie Johnson has been in full struggle mode since his win in Dover, but he did show signs of life last week with a top-10 finish. Johnson is always capable of winning any race any given week regardless of his form, and he’s won this event four times, second-most ever. In fact, Johnson has finished third or better in five of his last nine appearances at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Even with his hiccups the last month, you have to consider Johnson this week given his history on this track.

Kyle Busch - Keeping Kyle Busch off the card is a habit that’s getting hard to break. Every week there’s a case to play Busch, and while he usually performs well, he hasn’t tasted victory lane yet this season. Most would give up, but that’s when the gambling gods would finally bless him. Despite coming up short, Busch has finished ninth or better in seven of his last 10 races. Busch is also the two-time defending champion at this event and has finished second or better in four of his last five appearances at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway overall. If Busch doesn’t win this week, I give up. 

Jamie McMurray - This has been the season of different winners, as there hasn’t been a whole lot of dominating from one or two drivers. With Denny Hamlin off the board last week, Jamie McMurray is probably the most consistent racer this year who still doesn’t have a victory. McMurray has been top-10 in seven of his last 11 races and was runner-up in Alabama. As for this track, McMurray won this event in 2010 and has four other top-10 finishes at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The way this season has played out suggests that McMurray’s time is coming.

Clint Bowyer - Speaking of drivers who haven’t won this year, Clint Bowyer has gotten awfully close at times, especially the last month where he’s finished seventh or better in three of his last four tries. Of course, Bowyer has finished runner-up three times since Bristol. While his history in Indiana has been hit or miss, Bowyer has finished sixth or better three times, which includes a fourth place finish in his first appearance. Bowyer is worth a look this week if you’re looking for a dark horse.

Kyle Larson - While he has “just” two victories, Kyle Larson has been arguably the most consistent driver this season when you add his seven runner-up finishes. Larson has finished second in his last two races. If you’re a consistent NASCAR better, it’s almost gotten to the point where you play Larson every week due to his consistency. As for his three tries at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Larson has finished eighth or better each time, including fifth last year. It’s hard to pass up on Larson this week.

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