By The Numbers: Passing at Indianapolis Is Hard, In 2019 It Was Nearly Impossible

Oh boy.

NASCAR stans hate to see these numbers each week. They’re polarizing charts week after week. It either shows if the 2019 package worked or didn’t work.

Folks, it did not work on Sunday. The 2019 Brickyard 400, excuse me, the 2019 Big Machine Vodka 400 at The Brickyard presented by Florida Georgia Line was absolutely atrocious.

In the last 6 races, the 2019 version of the BMV400TBFGL featured the largest margin of victory, the fewest number of green flag passes and the third-lowest number of quality passes. We’ve stated before that the numbers don’t always determine if a race was entertaining or not.

Sunday’s race was not entertaining. It was more frustrating than anything. Passing was next to impossible on Sunday. Multiple times, basically the entire race, we watched cars run single file unable to pull out to pass. Sure the cars were closer together than last year (minus the leader which wasn’t supposed to run away with this package). But closer doesn’t mean better when you stage a 160 lap parade in front of miles worth of aluminum bleachers.

The end of the race for the over-hyped final transfer spot was the best example of how hard it was to pass. Daniel Suarez couldn’t pass Paul Menard who got passed by Chase Elliott after he got tight. It was incredibly frustrating to watch. The easiest way to pass was to capitalize on a restart and hope another restart was coming. If that wasn’t happening a driver had to hope two cars got side by side and use the massive hole in the air to get a run.

Indianapolis isn’t a good race with high levels of downforce, especially front downforce. Regardless of the package, the racing here is just not great. Even the mid-90’s races were mediocre regardless of how great people thought they were. Let Indy host IndyCars, they put on a much better show.

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