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Rick Mast

Rick Mast

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NASCAR is making its 16th visit to Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend.

Here are 10 memorable moments from the first 15 years of the Brickyard 400:Aug.

4, 1994An astounding 85 cars were entered for the inaugural race.

Almost as astounding, journeyman driver Rick Mast won the pole at 172.414 mph.

Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J.

Foyt qualified 40th for what would be his final IMS and NASCAR start.

Unlike many in the open-wheel ranks who believed bringing stock cars to the Speedway was sacrilege, Foyt was all for it.

"I think it's one of the greatest things that's happened in racing," he said.Aug.

6, 1994Two days past his 23rd birthday, hometown favorite Jeff Gordon held off Brett Bodine to score just his second NASCAR win.

"Oh, my God, I did it! I did it!" Gordon shouted over his radio as he crossed the yard of bricks at the start-finish line.

As a sidelight to the race, Bodine brothers Brett and Geoff tangled on the track and then exchanged harsh words off it.

"We've had some personal family problems lately, so he took it out on the track," Geoff said.

Countered Brett: "I would never do that, but hearing it doesn't surprise me coming from him."Aug.

5, 1995Heavy rain caused the race to start four hours late.

By then, ABC had switched to regular programming, so there was no live national television coverage of Dale Earnhardt's victory.

Once the race began, it was run in a hurry, with just one caution for five laps.

Earnhardt took the lead for the first time with 28 laps to go and held it to the finish.

"I still haven't won the Daytona 500," he said, "but this is next to it, so we'll take it." He finally won Daytona three years later.Aug.

3, 1996After Dale Jarrett took the checkered flag, he and his Robert Yates Racing team did something on impulse that has since become a Brickyard tradition.

At the suggestion of crew chief Todd Parrott, the team got down on hands and knees at the yard of bricks at the start-finish line, then leaned over and kissed the bricks.

It made for a great photo op and has been repeated by every Brickyard-winning team since.

"There's nothing you do special for winning the Daytona 500," Jarrett said, "so it would have to be first on the list of what you do when you win."

http://www.indystar.com/article/20090726/SPORTS0109/907260393/1004/SPORTS/15+years+of+Brickyard+memories
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