NASCAR - Sprint Cup - AAA Texas 500 Preview

From The Sports Network

DATE: Sunday, November 6th
SITE: Texas Motor Speedway (1997) -- Fort Worth, Texas
TRACK: 1.5-mile oval - 2,250 feet (Frontstretch); 1,330 feet (Backstretch)
CAPACITY: 191,122 (122,377 - Grandstand Seating)
ANNOUNCERS: Allen Bestwick, Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree
RADIO: Performance Racing Network (PRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio
START TIME: 3 p.m. (et)/Green Flag: 3:16 p.m. (et)
RUNNER-UP: Matt Kenseth
POLE WINNER: Elliott Sadler (Finished 23rd)
LAPS: 334
MILES: 501
QUALIFYING RECORD: Brian Vickers, 2006 (196.235 m.p.h.)
RACE RECORD: Carl Edwards, 2005 (151.055 m.p.h.)
TOTAL PURSE: $6,998,905 (2010 figures)
PAYOUTS: 1st Place - $453,575; 2nd Place - $370,876; 3rd Place - $234,350
2010 Finish
1Denny Hamlin306Kevin Harvick26
2Matt Kenseth197Clint Bowyer7
3Mark Martin98David Ragan5
4Joey Logano209Jimmie Johnson17
5Greg Biffle210Paul Menard12
2010 AAA Texas 500 Facts and Figures
AVERAGE SPEED: 140.456 m.p.h.
TIME OF RACE: 3 hours, 24 minutes, 1 second
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.488 second
CAUTION FLAGS: 9 for 40 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 33 among 13 drivers
POLE WINNER: Jeff Gordon (191.117 m.p.h.)
Past AAA Texas 500 Winners (Starting Position) Car -- Speed
2010 -- Denny Hamlin (30th) -- Toyota -- 140.456 m.p.h.
2009 -- Kurt Busch (3rd) -- Dodge -- 147.137 m.p.h.
2008 -- Carl Edwards (16th) -- Ford -- 144.219 m.p.h.
2007 -- Jimmie Johnson (8th) -- Chevrolet -- 131.219 m.p.h.
2006 -- Tony Stewart (8th) -- Chevrolet -- 134.891 m.p.h.
2005 -- Carl Edwards (30th) -- Ford -- 151.055 m.p.h. (race record)
Past AAA Texas 500 Pole Winners (Finish)
2010 -- Elliott Sadler -- 23rd
2009 -- Jeff Gordon -- 13th
2008 -- Jeff Gordon -- 2nd
2007 -- Martin Truex Jr -- 3rd
2006 -- Brian Vickers -- 27th
2005 -- Ryan Newman -- 25th
Last Race Results
RACE: Tums Fast Relief 500 (October 30th)
SITE: Martinsville Speedway -- Martinsville, Virginia
MILES: 263
LAPS: 500
WINNER: Tony Stewart
RUNNER-UP: Jimmie Johnson
THIRD: Jeff Gordon
FOURTH: Kevin Harvick
FIFTH: Denny Hamlin
POLE WINNER: Carl Edwards (Finished 9th)
TIME OF RACE: 3 hours, 49 minutes, 52 seconds
AVERAGE SPEED: 68.648 m.p.h.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.170 second
CAUTION FLAGS: 18 for 108 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 23 among 12 drivers
LAP LEADERS: C. Edwards - pole; M. Kenseth 1-3; C. Edwards 4-31; T. Stewart
32-39; Kyle Busch 40-54; A. Allmendinger 55-62; D. Hamlin 63-68;
R. Newman 69-107; A. Allmendinger 108-118; Kyle Busch 119-151; D.
Gilliland 152; T. Kvapil 153; R. Newman 154-155; Kyle Busch
156-203; J. Johnson 204; Kyle Busch 205-234; J. Gordon 235-319;
D. Hamlin 320-371; J. Gordon 372-399; K. Harvick 400-412; T.
Stewart 413-415; K. Harvick 416-437; J. Johnson 438-497; T.
Stewart 498-500.
AAA Texas 500 Entry List
CarDriver, HometownCar/Name
00David Reutimann (Zephyrhills, FL)Toyota/Aaron's Dream Machine
1Jamie McMurray (Joplin, MO)Chevrolet/Bass Pro Shops
2Brad Keselowski (Rochester Hills, MI)Dodge/Miller Lite
4Kasey Kahne (Enumclaw, WA)Toyota/Red Bull
5Mark Martin (Batesville, AR)Chevrolet/
6David Ragan (Unadilla, GA)Ford/UPS My Choice
7Reed Sorenson (Peachtree City, GA)Dodge/Speed Energy/Mapei
9Marcos Ambrose (Launceston, Australia)Ford/DeWalt
11 *Denny Hamlin (Chesterfield, VA)Toyota/FedEx Office
13Casey Mears (Bakersfield, CA)Toyota/GEICO
14Tony Stewart (Columbus, IN)Chevrolet/Office Depot/Mobil 1
16Greg Biffle (Vancouver, WA)Ford/Scotch Blue
17Matt Kenseth (Cambridge, WI)Ford/Crown Royal
18Kyle Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Toyota/M&M's
20Joey Logano (Middletown, CT)Toyota/Home Depot
21Trevor Bayne (Knoxville, TN)Ford/Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire
22Kurt Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Dodge/AAA
24Jeff Gordon (Vallejo, CA)Chevrolet/Drive to End Hunger
27Paul Menard (Eau Claire, WI)Chevrolet/Menards/Quaker State
29Kevin Harvick (Bakersfield, CA)Chevrolet/Rheem
30David Stremme (South Bend, IN)Chevrolet/Inception Motorsports
31Jeff Burton (South Boston, VA)Chevrolet/Caterpillar
32Mike Bliss (Milwaukie, OR)Ford/Street King
33Clint Bowyer (Emporia, KS)Chevrolet/Cheerios/Hamb. Helper
34David Gilliland (Riverside, CA)Ford/TBA
35Dave Blaney (Hartford, OH)Chevrolet/Big Red
36Geoffrey Bodine (Chemung, NY)Chevrolet/Luke & Associates
37To Be AnnouncedFord/Max Q Motorsports
38Travis Kvapil (Janesville, WI)Ford/Long John Silver's
39Ryan Newman (South Bend, IN)Chevrolet/Haas Automation
42Juan Pablo Montoya (Bogota, Colombia)Chevrolet/Target
43A.J. Allmendinger (Los Gatos, CA)Ford/Best Buy/Immortals
46Scott Speed (Manteca, CA)Ford/Green Stuff Absorbant
47Bobby Labonte (Corpus Christi, TX)Toyota/Wounded Warrior Project
48Jimmie Johnson (El Cajon, CA)Chevrolet/Lowe's
51Landon Cassill (Cedar Rapids, IA)Chevrolet/Security Benefits
55J.J. Yeley (Phoenix, AZ)Ford/Ingersoil Rand
56Martin Truex Jr. (Mayetta, NJ)Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts
66Michael McDowell (Glendale, AZ)Toyota/HP Racing
71Andy Lally (Northport, NY)Ford/TRG Motorsports
177Robby Gordon (Orange, CA)Dodge/Speed Energy
277T.J. Bell (Reno, VA)Ford/TRG Motorsports
78Regan Smith (Cato, NY)Chevrolet/Furniture Row Racing
83Brian Vickers (Thomasville, NC)Toyota/Red Bull
87Joe Nemechek (Lakeland, FL)Toyota/TBA
88Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Kannapolis, NC)Chevrolet/Amp Energy/Nat'l Guard
95David Starr (Houston, TX)Ford/Advocare
99Carl Edwards (Columbia, MO)Ford/Aflac
* - Defending champion
Leading Contenders (Finish last six years)
Denny Hamlin7th10th29th17th2ndWon
Matt Kenseth3rd12th2nd9th3rd2nd
Mark Martin2nd22nd34th12th4th3rd
Joey Logano---------40th19th4th
Greg Biffle20th35th33rd5th8th5th
Kevin Harvick16th3rd10th7th5th6th
Clint Bowyer---5th19th4th7th7th
Jimmie Johnson5th2ndWon15th38th9th
Paul Menard---41st30th22nd29th10th
Tony Stewart6thWon11th16th6th11th
Kasey Kahne42nd33rd18th24th33rd13th
David Reutimann------43rd10th16th15th
Jamie McMurray11th26th9th3rd20th16th
Carl EdwardsWon15th26thWon39th19th
Ryan Newman25th34th5th28th12th20th
Kurt Busch10th8th8th41stWon24th
Dale Earnhardt Jr8th6th14th20th25th25th
Juan Pablo Montoya------25th43rd37th28th
Kyle Busch21st4th4th6th11th32nd
Brad Keselowski---------19th35th33rd
Jeff Burton30th38th6th13th9th36th
Jeff Gordon14th9th7th2nd13th37th
Martin Truex Jr15th14th3rd8th14th38th
Brian Vickers19th27th23rd18th26th---
Mover of the Week
Casey Mears - Started in the 33rd position and finished 12th
Sports Network Selections
Pick to Win - Tony Stewart
Darkhorse - Kasey Kahne
Last Week's Pick to Win (Jimmie Johnson) - Finished 2nd
Last Week's Darkhorse (Clint Bowyer) - Finished 19th
Seven down and three to go, as the Chase heads to the Lone Star State of Texas this weekend.

Carl Edwards' lead has dwindled down to just eight after having a 14-point lead prior to Martinsville. Tony Stewart's win last week, coupled with Edwards' ninth-place finish, boosted the three-time winner in this year's Chase to second on the points list, while Matt Kenseth, who held the second position, fell to fifth after finishing 31st.

The points spread among Edwards and Stewart is the closest with three races three races to go in the season since the inception of the Chase in 2004.

Not to be overlooked is Kevin Harvick, who sits in third, 21 points behind. Harvick has five top-10's in the seven races and has recorded five consecutive top-10s in this race.

Last season, Denny Hamlin took over the points lead from Jimmie Johnson in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship after winning the AAA Texas 500 in a wild day of racing at Texas Motor Speedway.

Hamlin grabbed the lead from Mark Martin with 29 laps remaining. An incident involving Patrick Carpentier set up a three-lap shootout to the finish. After the restart, Matt Kenseth made a furious charge for the lead, but Hamlin held Kenseth off at the finish by 0.5 seconds for his series-leading eighth win of the season. He scored a season sweep at the fast 1.5-mile Texas track. His win here in the spring came nearly three weeks after he underwent surgery for a torn ACL in his left knee. Despite the win, Hamlin finished second to Johnson in the Sprint Cup chase.

In 2009, Kurt Busch conserved enough fuel to win at TMS. Busch inherited the lead when his younger brother, Kyle, ran out of fuel with less than three laps remaining. Kyle Busch led 232 of 334 laps, but wound up 11th after coasting into the pits for fuel. The margin of victory was 25.686 seconds over Denny Hamlin.

Carl Edwards raced to victory at Texas Motor Speedway in 2008, as he easily defeated pole sitter Jeff Gordon by over eight seconds. Edwards, who started 16th on the grid, led five times for 212 laps, as he posted his one of nine wins that season. Since winning nine times in 2008, Edwards has just three wins to his credit.

In 2007, Jimmie Johnson avenged his runner-up finish the previous season with a victory over Matt Kenseth for his ninth win of that campaign. Johnson won by 0.944 of a second, as he recorded win number 32 of 55 career titles. Johnson reclaimed the lead with just three laps remaining to overtake Kenseth. Pole sitter Martin Truex Jr finished third, while Kyle Busch placed fourth after leading for a race-high 153 laps.

Tony Stewart clipped Johnson in '06 by less than a second for his 29th career Sprint Cup title. Stewart, who now has 42 victories to his credit, started eighth on the grid and led for a race-high 278 laps. Pole sitter Brian Vickers led for only five laps and finished 27th. Stewart reclaimed the lead on lap 324 for the eighth time and edged out Johnson by 0.272 of a second.

This and That from Texas Motor Speedway: The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Texas was on April 6, 1997. There have been 21 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway, one per season 1997 through 2004 and two races per year since 2005. Four drivers have competed in all 21 Texas races: Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte and Mark Martin. Matt Kenseth started 31st en route to his victory at Texas in 2002, the deepest in the field that a race winner has started.

The pole sitter has never won this race and in the 21 previous races at Texas Motor Speedway, only once has the top position crossed the finish line first (Kasey Kahne, April 2006). 15 of the 21 races have been won from a top-10 starting position.

Back in 2005, Carl Edwards won for the fourth time that year, as he sneaked past Mark Martin by less than a second to capture the inaugural running of this race. Edwards, who led five times for a total of 82 laps, reclaimed the lead on the second-to-last lap for the win. Pole sitter Ryan Newman finished 25th, while lap leader Matt Kenseth, who led three times for 149 laps, finished third.

The second-to-last race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship takes place November 13 at Phoenix International Raceway. Carl Edwards is the defending champion of the Kobalt Tools 500.

11/01 17:53:32 ET

As of November 1, 2011, at 05:53 PM ET
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