Thursday, October 31, 2013

Driver Chassis Selections: 2013 AAA Texas 500

Greg Biffle using Michigan chassis he used to grab only win of season

#2-Brad Keselowski: Primary Chassis: PRS-861. Last Raced: Atlanta (finished 35th). Backup Chassis: PRS-854. Last Raced: Backup at several races.

#5-Kasey Kahne: Crew chief Kenny Francis has selected Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 5-809 for Sunday's race at Texas. Kahne has driven this chassis three times this season and averaged a finish of 7.3. Notably, Kahne recorded a third-place finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July and a seventh-place result at Michigan International Speedway in August. Most recently, he qualified fourth and finished 12th driving this chassis at Chicagoland Speedway in September.

#9-Marcos Ambrose: The No. 9 team will bring chassis No. 842 to Texas. The team last ran the chassis at Chicagoland Speedway where they brought home a 15th-place finish.

#10-Danica Patrick: Chassis No. 10-805: Chassis No. 10-805 was used for the first time in July at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where Patrick started 33rd and finished 30th. It was then used in September at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., where Patrick started 23rd and finished 20th. The last time Chassis 10-805 was in action was Oct. 12 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, where Patrick started 35th and finished 20th

#14-Mark Martin: Chassis No. 14-827: This is a brand-new racecar that has never turned a wheel on the racetrack, but it has been wind-tunnel tested numerous times.

#15-Clint Bowyer: Primary chassis No. 777 raced at Indianapolis, Atlanta, Dover and Charlotte.

#16-Greg Biffle: Primary Chassis: RK-817 Last ran Michigan  finished 1st. Backup Chassis: RK-859 Last ran Indy  finished 24th

#17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: Primary Chassis: RK- 860  last ran at Chicago - finished 8th. Backup Chassis: RK-811 - 2012 No. 99 chassis.

#22-Joey Logano: Primary Chassis: PRS-853. Last Raced: Richmond (finished 22nd). Backup Chassis: PRS-842. Last Raced: Bristol (finished 5th).

#27-Paul Menard: will pilot chassis No. 427 at Texas Motor Speedway. This No. 27 Chevrolet SS was previously run this season at Kansas Speedway, Michigan International Speedway and Pocono Raceway. It was also utilized in a two-day test session at Texas last week.

#29-Kevin Harvick: will pilot chassis No. 431 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable in the AAA Texas 500. Harvick drove this RCR-prepared machine to Victory Lane at Kansas Speedway and to a sixth-place result at Charlotte Motor Speedway in October.

#31-Jeff Burton: will race chassis No. 372 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. This No. 31 Chevrolet was utilized four times this season at Bristol Motor Speedway in March, Kentucky Speedway in June, Michigan International Speedway in August and Atlanta Motor Speedway in September.

#33-Austin Dillon: will pilot chassis No. 418 in the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Dillon drove this Chevrolet SS to a 19th-place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway in September, a 26th-place finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July and an 11th-place finish at Michigan International Speedway in June. This former No. 27 entry was also driven by teammate Paul Menard to a 13th-place finish in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May and a 17th-place finish at Texas Motor Speedway in April.

#39-Ryan Newman: Chassis No. 39-727 debuted at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway in May 2012, when Newman finished 14th. The chassis made its last start of the 2012 season at Homestead-Miami Speedway, where Ryan Newman and the No. 39 team recorded a third-place finish. Chassis No. 39-727 was outfitted with a Chevrolet SS body over the winter and was raced again at Charlotte, this time in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, where Newman finished 13th. Then, the No. 39 team utilized Chassis 39-727 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in August, where Newman was in position for a top-10 finish until he was caught up in a multi-car incident on lap 448, resulting in heavy damage that would see Newman finish the race 21st. Chassis 39-727 underwent repairs and visited the wind tunnel in August in preparation for the 500-mile race at Charlotte in October, where Newman led twice for two laps en route to recording an eighth-place finish.

#43-Aric Almirola:: The No. 43 team has prepared chassis No. 843. The team brought this chassis to Texas earlier this year and brought home a seventh-place finish.

#48-Jimmie Johnson: Johnson will drive a chassis No. 797 at Texas (won at Dover). Chassis No. 824 serves as the backup.

#55-Elliott Sadler: 783 battled for the lead with Vickers behind the wheel before mechanical issues ended the race early at Chicagoland Speedway.

#88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.: This weekend at Texas, crew chief Steve Letarte will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-716. Earnhardt has raced this chassis five times this year: Auto Club Speedway in March, Kansas Speedway in April, the All-Star Race in May and Michigan International Speedway in June and August.

#99-Carl Edwards: RK- 831 Last ran at October Texas test. RK  861 Last ran at Kansas.

- compiled by

Jimmie Johnson using winning Dover chassis at Texas

Johnson won at Texas last fall; he's 5/1 at William Hill books to win Sunday
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (Oct. 30, 2013) – “I want to be a cowboy, baby.” Kid Rock isn’t the only one who’d like to be a cowboy. The field of 43 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers wouldn’t mind being one after Sunday’s AAA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. That’s because part of the post-race attire given to the winner in victory lane is a custom-made cowboy hat.

Johnson has two of them, coming by way of his victories after the fall 2007 and 2012 events. Johnson and the No. 48 Lowe’s team tested at the 1.5 mile oval last week in search of victory number three, and the five-time Sprint Cup champion noted how much the line around the track had moved. While testing may have given those who participated in the session a little bit of an edge over those who didn’t, Johnson notes that regardless, conditions should produce an “exciting race.”

Things certainly got exciting after last weekend’s race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, which left Johnson and Matt Kenseth tied atop the standings in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Kenseth owns the tiebreaker with seven wins this season to Johnson’s five. So a win Sunday would help Johnson move past Kenseth and help separate the two drivers from the rest of the field, who have started to chip away at the point differential.

Johnson even noted on Twitter after the race, “This championship is gonna go all the way to the last lap in Homestead.” But a good run at Texas would provide some “giddyup” to his chances of earning his sixth championship. And since it is Halloween weekend, Johnson wouldn’t mind dressing up as a cowboy Sunday. And, surely, he’d say it would be awesome to be a cowboy, baby.

Texas Motor Speedway Notes of Interest:
· Two wins (November 2007 and 2012).
· Two poles (April 2006 and 2013, October 2012).
· Nine top-five finishes (45.0 percent) and 15 top-10s (75.0 percent) in 20 starts.
· Average start is 8.8 and average finish is 9.1.
· One DNF (Did Not Finish) – April 2007.
· Has completed 6,487 of 6,691 laps (97.0 percent) and led 443.
· Sprint Cup’s second-best driver rating (103.8 average of a possible 150 points).
· Sprint Cup’s second-best in fastest laps run (389).
· Sprint Cup’s second-best in most laps in the top-15 with 4,329 (76.1 percent).

2013 Season Notes of Interest:
· Currently tied for first in points with Matt Kenseth in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Kenseth holds the tiebreaker with seven wins to Johnson’s five.
· Five wins (February and July Daytona, April Martinsville, June Pocono, September Dover).
· Two poles (April Martinsville, August Pocono).
· 14 top-five finishes and 21 top-10s.
· Sprint-Cup’s best in laps led (21 races for 1,729 laps).

Chassis Information: Johnson will drive a chassis No. 797 at Texas. This chassis finished 4th at Charlotte and won at Dover. Chassis No. 824 serves as the backup. 

JIMMIE JOHNSON, Driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS for Hendrick Motorsports:

What do you expect in the race after testing at Texas?

“Expect the cars that were there to lead the way on the practice sheets and be toward the top of the qualifying order when all that comes down. That’s all very important stuff but, what I’m really excited about after the test session is how much the line has moved around on the racetrack. If we have sunny conditions for the race, we’ll have a very, very exciting race.”

Does it help having won at Texas?
“It does bring confidence. It makes the weeks leading into that race easier and less stressful. You still have to go get on the track and get it done. You still have to work through the practice sessions and find speed. There will be challenges thrown at you regardless of past history at a track. And, in the race, there are plenty of opportunities to make mistakes and get in trouble, so you’ve got to be on your toes. In all honesty, it makes the week leading up – Monday through Friday morning – much more enjoyable, but then the pressure starts up as if you haven’t run well there before. It kind of all goes out the window.”

- True Speed Communication for Team Lowe’s Racing

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Carl Edwards just wants to grab victories in final races heading into Texas

Carl Edwards has won 3 times at Texas; he's 20/1 this week
Carl Edwards – AAA Texas 500
Team: No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion
Crew Chief: Jimmy Fennig
Primary Chassis: RK- 831 Last ran at October Texas test
Backup Chassis: RK – 861 Last ran at Kansas


Edwards at Texas

o Edwards has accumulated three wins at the 1.5-mile Texas track, the most of any active Sprint Cup driver. Edwards’ average start at Texas is 14.1 and his average finish is 14.4. He is one of only two drivers to win both the spring & fall events in the same year at Texas.
In the Loop
According to NASCAR’s Loop Statistics, Edwards ranks fifth in laps led with 493 in the past 17 races. He has also turned 346 of the track’s fastest laps, which is third best. He has a driver rating of 98.1, sixth best among active drivers, and spent 4,243 laps in the top 15 (74.6%) which is fourth best.
The Car
The No. 99 team will unload RK – 831 which was last used for the test at TMS earlier this month. Before that, it last ran at Indianapolis. 

Primary Sponsor Note
Aflac will return to the track for their fifth and final primary paint scheme. In their previous four primaries, Edwards has led Aflac to two top-five and three top-10 finishes.


Edwards quotes on the AAA Texas 500:

“We had a great test at Texas Motor Speedway, we’re hoping to go there and get a victory for Aflac. We’ve had a lot of luck and I love racing there; it’s a fast race track with a lot of character. The race track has aged quite a bit and the tires seem to work really well there, it can race three different grooves. At this point in the season it’s just about wins for us. We want go into these last three races with all the stops pulled and hopefully we can get some victories.”

- Roush Fenway Racing

Kurt Busch going back to Texas to "clean up spilled milk"

Kurt Busch is 18/1 to win this week...been awesome at 1.5's this season
DENVER (Oct. 30, 2013) – Even though Kurt Busch finished 37th and dropped to 24th in driver points at the Texas Motor Speedway race in April, the Furniture Row Racing driver feels it was the turning point of the season for the single-car team.

“I know it might sound awkward considering the finish we had and our points position following the Texas spring race, but what I am saying is accurate,” stated Busch, driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet SS. “It was our turning point race. We felt like we had a whole different swagger about the team with the setup we brought there. I think we all felt then that we had the potential to be one of the Chase teams.”

For the record, Busch qualified second at the April Texas race, his first of eight front-row starts of the season. During the practices leading up to the Saturday night race he was posting some of the top speeds.

And when the green flag dropped to start the 500-mile race at the 1.5-mile oval, Busch was running up front until a fuel regulator malfunctioned, forcing him to the garage to replace the broken part.

But since that Texas race, Busch has indeed come on strong, scoring eight top fives, 13 top-10s and becoming the first driver from a single-car team to qualify for the Chase playoffs.

Another indicator of how the Denver-based team progressed since Texas in April is Busch’s 6.86 finishing average in the ensuing seven races on mile-and-a-half ovals.

Busch is looking to improve upon his 1.5-mile success at this weekend’s AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup race.

“I am looking forward to going back to Texas to try and clean up some spilled milk,” said Busch, who enters Sunday’s race ninth in driver points. “I feel Texas has the potential of being one of our better Chase races. We also haven’t had much success at the last three Sprint Cup races so it’s time to turn things around.”

The Texas race also gave Furniture Row Racing a spark last fall, when Busch scored his first of three-consecutive top-10 finishes.

“We were pretty good in the closing three races last year and I look for us to show similar muscle as we head into the homestretch,” said Busch, who joined Furniture Row Racing with six races remaining in 2012. “But we can’t afford any slips if we want to stay in the top-10 in points and have a speaking slot at the awards banquet in Las Vegas.”

Busch’s career record at Texas Motor Speedway includes: 21 starts, one win, three top-fives, 12 top-10s and 235 laps led. His starting average is 15.7 and finishing average is 15.2.

- DMF Communications for Furniture Row Racing

Martin Truex Jr. heading into Texas: "Three of our best tracks coming up"

Runner-up at Texas in April, Martin Truex Jr. a strong candidate to win 
CORNELIUS, N.C. — Martin Truex Jr. feels like he has some unfinished business with Texas Motor Speedway. In April, Truex led 142 laps but finished second just 0.508 seconds behind fellow Toyota driver Kyle Busch.

The Michael Waltrip Racing driver hopes an Oct. 21 and 22 test on the 1.5-mile oval at Texas is the key to finishing one spot better on Sunday when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to the Lone Star state.

Before going to Texas, Truex is testing the No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota at Homestead-Miami Speedway Tuesday andWednesday in preparation for the Nov. 17 season finale.

Martin Truex Jr. On Testing: “When we finish up here at Homestead today we will be done with testing this season. Last week we tested at Texas and had a really good test there. I am obviously looking forward to the race this weekend. We came so close to winning at Texas in the spring. The only thing on our mind is going back there and winning. Homestead has always been a great track for me. Our NAPA team is definitely looking forward to going there as well. Hopefully we can go back to contending for wins starting Sunday at Texas.”

On the NAPA team: “All this NAPA team wants to do is go out swinging. They have always worked hard and deserve something really good to happen. We’ve had such a great time together and we want to finish out this season strong. The last couple of weeks have been frustrating. Not a lot has gone our way. Three of our best tracks are coming up. Hopefully they will be good to us so that we can do some good things. All we want to do is to go out on a positive note. This NAPA team deserves it.”

Update on Cast: “My wrist is 75 percent healed. I still wear a cast when I race but it’s removable now. I only have to wear it when I am in the car. It’s getting better but at times it hurts a little bit. I notice it the most right after a race. It’s not slowing me down. It’s all good. I’ll be back to 100 percent when the new season begins.”

Truex at Texas: In 16 Cup starts, he owns two poles, two top-five and eight top-10 finishes. His average start is 16th and finish is 15th. He has led 231 laps in competition.

MWR in 2013: MWR cars have combined for two wins (Truex Jr. – Sonoma; Vickers – Loudon-1), 20 top-five and 42 top-10 finishes. The three-car team has led 834 laps and won one pole award (M. Martin – Phoenix-1). Bowyer is sixth in points trailing Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson by 55 with three races remaining.

AUCTION: RK Motors Collector Car Auction will be Thursday through Sunday at the Charlotte Convention Center. Over 200 of the finest classic and collector cars will be on display and up for auction including race cars driven by Dale Earnhardt Sr., AJ Foyt and James Hunt. The event will be open to the public and general admission tickets start at only $7.50. Tickets can be purchased online at

- Michael Waltrip Racing

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

LVH surprisingly tabs Johnson as favorite to win 2013 AAA Texas 500

This weeks favorites: Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch
LAS VEGAS - Matt Kenseth really shook things up on the Sprint Cup odds board at the LVH SuperBook with his career-best second-place finish at Martinsville last week. Jimmie Johnson had a slim four-point lead in the Chase over Kenseth, but it was his career dominance on the half-mile track that had him as a giant -300 favorite to win his sixth Sprint Cup title. That was supposed to be a race where Johnson separated himself from Kenseth, a driver that had always been just average at Martinsville.

Now, with things all tied up and three races to go, Johnson is only a -140 favorite with Kenseth at +110 to win the Championship. Technically, Kenseth is actually leading in points because the first tie-breaker is season wins, of which Kenseth has seven and Johnson five. Tony Stewart proved in 2011 that the tie-breaker can be huge.

When looking at the final three races of the Chase, starting with the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway this Sunday, there looks to be some value with Kenseth because two of those three races are on 1.5-mile tracks. Kenseth has four wins on the nine 1.5-mile tracks this season while Johnson doesn't have any.

However, despite Johnson having only three top-5 finishes on 1.5-mile tracks this season, the LVH has posted Johnson as the 7-to-2 favorite to win on Sunday, with Kenseth the second choice at 4-to-1. Both have two career wins on the track. Over the past 20 Texas races, Kenseth has a 6.8 average finish while Johnson's is 9.1.

Johnson won this race last fall, but it's apparent that the No. 48 team hasn't completely figured out the new Gen-6 car on these types of tracks this season, resulting in zero wins. The same can be said for the rest of the Hendrick Motorsports cars on 1.5-mile tracks, while Joe Gibbs Racing has won six of the nine races.

We could assume that Johnson's team is getting better as he's had top-5 finishes on two of the last three races at 1.5-mile tracks (Chicago and Charlotte), but the only thing concrete and bankable is JGR with their six wins, four coming from Kenseth.

The one thing Johnson has going for him, not only this week at Texas, but also at Phoenix and Homestead, is that he's as cool as they come in these situations. Kenseth showed some moxie last week at Martinsville that surprised a lot of us, but in past Chases, we've only seen Kenseth fail. With Johnson, we've seen him win it all five times. The big difference from all five of his championship seasons and now is that he was the dominant force at 1.5-mile tracks.

Kyle Busch rolled rather easily in the first Texas race this season. He started from the pole and led 171 of 334 laps en route to his first career win there. This week he's listed at 5-to-1 odds. Another reason to like Busch Sunday is that he won on Texas' sister track at Atlanta in early September. Of all the 1.5-mile tracks, Atlanta and Charlotte resemble Texas' high banks the most.

On the same note as Kyle Busch, we also have to consider Kevin Harvick, who is listed at 12-to-1 odds. Harvick won at Charlotte in May and also at the flatter Kansas layout on Oct. 6. On the year, he has three wins and sits in fourth-place, 28-points back in the standings. Brad Keselowski is 12-to-1 this week, and the thing to like most about him is that he won on the last 1.5-mile track raced on. His Charlotte win three weeks ago was his first of the season, but it's obvious that the Penske Racing team may have found something missing to make them faster on this type of track.

A driver that has been fast on this type of track all season but has yet to capture a win is Kurt Busch, who comes in at 20-to-1 odds. Before finishing 14th at Charlotte, Busch had a string of five straight finishes of sixth or better on 1.5-mile tracks.

Read More Here.....LVH Texas odds and updated Sprint Cup odds

Matt Kenseth going for fifth 1.5-mile track win of season at Texas

Kenseth is a two-time winner at Texas; he's 4/1 to win Sunday
Matt Kenseth/No. 20 Home Depot “Let’s Do This” Toyota Preview
AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway

No. 20 Home Depot Toyota News and Notes:

Joe Gibbs Racing has 67 Sprint Cup Series starts at Texas Motor Speedway and has earned four wins, 16 top-five, and 27 top-ten finishes. The organization also has led for a total of 1,214 laps, has an average start of 16.4 and an average finish of 16.6 at the 1.5-mile track in Fort Worth, Texas.

KENSETH BY THE NUMBERS: Kenseth is the top active driver in the Sprint Cup Series at Texas Motor Speedway with the best average finish (8.5), the most laps led (772), most top five (12) and top-ten (15) finishes. Kenseth has completed 7,307 of 7,359 (99.3 percent) career laps at Texas in the Sprint Cup Series and has won twice there (April 2002 and 2011).

RACE INFO: The AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile) begins at 3:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, November 3rd. The race will be broadcast live on ESPN, Sirius XM Channel 90 and PRN Radio.

From the Cockpit:
Matt Kenseth:
“Everyone wants to run well when they come to Texas because it’s always a big race weekend. There are five 1.5-mile tracks in the Chase, and with Texas and Homestead being important races, that’s why we decided to test leading into those two tracks. You never know what’s going to happen each weekend because every track is different, and every race is unique, but I always love coming to Texas and I’m looking forward to this weekend’s races.”

From the Pit Box:
Jason Ratcliff:
“We didn’t run as well as I had hoped for at Texas earlier this season, so I felt like it was a good place to go test. I felt like we improved on a few things based off our time on track, and we definitely left better than we had arrived. During our test last week, we ran through a lot of our list, but I left the test being a little concerned with the tire. Obviously we had an issue with a right-front tire on our last day of the test, but I’m hoping that was an isolated incident. I think we’re going to have a better car going back this time around. Texas is a place where Matt (Kenseth) runs well at if you get him a car that’s close, he’s able to go and compete for the win, so I’m hoping for good things this weekend.”

About The Home Depot:
When it was founded in 1978 by Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank, The Home Depot began changing consumers’ perspectives about how they could care for and improve their homes. The Company created the “do-it-yourself” concept, spawning an entire industry that now spans the globe.

The Home Depot is the world’s largest home improvement specialty retailer, with 2,259 retail stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, 10 Canadian provinces, and Mexico. In fiscal 2012, The Home Depot had sales of $74.8 billion and earnings of $4.5 billion. The Company employs more than 300,000 associates. The Home Depot’s stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: HD) and is included in the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor’s 500 index.

- Joe Gibbs Racing

Kyle Busch ready to Texas two-step with season sweep

Kyle Busch is 6/1 to win on Sunday
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (Oct. 29, 2013) – As the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth for Sunday’s AAA Texas 500, Kyle Busch is hoping to be doing the Texas Two-Step yet again in the Lone Star State.

After sweeping the NASCAR Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series races there in April, Busch, driver of the No. 18 SNICKERS Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), hopes he can at least equal his impressive weekend there in the spring, which saw him lead eight times for a race-high 171 laps and bring home his first Texas win in NASCAR’s top series.

While the April Sprint Cup win was his first there, Busch is no stranger to victory lane at Texas. H reeled off an incredible string of five consecutive NASCAR Nationwide Series wins there from April 2008 to April 2010. Add his two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series wins in November 2009 and 2010 and it’s no wonder Busch is eyeing three wins this weekend as he’s entered in the Sprint Cup, Nationwide, and Truck Series races.

Busch sits fifth in the Chase for the Sprint Cup standings with three races remaining, 36 points behind JGR teammate and Chase leader Matt Kenseth, and feels he has an excellent chance of winning all three remaining Sprint Cup races at Texas, Phoenix International Raceway and the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

That could all begin for Busch with his second Texas win of the year Sunday, when he and his SNICKERs team look to add yet another signature cowboy hat and six-shooters as race winner in the Lone Star State to Busch’s steadily growing trophy collection.

KYLE BUSCH, Driver of the No. 18 SNICKERS Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing:

How special was it to get your first Texas win in April, which also happened to be your 300th Sprint Cup start?

“It felt good to sit on the pole with a new track record and go to victory lane. Doesn’t get much better than that. It was a fast race and I expect more of that this weekend. Texas is fast. We’re able to carry a lot of speed throughout the turns and down the straightaways throughout the whole race. It was a tough day there for a bit, getting loose, trying to slide around, trying to find grip, being able to move to the middle or move to the top. As soon as that caution came at the end, my boys stepped up to the plate and hit a grand slam and got us to victory lane. I was very proud of those guys and, hopefully, they can get us another good stop on Sunday.”

Looking back the April race, what do you think of the numbers that you’ve put up in your career with 28 wins by the age of 28?
“There’s a guy named Jimmie Johnson out there who has absolutely shredded the stat book for the rest of us. It’s great for what I’ve been able to accomplish in this sport and I’m thankful for that. And I’ve got a lot to be thankful for and a lot of people to be thankful to, including Joe Gibbs (team owner) and Dave Rogers (crew chief), just to name a few. I’m a competitor so, of course, you always wish your stats were a little bit better. I’d love to say I’ve had 50 wins by now, or something near that. But you take everything in stride as best you can, and we’ll continue to work hard. Hopefully, we can continue to increase that number for many years to come.”

Are you getting more comfortable at Texas each time you go back?
“It used to not be so much. I had some wild races there early on in my career and it wasn’t one of my favorite places, for whatever reason. Things have gone well, recently. The spring was a dream weekend for me there. Obviously, the Nationwide Series wins I had there all in a row and getting the win in the Truck Series the last couple of years have been real confidence-boosters. I’ve sort of learned how to drive it a little bit better and I know what I need in my racecar to make it easier. The cars JGR has given me since I joined the team have also been a confidence-booster there. Hopefully, we can get our SNICKERS Camry back to victory lane there on Sunday.”

Are you having more fun competing in this Chase than you ever have before?
“Yeah, I would say I’ve had more fun this year than in years past. It’s certainly a lot nicer to be competitive each week, to run up front and to take away those points that you need to. But, it can be somewhat frustrating, as well, when you are finishing either one spot ahead or just a couple spots behind those guys you’re racing against. That’s certainly difficult and challenging. It’s challenging to make up points in those sorts of circumstances. So, to make up points, you definitely have to win (races) and get those bonus points that are out there. Last weekend was obviously really frustrating, but we have three really good tracks coming up to finish the season, so we’re going to fight hard to finish the season and get the best points finish that we can.”

How fast of a racetrack is Texas Motor Speedway?
“It’s a fast racetrack. Texas was really hard for me at the beginning with the Cup cars, for some reason. I took to it right off the bat in the Nationwide stuff. We’ve kind of correlated some of that information back and forth and, having the cars from Jason Ratcliff (former Nationwide Series crew chief and current crew chief of the No. 20 Sprint Cup team for JGR) and from Dave Rogers (Busch’s Sprint Cup crew chief) being as good as they’ve been, we’ve been really fast there. And now that Jason is on the Cup side with Matt (Kenseth), I’m hoping they can bring back a little of that magic that helped us win five in a row there in the Nationwide car. It’s a fun place. It’s really challenging because of the flatness of the corners, getting into the corners, and then they’re so banked through the turns and then the exits of the corners, they kind of fall off really quickly. That was always really weird for me to try to figure out because the lateral grip seems to go away so fast on the exit of the turns. You kind of want to be straight by that point. It’s an interesting facility. Texas, Charlotte and Atlanta all might look exactly the same, but they drive nothing alike. It keeps you on your toes.”

- True Speed Communication for Kyle Busch Motorsports

Kevin Harvick using winning Kansas chassis at Texas this week

Kevin Harvick was third at Texas in 2006; he's 12/1 to win Sunday
Kevin Harvick
No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet SS

Event Preview Fact Sheet

This Week’s Budweiser Chevrolet SS at Texas Motor Speedway
… Kevin Harvick will pilot chassis No. 431 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable in the AAA Texas 500. Harvick drove this RCR-prepared machine to Victory Lane at Kansas Speedway and to a sixth-place result at Charlotte Motor Speedway in October.

Racing in the Lone Star State … Since 2001, Harvick has made 21 Sprint Cup Series starts at Texas Motor Speedway. Throughout the years, the California native has collected three top-five and 10 top-10 finishes, has an average starting position of 21.1 coupled with an average finishing position of 12.5, has completed 99.8 percent (7,011 of 7,025) of the laps contested and has five laps led to his credit. In addition to his Sprint Cup Series stats, Harvick has visited Victory Lane five times (March 2007, November 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2012) in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and once (November 2011) in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

Race Rewind … Harvick and the No. 29 team salvaged a ninth-place finish in the 2012 AAA Texas 500 after starting from the 23rd position and battling handling issues for the majority of the event.


How important is qualifying and track position at a place like Texas Motor Speedway?

“Qualifying is definitely very important on the 1.5-mile race tracks. Texas (Motor Speedway) is one of those places where the tires wear out, but track position is so important to keep the handling on your car. We tested there last week and hope that the information we gathered will allow us to go back to the track with a good balance on our car. We tried some different things and I’m hoping we learned enough to not only make me comfortable in the race car, but be able to put ourselves in a position to run in the top five and possibly even win the race.”

What is the race at Texas Motor Speedway like from the driver perspective?
“There is never a dull moment because you’re trying to drive the car to the edge every lap. You’re trying to make the car go as fast as you can. When you’re in traffic, it’s harder to drive the car than it is when you’re out there by yourself for the fact that it takes downforce off of the car and it feels like the car is lifting out of the race track. These cars become even harder to drive in traffic. It’s definitely a challenge every lap.”

- Richard Childress Racing

Clint Bowyer on Texas; "We need a win bad"

Clint Bowyer was 2011 spring runner-up; he's 18/1 to win this week
CORNELIUS, N.C. — No.15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota driver Clint Bowyer heads to Texas Motor Speedway for Sunday’s 500-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup with a new Extra Strength Sour Apple 5-hour ENERGY camouflage paint scheme.

Bowyer, who finished a Chase-best third at Martinsville last week, has three top-five and eight top-10 finishes in his 15 starts at Texas. He has led 84 laps with an average finish of 13th. Bowyer ranks sixth in the Sprint Cup Series standings trailing co-leaders Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson by 55 points with three races remaining in the season.

BOWYER ON TEXAS: “We tested at Texas last week and had a good test. I always look forward to getting back down to Texas, but obviously it’s a little bit different when you do get down there to race. There is a little more rubber on the track with more cars and trucks on the track. Overall I think we had good speed and stacked up well against the competition and the car felt good. I’m looking forward to getting down there and another solid run. We need a win … bad! Texas is one of the coolest places to win. I hope we can do that this weekend.”

ON YEAR TO DATE: “We’ve definitely turned the page when we went to these tracks a second time this year. We had a good notebook of what not to do and usually you can run better because of that. That said, we had a pretty big setback for our organization and we’ve been able to bounce back from that a little bit, but we had a good run last week at Martinsville. We haven’t won a race yet and we need to win a race desperately bad and I think we are capable of winning one of these last three races. We’ve had a great season. Looking back on this season I’m very proud of the season we’ve had. We’ve been very consistent week in and week out up front for our sponsors. We were second in points the entire second half of the season, so definitely it’s been a good year, but we are definitely missing that win in the win column.”

ON THE TOP TWO DRIVERS: “Look at the two drivers that are tied for the points championship – unless they hand one of the other guys a bone then there is no chance of anyone catching them. Those two teams have elevated themselves to championship level teams and that is your race for the championship.”

All three MWR teams tested at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Tuesday and Wednesday. Clint Bowyer in the No. 15, Elliott Sadler in the No. 55 and Martin Truex Jr. in the No. 56. All three MWR teams tested at Texas last Monday and Tuesday. 
MWR in 2013: MWR cars have combined for two wins (Truex Jr. – Sonoma; Vickers – Loudon-1), 20 top-five and 42 top-10 finishes. The three-car team has led 834 laps and won one pole award (M. Martin – Phoenix-1). Bowyer is sixth in points trailing Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson by 55 with three races remaining. 

Racing for a Cause: From now through December 31, 5-hour ENERGY will donate five cents from the sale of every limited edition, specially marked, bottle of raspberry flavored 5-hour ENERGY to Living Beyond Breast Cancer, a national nonprofit education and support organization serving women and families affected by breast cancer. The minimum guaranteed donation is $75,000. 

Chassis: Primary chassis No. 777 raced at Indianapolis, Atlanta, Dover and Charlotte (11th). 

Auction: RK Motors Collector Car Auction is Thursday through Sunday at the Charlotte Convention Center. Over 200 of the finest classic and collector cars will be on display and up for auction. Including race cars driven by Dale Earnhardt Sr., AJ Foyt and James Hunt. The event is open to the public and general admission tickets start at only $7.50. Tickets can be purchased online at

- Michael Waltrip Racing

Ryan Newman on Texas: "We just aren't going to give up on the rest of the season"

Ryan Newman won at Texas in 2003; he is 35/1 this week
KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Oct. 29, 2013) – Outback Steakhouse recently launched a new advertising campaign called “No Rules, Just Right” that puts focus on food quality and value, along with the “no worries” theme of Australian living. For Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Outback Steakhouse Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), that slogan will embody his approach to the final three races of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Heading to Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth 12th in standings, 106 points behind Chase leaders Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson, it’s all about winning races for Newman and ending the season on a high note.

After a slow start to the season, Newman’s SHR team heated up over the summer months. A win in the 20th annual Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July placed the No. 39 team in contention for a wild card berth. After a controversial sequence of events that occurred in the final race of the regular season at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway, Newman headed to Chicago as a member of the 2013 Chase field.

Newman opened the Chase with a 10th-place finish at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, then won the pole the following week at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. Newman finished 16th, however, and began to see his title hopes fade. A 35th-place finish at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City and 38th-place finish last week at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway made those hopes disappear.

While it would take a major miracle for Newman to re-emerge as a factor in the championship Chase, he knows that by embracing a “No Rules, Just Win” attitude, he and his No. 39 team can certainly end the 2013 season on a roll. He’s got three solid chances to do so, beginning this weekend at Texas.

Newman enters Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 with a strong determination to turn around his team’s misfortunes. And while his stats may not shine in the Lone Star State, Texas is a track where the South Bend, Ind., native has long enjoyed racing thanks to the high speeds and multiple racing grooves.

In 20 starts at the 1.5-mile oval, Newman has one win, two poles, three top-five finishes and four top-10s. His lone win came in March 2003, when he started third and led 77 laps en route to the checkered flag. It was the second win of Newman’s Sprint Cup Series career.

So while Newman may be out of contention for the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship, he is certainly still a factor to win each of the final three events. With a strong record at the 1.5-mile racetracks as of late, Texas is the ideal place to get started.

RYAN NEWMAN, Driver of the No. 39 Outback Steakhouse Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

Talk about racing at Texas.

“I always look forward to racing at Texas. I love the speed at Texas. It’s a fast racetrack. Texas is actually one of the fastest tracks we go to all year, so you have to be on top of your game because things can happen pretty quickly. It’s a track I’ve always liked, although it doesn’t necessarily show in my finishes. It’s a smooth, fast racetrack and there are multiple grooves, so it’s fun to race there. The asphalt has aged the track to the point it has gotten better and better each time we come back. What I mean is, the track has basically gotten wider. It’s gotten a bit more character. A little more bumpy, which is fine. I like it. I think, in general, the track has gotten wider and racier each time we’ve come back. It’s got less grip, but that’s fine. I’d rather slide around a little bit and be in charge of my racecar than be stuck to the racetrack.”

Do you feel like the recent performance of the No. 39 team on the 1.5 mile racetracks makes you one to watch this weekend?
“There’s no better test than at Charlotte, and we had a good run there. Our team has been pretty good on the 1.5 mile racetracks. Everything from the chassis and bodies to the engine package, I feel like our base package is better than where we started out the season.”

The 2013 season is winding down. While you’re out of title contention, do you feel like you’ve still got something to prove?
“We’ve been good at times this season, but not as consistently as we needed to be to contend for the championship. Having said that, we aren’t just going to give up on the rest of the season. Our goal is to get back in the top-10. I think we’re 30 points out (of the top-10) heading into Texas. I want to be one of the drivers getting up on stage at the banquet in Las Vegas.”

- True Speed Communication for Stewart-Haas Racing

Greg Biffle to make 400th career Sprint Cup start at Texas this weekend

Greg Biffle is a two-time Texas winner, including last spring 
Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion, is eighth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings with three races remaining. He joined the NASCAR teleconference on Tuesday afternoon to talk about his upcoming 400th series start and a variety of other issues going into this weekend’s race at Texas Motor Speedway.

GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 3M Ford Fusion – YOU ARE SET TO MAKE YOUR 400TH SPRINT CUP SERIES START THIS WEEKEND. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS? “I’m real excited about Texas and the 400th start seems like a lot, but I remember them talking about Ricky Rudd’s 700th start, so we’re a little over halfway to I think they’ve dubbed him the Iron Man, but I’m looking forward to Texas. That’s a great race track and I’m glad we’re going there this week.”

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE 3M HIRE OUR HEROES PROGRAM THAT WILL BE ACTIVATED THIS WEEKEND AT TEXAS? “Yeah, it’s a real exciting deal 3M is doing of giving returning veterans an opportunity go into automotive aftermarket and collision repair by providing tools and training and opportunities to all of our men and women. That’s really important and Chip Foose designed the paint scheme for the Hire Our Heroes program and everybody has put a lot of effort into it and the program is widely successful and lots of guys have received tools and training and all kinds of things to get in the business, so that’s exciting to see our precious commodities get an opportunity back home.”

YOUR PET CALENDAR IS ALSO GETTING READY TO COME OUT FOR 2014, RIGHT? “Yep and, in fact, we just released it a few weeks back. It’s so much fun to do this calendar every year. All of the drivers are so generous with their time and it’s exciting. Every year since we started the calendar we’ve sold more copies the following year and that’s just been the fan support and the people passionate about animals like I am, and we’re able to help so many groups across the United States from disaster relief from flooding and wildfires to really helping the shelters and adoption people that go out there and work tirelessly donating their time to help place animals and spade and neuter programs and things like that, so it’s been a great success our foundation has, and that calendar has been one of the biggest fundraising things. Greg Biffle is where it’s available. 3M prints the calendar every year for us. They’ve been so gracious to support the cause. It’s a lot of fun.”

CAN YOU CONTRAST THE FEELINGS WHEN YOU’RE IN THE CHASE AND OUT? “I tell you what, I said a long time ago and I’ve had to eat my words a few times – you’re a nobody if you don’t make the Chase. Those are pretty tall words, but what makes up the face of this sport is the Chase, are the Chase guys. That’s what everybody talks about from the Daytona 500 on is the 12 or 13 cars that are gonna be in the Chase. It’s really important and that’s been our focus. Let’s face it, you can’t win the championship unless you’re in the Chase. I’ve been out of a few of them and it’s no fun, but sometimes you have years like that and you can’t control everything. You just do the best you can and we had a solid run this year. We weren’t as good as we were last year. Our Chase has been OK. We’ve left some opportunities on the table, but it’s not over yet. We’ll keep digging and try and get in the top three or four.”

WHEN YOU DO GET IN EVERYTHING IS SO RELIANT RACE TO RACE. THAT FIRST RACE WHEN YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WHAT IS THE FEELING LIKE? “Last year we were all excited. The first race was Chicago and we were all amped up. We were leading the points the whole way. In fact, after the Richmond race checkered flag we were still the point leader. The reset, we go to Chicago and I’m licking my chops and I think we came out of there 18th or something and were terrible. I mean, we were way off and it was so discouraging that we had led the points for so long, we had such high hopes and started off like that. This year, we did a much better job of being prepared, but then we go to Kansas, where we did two tires tests and thinking that this was definitely a spot we were gonna win or get a top-three finish, and we struggled completely that weekend. That’s what is so fun and frustrating about this sport is you never know what to expect from week to week. I think that’s why so many fans enjoy it and like to watch it is you just don’t know what’s gonna happen.”

YOU APOLOGIZED TO JIMMIE ON TWITTER YESTERDAY. WHAT WERE YOU APOLOGIZING FOR? “It was multi-layered. I think the biggest thing was I was getting a lot of hate mail on Twitter from all the 48 fans about the way I reacted, so I was apologizing to the fans, not Jimmie Johnson at that point. My apology to Jimmie Johnson was on the telephone. I don’t text. I do the old-fashioned telephone. I know a lot of people don’t do that anymore, so I was apologizing for probably the way I handled it. And when I was walking over there I was furious because we had a great car. Nobody knows this but we had the fastest car the last 65 laps of that race. We closed in on the leader by five seconds from the start of that run to the end of it. We closed in on the 24 car by that much. I had to start at the back and drove to ninth. The other misconception was that, ‘Oh, you should be mad at the 88. He ripped your bumper off. It was the 88 car.’ Well, we came in and fixed it and started at the back and the 48 car ran square in the back of my car, not inside of me like his claim when I came up and talked to him about it. But I probably should have grabbed him by the arm maybe and voiced my displeasure. I wasn’t gonna do the old patented Jeff Gordon two arms to the chest. He’s kind of got that one, but I was upset that I had to start at the back – a good opportunity to get a top-three finish at Martinsville for the first time – and, quite honestly, after that thing was over probably a chance to maybe battle for the win. That just didn’t transpire and I was a little upset about that, so I should have handled that a little differently with Jimmie. I didn’t realize he was in the middle of his interview. I thought he was talking to some print reporters when I first went over there. I didn’t know he was on camera, so I apologize for that. I should have acted a little different. I should have maybe waited until he was done and then had my conversation with him in private with no cameras or media around.”

CARL THOUGHT THE TRACK WAS TAKING ON MORE RUBBER AND THE GROOVE WAS GETTING WIDER. DID YOU FIND THE SAME THING? “Absolutely. I think it’s gonna be a fantastic race. The reason why is with a limited amount of cars there we were running almost all the way up against the fence, right around the bottom, in the middle had good grip, so we were using the whole race track and there were only about 12 cars there I’m guessing –12 or 14 total – so I think it’s gonna be fantastic racing this week at Texas.”

THERE HAS BEEN A LOT OF RAIN SINCE THAT TEST. WILL THE TRACK RUBBER UP QUICKLY WITH PRACTICE? “Yeah. That race track rubbers up in one practice session, really, and will continue to take rubber and widen out. Even a little bit of light rain through the weekend, even if we had some, wouldn’t be a big deal, but it’s really the gully washers that change it, but 100 laps in or 75 laps in, that place will be rubbered up from top to bottom.”

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE PRESSURES YOU FACE BALANCING LIFE ON AND OFF THE TRACK? “This last month has been absolutely crazy. We tested Martinsville and then we were testing Texas the following week. We flew down there and then we figured out the weather wasn’t gonna be good enough, so we got rained out and flew back home and went back the next week. We’ve just had so many commitments and so many tests and things going on. I had a charity event in the middle of all that. We’re doing different meetings at the shop. We’re trying to talk about next year with the new rules packages. We’ve got NASCAR meetings. It’s been super, super busy for us this last couple weeks. And then I sit here today looking at it and I’m gonna be home for two days until after Homestead. I’m only here two days, so it’s been a busy year. I enjoy staying busy, but sometimes it’s a little too busy. But we’ve had a good season so far and we’ll keep digging.”

HOW TOUGH IS IT ONCE YOU GET IN THE CHASE AND HOW IT WEARS ON YOU OVER TIME? “It really does. The last 10 weeks coming up to the Chase it’s all you can eat, sleep, think – every moment of every day is whether you’re gonna make it or not and how to get your cars better and faster. And if you do make it, how am I gonna win the championship? And then you have about two days of relief. That Sunday after Richmond is probably the best day of your life because you’ve made the Chase, all the pressure is off, but you know Monday you’ve got to figure out how in the world am I gonna compete in this championship run now. So it’s the best thing in the world to get in the Chase, and then a few days later you’ve got all the pressure of having to perform and everybody starting out at zero points or based by your wins. It is a tough balance and we enjoy it.”

DO YOU FIND YOURSELF HAVING A ROOTING INTEREST FOR YOUR EX-TEAMMATE? “Matt’s a great guy. He was a great teammate. We’re still pretty good friends. We do a lot stuff together, but we compete with each other hard on the race track every week. Out of the guys up there in the title hunt, I think everybody has their own favorite, but I’d like to see Matt win it. He’s been a good guy over time. I think he deserves it. He’s worked hard and made a big decision to make a change. He had been at Roush for a long time like me and I’m happy for him. I’m glad he’s been as competitive as he has been. He’s gonna be tough to beat. He may not need any help or encouragement because you saw last week – all of the Roush drivers had been deemed ‘can’t drive at Martinsville’ and it just goes to show you that that’s not really the case when it comes to racing there. Matt finished second and led a lot of that thing and beat the 48 car by four or five spots, which was unbeatable at Martinsville the way you watched the TV coverage, and that wasn’t really the case when you came down to it.”

HOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO NOT TURN YOUR ATTENTION FULLY TO NEXT SEASON AND TREAT EVERYTHING LIKE A TEST WHEN YOU’RE EIGHTH IN POINTS RIGHT NOW? “It’s actually, believe it or not, if you analyze it it’s really easy to not do that because each year, if you will, is graded by where you finish in points. So every position is very important when it comes down to the end of this thing. Not only that is finishing third in points or fourth or fifth a big difference in where you end up, it’s a big economic difference. The end of the year point fund money is a tremendous different in the amount between third and fifth and seventh and eighth. That being said, that’s an increase for the team, for technology and all that, so that’s what we work the whole season for, so we certainly would like to work on next year, but our complete focus is to be as high as we can in points at the end of this thing. A perfect example is last weekend in Martinsville running fifth and having to come in and then come from the back all the way to ninth with that kind of race car and just the difference between fifth and ninth last week was two positions in the points. It’s from sixth to eighth in points, so you can clearly see how much is on the line. This is a sport and it’s fun and rubbing is racing and short track is short track, but there is a helluva lot on the line for the 13 drivers in this final bit. Now maybe not the 12th and 13th-place guys there might not be now, but, for me, there still is because I can get to third in points with a couple good runs. I win Texas and have a good run at Phoenix and Homestead I’m looking at standing there third in points.”

AND NO ONE REALLY KNOWS WHAT NEXT YEAR’S AERO PACKAGE IS GOING TO BE LIKE ANYWAY, RIGHT? “It looks like they’ve formed a pretty good outline around next year’s aero package, or at least that was my inclination when I sat in the meeting and they said they had six cars test the aero package at Charlotte. They were pretty confident that this is the outline it’s gonna look like. I think we have a good idea of what the aero package is gonna be like. I don’t think it’s wide-open, I think we have a good idea, but it’s hard. We can’t go test that because we don’t have any tests, so there’s nothing we can really do about it until we get track time.”

WHAT DOES IT SAY THAT BOTH YOU AND CARL ARE ROOTING FOR MATT EVEN THOUGH HE’S NOT YOUR TEAMMATE ANYMORE? “You just have to look at it from a personal standpoint. I’m rooting for myself. I’m rooting for myself – for those three or four guys that are a ways out there to have troubles three weeks in a row. That’s what any driver is rooting for, but besides that, it’s multiple choice. Pick a guy from these three, so I’m pretty good friends with Matt and he was my teammate for a long time and we had a decent relationship. By process of elimination which guy are you gonna pick? I mean, it’s almost like you got to root for somebody else besides yourself and he’s the obvious one for me, anyway.”

- PCGCampbell for Ford Racing

Jeff Gordon heading into Texas: "We're really in sync right now"

Gordon won at Texas in 2009; he's 8/1 this week
FORT WORTH (October 28, 2013) - Now that he has reached 88, Jeff Gordon will go back in time Sunday. But while clocks will be set back only one hour that morning, the four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion is wanting to replicate a result at Texas Motor Speedway from 2009.

Gordon, now an 88-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victor thanks to his win at Martinsville Speedway last Sunday, has two poles, eight top-fives and 11 top-10′s in 25 starts at the 1.5-mile speedway. But while his lone win here occurred four years ago, the No. 24 Drive To End Hunger team arrives in Texas full of confidence.

“We’ve had sort of a love-hate relationship with this track,” said Gordon. “This has always been a very challenging track and there were some years when we struggled. The last few times, though, we’ve been competitive and the last time we were here we were very competitive but had a failure. It’s been a bit of love and hate.

“But with a lot more love recently.”

With three races remaining in the 2013 campaign, Gordon is now third in the point standings and 27 out of the lead. But that position may actually be an advantage for the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports team.

“We have nothing to lose and everything to gain, so that puts us in a comfortable position as to how we approach each race,” said Gordon. “I love the team’s attitude and we’ve been having fun since Chicago. Less frustration and we’re executing better.

“We’re really in sync right now.”

In addition to the Martinsville victory, a test here last week may provide added confidence ahead of Sunday’s AAA Texas 500.

“Other teams elected to test Monday but we waited until Tuesday to begin our test hoping there would be more rubber on the track before we started running,” said Gordon. “The track changed a lot that first day and the speeds dropped which I think was more realistic to what we’ll experience for the race. Testing allows us to come here and be better prepared for qualifying and the race. I thought the test went well, and I can’t wait for this weekend’s race.

“Right now, I’m looking forward to every race.”

- Performance PR Plus

Testing at Texas in No. 55 should help Elliott Sadler this week

CORNELIUS, N.C. — No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota driver Elliott Sadler tests at Homestead-Miami Speedway Tuesday and Wednesday before traveling to Texas Motor Speedway for Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race. In 2004, Sadler won the second of his three career victories on the 1.5-mile Texas oval.

This weekend he and his Michael Waltrip Racing teammates race with the knowledge gained from testing at the Texas track Oct. 21-22.

Sadler led six laps Sunday and finished 25th at Martinsville in his first start in the No. 55 replacing Brian Vickers who will sit out the remainder of the season for medical reasons. Vickers joined Sadler on the grid before the race and on top of the team’s pit box during the race in Martinsville. Vickers vowed he’ll be ready for full-time competition in 2014.

ELLIOTT SADLER ON TESTING WITH NEW TEAM: “It’s hard to put in words how much it helped me to go to Texas and test with this team instead of being thrown right into the fire. I didn’t really know Billy Scott (race engineer) and a lot of the guys on the team. I have worked with Scott Miller (crew chief) before at Diamond Ridge Motorsports, but not at this capacity. So, we got to go to the test at Texas and work through a lot of different things for two days. When they told me (about the Texas and Homestead tests) over the phone I was like, ‘Man, this is great.’ A lot of track time in the Cup car here in a 10-day period is definitely good for me. Track time, you can’t buy that!”

BRIAN VICKERS: “I feel like I could drive a race car, I just can’t. I feel great. Still training, still exercising — I miss being here, I wish I was here today. All in all, I feel good. I’ve told many people this since everything happened. I can’t complain. I’ve got a great life and family and friends. I’m frustrated and I’ve been bummed since obviously all this happened again. I’m just kind of looking forward. Things happen in life — that’s part of it. You just keep fighting and have faith. That’s all you can really do. I’m going to be out for three months and back in time for Daytona to race for a championship.”

· CHASSIS: 783 battled for the lead with Vickers behind the wheel before mechanical issues ended the race early at Chicagoland Speedway.
· ALL IN THE FAMILY: Sadler’s older brother Hermie drove the Aaron’s Dream Machine at Talladega in 2003 and five times in the 2006 season.
· SADLER STATS: In 18 Texas races he owns a victory and three top-10s. Sadler won the pole for the fall race in 2010 driving for Richard Petty Motorsports. Sadler owns three Sprint Cup, nine Nationwide and a Camping World Truck Series victory. He’s led 1,244 laps in Sprint Cup competition. He’s won eight Sprint Cup poles. Sadler has started 432 Sprint Cup and 227 Nationwide races. He won the 2008 Sprint Showdown.
· AUCTION: RK Motors Collector Car Auction is Thursday through Sunday at the Charlotte Convention Center. Over 200 of the finest classic and collector cars will be on display and up for auction. Including race cars driven by Dale Earnhardt Sr., AJ Foyt and James Hunt. The event is open to the public and general admission tickets start at only $7.50. Tickets can be purchased online at
· NO. 55 in 2014: Aaron’s, Inc. announced Aug. 13 it had reached a multi-year agreement to sponsor Vickers in the No. 55. Vickers has raced the No. 55 on a part-time basis the last two seasons for MWR posting his third career victory at New Hampshire on July 14. Beginning in 2014, he’ll pilot the No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine with a fresh new paint scheme. Aaron’s will sponsor each race during the length of the agreement.
· SOCIAL STOP: Make MWR’s “Social Stop” your second screen to follow all the racing and social media action when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races this weekend. MWR’s “Social Stop” goes live race morning allowing fans to view information from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube all on one page. Twitter feeds from MWR drivers, media members and NASCAR fans will populate the page. Visitors can also interact with fellow race fans and answer poll questions on the page. Visit or
· AARON’S: All October, Aaron’s is helping you score big on all the best brands! Spin our in-store wheel and you could win up to $100 off your first month’s lease. Register in-store or online at to win a $5,000 shopping spree. As always, you’re pre-approved for up to $2,000 in merchandise. Score big and own easier at Aaron’s today!
· INSIDER PROGRAM: MWR Insider Program offers all race fans sponsor discounts, specials on merchandise, exclusive pictures and video content plus fan giveaways throughout the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Fans can access the MWR Insider Program through the CardStar application available on most smartphones. MWR will work on behalf of the fans to expand the offerings beyond just its current sponsor line-up, aggregating industry-wide deals and discounts. Fans can text MWR to 42828 to get the card for free. Offers include free headset with rental of a FanVision unit ($19.99 value) and 25% off Toyota Racing merchandise at Toyota

- Michael Waltrip Racing

Texas Storylines: 2013 AAA Texas 500

Matt Kenseth is very good at Texas, maybe best
NASCAR Storylines for Week of Oct. 28, 2013

Everything’s said to be bigger in Texas and very little looms larger than this year’s edition of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup™ arriving Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.

Championship heavyweights Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson enter the AAA Texas 500 (3 p.m. ET, ESPN, Performance Racing Network, SiriusXM Satellite Radio) in a dead heat. Each has scored 2,294 points, the deadlock unprecedented in Chase history with three races remaining.

Kenseth technically is the standings leader, a tie broken by his seven season victories to Johnson’s five. The 2003 champion, like Johnson, has won twice at the 1.5-mile speedway.

The Texas Chase race has been pivotal in all five of Johnson’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships. Finishes of second and first in 2006-07 gave Johnson the points lead. He retained his No. 1 position in 2008-10.

Kenseth and Johnson continue to distance themselves from all but one pursuer. Four-time champion Jeff Gordon, who entered the postseason as the Chase’s final seed, closed to 27 points with his 88th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory on Sunday at Martinsville Speedway.

Following a two-weekend break, the NASCAR Nationwide Series teams return for the final three races of the 2013 season beginning with Saturday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2). Austin Dillon holds a slim, eight-point championship advantage over Sam Hornish Jr. A tight owners’ title struggle pitting Joe Gibbs Racing against Penske Racing continues as well.

Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Jeb Burton goes for a Texas Motor Speedway season sweep in Friday’s WinStar World Casino 350k (8:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1). Burton, however, trails Ryan Blaney and last weekend’s Martinsville winner Darrell Wallace Jr. in the rookie standings.


Most Wins May Determine 2013 Championship

Advantage – Matt Kenseth? Kenseth has scored the same number of points, 2,294, as rival Jimmie Johnson. The Wisconsin driver, however, currently holds the tie-breaker by virtue of his seven season victories to Johnson’s five. The Chase era’s previous closest contest with three races remaining came a year ago when Johnson led ultimate champion Brad Keselowski by two points.

Texas Solidified Four of Johnson’s Five Title Runs
Jimmie Johnson entered Texas Motor Speedway’s Chase race with the points lead in four previous seasons and closed the deal in three – 2008 through 2010. The Fort Worth track also was pivotal in Johnson’s other two championship campaigns. He took the points lead from Matt Kenseth in 2006 and Jeff Gordon in 2007 with finishes of second and first, respectively.

Gordon Closing But Does He Have Enough Time?
Twenty-seven points down with three races to go, Martinsville winner Jeff Gordon likely needs help from Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson to claim a fifth NASCAR Sprint Cup championship. Gordon has one victory at Texas Motor Speedway (2009) as well as two poles. Six DNFs, however, have pushed up his average finish to 17.0. Gordon fell out of April’s race with suspension damage and finished 38th.

Harvick’s Title Hopes May Hinge On Elusive Texas Victory
Kevin Harvick’s sixth-place finish at Martinsville Speedway was good – but not good enough. Harvick lost ground to Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson as well as a share of third place in the standings. Harvick needs to rebound with a victory and that would be a first at Texas Motor Speedway for the driver of the No. 29 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet. Childress has one NASCAR Sprint Cup race win at the 1.5-mile track, with Jeff Burton in 2007.

Kyle Busch Dominated Season’s Spring Lone Star Race
Kyle Busch’s championship hopes didn’t end in Martinsville but a 15th-place finish didn’t improve Busch’s chances. Texas offers redemption for the driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, who won from the pole and led 171 of 334 laps when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series visited in April. Busch finished third in last year’s Fort Worth Chase race.

RFR Pair Retain Texas Favorites’ Role As Title Hopes Dim
With this year’s Chase winding down, the hungriest drivers may be those whose postseason hasn’t gone exactly to plan. Greg Biffle (eighth) and Carl Edwards (10th) effectively are out of the championship hunt. Both, however, are favorites to win the AAA Texas 500. Edwards has won three times in Texas; Biffle twice. Roush Fenway Racing counts nine victories at the track.


Texas Motor Speedway Track Facts: 2013 AAA Texas 500

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 2013 Top 13 at Texas Motor Speedway
RankDriverRacesPolesWinsTop FivesTop 10sDNFsAverage FinishDriver Rating
1Matt Kenseth2202121508.5106.5
2Jimmie Johnson201291519.1103.8
3Jeff Gordon2521811617.092.3
4Kevin Harvick2100310012.584.7
5Kyle Busch161167014.1101.5
6Clint Bowyer150038112.992.0
7Dale Earnhardt Jr.2221312214.392.6
8Greg Biffle1912812415.3102.7
9Kurt Busch2101312115.289.0
10Carl Edwards170368314.498.1
11Joey Logano100022121.767.4
12Ryan Newman202134319.871.4
13Kasey Kahne181145318.783.8
* – Based on last 17 races at Texas Motor Speedway (2005 – 2013).
Kyle Busch won first Texas race in April
Texas Motor Speedway:
·        Construction on Texas Motor Speedway began in 1995.
·        The first NASCAR national series race at TMS was a NASCAR Nationwide Series event on April 5, 1997 – won byMark Martin.
·        The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was on April 6, 1997 – won by Jeff Burton.
·        The track underwent a repave between the 2001 and 2002 seasons.
·        In 2011, the spring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was moved from Sunday to Saturday night under the lights at Texas Motor Speedway.
·        Texas Motor Speedway hosted its first Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on November 6, 2005 – won by Carl Edwards.
Texas Motor Speedway Data
Season Race #: 34 of 36 (11-03-13)
Chase Race #: 7
Track Size: 1.5-mile
Banking/Turn 1 & 2: 24 degrees
Banking/Turn 3 & 4: 24 degrees
Banking/Frontstretch: 5 degrees
Banking/Backstretch: 5 degrees
Frontstretch Length: 2,250 feet
Backstretch Length: 1,330 feet
Race Length: 334 laps / 500 miles
Top 13 Driver Rating at Texas
Matt Kenseth...................... 106.5
Jimmie Johnson................. 103.8
Greg Biffle.......................... 102.7
Kyle Busch......................... 101.5
Tony Stewart........................ 99.1
Carl Edwards....................... 98.1
Denny Hamlin....................... 93.3
Dale Earnhardt Jr................. 92.6
Jeff Gordon.......................... 92.3
Clint Bowyer......................... 92.0
Martin Truex Jr.................... 89.0
Kurt Busch........................... 89.0
Mark Martin.......................... 87.8
Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2013 races (17 total) among active drivers at Texas Motor Speedway.
Qualifying/Race Data
2012 pole winner:
Kyle Busch, Toyota
196.299 mph, 27.509 secs. 04-13-13
2012 race winner:
Kyle Busch, Toyota
144.751 mph, (03:27:40), 04-13-13
Track qualifying record:
Kyle Busch, Toyota
196.299 mph, 27.509 secs. 04-13-13
Track race record:
Greg Biffle, Ford
160.577 mph, (3:07:12), 11-14-12
·        There have been 25 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway, one NSCS event from 1997 - 2004 and two races per year since 2005.
·        132 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas; 106 in more than one.
·        Four drivers have made all 25 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Texas Motor Speedway – Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte, Jeff Burton and Mark Martin.
·        Jeremy Mayfield was the first Coors Light pole winner, in 1998 with a speed of 185.906 mph. The inaugural Coors Light pole at Texas Motor Speedway in 1997 was cancelled due to weather conditions.
·        18 drivers have Coors Light poles at Texas, led by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte, Ryan Newman and Martin Truex Jr. with two each.
·        Two drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles at Texas Motor Speedway: Bobby Labonte (2003 and 2004) and Ryan Newman (2005 sweep).
·        Youngest Texas pole winner: Brian Vickers (11/5/2006 – 23 years, 0 months, 12 days).
·        Oldest Texas pole winner: Bill Elliott (4/8/2002 – 46 years, 6 months, 0 days).
·        17 different drivers have won at Texas Motor Speedway, led by Carl Edwards with three.
·        Seven drivers have multiple wins at Texas Motor Speedway:  Carl Edwards (three); Greg Biffle, Jeff Burton, Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Tony Stewart each have two.
·        Roush Fenway Racing leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in the most wins at Texas Motor Speedway (nine); followed by Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing with four each. 
·        Three of the 25 (12%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway have been won from the Coors Light pole; Kasey Kahne (2006), Jimmie Johnson (2012) and Kyle Busch (2013). 
·        The third-place starting position is the most proficient starting spot in the field at Texas Motor Speedway producing more wins than any other starting position in the field (four).
·        Six of the 25 (24%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway have been won from the front row: three from the pole and three from second place.
·        19 of the 25 (76%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Texas Motor Speedway have been won from a top-10 starting position.
·        Four of the 25 (16%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
·        The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Texas Motor Speedway is 31st, by Matt Kenseth in 2002.
·        Youngest Texas winner: Ryan Newman (3/30/2003 – 25 years, 3 months, 22 days).
·        Oldest Texas winner: Dale Jarrett (4/1/2001 – 44 years, 4 months, 6 days).
·        Jimmie Johnson leads the series in runner-up finishes at Texas Motor Speedway with five; followed by Matt Kenseth with four.
·        Matt Kenseth leads the series in top-five finishes at Texas Motor Speedway with 12; followed by Jimmie Johnson with nine.
·        Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson are tied for the series lead in top-10 finishes at Texas Motor Speedway with 15 each; followed by Mark Martin with 13.
·        Jimmie Johnson leads active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Texas Motor Speedway with an 8.750. Jimmie Johnson is the only active driver with an average starting position at Texas in the top 10.
·        Two active drivers have a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series average finish in the top 10 at Texas: Matt Kenseth (8.500) and Jimmie Johnson (9.100).
·        There have been three NSCS green-white-checkered finishes at Texas Motor Speedway: fall 2006 (334/339), spring 2008 (334/339), and fall 2012 (334/335).
·        Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions twice in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Texas Motor Speedway; the inaugural event in 1997 and spring 2007. The race has never been rain shortened.
·        Kevin Harvick has participated in the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway without posting a DNF (21).
·        Jeff Burton (4/6/1997) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (4/2/2000) won their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career race at Texas Motor Speedway.
·        David Ragan (4/09/2011) and Martin Truex Jr. (11/4/2007) posted their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light poles at Texas Motor Speedway.
·        2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski (11/2/2008) and Trevor Bayne (11/7/2010) made their first NASCAR Sprint Cup career starts at Texas Motor Speedway.
·        Two NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers have posted consecutive wins at Texas Motor Speedway: Carl Edwards (2008 sweep) and Denny Hamlin (2010 sweep).
·        10 of the 15 active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers who have won at Texas Motor Speedway participated in at least two or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Jeff Burton and Dale Earnhardt Jr. won at Texas in their first appearance; Carl Edwards, Mark Martin and Ryan Newman all won in their second appearance at TMS.
·        Jeff Gordon competed at Texas Motor Speedway 16 times before winning in the spring of 2009; the longest span of any the 15 active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners.
·        Only three of the 15 winning drivers have made 10 or more attempts before their first win at Texas Motor Speedway: Jeff Gordon (16) Kyle Busch (15) and Kurt Busch (13).
·        Bobby Labonte leads the series with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup starts at Texas Motor Speedway without visiting Victory Lane at 25.
·        Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Texas Motor Speedway was the April 4, 2004 race won by Elliott Sadler with a MOV of 0.028 second.
·        Two female drivers have made NSCS starts at Texas Motor Speedway: Shawna Robinson and Danica Patrick.
Starting Position
Finishing Position
Shawna Robinson
Danica Patrick
Danica Patrick
·        Only one car number has produced three or more Texas Motor Speedway NSCS wins:
Car Number – Drivers – (Years)
o   No. 99  – Jeff Burton (1997); Carl Edwards (2005 and 2008 sweep)
·        Matt Kenseth leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps led at Texas Motor Speedway with 772 laps led in 22 starts.
·        One NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver has won at Texas Motor Speedway in two different manufacturers: Jeff Burton (1997 – Ford; 2007 – Chevrolet)
NASCAR in Texas
·        There have been 34 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races among three tracks in the state of Texas.
Track Name
Texas Motor Speedway
Fort Worth
Texas World Speedway
College Station
Meyer Speedway
·        79 drivers in NASCAR national series history have their home state recorded as Texas.
·        Nine drivers from Texas have won at least one race in NASCAR’s three national series. Six of the nine Texas native NASCAR winners have won in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Terry Labonte
Bobby Labonte
A.J. Foyt
Billy Wade
Bobby Hillin Jr.
Johnny Rutherford
James Buescher
David Starr
Colin Braun
Chase For The NASCAR Sprint Cup: Texas Motor Speedway
·        This season will be Texas Motor Speedway’s ninth event in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup since the playoff’s inception in 2004. Texas did not participate in the 2004 Chase. Texas has been the eighth race of the Chase all eight previous seasons.
·        The winner of the Texas Motor Speedway Chase race has gone on to win the championship twice: Jimmie Johnson (2007) and Tony Stewart (2011).
·        Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards and Tony Stewart are all tied for the series’ most Chase race wins at Texas with two each.
·        The worst finish by the eventual series champion at Texas Motor Speedway is 38th, by Jimmie Johnson in 2009. Johnson was in the Chase standings lead following the 2009 Texas Chase race.
·        Chase Contenders have won seven of the eight previous Chase races at Texas Motor Speedway. The only non-Chase contender to win a Texas Chase race was Tony Stewart in 2006.
·        Three of the 2013 Chase Contenders are former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Chase race winners at Texas Motor Speedway: Jimmie Johnson (two), Carl Edwards (two) and Kurt Busch (one).
·        The average finish by the eventual series champion at Texas Motor Speedway is 9.25.
·        Chevrolet leads the series in Chase wins at Texas with four; followed by Ford with two. Toyota and Dodge each have one Chase race win at Texas.
Chase For The NASCAR Sprint Cup: Texas Motor Speedway
·        The most dominant performance by a Chase race winner at Texas Motor Speedway is Tony Stewart’s victory in 2006. He posted a Driver Rating of 149.7 and led 278 of the 334 laps (82% of his laps completed) - most by a Chase race winner at Texas.
Eventual champion’s points position and point deficit to the standings leader following the seventh Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race:
Points Back From Leader
Points Position Following Seventh Chase Race
Kurt Busch
Tony Stewart
Jimmie Johnson
Jimmie Johnson
Jimmie Johnson
Jimmie Johnson
Jimmie Johnson
Tony Stewart
Brad Keselowski
Note: 2011 and 2012 are under the current points per finish system
The top two Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings drivers 10 best finishes in 2013:

Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings Tie-Breaker Breakdown
Matt Kenseth #1
Jimmie Johnson #2
Finishing Position
Finishing Position
Matt Kenseth
Las Vegas
Jimmie Johnson
Matt Kenseth
Jimmie Johnson
Matt Kenseth
Jimmie Johnson
Matt Kenseth
Jimmie Johnson
Matt Kenseth
Jimmie Johnson
Matt Kenseth
Jimmie Johnson
Matt Kenseth
New Hampshire
Jimmie Johnson
Matt Kenseth
Jimmie Johnson
Matt Kenseth
Jimmie Johnson
Matt Kenseth
Jimmie Johnson