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Last Updated Monday, Apr 23, 2007 1:40 am, EDT

Race Capsule

Texas Motor Speedway
  • What:

    Race 7 of 41 on Sprint Cup circuit

  • Where:

    Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, TX

  • When:

    April 15, 2007 2:15 pm EDT

  • Laps:

    334

  • Track Length:

    1.5 miles

  • Race Length:

    501.00 miles

  • Purse:

    $7,253,642

Drivers to Watch

Jimmie Johnson Has picked up where he left off last season, winning three of the last four races to climb to third in the standings; bounced back from a 16th-place finish at Bristol to win at Martinsville, holding off Gordon down the stretch; trails Gordon, his teammate at Hendrick Motorsports, by 60 points; placed 11th in this event but was the runner-up to Tony Stewart in the fall race at this track.
Jeff Gordon Four-time series champion is on an early pace to capture his fifth crown, placing inside the top 12 in each of the first six races; was runner-up to teammate Jimmie Johnson at Martinsville after running third at Bristol to move atop the series standings; owns a 28-point cushion over Burton; bounced back from a sub-par 2005 campaign by qualifying for the Chase last season; placed 10th in this event last season and has four top-five finishes in 12 career starts at this track.
Matt Kenseth Placed 10th at Martinsville and ran 11th at Bristol to climb to fourth in the standings; bounced back from 27th-place finish at Daytona by capturing his second straight checkered flag at California; finished second in the standings last season, just 56 points behind Johnson; collected four checkered flags, a series-leading 15 top-five finishes and 21 top-10s; was runner-up to Kahne in this event last season and ran 12th in the fall race here.
Kyle Busch Followed up his first victory of the campaign with a fourth-place finish at Martinsville, his second-best finish of the season; climbed to fifth in the standings; captured his fourth career checkered flag three weeks ago at Bristol to climb eight spots to sixth in the standings; looked solid in the "Car of Tomorrow" (COT) but made disparaging comments about the new racer from Victory Lane at Bristol; rebounded from his worst performance of the season, a 32nd-place finish at Atlanta; had an outstanding car in each of the first three races this season, running ninth in consecutive weeks at California and Las Vegas; placed 15th in this event last season.
Tony Stewart Ran seventh at Martinsville after stumbling to 35th place at Bristol due to a faulty fuel pump; was runner-up to Johnson at Atlanta, his third straight top-10 finish; has fared well since suffering a heartbreaking outcome at Daytona, where he had the best car before being knocked off the lead by Kurt Busch on lap 152; was the consensus favorite to win his first Daytona 500 after performing flawlessly through Speedweeks, winning the Budweiser Shootout and the first Gatorade Duel 150 race; ran third in this event and won the fall race last season.
Jeff Burton Has run inside the top five in four of the season's first six races and trails standings leader Jeff Gordon by just 28 points; ran sixth two weeks ago at Martinsville and narrowly missed capturing his first checkered flag of the season in the previous race at Bristol, finishing just .064 seconds behind winner Kyle Busch; had a chance to wreck Busch along the last two turns but opted to avoid the crash and secure second place; finished third in the season-opening Daytona 500; ran ninth in this event last season.
Kevin Harvick Has struggled since winning the Daytona 500, placing outside the top 15 in four of his next five races; rebounded from a trio of poor performances by finishing fourth at Bristol but placed just 41st the next week at Martinsville; fell five spots to 10th in the standings; made a late charge at California but was hampered by a flat tire on the final restart and finished 17th; edged Mark Martin by 0.02 seconds in the tightest Daytona 500, opening the season with the biggest victory of his career; ran fifth in this race last season and placed third in the fall race at this track.
Denny Hamlin Has been inconsistent this season but still is sixth in the standings; matched his best performance of the season by finishing third at Martinsville; also ran third at Las Vegas; second-year driver ran 11th at California after registering a 28th-place finish at Daytona; enjoyed a breakthrough rookie campaign in 2006, recording two wins, eight top-five finishes and 20 top-10s en route to third place in the standings and the Raybestos Rookie of the Year award; finished fourth in this event last season.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Slowly but surely is making his way up the standings, climbing to 11th in the standings; recorded his best finish of the season two weeks ago at Martinsville, running fifth; placed seventh in the previous race at Bristol; was a huge disappointment over the first four races, failing to register a top-10 finish; may have been bothered by recent distractions stemming from his ongoing contract negotiations with DEI; placed 23rd in this event last season and won this race in 2000.
Kasey Kahne Has gotten off to an awful start this season, finishing 19th or worst in each of the last five races since placing seventh at Daytona; struggled to 25th at Martinsville and is just 34th in the standings; captured one of his series-leading six checkered flags in this event last season but slumped to 33rd in the fall race due to engine trouble; enjoyed an outstanding season in 2006, registering 12 top-five finishes and 19 top-10s to qualify for the Chase.
Mark Martin Unlikely standings leader after the first four races took the last two races off and fell to 15th in the standings; placed inside the top five in the first three races this season and registered a top-10 finish in each of his first four starts; had an outstanding race at California and finished fifth, followed by another fifth-place performance at Las Vegas; suffered yet another near miss at Daytona, finishing 0.02 seconds behind Kevin Harvick in the closest finish in race history; a four-time runner-up for the Nextel Cup championship; racing a partial schedule this season, the 48-year-old nearly became the first part-time driver to win the Daytona 500 since 1972; ran ninth in this race last season.