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Last Updated Tuesday, Apr 27, 2010 2:22 am, EDT

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Status: Final Texas Motor Speedway

Race Capsule

Texas Motor Speedway
  • What:

    Race 8 of 36 on Sprint Cup circuit

  • Where:

    Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, TX

  • When:

    April 19, 2010 12:00 pm EDT

  • Laps:

    334

  • Track Length:

    1.5 miles

  • Race Length:

    501.00 miles

  • Purse:

    $7,094,253

Drivers to Watch

Tony Stewart Stewart, scheduled to make his 400th career start Sunday, dropped a spot in the standings and is 204 out of first place. Stewart is a former Texas winner (November 2006) and has four top-five finishes and 10 top-10s in 16 starts there. He was fourth last April and sixth in November and has three top-10 finishes in his last four Texas starts. ...
Greg Biffle Biffle, who dropped one position in the standings and is 92 points out of the top spot, has one win, three top-five finishes and five top-10s in 12 Texas starts. He was third last April and eighth in November. He has a streak of three straight top-10 finishes there. "A top-10 this weekend would be good, but we certainly have a goal to win," he said. "I've always liked racing at Texas and we've had some success there in the past, so I don't think it's unreasonable to go there with high expectations."
Jimmie Johnson Johnson, who has increased his lead in the standings to 36 points, has one victory (November 2007), six top-five finishes and nine top-10s in 13 Texas starts. He was second in this race last year but then was 38th in the return trip in November after he was nailed by Sam Hornish Jr. early in the race. He has three top-two finishes in his last five Texas starts and three top-10 finishes in his last seven starts there. "I'm excited to get back on the 1.5-mile (tracks)," Johnson said. "We've had good stuff at Texas and at the 1.5-mile tracks in general. But the big wild card out there is, how is this spoiler going to work? I think that the lead car in qualifying, we won't see a lot of difference. But there is still a lot to be learned with the car in traffic. Even though we had the Charlotte test, we really never put ourselves in a racing position and side-by-side and stuff like that. I feel good about things. I know we're going to have a good setup, but it's a different world in the pack. We're going to need a few months to really evolve setups in the cars to handle what's going to go on in the pack."
Kasey Kahne Kahne's record at Texas is baffling. He won a race there and finished second in another, but those are his only two top-10 finishes in 11 starts. Kahne knows he needs a solid top-10 run this weekend if he wants to qualify for the Chase for a second straight year. With four finishes of 30th or worse, Kahne is 189 points out of the top 12.
Jeff Burton Burton, who dropped two positions in the standings and is 200 points out of the lead, has two wins at Texas -- his first career victory came in the first Cup race at Texas in 1997, and he also won there in April 2007. His overall record is three top-five finishes and nine top-10s in 18 starts. He was ninth in both of last year's races and has finished in the top 10 in six of his last eight Texas starts. He said of testing the new spoiler at Charlotte, "Since they've changed the track, the tires are really kind of odd -- you go out the second time and you're faster, you go out the third time and you're faster yet. It's really hard to get a balance there to know where you are. You put on new tires to make a run and you would have been better if you had just stayed on older tires. It's a difficult place to test, so that in itself more so than the spoiler means that Texas is kind of starting over. Still, I do think that you learned some things at Charlotte that you can apply to Texas."
Clint Bowyer Bowyer was the second-biggest gainer in the top 10 -- he rose three positions in the standings and is 188 out of the lead. Bowyer is attempting to win for the first time at Texas, where he has two top-five and four top-10 finishes in eight starts. He was 22nd last April and seventh in November. "I am a fan of the spoiler and I never really liked the wing and I don't really think it fit NASCAR, if that makes any sense," Bowyer said. "We have always had a spoiler and that is the way our cars have always been, and the spoiler certainly looks a lot better on the car, in my opinion. These things are race cars and we want them to look racy and fast. They are just a little too boxy, and that wing just didn't look right on them. I think it's good and there are some things that only time will tell. I think Martinsville is a good track to get it put into place for the first race out, but I am looking forward to getting to a 1.5-mile track and getting to Texas and seeing how it's going to react behind cars."
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Earnhardt, who stayed in 10th place in the standings and is 207 points out of the lead, has one win (his first career victory in 2000), three top-five finishes and seven top-10s in 15 Texas starts. He was 20th last April and 25th in November. However, Earnhardt has a dubious streak of six straight Texas races in which he has finished 12th or worse. "I like Texas a lot," Earnhardt said. "They've done an amazing job coming from the ground up. The facilities are really nice; the fans really enjoy it and have latched onto it. They stand by their racetrack, and that's great to see. The community seems to really appreciate the track, and they feel as if it's their own. It's a great racetrack, and it could have an amazing history."
Ryan Newman Newman has one win and three top-10 finishes in 13 starts at Texas. "Because of the spoiler, I think there's some uncertainty about Texas," said Newman. "I know I can win there. Right now we're all feeling like we can achieve some great things. Our goal is to get more wins this season and get into the Chase. I am confident that we will do both."
Kurt Busch Busch won the November race at Texas as he led six times for 89 laps. Overall, Busch has one win and nine top-10 finishes in 14 starts at the 1.5-mile track. He will be using the car that he drove to victory at Atlanta last month. Busch said the victory last fall at Texas was special because of "the way that we won it -- having the fuel-mileage game work in our favor and outlast my little brother (Kyle) in a really dramatic finish like that will always be a special memory."
Jeff Gordon Gordon was the third-biggest riser in the top 10, gaining two positions in the standings. He is 125 points out of first place. Gordon also is the defending winner of this race. His only Texas win is one of seven top-five and nine top-10 finishes in 18 starts there. He was 13th in November. Gordon has five top-10 finishes in his last seven Texas starts, and he was the runner-up in November 2008. ... He said of the new spoiler's effect, "Martinsville was kind of just the hey, you know, we can put pretty much anything on there at Martinsville and go out and have a similar race," Gordon said. "And we did; we had a great race. At Phoenix, aerodynamics plays bigger roles. The real true test is going to be at these 1.5-mile tracks, Texas being the first one. Again, I don't think it's going to change who's going to be fast and who's going to run good and how your day is going to go. I think if we're well-prepared and we've got the car dialed in, then it'll be a typical challenging Texas for us that hopefully we can pull off a win at. I feel as confident about it whether we have the spoiler or the wing."
Martin Truex Jr. Truex has four top-10 finishes in nine starts at Texas. "I struggled at both Texas events (last year) and I don't know why," said Truex. "I expect to turn things around (in 2010). What I like about Texas is it takes a complete package (to run well). You spend a lot of time in the throttle, so the key is to get your car turning well."
Jamie McMurray McMurray has six top-10s in 12 starts at Texas, including a second and a third. He will be driving a brand new car that he tested at Charlotte last month. "We had a real good test, and that is why Bono (crew chief Kevin Manion) decided to bring this car," said McMurray. "So we feel real good about this weekend."
David Reutimann Reutimann won the pole for the spring race last year at Texas and led 40 laps before finishing 11th. "We've been good at Texas in the past, so hopefully regardless of what happens with the spoiler we'll still have a great car," said Reutimann.
AJ Allmendinger Allmendinger finished 10th last November at Texas for his first top-10 finish in four starts at the track. "I haven't done a ton of Sprint Cup racing at Texas Motor Speedway, but I feel like I've been able to improve every time I've been there," said Allmendinger.
Joey Logano Logano finished 19th last November at Texas for his best Sprint Cup finish in three starts at the track. "We have run a lot better everywhere we've been this year," said Logano, who won the Rookie of the Year title in 2009. "And I expect that will be case at Texas, too. If we run like we have the last couple of races, we will have a real good weekend."
Kevin Harvick Harvick, who stayed in fourth in the standings and is 112 out of the Cup lead, has never won at Texas but has three top-five and six top-10 finishes in 14 starts there. He was 27th last April and fifth in November and has two top-10 finishes in his last three Texas starts. "Texas is going to be really fast and (will be) the first time to get the true effect of how the spoiler is going to react around other cars," Harvick said. "But I think everybody has already learned at Phoenix that they will spin out. It's hard to spin them out with the wing, so we had a lot of spinouts there. I think the car looks a tremendous amount better. It looks more like you'd expect a car to look in NASCAR racing, I guess you could say. That's what our sport has been built around and what our fans are used to looking at. As far as how the racing is going to go, I think there is really no way to tell. I think the first real answer to that will be at Texas, and I think the biggest variable we have in our sport is still the tires."
Carl Edwards Edwards gained a whopping six positions in the standings in one week and is 200 points out of the lead. Edwards has three wins at Texas (November 2005 and both races in 2008), three top-five finishes and four top-10s. He was 10th last April and 39th in November. "We've had a lot of success at Texas," Edwards said. "It's a fun race track and it's a blast to go there. The fans are great and the paycheck when you win is huge. It's just a fun place to win races. We had a good run there a year ago, so hopefully we can take our Ford Fusion to Victory Lane."
Juan Pablo Montoya Montoya's seventh-place finish in last year's spring race at Texas gave him two top-10s in six starts at the track. He will be driving the car he calls his favorite. He ran it six times in 2009 and finished in the top five three times. It is also the car that Montoya drove at Indy, where he led 116 laps before a pit-road speeding penalty ended his victory chances.
Scott Speed Speed finished 18th in November at Texas for his best finish in his two Sprint Cup starts at the track. "We've come a long way this year, and that is why I am looking forward to Texas," said Speed. "I truly believe we are going to have a real good weekend."
Paul Menard Menard has never finished in the top 10 at Texas. In seven starts, his best finish is 13th a year ago in the spring race. Crew chief Slugger Labbe said the team will take "what we learned about the (new) spoiler during the Charlotte test and apply it this weekend. The key is to figure out what you can do on the long runs to increase the life of the tires."
Matt Kenseth The 2003 Cup Series champion moved up one position in the standings and is 36 points out of the lead. Kenseth has been consistently good at Texas -- one win (April 2002), seven top-five finishes and 10 top-10s in 15 starts. In fact, he has had six straight top-10 finishes and eight top-10s in his last nine starts there. He was fifth last April and third in November. "Texas to me is a track that's more about real racing and making sure that you have a car that handles better than the rest of the guys so that you can make sure you're the fastest car around the track every lap," Kenseth said. "I'm a little unsure about how the spoiler change may affect the racing action this weekend heading into Texas. I don't foresee any big changes, but we won't know until we get all the cars on track for practice."
Denny Hamlin Hamlin finished second last November at Texas for his sixth top-10 finish in nine starts at the track. Hamlin said his surgically repaired knee is "feeling much better -- really. I don't see any reason that I will have trouble with my knee by the time we get to Texas. Unlike Phoenix, where we had to use a lot of brake, Texas is much different, so I will be in the car and expect to go the full distance just as I did last week at Phoenix."
Mark Martin Martin has one win and 10 top-10 finishes in 18 starts at Texas. He finished sixth in the spring race last year and fourth in the November event. Martin will be driving the same car that he drove to victory at Darlington and Chicagoland last year. "It's a confidence boost knowing we're bringing back a car that has been so successful," said Martin.
Brian Vickers Texas has not been a good track for Vickers. In 11 starts, he has not finished better than 12th, and that came in his Cup debut back in the spring of 2004. But Vickers does hold the track qualifying record with a lap of 196.235 miles per hour, which he set on Nov. 3, 2006. "I don't understand why we haven't run better at Texas since we usually run well at the intermediate tracks," said Vickers.