NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500
Texas Motor Speedway Distance: 501 miles (334 laps)
Saturday, April 9 7:30 p.m. ET TV: FOX, 7 p.m. ET
Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
NASCAR XFINITY Series O’Reilly Auto Parts 300
Texas Motor Speedway Distance: 300 miles (200 laps)
Friday, April 8 8:30 p.m. ET TV: FS1, 8 p.m. ET
Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Toyota Tundra 250
Kansas Speedway Distance: 250.5 miles (167 laps)
Friday, May 6 8:30 p.m. ET TV: FS1, 8 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM Ch. 90
Distance: 250.5 miles (167 laps)
NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
Car 18 Kyle Busch M&M’s 75th Anniversary Toyota
Kyle Busch earned his first win of the season and his first career checkered flag at Martinsville Speedway when he led 352 of 500 laps on his way to Victory Lane in Sunday’s STP 500. Busch virtually guarantees himself a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup as the fifth different driver to win this season (Jimmie Johnson, 2; Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin).
Car 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe’s Chevrolet
Johnson boasts the track records at Texas Motor Speedway in wins (6) top 10s (19), average finish (8.4), laps led (1,023) and driver rating (108.0). He ranks tied with Matt Kenseth for the most top fives with 13. In Saturday’s Duck Commander 500, Johnson will go for his fourth consecutive victory in the Lone Star State. He has won five of the last seven races at Texas Motor Speedway, including four of the last five.
Car 20 Matt Kenseth Dollar General Toyota
By Matt Kenseth’s standards, the 2016 season hasn’t started very well. In the first six races he only has one top 10 (seventh at Phoenix), despite leading laps in five of the six races this season (for a total of 144). Luckily for Kenseth, his panacea has arrived – Texas Motor Speedway. In 26 starts at the 1.5-mile track, Kenseth owns two wins, 13 top fives (tied for first in course history with Jimmie Johnson) and 17 top 10s.
Car 2 Brad Keselowski Miller Lite Ford
Keselowski led a record 312 of 334 laps in last year’s fall race at TMS, but he was passed by Jimmie Johnson with four go-arounds remaining, and finished second. In his last seven starts at the 1.5-mile track, Keselowski claims six top-10 finishes, including a top-five showing in each of his last three races there.
Car 22 Joey Logano Shell Pennzoil Ford
Logano visited Victory Lane at Texas in the 2014 spring race and is the only driver not named Jimmie Johnson to take the checkered flag there since Kyle Busch in spring of 2013. If Saturday’s contest comes down to a late caution, don’t be surprised to see Logano in the mix again. He is the fastest active driver on restarts at Texas (180.190 mph).
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES
Suárez Rides To Texas Anticipating To Build On His Early Momentum
After a two week hiatus, the NASCAR XFINITY Series is back in action Friday night at Texas Motor Speedway for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 (8:30 p.m. ET. on FS1). One driver especially excited to get back to racing is series standings leader Daniel Suárez. Suárez holds a 10-point lead over second-place Elliott Sadler and a 19-point lead over third-place Justin Allgaier.
Sadler’s tenure within NASCAR has been lengthy, and with it has come some undeniable experience. To put in perspective the age gap between Sadler and Suárez, Sadler started racing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series in 1995 at the ripe age of 20, three years after Suárez was born (1992). But Sadler isn’t letting the youthfulness of his competitors get the best of him, in five starts this season he has posted two top fives, five top 10s and an average finish of 6.8. Sadler has made 16 starts at Texas, posting two poles, three top fives, nine top 10s and an average finish of 12.4. In four of his last five starts at Texas he has finished inside the top 10.
Chase Bubble Could Bounce This Weekend At Texas
The NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase will kick off at Kentucky Speedway on Sept. 24. Twelve drivers will compete in an elimination-style, seven-race, three-round Chase. Below is a look at the six drivers sitting on the bubble of the Chase cutoff line heading into Texas this weekend.
10. Brennan Poole (+22) – Poole, a Woodlands, Texas native, drives the Chip Ganassi Racing No. 48 Chevrolet this season with crew chief Chad Norris. Poole, 24, is 22 points ahead of the Chase cutoff line after posting one top 10 and an average finish of 15.0 through the first five races of 2016. He made his series debut at Texas last season, starting 22nd and driving up to a 13th-place finish.
11. Blake Koch (+14) – Koch hails from West Palm Beach, Florida and drives the No. 11 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet with crew chief Chris Rice. Koch currently is inside the Chase cutoff by one point over 12th-place Jeb Burton. Koch has posted one top-10 and four top-20 finishes this season. Koch has made 10 series starts at Texas, recording four top-25 finishes. Last fall he logged a 21st-place finish – his career-best at Texas.
12. Jeb Burton (+13) – Burton sits teetering on the Chase cutoff line, one point behind 11th-place Blake Koch and 13 points ahead of 13th-place Dakoda Armstrong. Burton, from Halifax, Virginia, drives the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford with crew chief Drew Blickensderfer this season. In five starts in 2016, he has posted one top-10 and four top-20 finishes. This weekend will be his series track debut at Texas, but don’t count him out just yet. On the first two 1.5-mile tracks this season, he did well, finishing
10th at Atlanta and 17th at Las Vegas.
13. Dakoda Armstrong (-13) – Armstrong is the first driver outside of the Chase cutoff line looking in. Just 13 points separate him from 12th-place Jeb Burton. He is piloting the No. 28 JGL Racing Toyota with crew chief Steven Lane. Armstrong, 24, from New Castle, Indiana, has posted two top 20s and an average finish of 19.4 this season. He has four series starts at Texas where he’s recorded one top 10 and average finish of 16.5.
14. Jeremy Clements (-17) – Clements has to face an uphill climb being 17 points behind the cutoff line to the 2016 NXS Chase. Clements, 31, from Spartanburg, South Carolina, drives the No. 51 Jeremy Clements Racing Chevrolet with his father Tony Clements serving as crew chief. He has an average finish of 20.2 this season with a best finish of 15th (Daytona). He has made 14 starts at Texas, posting an average finish of 25.3.
15. Ryan Sieg (-22) – Tucker, Georgia’s Ryan Sieg sits 15th in the standings, 22 points back from the Chase cutoff line. Sieg, 28, drives the No. 39 RSS Racing Chevrolet with crew chief Kevin Starland. He has posted three top-20 finishes and an average finish of 21.2 in five races this season. Sieg has made four series starts at Texas where he owns an average finish of 20.8.
Sunoco Rookie Of The Year Contender Erik Jones Calls Texas A Favorite Track
While his teammates have been the talk of the series – Kyle Busch winning three straight races and Daniel Suárez extending his points lead – Joe Gibbs Racing’s Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Erik Jones has been quietly making the uphill pilgrimage through the NASCAR XFINITY Series driver standings. This weekend, Jones returns to Texas Motor Speedway, a track that he says, has quickly grown dear to him.
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES
Nemechek’s In At Top Of Truck Series Standings
John Hunter Nemechek continued his sizzling start to his first full-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season by finishing runner-up in Saturday’s Alpha Energy Solutions 250 at Martinsville Speedway.
The 18-year-old NASCAR Next member now ranks first in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series standings, three points ahead of Parker Kligerman. Nemechek has all but locked up a berth in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chase via his win at Atlanta.
Solid Timing: Kyle Busch Collects First Grandfather Clock
It took him 31 starts across NASCAR’s three national series, but Kyle Busch captured his first Martinsville grandfather clock after leading a race-high 123 laps on his way to Victory Lane In Saturday’s Alpha Energy Solutions 250. The win was the 45th of Busch’s NCWTS career. His Kyle Busch Motorsports team boasts a track-record five victories at Martinsville.
Byron Bullets To First Podium Finish
Last year’s NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion William Byron sped to a third-place finish at Martinsville Speedway – the first top-five showing of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career. The NASCAR Next member improved from his previous career high of 13th, set earlier this season at Daytona.
Kligerman continued to show off his ability to pass. He started the race 25th before moving up 17 places to eighth. His average place differential on the season is 15.3. “We obviously didn’t qualify as well as we had hoped,” Kligerman said. “But we knew we had a good race truck and sure enough, just like Atlanta and Daytona, when the race started, we started mowing them down.” One of the surprise stories of the 2016 NCWTS campaign, Kligerman serves as a NASCAR analyst for NBCSN and is the cofounder of Focus Now Solutions, the manufacturer of focus-enhancing beverage product Focus7 Shot.
Peters Powers To Fifth-Place Finish At Martinsville
Danville, Virginia native Timothy Peters impressed the hometown crowd in Saturday’s Alpha Energy Solutions 250 at Martinsville by powering his way from the 16th starting spot to a fifth-place finish. “The first part of the race we were just extremely tight and (crew chief) Shane (Huffman) and the guys kept working on it every pit stop,” Peters said. “They did a great job making adjustments. We still ended up with a top five with the way that our day started, so our Tundra was pretty good there at the end, I just wish we could’ve had that balance from the green flag.” The effort helped Peters move up to third in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series standings, six points behind leader John Hunter Nemechek. Peters has finished sixth or better in 10 of his last 11 races.
Canadian Cruiser: Cameron Hayley Off To Strong Sophomore Start
Following an up and down Sunoco Rookie season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Cameron Hayley has shown marked improvement in his sophomore campaign. The 19-year-old Canadian ranks tied with his ThorSport Racing teammate Matt Crafton for the series lead in
driver rating (100.2), and claims one top five and two top 10s this season. Hayley’s strong start has positioned him fifth in the NCWTS points standings, 17 marks behind John Hunter Nemechek. He finished ninth on Saturday at Martinsville where he led 11 laps. Last year, Hayley placed sixth in the final NCWTS standings on the strength of four top fives and 13 top 10s.
Graphics & Photos Courtesy of NASCAR