Sights and Sounds: Texas Motor Speedway

Tire wear will be crucial to success in Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

It’s race day in Texas! 

There are only three races left in the 2013 season, and Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 is sure to play a crucial role in deciding the eventual Sprint Cup champion. 

Title contenders Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson appear to be nearly equal this weekend, so their tight battle is likely to continue at Texas Motor Speedway. 

11:45 a.m. ET — Before the cars hit the track in the Lone Star State, teams are preparing for 500 miles, drivers are meeting fans and sponsors, while fans are enjoying the unique atmosphere of TMS’ ‘Wild Asphalt Circus’ in the infield. 

David Ragan’s crew chief Jay Guy shows a young fan around the garage area. 

Team owner Richard Childress took time to visit with sponsor Freightliner. 

Jimmie Johnson’s team is hard at work in the garage, while Matt Kenseth may be going incognito to the track Tweet-up. 

11:55 a.m. ET — With the final touches put on the car, teams are starting to work their way through the NASCAR technical inspection process. 

12:05 p.m. ET — Will Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s gold paint scheme lead to success Sunday at Texas? The paint scheme may not be the reason for a good run, but FOX Sports’ Lee Spencer says Dale Jr. has a good shot at breaking his 54-race winless streak Sunday:

12:10 p.m. ET — Texas Motor Speedway is honoring Marcy Scott, who passed away earlier this week, by encouraging people to share their memories. 

12:20 p.m. ET — Richard Childress Racing is urging Texas Motor Speedway to keep all pre-race activities far away from their cars. Last season the weight from a parachuter hit Kevin Harvick’s car in the door while sitting on the starting grid. 

12:25 p.m. ET — He may be booed from time to time, but five-time champion Jimmie Johnson certainly draws a crowd. 

12:45 p.m. ET — The guys from the famed Gas Monkey Garage are checking out the NASCAR garage Sunday, thanks to Penske Racing and Miller Lite. 

12:50 p.m. ET — No word if Ricky Stenhouse Jr. plans to eat any of Epic Meal Time’s wild concoction as part of his pre-race meal. That could make for a very long 500 miles inside the car. 

1:05 p.m. ET — Nascarcasm is at the track this weekend, which means he’s probably up to no good. 

They say everything’s bigger in Texas, and apparently so is the crowd for the driver/crew chief meeting.

1:15 p.m. ET — Danica Patrick is looking to give her crew chief Tony Gibson a very happy birthday Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway.

2:05 p.m. ET — Texas Motor Speedway is certainly one of the most unique tracks on the NASCAR schedule. It’s not every day you see midget wrestling as a pre-race show.

2:15 p.m. ET — Hendrick Motorsports crew chief Chad Knaus tells Wendy Venturini on NASCAR RaceDay what it will take to be successful Sunday in Texas.

3:00 p.m. ET — FOX Sports’ Darrell Waltrip isn’t ready to count out Jeff Gordon after his big win last weekend at Martinsville Speedway. 

While Tom Jensen is thinking Matt Kenseth has the advantage going into Sunday’s race. 

3:15 p.m. ET — The anthem has been played, the flyover performed and the engines are fired! It’s time to go racing at Texas Motor Speedway! Follow all the action with live timing and scoring, with updates throughout the day with FOX Sports’ RaceTrax: