Monday matinee: Ready to race at Texas Motor Speedway
The race will be televised live on FOX at noon, with pre-race beginning at 11:30 a.m. ET on FOX Sports 1.
So far, it’s been a dramatic season in NASCAR with six different winners in the first six races and seven different polesitters, including Tony Stewart, who will lead the field to the green at Texas today in his Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet. He will be flanked by the Penske Racing Ford of Brad Keselowski, who is making his fifth front-row start of the year.
The pole was the 15th of Stewart’s career and the first since Atlanta in 2012.
Starting on Row 2 will be Stewart’s teammate, Kevin Harvick, alongside Greg Biffle’s Roush Fenway Racing Ford. In the opening round of qualifying, Harvick ran a lap of 198.282 mph, a new track record and the fastest single lap ever run at a 1.5-mile Sprint Cup qualifying session.
Carl Edwards is on the inside of Row 3 in another Roush entry. Next to him will be Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin, the only Toyota driver to qualify in the top 20.
Kyle Busch is the defending race winner, while Edwards and Jimmie Johnson have the most victories at TMS, with three each. Johnson won the fall races here in each of the last two seasons, while Stewart won here in the fall of 2011 as part of his remarkable championship run. Busch qualified 29th to 16th for Johnson. Dale Earnhardt Jr. will start 19th, five positions ahead of Danica Patrick.
Expect the track to be wicked fast today, and with the rain having washed the rubber off the track yesterday, it will rubber up quickly. The race record for speed is 160.577 miles per hour, set here two years ago by Biffle.
Tire condition will be something teams will be keep a close watch on today.
And keep an eye on Earnhardt here. He won both his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and his first NASCAR Nationwide Series race at TMS.