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2012 AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway

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2012 AAA Texas 500

2012 AAA Texas 500

Logo Courtesy of NASCAR

2012 AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway:

This Sunday Texas Motor Speedway takes its turn in the Chase spotlight. After a weekend of short track racing in Martinsville the NASCAR Sprint Cup stars return to the second fastest track on the circuit for some high-speed Chase excitement.

Will point leader Jimmie Johnson extend his Chase lead or can Brad Keselowski regain his place at the top? The stage has been set. Now the 2012 AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway begins the final three race sprint in the battle for the Cup.

Tickets:

Speedway ticket office (817)215-8500

The Track:

Texas Motor Speedway is a 1.5 mile quad-oval. With 24 degrees of banking in the corners the Sprint Cup drivers can really haul the mail off into the corners. In order to be fast a driver needs a car that is handling well so they can carry that speed through the turns.

Race Distance:

334 Laps = 501 Miles

The Big Picture:

By winning the race last Sunday in Martinsville Jimmie Johnson took over the point lead by two points over Brad Keselowski with three races to go in the 2012 season.

Denny Hamlin is now out of contention as his problems last week dropped him to fifth in points 49 points behind. This is too much to realistically expect to make up in three races. Clint Bowyer and Kasey Kahne are clinging by a thread to this points battle but it is starting to look like a two man tussle for the 2012 Chase for the Cup.

The 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings:

  1. Jimmie Johnson
  2. Brad Keselowski -2
  3. Clint Bowyer -26
  4. Kasey Kahne -29
  5. Denny Hamlin -49
  6. Jeff Gordon -54
  7. Martin Truex Jr. -63
  8. Matt Kenseth -65
  9. Greg Biffle -69
  10. Tony Stewart -71
  11. Kevin Harvick -88
  12. Dale Earnhardt Jr. -140

Storylines:

The focus this weekend falls to new point leader Jimmie Johnson. Johnson took over the top spot from Brad Keselowski with his win last weekend in Martinsville. With that win Jimmie Johnson added to his impressive Chase statistics.

Johnson's Chase racing records now include:

  • Johnson is the only driver to win at least one race in every single Chase dating back to 2004.
  • Jimmie now has twenty-one career Chase victories. Tony Stewart is second on the Chase win list with eleven.
  • Johnson has won five of the eight Chase championships and currently leads a potential sixth crown.
As the point peader Jimmie Johnson is back in the Chase spotlight once again. This is a position that he is clearly comfortable with.

The media has been laying off Jimmie Johnson so far during the 2012 Chase. That will change this weekend.

Media Coverage:

TV: ESPN Sunday, November $th, 2:00PM Eastern.

Radio: PRN and SIRIUS Satellite

Actual Race: 3:10 p.m. Eastern

Recent Events:

2011 Winner: Tony Stewart

2011 Polesitter: Greg Biffle

Last Year:

In 2011 Tony Stewart talked trash after winning in Martinsville but then he backed it up in Texas by leading the most laps on the way to his fourth win of the 2011 Chase. The 2011 AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway featured lots of long green flag runs as the biggest news of the week is the driver who watched the race from pit road.

Kyle Busch lost his temper during the Truck Series race in Texas and was parked by NASCAR for blatantly and dangerously wrecking Ron Hornaday under caution.

Predictions:

Jimmie Johnson lead 156 laps on his way to a strong second place effort when the NASCAR Sprint Cup series raced in Texas earlier this year. Johnson boasts the second best average finish at Texas (9.7) among all active drivers and is fresh off his big Martinsville win last weekend.

I think Jimmie Johnson will have another strong run this weekend in Texas and extend his Chase lead.

For my backup this week I'm going with the driver that has the best Texas average finish (8.6) among all active drivers and teammate of the April race winner here. Matt Kenseth is always strong in Texas. He has two previous Texas wins under his belt and finished fifth here in April.

Matt Kenseth is out of Chase contention but will almost certainly post another strong Texas finish.

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