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2012 Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas Motor Speedway

By

Texas Motor Speedway

Texas Motor Speedway

Logo Courtesy of NASCAR

NASCAR Goes Under the Lights On Its Fastest Track:

Texas Motor Speedway takes the NASCAR Sprint Cup series under the lights on Saturday night for the 2012 Samsung Mobile 500. Texas is still the fastest track in the modern Sprint Cup series with a qualifying record over 196 MPH. Night racing is my favorite and this time of year is prime time for primetime racing as five of the next seven races will feature moonlit racing.

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 at speeds in excess of 200MPH. 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:

Greg Biffle continues to lead the NASCAR Sprint Cup point standings but Dale Earnhardt Jr. cut into his lead two weeks ago in Martinsville and moved up into second. Junior is just six points behind as both Biffle and Junior continue to nurse long winless streaks.

The 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings:

  1. Greg Biffle
  2. Dale Earnhardt Jr. -6
  3. Martin Truex Jr. -11
  4. Kevin Harvick -12
  5. Tony Stewart -14
  6. Matt Kenseth -15
  7. Denny Hamlin -16
  8. Ryan Newman -23
  9. Clint Bowyer -34
  10. Jimmie Johnson -36

Storylines:

Earlier this week NASCAR announced the twenty-five NASCAR personalities up for election into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Twenty of these names were eligible last year and five new names join the list to replace the five who were inducted in 2012.

The new names include Bill France Sr's wife Anne Bledsoe France, engine builder Ray Fox, first African-American driver Wendell Scott, promoter Ralph Seagraves and former champion Rusty Wallace.

Five of the 25 nominees will be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2013. A fan vote plays a part in the election process and you can expect that the new nominees will be featured during this week's broadcast.

Media Coverage:

TV: FOX Saturday, April 14th, 7:00PM Eastern.

Radio: PRN and SIRIUS Satellite

Actual Race: 7:30 p.m. Eastern

Recent Events:

2010 Polesitter: David Ragan

2010 Winner: Matt Kenseth

Last Year:

The 2011 Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas Motor Speedway featured long green flag runs and a dominating performance by Matt Kenseth. Last year this race ended on a race 114 lap green flag run to the end while Matt Kenseth continued to hold court to snap his 76 race winless streak.

Maybe Texas can break another winless streak this year since both of the top two point leaders are riding long losing streaks for good teams. Greg Biffle and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are on top of the sport but haven't visited Victory Lane in a long time. Maybe one of them can follow Matt Kenseth's footsteps and get it done in Texas.

Predictions:

Last year Roush-Fenway teammates Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle all finished in the top five in both Texas races. That is an impressive feat. Taking up three-fifths of the top five is difficult for any one event. To do it twice at one track in one year shows that Roush-Fenway has found something special for Texas.

I expect that the Roush Texas domination isn't over yet and we will once again see the Ford banner up front. Both of my picks this week will be from the Roush stable.

My first choice is Greg Biffle. Even though he hasn't won a race since 2010 his team leads the points and he has been in the hunt for most of the season. This week could be his breakthrough win and he makes a great top pick in Texas.

My backup this week will go to the winner of this race last year. Matt Kenseth got the job done a year ago here and there is no reason to think that he can't do it again.

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