Racing under the lights makes the cars look sharper, faster and the racing look more intense. Or maybe it was just that the racing Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway for NASCAR Sprint Cup’s Samsung Mobile 500 was sharper, faster and more intense. Matt Kenseth was the car to beat most of the night, although green flag pit stops began to be a factor with less than 50 laps left in the race.
Tony Stewart stayed out while everyone else pitted for fuel, and by virtue of that decision by crew chief Darian Grubb, Stewart in his #14 Mobile One Chevy had a huge lead on second place and all the drivers from 11th on back were a lap down. Stewart’s luck turned when he finally pitted for fuel. He entered the first section of pit road too fast and was call for speeding on pit road by NASCAR. He came back in for a stop and go penalty and the time he lost made the difference in what would have been a top ten finish instead of a win. Stewart’s luck got worse as his car ran out of fuel on the last lap and his top ten finish turned into a nightmare of finishing in 12th.
The 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup season is turning into the season of past champions breaking long winless streaks. Matt Kenseth stated in his victory lane interview that he was not sure if he would have the chance to celebrate another win during his long 76 race, two year drought. Like Jeff Gordon did earlier this season, Kenseth won in dramatic style and returned his Roush Fenway, Crown Royal Ford to the top of the podium.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. put together another top ten finish, and inched further up the ladder in the points as did his teammate Jimmie Johnson, proving that owner Rick Hendrick made the right decision to swap around crew chief’s in the off season. Paul Menard returned to the top five and moved back up in points, while Marcos Ambrose put his Richard Petty Motor Sports Ford in the top ten. Pole sitter David Ragan came home in seventh. All four Roush Fenway Racing cars finished in the top ten. Edwards finished third and Biffle coming across the line in fourth. Kurt Busch was the lone Dodge to make the top ten. Check below to see where your favorite driver finished.
6_____9_____Marcos Ambrose____ 39____$176,341
7_____6_____David Ragan_______ 38____$166,375
8_____48____Jimmie Johnson_____36____ $179,761
9_____88____Dale Earnhardt Jr. ___ 36____ $140,525
10____22____Kurt Busch________ 35____ $167,125
11____31____Jeff Burton________ 33____ $132,325
12____14____Tony Stewart_______33____ $168,308
13____42____Juan Pablo Montoya_ 31____ $156,583
14____39____Ryan Newman _____ 30____$155,125
15____11____Denny Hamlin _____ 29_____$160,850
17____21____Trevor Bayne(i)______0_____ $120,550
18____2_____Brad Keselowski____27____ $137,458
19____43____A J Allmendinger____ 25____ $146,186
20____29____Kevin Harvick ______ 24____ $153,861
21____4_____Kasey Kahne_______23____ $130,308
22____1_____Jamie McMurray_____22____ $139,564
23____24____Jeff Gordon________22____ $140,936
24____20____Joey Logano_______ 20____ $109,450
26____13____Casey Mears_______ 18____ $98,250
27____83____Brian Vickers______ 17____$123,839
30____36____Dave Blaney_______ 15____$105,833
32____71____Andy Lally #________12____ $96,150
35____56____Martin Truex Jr.______9_____$91,325
39____87____Joe Nemechek______ 0_____$79,800
40____66____Michael McDowell____ 4_____$79,650
41____46____J J Yeley___________3_____$79,490
43____60____Mike Skinner(i)_____ 0_____$79,724