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Jimmie Johnson led the most laps Saturday night at the Texas Motor Speedway, but it was Greg Biffle grabbing the checkered flag in the mind-numbingly dull Samsung Mobile 500. Biffle scored his first win since October 2010 at the Kansas Speedway. Johnson, despite smacking the wall late in the going, held on for a second-place finish ahead of Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon, and Matt Kenseth.
The top-10 was completed by Martin Truex Jr., Kasey Kahne, Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick, and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
The race ran green for the final 234 laps, the first time a race on a track of a 1.5-mile size or larger had seen that long of a green-flag stretch since the inaugural race at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. After the restart for the second caution - for debris after Trevor Bayne had brushed the wall at lap 94 - the field spread apart and aside from occasional tussles for position and Biffle's late-race slide-job pass on Johnson, the event was far from the barn-burner TMS usually promotes weeks and even months in advance of it's annual 500-milers.
With the win, obviously, Biffle retains his lead in the Sprint Cup point standings. The Washington native is seeking to become the first driver to win championships in each of NASCAR's national divisions, having won the 2000 Camping World Truck Series title and the 2002 Nationwide Series crown.
Greg Biffle has yet to win in the 2012 season, but rock-solid consistency allowed him to enter tonight's Samsung Mobile 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway with the point lead. After 50 laps, the spring 2005 Texas winner's car paces the field as he seeks to end a winless drought dating back to October 2010, when he won at the Kansas Speedway.
Kevin Harvick runs second, having torn through the field from his 15th-place starting spot. Most of his passes came in the latter stages of the opening fuel run, with Harvick flying around his rivals right up near the outside retaining wall. Polesitter Martin Truex Jr., defending race champion Matt Kenseth, and Tasmania's Marcos Ambrose round out the top-five.
High-winds have provided a bit of early trouble for many teams. Not only does the tail-wind into the third turn make the car unstable, but as the winds whip throughout the 1.5-mile facility, it has blown hot dog wrappers and similar garbage throughout the track and onto the grille-opening of some cars. Those drivers were all forced to pit road to get the trash off their nose to allow the oh-so-critical water temperatures to return to normal operating levels.
NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series returns on Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway for the 2012 Samsung Mobile 500. While it's still very early in the season, current standings leader Greg Biffle has an excellent chance to further his lead.
Biffle will start third in tonight's race, putting him in prime position to garner more precious Sprint Cup Standings points. Biffle will start behind Martin Truex Jr., the pole winner, and last year's defending Samsung Mobile 500 champion, Matt Kenseth.
It will be worth keeping an eye on Dale Earnhardt Jr. tonight as well, as he is just six points behind Biffle in second place. Junior's first-ever NASCAR victory came at Texas Motor Speedway, and he'll look to duplicate that success and vault into first place in the Sprint Cup standings.
Courtesy of NASCAR.com, here's the top 25 of the Sprint Cup standings headed into Saturday night's race:
Rank +/- Driver Points Behind Starts Poles Wins Top 5 Top 10 1 -- Greg Biffle 226 Leader 6 1 0 3 4 2 +1 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 220 -6 6 0 0 3 4 3 +1 Tony Stewart 214 -12 6 0 2 2 3 4 +2 Matt Kenseth 214 -12 6 0 1 3 3 5 -3 Kevin Harvick 214 -12 6 0 0 2 3 6 -1 Martin Truex Jr. 214 -12 6 0 0 2 4 7 -- Denny Hamlin 210 -16 6 1 1 2 3 8 +2 Ryan Newman 202 -24 6 0 1 2 3 9 -1 Clint Bowyer 192 -34 6 0 0 1 3 10 -1 Jimmie Johnson 189 -37 6 0 0 2 4 11 +1 Carl Edwards 179 -47 6 1 0 2 3 12 +4 Brad Keselowski 175 -51 6 0 1 2 3 13 -- Joey Logano 167 -59 6 0 0 0 2 14 -3 Paul Menard 166 -60 6 0 0 0 3 15 -- Jeff Burton 164 -62 6 0 0 1 2 16 -2 Kyle Busch 151 -75 6 0 0 1 2 17 +1 Juan Montoya 146 -80 6 0 0 0 1 18 +1 Regan Smith 146 -80 6 0 0 0 0 19 +2 Aric Almirola 144 -82 6 0 0 0 1 20 +6 AJ Allmendinger 143 -83 6 0 0 1 1 21 +4 Jeff Gordon 136 -90 6 0 0 0 1 22 -2 Bobby Labonte 135 -91 6 0 0 0 0 23 +1 Marcos Ambrose 134 -92 6 0 0 0 0 24 -2 Jamie McMurray 130 -96 6 0 0 0 2 25 -8 Mark Martin 129 -97 4 1 0 0 2
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NASCAR week at Texas Motor Speedway concludes on Saturday night with the 2012 Samsung Mobile 500, as Matt Kenseth will look to defend his 2011 Samsung Mobile 500 title.
Kenseth is sitting second in tonight's starting lineup, behind pole winner Martin Truex Jr. This year's Sprint Cup Series points leader, Greg Biffle, is third in the starting lineup. Jeff Gluck, SB Nation's resident NASCAR guru, has posted the entire starting lineup, and it is as follows:
- Martin Truex Jr.
- Matt Kenseth
- Greg Biffle
- Mark Martin
- Kasey Kahne
- Ryan Newman
- Marcos Ambrose
- Brad Keselowski
- Jamie McMurray
- Jimmie Johnson
- Paul Menard
- AJ Allmendinger
- Denny Hamlin
- Joey Logano
- Kevin Harvick
- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
- Kyle Busch
- Clint Bowyer
- Trevor Bayne
- Carl Edwards
- David Ragan
- Casey Mears
- Aric Almirola
- Jeff Burton
- Juan Pablo Montoya
- Regan Smith
- Kurt Busch
- Landon Cassill
- Tony Stewart
- Bobby Labonte
- David Reutimann
- Josh Wise
- Michael McDowell
- Jeff Gordon
- David Gilliland
- JJ Yeley
- Travis Kvapil
- Scott Speed
- Reed Sorenson
- Scott Riggs
- Dave Blaney
- Tony Raines
- Mike Bliss
The race is scheduled to get underway at 7:46 p.m. ET. Televised coverage of the race can be found nationally on FOX.
For more on all things NASCAR, be sure to check out SB Nation's NASCAR hub.
Defending NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. grabbed his second win of the 2012 season and the fourth of his career Friday night, winning the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 at the Texas Motor Speedway. Stenhouse's Ford Mustang led a trio of Sprint Cup stars, Paul Menard and Kasey Kahne in Chevrolets and Denny Hamlin's Toyota, across the finish line. Austin Dillon finished fifth in another Chevrolet.
The remainder of the top-10 was comprised by Unadilla's David Ragan, piloting the Go Canada Motorsports Ford, Justin Allgaier, Danica Patrick, Michael Annett, and Steve Arpin.
Point leader Elliott Sadler finished 12th, while Sprint Cup star Dale Earnhardt Jr. was 14th. The miserable debut season for Kyle Busch Motorsports continued as Kurt Busch - in his KBM debut - suffered right front tire woes before finally grenading the engine in his Toyota with 20 laps remaining and setting up the late race shootout.
Stenhouse, a graduate of the USAC Midget ranks and a former protege of Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart, joined the Nationwide Series full-time with Jack Roush's team in 2010. A bevy of accidents led him to be removed from the car for a handful of races, but he turned things around to claim the circuit's Rookie of the Year. Last season he was part of the hotly-contested battle for the championship before pulling away late in the season. His first win of the season came in the third race of the year at Las Vegas.
At the track where he recorded his first-career pole in November 2007, Martin Truex Jr. led qualifying for Saturday night's Samsung Mobile 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver, sponsored by Atlanta-based NAPA Auto Parts, toured the 1.5-mile speedway in 28.37 seconds. Roush-Fenway Racing's Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle were second and third, with Truex teammate Mark Martin and Hendrick Motorsports driver Kasey Kahne.
The top-10 was completed by Ryan Newman, who won the most-recent Sprint Cup race at Martinsville two weeks ago, Marcos Ambrose, Brad Keselowski, Jamie McMurray, and Jimmie Johnson.
Fan-favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. was 16th-fastest at the track where he recorded his first-career win in 2000. Defending Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart, who won at Texas last fall, qualified 29th. Jeff Gordon, meanwhile, was a miserable 34th.
Unadilla's David Ragan was 21st in his No. 34 Ford, while Peachtree City's Reed Sorenson turned the 39th-quickest time
Missing the 43-car field were David Stremme, Joe Nemechek, and driver-owner Stacy Compton.
Peachtree City's Reed Sorenson has been named the driver of FAS Lane Racing's No. 32 Ford Fusion for this weekend's Samsung Mobile 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway, team owner Frank Stoddard announced Wednesday.
Stoddard's team will have sponsorship this weekend from Texas-based cleaning giant Jani-King, a longtime supporter of stock car racing on a variety of levels. The No. 32 Ford is locked into the top-35 in points, meaning Sorenson will not need to rely on his qualifying speed in order to have a chance to race Saturday evening.
Sorenson, 26, is a veteran of 167 Sprint Cup starts. He has qualified for the last three races in the No. 74 Chevrolet fielded by Stacy Compton's Turn One Motorsports, but that venture "start and parked" after completing a handful of laps in each race. He likewise started and parked Robby Gordon's Dodge in three races last season. Sorenson's last "true" race at the Sprint Cup level came at Charlotte in October 2010. He has nine starts at Texas, with finishes of 13th and 17th in his rookie season of 2006. In the seven races since, he has only one finish better than 36th, a 24th in April 2008.
NASCAR returns to the Lone Star State for this weekend's Samsung Mobile 500. Greg Biffle and Dale Earnhardt Jr., both former winners at Texas, are seeking their first victories in a long time as they sit first and second in the point standings.