AAA Texas 500: Race, Qualifying, & Practice

Published on November 6th, 2013

Jimmie Johnson celebrates winning the AAA Texas 500 and chase points lead in Victory Lane.

This past weekend NASCAR returned to Texas Motor Speedway with just 3 races left in the 2013 season. Coming into the weekends events Matt Kenseth & Jimmie Johnson found themselves gridlocked for first place in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. However by the end of it all there would be a clear leader.

At Qualifying on Friday it looked as if Carl Edwards (The Pole Sitter) and Brad Keselowski had the cars to beat for the weekend. However the top two Chase contenders Johnson & Kenseth, both qualified within the top 10. Leaving the fans wondering who had the real edge. But one thing in Nascar is true, things on the track can change in a split second.

Only a handful of laps into the race and Jimmie Johnson had taken the clear lead and wasn’t going to give it up. His car was on fire and no one could catch him, he clearly came to dominate the field. Thing’s weren’t going so well for team mate Jefff Gordon though. On lap 74 his left front tire went flat and caused him to slam into the wall, putting him and his team in the garage to do their best to fix it and get it back out on the track. A terrible blow to Gordon who won the previous week, smashing any hopes of catching up in points in the Chase.

Matt Kenseth who was the points leader going into Sunday’s race had a rough go of it as well. Being plagued by pit stop issues through out the race. Early on it was a missed lug nut, later in the race it was speeding during green flag pit stops. All of which cost the 20 car valuable time on the track. Ultimately Kenseth was able to pull off a 4th place finish, but had to fight much harder than normal to get there.

As for the pole sitter Carl Edwards. The 99 car had a descent run and led for 38 laps, but had engine failure on lap 187 taking him out of the race. But the ever optimistic Edwards was probably just happy to finally have a Texas pole under his belt and a pump action rifle in his possession.

Another Hendrick Motorsports team member Dale Earnhardt Jr. had a surprisingly solid run on Sunday, taking home the second place finish. Boosting the 88 car two positions into 5th place in the Chase. Despite some early trouble Kyle Busch finished the race in 13th place boosting him to 4th in points in the chase. Kevin Harvick who finished 8th also fared well moving up to 3rd in Chase.

The race winner Jimmie Johnson led the race for 225 laps and had a flawless run. His car was so fast no one could catch him all night. Often times a four second gap between himself and those behind him. The 48 team did everything right and had a finely tuned car.

There are two more races left in the 2013 season and it’s really a two person Chase at this point. You could say it’s anyone’s game, but Johnson has the potential to run away with the lead next weekend. Matt Kenseth also has the chance to catch back up and score one for the under dogs. Kenseth has had a dominant season this year with Joe Gibbs. Winning the Sprint Cup would be like icing on the cake for Matt in his first year on a new team. As usual the Chase is just too close to call. Good luck boys.


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