Schedule: Friday, qualifying (Speed Channel, 5 p.m.); Sunday, race (FOX, 1:30 p.m.).
Track: Texas Motor Speedway (quad-oval, 1.5 miles, 24 degrees banking).
Race distance: 501 miles, 334 laps.
Last race: Jimmie Johnson withstood teammate Jeff Gordon’s bumping and banging for much of the last 53 laps at Martinsville, Va., and held him off by a front bumper to win for the third time in six NASCAR Nextel Cup races on April 1.
Last year: Kasey Kahne became the 12th different winner in as many Nextel Cup races held at Texas Motor Speedway, yet he still managed a first — by doing it from the pole. Kahne sped way from the field after the final restart with 17 laps to go.
Fast facts: Dale Earnhardt Jr. has jumped from 14th in the standings to fifth over the past three events after finishing a season-best fifth at Martinsville. Earnhardt was once 40th after failing to finish the first two races of the season. ... Texas is one of three tracks where standings leader Jeff Gordon has failed to win. The others are Homestead and Phoenix. ... Hendrick Motorsports is trying to become the first team since Petty Enterprises in 1971 to win five straight races. ... Chevrolets have won five of the first six races this season. Ford has the other victory. ... Tony Stewart won the most recent Texas event on Nov. 5. ... Kurt Busch’s crew chief has taken a leave of absence to be with his wife as she battles cancer. Troy Raker was named interim crew chief for Busch at Penske Racing. He’ll take over for Roy McCauley while he cares for his wife, Amy, who was diagnosed with leukemia in Feb.
Next race: Subway Fresh Fit 500, April 21, Avondale, Ariz.
Thursday, April 12, 2007