Fresh off a victory last night in the Nationwide Series, pole sitter Kyle Busch is trying to run away with the NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. He has paced 129 of 167 laps so far, and is one of just two drivers tonight to lead a double-digit number of laps (Martin Truex Jr. is the other with 33 laps led so far).
Busch had a 2.8-second lead over Jeff Gordon before a caution flag for debris on Lap 149 erased it. However, he was able to hold onto the lead over Gordon on subsequent stops with help from having the first stall on pit road.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. has had a steady run to third position, while Truex sits in fourth and Kurt Busch runs in fifth.
After having the rear-end housing of his car confiscated in pre-race inspection by NASCAR, Brad Keselowski’s night has gotten worse. He has gained one of two laps back that he lost in the race’s first half, but is mired toward the rear of the field. His Penske Racing teammate Joey Logano also had the rear-end housing taken from his car, but has had slightly better luck and is currently in the Top 20.
Kevin Harvick may be having the drive of the night outside of Kyle Busch at the front. Harvick is on his third engine of the weekend and had to start at the rear of the field, but has charged his way up to tenth at halfway.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series — NRA 500 at Texas
Top 10 at Halfway
1. Kyle Busch
2. Jeff Gordon
3. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
4. Martin Truex Jr.
5. Kurt Busch
6. Matt Kenseth
7. Jimmie Johnson
8. Aric Almirola
9. Marcos Ambrose
10. Kevin Harvick
MotorSportsTalk continues its review of the Verizon IndyCar Series field, driver-by-driver, with a look at Ryan Briscoe. Despite not having a ride to start the year, Briscoe ended strongly courtesy of a series of strong runs at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
Ryan Briscoe, No. 5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda
- 2014: 11th Place, Best Finish 4th, Best Start 4th, 1 Top-5, 11 Top-10, 5 Laps Led, 12.8 Avg. Start, 10.6 Avg. Finish
- 2015: 18th Place (8 starts), Best Finish 5th, Best Start 2nd, 1 Top-5, 4 Top-10, 10 Laps Led, 17.8 Avg. Start, 12.0 Avg. Finish
For those who slag on Briscoe as being undeserving of top level equipment, his 2015 second half provided a friendly reminder of his overall ability level in what might be less than the best machinery.
Briscoe was thrust into the No. 5 car under trying circumstances to begin with, getting all of an hour’s worth practice replacing the injured James Hinchcliffe ahead of the Indianapolis 500. But subsequent drives on the ovals there, Texas, Fontana, Milwaukee and Iowa – even if the results were less than ideal – showcased a driver determined to show to the paddock he still had it, and then some. His defense against Juan Pablo Montoya in Sonoma was nothing short of brilliant, and courtesy of double points he actually finished ahead of full-season driver Stefano Coletti.
The Australian immediately gelled with the SPM team, engineer Allen McDonald and race strategist Robert Gue. He continues to prove he’s an asset, as he has enjoyed multiple opportunities to extend his career in various arenas of motorsport in both open-wheel and sports cars, the latter of which he won at both the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring with Corvette Racing this year.
Following an early retirement for Mercedes AMG Petronas teammate Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton has closed even more on his third Formula 1 World Championship.
View it above in the race recap from the 2015 Russian Grand Prix.