Everything you need to know about the 2014 Chasers at Texas

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From a non-Chase competitor winning to two of the Chasers suffering major problems, the Eliminator Round opener at Martinsville left a mark on the run to the Sprint Cup Championship Race.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s triumph has now ensured that two of the four Championship combatants will make it in on points. With a fifth Cup title on his mind, Jeff Gordon is leading the Chase Grid. And two winless drivers, Ryan Newman and Matt Kenseth, are currently in position to advance to Homestead with a shot at the big prize.

But with the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway on the horizon, it’s going to take a big effort from somebody to upset the likes of Hendrick Motorsports, Team Penske, and the Hendrick-powered Kevin Harvick – all of whom have been a cut above performance-wise on the big ovals all season long.

Courtesy of NASCAR’s public relations and statistics teams, here’s everything you need to know for Sunday’s AAA Texas 500.

TEXAS-SPECIFIC STATISTICS

1 – Jeff Gordon (No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 109.3
2014 Rundown
· Four wins, 13 top fives, 21 top 10s; two poles
· Average finish of 10.1
· Led 24 races for 873 laps
Texas Motor Speedway Outlook:
· One win, nine top fives, 12 top 10s; two poles
· Average finish of 17.2 in 27 races
· Average Running Position of 13.9, 10th-best
· Driver Rating of 92.3, ninth-best
· 323 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-most
· 4,067 Laps in the Top 15 (63.9%), eighth-most

2 – Ryan Newman (No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 85.4
2014 Rundown
· Four top fives, 15 top 10s
· Average finish of 13.0
· Led 7 races for 41 laps
Texas Motor Speedway Outlook:
· One win, three top fives, five top 10s; two poles
· Average finish of 19.1 in 22 races
· Average Running Position of 20.1, 22nd-best
· Driver Rating of 73.1, 21st-best
· 1,479 Green Flag Passes, second-most

3 – Joey Logano (No. 22 AAA Insurance Ford)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 106.9
2014 Rundown
· Five wins, 16 top fives, 21 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 11.3
· Led 21 races for 976 laps
Texas Motor Speedway Outlook:
· One win, four top fives, four top 10s
· Average finish of 18.4 in 12 races
· Average Running Position of 19.3, 20th-best
· Driver Rating of 77.1, 19th-best

4 – Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Dollar General Toyota)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 91.8
2014 Rundown
· 12 top fives, 20 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 13.3
· Led 19 races for 470 laps
Texas Motor Speedway Outlook:
· Two wins, 13 top fives, 17 top 10s
· Average finish of 8.3 in 24 races
· Series-best Average Running Position of 9.4
· Series-best Driver Rating of 106.1
· 353 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most
· 1,448 Green Flag Passes, fifth-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 173.587 mph, second-fastest
· Series-high 5,045 Laps in the Top 15 (79.3%)
· 742 Quality Passes, second-most

5 – Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 90.9
2014 Rundown
· One win, six top fives, 15 top 10s; two poles
· Average finish of 14.9
· Led 15 races for 286 laps
Texas Motor Speedway Outlook:
· Two wins, five top fives, nine top 10s
· Average finish of 10.8 in 17 races
· Average Running Position of 12.4, sixth-best
· Driver Rating of 93.8, seventh-best
· 179 Fastest Laps Run, 11th-most
· 1,380 Green Flag Passes, seventh-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 173.154 mph, 10th-fastest
· 3,931 Laps in the Top 15 (69.0%), 10th-most
· 742 Quality Passes, second-most

6 – Carl Edwards (No. 99 Aflac Ford)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 81.4
2014 Rundown
· Two wins, seven top fives, 13 top 10s
· Average finish of 14.7
· Led 11 races for 135 laps
Texas Motor Speedway Outlook:
· Three wins, six top fives, eight top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 15.5 in 19 races
· Average Running Position of 12.4, seventh-best
· Driver Rating of 96.9, sixth-best
· 361 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most
· 1,240 Green Flag Passes, 11th-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 173.402 mph, fourth-fastest
· 4,573 Laps in the Top 15 (71.9%), fifth-most
· 716 Quality Passes, fifth-most

7 – Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Ford)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 103.4
2014 Rundown
· Six wins, 14 top fives, 17 top 10s; five poles
· Average finish of 13.5
· Led 26 races for 1,518 laps
Texas Motor Speedway Outlook:
· One top five, three top 10s
· Average finish of 19.5 in 12 races
· Average Running Position of 18.1, 18th-best
· Driver Rating of 78.8, 18th-best
· 164 Fastest Laps Run, 12th-most

8 – Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 108.3
2014 Rundown
· Three wins, 11 top fives, 17 top 10s; eight poles
· Average finish of 14.0
· Led 24 races for 1,817 laps
Texas Motor Speedway Outlook:
· Three top fives, 11 top 10s
· Average finish of 13.6 in 23 races
· Average Running Position of 16.0, 15th-best
· Driver Rating of 83.3, 14th-best
· 1,461 Green Flag Passes, third-most
· 3,706 Laps in the Top 15 (58.2%), 12th-most
· 685 Quality Passes, seventh-most

9 – Kyle Busch (No. 18 M&M’s Toyota)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 90.2
2014 Rundown
· One win, eight top fives, 14 top 10s; three poles
· Average finish of 16.8
· Led 15 races for 453 laps
Texas Motor Speedway Outlook:
· One win, seven top fives, eight top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 13.4 in 18 races
· Average Running Position of 10.8, third-best
· Driver Rating of 102.2, fourth-best
· 353 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most
· Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 173.610 mph
· 4,448 Laps in the Top 15 (73.8%), sixth-most
· 641 Quality Passes, 10th-most

10 – AJ Allmendinger (No. 47 Clorox Chevrolet)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 70.7
2014 Rundown
· One win, two top fives, five top 10s
· Average finish of 19.9
· Led 5 races for 68 laps
Texas Motor Speedway Outlook:
· Two top 10s
· Average finish of 21.7 in 11 races
· Average Running Position of 22.1, 28th-best
· Driver Rating of 68.5, 25th-best

11 – Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 97.5
2014 Rundown
· Four wins, 12 top fives, 18 top 10s
· Average finish of 12.5
· Led 16 races for 379 laps
Texas Motor Speedway Outlook:
· One win, four top fives, 13 top 10s; two poles
· Average finish of 15.0 in 24 races
· Average Running Position of 13.1, ninth-best
· Driver Rating of 90.4, 10th-best
· 216 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-most
· 1,346 Green Flag Passes, eighth-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 173.243 mph, eighth-fastest
· 4,624 Laps in the Top 15 (72.7%), fourth-most
· 736 Quality Passes, fourth-most

12 – Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe’s Red Vest Chevrolet)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 98.5
2014 Rundown
· Three wins, 10 top fives, 18 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 15.2
· Led 16 races for 1,119 laps
Texas Motor Speedway Outlook:
· Three wins, 10 top fives, 16 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 9.5 in 22 races
· Average Running Position of 11.4, fourth-best
· Driver Rating of 103.6, second-best
· Series-high 522 Fastest Laps Run
· Average Green Flag Speed of 173.393 mph, fifth-fastest
· 4,666 Laps in the Top 15 (73.3%), third-most
· 681 Quality Passes, eighth-most

13 – Greg Biffle (No. 16 Ortho Fire Ant Killer Ford)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 78.7
2014 Rundown
· Three top fives, 10 top 10s
· Average finish of 16.0
· Led 7 races for 110 laps
Texas Motor Speedway Outlook:
· Two wins, eight top fives, 13 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 14.7 in 21 races
· Average Running Position of 12.0, fifth-best
· Driver Rating of 102.2, third-best
· 473 Fastest Laps Run, second-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 173.543 mph, third-fastest
· 4,797 Laps in the Top 15 (75.4%), second-most
· Series-high 784 Quality Passes

14 – Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Great Clips Chevrolet)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 88.0
2014 Rundown
· One win, three top fives, 11 top 10s
· Average finish of 17.1
· Led 12 races for 218 laps
Texas Motor Speedway Outlook:
· One win, five top fives, six top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 17.7 in 20 races
· Average Running Position of 14.9, 13th-best
· Driver Rating of 85.4, 13th-best
· 223 Fastest Laps Run, eighth-most
· 1,398 Green Flag Passes, sixth-most
· 3,957 Laps in the Top 15 (62.2%), ninth-most
· 688 Quality Passes, sixth-most

15 – Kurt Busch (No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 86.6
2014 Rundown
· One win, six top fives, nine top 10s
· Average finish of 19.9
· Led 13 races for 204 laps
Texas Motor Speedway Outlook:
· One win, three top fives, 12 top 10s
· Average finish of 16.3 in 23 races
· Average Running Position of 15.3, 14th-best
· Driver Rating of 86.5, 12th-best
· 193 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-most
· 1,451 Green Flag Passes, fourth-most

16 – Aric Almirola (No. 43 Farmland Ford)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 72.6
2014 Rundown
· One win, two top fives, seven top 10s
· Average finish of 21.5
· Led 5 races for 23 laps
Texas Motor Speedway Outlook:
· One top 10
· Average finish of 19.6 in seven races
· Average Running Position of 21.4, 24th-best
· Driver Rating of 68.2, 26th-best

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Texas Motor Speedway Track Data
Race 34 of 36
1.5-mile oval
24 degrees of banking, turns
5 degrees of banking, straights
Frontstretch length – 2,250 feet
Backstretch length – 1,330 feet
334 laps, 501 miles

Top 10 Driver Ratings at Texas
Matt Kenseth, 106.1
Jimmie Johnson, 103.6
Greg Biffle, 102.2
Kyle Busch, 102.2
Tony Stewart, 99.2
Carl Edwards, 96.9
Denny Hamlin, 93.8
Clint Bowyer, 92.7
Jeff Gordon, 92.3
Dale Earnhardt Jr., 90.4
*Ratings compiled from 2005-2014 races (19 total) among active drivers at Texas

Qualifying/Race Data
2013 pole winner: Carl Edwards, Ford, 196.114 mph (27.535 seconds), 11.01.2013
2013 race winner: Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 151.754 mph (3 hours, 18 minutes, 5 seconds), 11.03.2013
Track qualifying record: Kyle Busch, Toyota, 196.299 mph (27.509 seconds), 04.12.2013
Track race record: Greg Biffle, Ford, 160.577 mph (3 hours, 7 minutes, 12 minutes), 11.14.2012

Texas Motor Speedway History
· Construction on Texas Motor Speedway began in 1995.
· The first NASCAR national series race at TMS was a NASCAR Nationwide Series event on April 5, 1997 – won by Mark Martin.
· The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was on April 6, 1997 – won by Jeff Burton.
· The track underwent a repave between the 2001 and 2002 seasons.
· In 2011, the spring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was moved from Sunday to Saturday night under the lights at Texas Motor Speedway.
· Texas Motor Speedway hosted its first Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on November 6, 2005 – won by Carl Edwards.

Texas Motor Speedway Notebook
· There have been 27 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway, one NSCS event from 1997 – 2004 and two races per year since 2005.
· 138 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas; 111 in more than one.
· Jeff Gordon is the only drive to have made all 27 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Texas Motor Speedway.
· Jeremy Mayfield was the first Coors Light pole winner, in 1998 with a speed of 185.906 mph. The inaugural Coors Light pole at Texas Motor Speedway in 1997 was cancelled due to weather conditions.
· 19 drivers have Coors Light poles at Texas, led by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Ryan Newman and Martin Truex Jr. with two each.
· Two drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles at Texas Motor Speedway: Bobby Labonte (2003 and 2004) and Ryan Newman (2005 sweep).
· Youngest Texas Coors Light pole winner: Brian Vickers (11/05/2006 – 23 years, 0 months, 12 days).
· Oldest Texas Coors Light pole winner: Bill Elliott (4/08/2002 – 46 years, 6 months, 0 days).
· 18 different drivers have won at Texas Motor Speedway, led by Carl Edwards and Jimmie Johnson with three each.
· Seven drivers have multiple wins at Texas Motor Speedway: Carl Edwards (three), Jimmie Johnson (three), Greg Biffle, Jeff Burton, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth and Tony Stewart each have two.
· Roush Fenway Racing leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in wins at Texas Motor Speedway with nine; followed by Hendrick Motorsports with five and Joe Gibbs Racing with four.
· Three of the 27 (11.1%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway have been won from the Coors Light pole; Kasey Kahne (2006), Jimmie Johnson (2012) and Kyle Busch (2013).
· The third-place starting position is the most proficient starting spot in the field at Texas Motor Speedway, producing more wins than any other starting position (five) – most recent: Jimmie Johnson (fall 2013).
· Six of the 27 (22.2%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway have been won from the front row: three from the pole and three from second-place.
· 21 of the 27 (77.7%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Texas Motor Speedway have been won from a top-10 starting position.
· Four of the 27 (14.8%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
· The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Texas Motor Speedway is 31st, by Matt Kenseth in 2002.
· Youngest Texas winner: Joey Logano (03/30/2003 – 23 years, 10 months, 14 days).
· Oldest Texas winner: Dale Jarrett (04/01/2001 – 44 years, 4 months, 6 days).
· Jimmie Johnson leads the series in runner-up finishes at Texas Motor Speedway with five; followed by Matt Kenseth with four.
· Matt Kenseth leads the series in top-five finishes at Texas Motor Speedway with 13; followed by Jimmie Johnson with 10.
· Matt Kenseth leads the series lead in top-10 finishes at Texas Motor Speedway with 17; followed by Jimmie Johnson with 16 and Dale Earnhardt Jr. with 13.
· Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Texas Motor Speedway with an 8.818. Johnson is the only active driver with an average starting position at Texas in the top 10.
· Two active drivers have a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series average finish in the top 10 at Texas: Matt Kenseth (8.250) and Jimmie Johnson (9.455).
· There have been three NSCS green-white-checkered finishes at Texas Motor Speedway: fall 2006 (334/339), spring 2008 (334/339), and fall 2012 (334/335).
· Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions twice in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Texas Motor Speedway; the inaugural event in 1997 and spring 2007. The race has never been rain shortened.
· Casey Mears has participated in the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway without posting a DNF (20).
· Jeff Burton (4/06/1997) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (4/02/2000) won their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career race at Texas Motor Speedway.
· David Ragan (4/09/2011) and Martin Truex Jr. (11/04/2007) posted their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light poles at Texas Motor Speedway.
· 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski (11/02/2008) and Trevor Bayne (11/07/2010) made their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career starts at Texas Motor Speedway.
· Two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers have posted consecutive wins at Texas Motor Speedway: Carl Edwards (2008 sweep) and Denny Hamlin (2010 sweep).
· 11 of the 12 active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers who have won at Texas Motor Speedway participated in at least two or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Dale Earnhardt Jr. won at Texas in his first appearance; Carl Edwards and Ryan Newman won in their second appearance at TMS.
· Jeff Gordon competed at Texas Motor Speedway 16 times before winning in the spring of 2009; the longest span of any the 12 active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners.
· Only three of the 12 winning drivers have made 10 or more attempts before their first win at Texas Motor Speedway: Jeff Gordon (16) Kyle Busch (15) and Kurt Busch (13).
· Kevin Harvick and Joe Nemechek lead the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Texas Motor Speedway without visiting Victory Lane at 23 each.
· Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Texas Motor Speedway was the (4/4/2004) race won by Elliott Sadler with a MOV of 0.028 second ahead of Kasey Kahne.
· Two female drivers have made NSCS starts at Texas Motor Speedway: Shawna Robinson and Danica Patrick.
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· Tony Stewart leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in Laps Led at Texas Motor Speedway with 801 laps led in 24 starts.
· Jeff Gordon leads all active NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers in Laps Completed at Texas Motor Speedway with 7,990 laps.
· One NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver has won at Texas Motor Speedway in two different manufacturers: Jeff Burton (1997 – Ford; 2007 – Chevrolet)

NASCAR in Texas
· There have been 36 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races among three tracks in the state of Texas.
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· 80 drivers in NASCAR national series history have their home state recorded as Texas.
· 10 drivers from Texas have won at least one race in NASCAR’s three national series. Six of the nine Texas native NASCAR winners have won in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
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Mike Tirico and Danica Patrick team up again on NBC’s Indy 500 coverage

Danica Patrick Mike Tirico
Stephen King/IndyCar
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Mike Tirico and Danica Patrick will return to NBC Sports’ coverage of the Indianapolis 500, which will be broadcast Aug. 23 at 1 p.m. ET on NBC (green flag at 2:30 p.m.).

Tirico and Patrick, who both joined NBC Sports for its inaugural coverage of the event last year, will reprise their roles as host and studio analyst.

One of the most versatile voices in sports, Tirico also hosts NBC Olympics’ primetime coverage, Football Night in America and many other premier events, including hosting on-site at Indianapolis Motor Speedway earlier this year for the first-ever IndyCar-NASCAR crossover weekend.

AT THE BRICKYARD: Daily Indy 500 coverage schedule on NBC, NBCSN

He again will be joined during prerace, in-race, and postrace coverage by Patrick, who became the first woman to lead the Indy 500 in 2005 and also was the first female pole-sitter in NASCAR driver.

They will make their debut together duing practice coverage on Aug. 21, on NBCSN.

“My first Indy 500 last year exceeded my very high expectations in every way,” Tirico said in a release. “Although this year’s race will take place under unprecedented circumstances, I can’t wait to get back to Indy. I’m confident that our team at the Brickyard will provide viewers with as exciting a viewing experience as possible. I am also thrilled that Danica Patrick is along for the ride again this year. We had such a great time last May and look forward to bringing Indy home for the viewers again.”

Said Patrick: “The Indianapolis 500 is an event that transcends mainstream and motorsports which is why it’s so special. We are living during a time that if we can bring people together, we should. Even if it’s not physically. I am honored to be back with the NBC Sports team and Mike Tirico. The memories I have from 15 years at IMS hold such a special place in my heart and I can’t wait to make more this year in the booth, or however we are positioned in 2020!”

This will mark NBC Sports’ second season as the exclusive home of the NTT IndyCar Series, including the Indianapolis 500, which will take place in August for the first time ever because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.