Chase Update: Jimmie Johnson rolling along at Texas; Jeff Gordon 2nd at halfway

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Jimmie Johnson has won the last two fall races at Texas Motor Speedway and has done so in dominant fashion.

In the 2012 fall race, he led 168 laps to win from the pole. Then last fall, he led 255 laps before capturing a critical victory in his run to a sixth Sprint Cup title.

And right now, today’s middle race of the Chase for the Sprint Cup’s Eliminator Round at TMS is starting to look very similar.

Johnson took the lead from polesitter Matt Kenseth at Lap 54 and was still cruising in the lead at the halfway point of the AAA Texas 500.

Johnson was running third prior to a caution for debris and a crash involving Josh Wise at Lap 42, then moved up to second on the subsequent pit stops under yellow.

The race resumed at Lap 47, and seven laps later, Johnson moved underneath Kenseth going into Turn 1 to take the lead. He abandoned P1 for service at Lap 92 but was able to go back up front when the cycle ran through under green.

Jeff Gordon and Kevin Harvick were closing in on him leading into another green pit stop cycle at around Lap 135-140. Johnson and Harvick pitted together at Lap 139, with Gordon coming in one lap later.

But when the cycle shook out, Johnson had not only returned to the lead but had stretched it out over Harvick by almost an additional two seconds. Harvick then dropped second place to Gordon at Lap 153 while complaining of a “horrible loose” condition on his car.

With only one caution having slowed things down today, a fast pace has ensued at TMS with Johnson having lapped all the way up to 16th place.

At Lap 167 of 334, it’s Johnson leading Gordon, Harvick, Ryan Newman, Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Joey Logano, Kasey Kahne, Kurt Busch, and Brad Keselowski. Johnson is the lone non-Chase competitor inside the Top 5.

Juncos Racing to field single car entry in Indy 500

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Part-time NTT IndyCar Series entrant Juncos Racing will announce their attempt to qualify for the 2019 Indianapolis 500 within the next few weeks, according to RACER.

The team, which made its Indy 500 debut in 2017, ran 12 of the 17 IndyCar Series races last season, but has only made a start in one of the four events so far in 2019, finishing 18th in the inaugural running of the IndyCar Classic at Circuit of the Americas with Kyle Kaiser behind the wheel.

Though no driver has yet to be announced for the single-car entry, Kaiser is expected to be the leading candidate for the ride. The 23-year-old Californian has raced for the team since 2014, where he won the 2017 Indy Lights championship.

One of the top teams in the Road to Indy ladder system, Juncos Racing has over 50 wins between Indy Lights and Indy Pro 2000 competition. The team’s most recent victory came in the second Indy Lights race at St. Petersburg this year with Rinus VeeKay behind the wheel.

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