Iracingone Rewind:/I Texas

RACE STATS

Time of Race: 3 hours, 51 minutes, 8 seconds
Average Speed: 130.055 mph
Margin of Victory: 3.244 Seconds
Caution Flags 11 for 56 laps: Laps 4-6 (43,07 spun turn 4); 9-11 (#10 accident turn 4); 24-27 (#11 accident backstretch); 33-39 (#18,22,25,43,6,32,77 accident backstretch); 80-84 (Debris ); 124-127 (Debris); 212-218 (Debris); 242-245 (#7 accident turn 2); 272-280 (#9 accident turn 4); 298-303 (Oil on track); 305-308 (#07 accident turn 2).
Lead Changes 25 among 14 drivers: R. Newman 1; J. Mayfield 2-24; K. Petty 25; S. Marlin 26-28; J. Mayfield 29-39; T. Stewart 40-79; K. Busch 80; M. Wallace 81; T. Stewart 82-86; G. Biffle 87-123; M. Waltrip 124-127; G. Biffle 128-184; M. Waltrip 185-187; M. Kenseth 188; K. Schrader 189-191; G. Biffle 192-211; K. Busch 212; G. Biffle 213-241; C. Mears 242; E. Sadler 243; G. Biffle 244-276; C. Mears 277; J. Gordon 278; G. Biffle 279-297; C. Mears 298-310; G. Biffle 311-334.

INSIDE LINE
Greg Biffle overcame starting 41st in his back-up car to win Sunday’s Samsung/Radio Shack 500. Biffle scored his fifth career NEXTEL Cup Series win driving the same car he took to victory lane in February’s Auto Club 500 at California Speedway.

KEYS TO VICTORY LANE
Biffle had the dominant car of the day but took the lead for good with 23 laps to go from Casey Mears, who had taken the lead on a late race pit stop after only changing two tires. Once past Mears, Biffle easily sailed to the checkered flag.

HIGHWAY TO HELL
Tony Stewart had a strong car early in the race and led 48 laps. But a blown engine on lap 296 ended Stewart's day in a fireball when oil from the expired motor ignited flames. Stewart suffered burns on his foot in the incident.

ZERO TO HERO
Jimmie Johnson qualified 18th but fell back in the field with an ill handling race car. His crew made significant changes to the Lowe’s Chevrolet throughout the day and Johnson was able to rally back to finish third and maintained his NEXTEL Cup Series point lead.

HERO TO ZERO
Kasey Kahne’s bid to sweep the weekend at Texas came to an abrupt ending on lap 269 when his Evernham Motorsports Dodge crashed hard into the turn four wall. Kahne was uninjured in the hard crash, which he attributed to “something breaking.”

ROOKIE OF THE RACE
Kyle Busch slipped and slid his way to a 21st place finish, easily outdistancing fellow rookie competitor Travis Kvapil, who finished 30th. Neither driver was a factor in the lead pack all day.

PIT STOPS
  • Jamie McMurray (second) posted his third straight top-10 finish in three races at Texas Motor Speedway. It is his best finish at Texas. His other two Texas finishes were a pair of 10th-place finishes. McMurray has scored two top-10 finishes in seven races this season. He climbed from 15th to 14th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings.
  • Jimmie Johnson (third) scored his fourth top-10 finish in four races at Texas Motor Speedway. Johnson has scored top-10 finishes in 13 straight races, since Charlotte last fall. Johnson failed to lead a lap for the second race in 2005. He remained first in the point standings with a 135-point lead over second-place Biffle.
  • Casey Mears (fourth) posted his second top-10 finish in three races at Texas Motor Speedway. This ties his career-best finish set at Watkins Glen in August 2004. Mears has scored two top-10 finishes in seven races this season. Mears climbed from 23rd to 17th in the point standings.
  • Sterling Marlin (fifth) scored his fourth top-10 finish in nine races at Texas Motor Speedway. Marlin scored his third top-10 finish in 2005 and climbed from 12th to sixth in the point standings. This is his highest points ranking since he was fifth after Kansas in September 2002.
  • Michael Waltrip (sixth) posted his third top-10 finish nine races at Texas. Waltrip scored his second top-10 finish in 2005. Waltrip moved from 30th to 24th in the point standings.
  • Rusty Wallace (10th) posted his fourth top-10 finish in nine races at Texas Motor Speedway. It marked his fourth top-10 finish in 2005. Wallace moved from seventh to third in the point standings. This is his highest points ranking since he was third after Talladega in April 2002.
  • For the first time ever, three Chip Ganassi-owned cars finished in the top five: McMurray (second), Mears (fourth) and Marlin (fifth).
  • Mark Martin (20th) has been running at the finish in 29 consecutive races, the longest current streak.

    LUG NUTS
  • Funny there are those that still think everything is wrong with the world of NASCAR yet 215,000 fans show up on raceday at Texas, another 125,000 for Saturday's Busch race and Friday's qualifying crowd was estimated at 50,000. But the pundits still claim NASCAR is losing its popularity.
  • How frustrated is Ryan Newman after winning yet another pole and then quickly falling out of contention and sinking like a rock in the field. When there aren't any cars around, he's the best. Unfortunately as soon as he's surrounded by 42 others, there's trouble. He must be the best highway driver in the world at 3 a.m.
  • Think Johnny Sauter would like to see his 41st place finish disqualified?
  • Jason Leffler didn't help the rumors of his possible ousting with his early race accident. Ward Burton will be in that car by the Coca-Cola 600..bank on it.
  • Ricky Rudd joined the AARP card resurgence tour with an eighth place finish. Rusty Wallace, Mark Martin and Rudd have done the elder generation proud with some great early season runs.

    GARAGE TALK
    "It's wasn't 'wreckin' tight,' but it was worse that run. I need you guys to start using your heads. Talk to me. All I've heard all day is 10-4, 10-4, 10-4, 10-4!
    Dale Earnhardt, Jr. to his crew over the radio.

    "We were trying to win the race, not finish second."
    Casey Mears on his two tire pit stop.

    RACING ONE RATING
    On our scale of one to ten Lone Star State 10 Gallon Hats (Just like the one Jeff Hammond wore)...we'll give the Samsung/Radio Shack 500 a six. Not even close to last year’s stirring finish between Elliott Sadler and Kasey Kahne, but interesting enough to see Biffle come from the back to the front. Some side-by-side racing throughout the race as Texas has finally become a two-groove race track. Hopefully the return in November as part of the "Chase for the Championship" will give us a bit more thrilling finish.
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    NASCAR Sprint Cup, 2005

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