CUP: Friday Texas Notebook (UPDATE 1)


NNS: Friday Garage Pass

CUP: Thursday Test Gallery

NNS: Thursday Practice Gallery

[FRIDAY 12:15 pm ET]

FASHION PLATE — Danica Patrick showed up at her Texas Motor Speedway media availability Friday morning wearing a belt buckle that says “Fastest Girl In Town,” a gift from boyfriend Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

“This started at the beginning of last year when … he wanted some Twitter followers,” Patrick said of Stenhouse. “So I was like, ‘Well, if I help you with that can, I have a belt buckle?’ So that started at Daytona and so, anyway, he had it made. I got it just before the second Texas race last year. I wore it last year at the end of the year. It was very nice. I know these things they are handmade. They are not cheap, and it’s really cool to have. … That was a nice gift. He didn’t actually need to live up to that bet, but it was nice that he did.”

[FRIDAY 12:02 pm ET]

GO TIME — With Thursday’s “testing” in the books, practice begins today at Texas Motor Speedway for Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race. SPEED will televise Sprint Cup practice today at 12:30 p.m. ET, Happy Hour at 3 p.m. and Sprint Cup qualifying at 6:30 p.m.

With the first six Sprint Cup races in the books, five-time series champion Jimmie Johnson leads defending champ Brad Keselowski by six points and Dale Earnhardt Jr. by 12. This weekend marks the first Saturday night race of the year.

Tom Jensen is the Editor in Chief of, Senior NASCAR Editor at RACER and a contributing Editor for You can follow him online at