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NASCAR - Sprint Cup - Samsung Mobile 500 Preview

From The Sports Network

DATE: Saturday, April 14th
SITE: Texas Motor Speedway (1997) -- Fort Worth, Texas
TRACK: 1.5-mile oval- 2,250 feet (Frontstretch); 1,330 feet (Backstretch)
CAPACITY: 138,122 (Total Permanent Seating)
ANNUAL: 16th
ANNOUNCERS: Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds
RADIO: Performance Racing Network (PRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio
START TIME: 7:30 p.m. (ET)/Green Flag: 7:46 p.m. (ET)
RUNNER-UP: Clint Bowyer
POLE WINNER: David Ragan (Finished 7th)
LAPS: 334
MILES: 501
QUALIFYING RECORD: Brian Vickers, 2006 (196.235 m.p.h.)
RACE RECORD: Tony Stewart, 2011 (152.705 m.p.h.)
TOTAL PURSE: $7,000,716 (2011 figures)
PAYOUTS: 1st Place - $525,886; 2nd Place - $353,883; 3rd Place - $269,791
2011 Finish
1Matt Kenseth46Marcos Ambrose7
2Clint Bowyer37David Ragan1
3Carl Edwards28Jimmie Johnson6
4Greg Biffle99Dale Earnhardt Jr28
5Paul Menard1910Kurt Busch10
2011 Samsung Mobile 500 Facts and Figures
AVERAGE SPEED: 149.231 m.p.h.
TIME OF RACE: 3 hours, 21 minutes, 26 seconds
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 8.315 seconds
CAUTION FLAGS: 5 for 24 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 31 among 13 drivers
POLE WINNER: David Ragan (189.820 m.p.h.)
Past Samsung Mobile 500 Winners (Starting Position) Car -- Speed
2011 -- Matt Kenseth (4th) -- Ford -- 149.231 m.p.h.
2010 -- Denny Hamlin (29th) -- Toyota -- 146.230 m.p.h.
2009 -- Jeff Gordon (2nd) -- Chevrolet -- 146.372 m.p.h.
2008 -- Carl Edwards (2nd) -- Ford -- 144.814 m.p.h.
2007 -- Jeff Burton (2nd) -- Chevrolet -- 143.359 m.p.h.
2006 -- Kasey Kahne (1st) -- Dodge -- 137.943 m.p.h.
2005 -- Greg Biffle (5th) -- Ford -- 130.055 m.p.h.
2004 -- Elliott Sadler (19th) Ford -- 138.845 m.p.h.
2003 -- Ryan Newman (3rd) -- Dodge -- 134.517 m.p.h.
2002 -- Matt Kenseth (31st) -- Ford -- 142.431 m.p.h.
2001 -- Dale Jarrett (3rd) -- Ford -- 141.804 m.p.h.
2000 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr (4th) -- Chevrolet -- 131.152 m.p.h.
1999 -- Terry Labonte (4th) -- Chevrolet -- 144.276 m.p.h.
1998 -- Mark Martin (7th) -- Ford -- 136.771 m.p.h.
1997 -- Jeff Burton (5th) -- Ford -- 125.111 m.p.h.
NOTE: Previously called Interstate Batteries 500 (1997), Texas 500 (1998,
2000-01), Primestar 500 (1999), Samsung/Radio Shack 500 (2002-06),
Samsung 500 (2007-09).
Past Samsung Mobile 500 Pole Winners (Finish)
2011 -- David Ragan -- 7th
2010 -- Denny Hamlin -- 29th
2009 -- David Reutimann -- 11th
2008 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr -- 12th
2007 -- None -- Weather
2006 -- Kasey Kahne -- 1st
2005 -- Ryan Newman -- 16th
2004 -- Bobby Labonte -- 25th
2003 -- Bobby Labonte -- 37th
2002 -- Bill Elliott -- 9th
2001 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr -- 8th
2000 -- Terry Labonte -- 8th
1999 -- Kenny Irwin Jr -- 15th
1998 -- Jeremy Mayfield -- 23rd
1997 -- None -- Weather
Last Race Results
RACE: Goody's Fast Relief 500 (April 1st)
SITE: Martinsville Speedway -- Martinsville, Virginia
MILES: 270.89
LAPS: 515
WINNER: Ryan Newman
RUNNER-UP: A.J. Allmendinger
THIRD: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
FOURTH: Matt Kenseth
FIFTH: Martin Truex Jr.
POLE WINNER: Kasey Kahne (Finished 38th)
TIME OF RACE: 3 hours, 26 minutes, 12 seconds
AVERAGE SPEED: 78.823 m.p.h.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.342 second
CAUTION FLAGS: 7 for 56 laps
LAP LEADERS: K. Kahne - pole; K. Harvick 1-21; J. Gordon 22-99; B. Keselowski
100; J. Gordon 101-228; D. Earnhardt Jr. 229-231; J. Gordon 232;
D. Hamlin 233; C. Bowyer 234-235; M. Kenseth 236; A. Almirola
237-239; J. Gordon 240-322; B. Keselowski 323; J. Gordon 324-355;
J. Johnson 356-362; D. Hamlin 363-392; J. Johnson 393-496; J.
Gordon 497-502; J. Johnson 503; R. Newman 504-515.
Samsung Mobile 500 Entry List
CarDriver, HometownCar/Name
1Jamie McMurray (Joplin, MO)Chevrolet/Bass Pro Shops
2Brad Keselowski (Rochester Hills, MI)Dodge/Miller Lite
5Kasey Kahne (Enumclaw, WA)Chevrolet/Farmers Insurance
9Marcos Ambrose (Launceston, Australia)Ford/Stanley
10David Reutimann (Zephyrhills, FL)Chevrolet/Accell Construction
11Denny Hamlin (Chesterfield, VA)Toyota/FedEx/March of Dimes
13Casey Mears (Bakersfield, CA)Ford/GEICO
14Tony Stewart (Columbus, IN)Chevrolet/Office Depot/Mobil 1
15Clint Bowyer (Emporia, KS)Toyota/5-Hour Energy
16Greg Biffle (Vancouver, WA)Ford/Filtrete
17 *Matt Kenseth (Cambridge, WI)Ford/Best Buy
18Kyle Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Toyota/Interstate Batteries
19Mike Bliss (Milwaukie, OR)Toyota/Humphrey Smith Racing
20Joey Logano (Middletown, CT)Toyota/Dollar General
21Trevor Bayne (Knoxville, TN)Ford/Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire
22A.J. Allmendinger (Los Gatos, CA)Dodge/ Shell/Pennzoil
23Scott Riggs (Bahama, NC)Chevrolet/North Texas Pipe
24Jeff Gordon (Vallejo, CA)Chevrolet/DuPont
26Josh Wise (Riverside, CA)Ford/Morristown Driver's Service
27Paul Menard (Eau Claire, WI)Chevrolet/Menards/Quaker State
29Kevin Harvick (Bakersfield, CA)Chevrolet/Budweiser
30David Stremme (South Bend, IN)Toyota/Inception Motorsports
31Jeff Burton (South Boston, VA)Chevrolet/Caterpillar
32To Be AnnouncedFord/JaniKing
33Hermie Sadler (Emporia, VA)Chevrolet/Precon Marine
34David Ragan (Unadilla, GA)Ford/TBA
36Dave Blaney (Hartford, OH)Chevrolet/Tommy Baldwin Racing
37To Be AnnouncedFord/TBA
38David Gilliland (Riverside, CA)Ford/Mod Space
39Ryan Newman (South Bend, IN)Chevrolet/U.S. Army
42Juan Pablo Montoya (Bogota, Colombia)Chevrolet/Target
43Aric Almirola (Tampa, FL)Ford/Smithfield
47Bobby Labonte (Corpus Christi, TX)Toyota/Bush's Beans
48Jimmie Johnson (El Cajon, CA)Chevrolet/Lowe's/Kobalt Tools
49J.J. Yeley (Phoenix, AZ)Toyota/JPO Absorbents
51Kurt Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Chevrolet/Phoenix Construction
55Mark Martin (Batesville, AR)Toyota/Aaron's Best of the Best
56Martin Truex Jr. (Mayetta, NJ)Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts
74Stacy Compton (Hurt, VA)Chevrolet/Turn One Racing
78Regan Smith (Cato, NY)Chevrolet/Furniture Row
83Landon Cassill (Cedar Rapids, IA)Toyota/Burger King/Dr. Pepper
87Joe Nemechek (Lakeland, FL)Toyota/AM FM Energy Wood Pellet
88Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Kannapolis, NC)Chevrolet/Diet Mt. Dew/Nat Guard
93Travis Kvapil (Janesville, WI)Toyota/Dr. Pepper
95Scott Speed (Manteca, CA)Ford/TWD Drywall
98Michael McDowell (Glendale, AZ)Ford/Curb Records
99Carl Edwards (Columbia, MO)Ford/Fastenal
* - Defending champion
Leading Contenders (Finish the last nine years)
Matt Kenseth6th16th18th2nd2nd9th5th20thWon
Clint Bowyer---------19th16th10th22nd36th2nd
Carl Edwards------19th36th12thWon10th33rd3rd
Greg Biffle28th31stWon42nd6th39th3rd10th4th
Paul Menard------------15th17th13th35th5th
Marcos Ambrose------------------41st17th6th
Jimmie Johnson8th9th3rd11th38th2nd2nd2nd8th
Dale Earnhardt Jr2nd4th9th12th36th12th20th8th9th
Kurt Busch9th6th7th34th11th23rd8th4th10th
Jeff Burton20th27th12th6thWon6th9th12th11th
Tony Stewart34th8th31st3rd25th7th4th32nd12th
Juan Pablo Montoya------------8th19th7th34th13th
Ryan NewmanWon39th16th40th32nd4th15th11th14th
Denny Hamlin---------4th9th5th12thWon15th
Kyle Busch------21st15th37th3rd18th3rd16th
Brad Keselowski------------------23rd14th18th
A.J. Allmendinger------------------34th13th19th
Kevin Harvick15th13th13th5th29th11th27th7th20th
Kasey Kahne---2nd35thWon20th25th19th5th21st
Jamie McMurray10th10th2nd37th5th14th38th30th22nd
Jeff Gordon3rd3rd15th22nd4th43rdWon31st23rd
Joey Logano------------------30th28th24th
Martin Truex Jr---------8th7th36th25th9th35th
Mark Martin5th17th20th9th3rd8th6th6th36th
Mover of the Week
A.J. Allmendinger - Started in the 27th position and finished 2nd
Sports Network Selections
Pick to Win - Carl Edwards
Darkhorse - Jeff Gordon
Last Week's Pick to Win (Kevin Harvick) - Finished 19th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Dale Earnhardt Jr) - Finished 3rd
After a week off during the Easter holiday, the Sprint Cup returns to action at Texas Motor Speedway, as Matt Kenseth defends his 2011 title.

Kenseth put an end to his 76-race winless streak in the Sprint Cup Series with a dominating performance last year, as he led 169 of 334 laps and crossed the finish line 8.3 seconds ahead of his closest competitor, Clint Bowyer, for his 19th career win, but his first since February 2009 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA.

His first Texas win came in 2002. Since then, he had finished second four times at the fast 1.5-mile track, including November, 2010. Overall, Kenseth has posted nine top-10 finishes in his last 10 races at TMS in the Sprint Cup.

Starting from the 29th position, Denny Hamlin finagled his way to the top with just 12 laps remaining and hung on to clip Jimmie Johnson by less than a second for his 10th career Sprint Cup title in 2010.

2009 winner Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart dominated most of that race, as Gordon led for 124 laps and pole sitter Stewart 74, but it was Hamlin, who nineteen days earlier underwent surgery to repair the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, came out on top. Rain delayed until Monday, Hamlin took the lead for the first time when he stormed past Jeff Burton just after the last restart with 12 laps remaining. He then held off a furious charge from Jimmie Johnson in the final laps for the second of eight wins that season. With his win in the fall of that year, Hamlin became the second driver to post a season sweep at TMS, joining Carl Edwards (2008).

Jeff Gordon was finally able to scratch Texas Motor Speedway off his bucket list, as he raced to victory in 2009. It took 17 tries, but Gordon was able to cross the finish line first, as he held off Jimmie Johnson for his 82nd career victory. Although out of the top-15 on the points list, Gordon added three more wins to his victory total, ranking third behind Richard Petty (200) and David Pearson (105).

After three lackluster finishes in this race, Carl Edwards dominated the Samsung 500 in 2008, as he led three times for a race-high 123 laps for his 10th career checkered flag. Edwards regained the lead on lap 233 and led the rest of the way to defeat Jimmie Johnson by less than a second. Pole sitter Dale Earnhardt Jr placed 12th. Edwards posted nine wins that year and now owns 19 career Sprint Cup titles.

In 2007, Jeff Burton overtook Matt Kenseth on the final lap to record his 19th career Sprint Cup title. Burton, who started second on the grid, led only one lap, as he edge Kenseth by 0.410 of a second. Jeff Gordon, who started on the front row, led for most of the race, leading 173 laps, but finished fourth. Only five of the 43 cars failed to finish the race, including Dale Earnhardt Jr, who led for 96 laps, but placed 36th due to engine problems. With the win, Burton became the first and only multiple champion of this race.

When pole sitter Kasey Kahne raced to victory in 2006, he outdistanced Matt Kenseth for his third career Sprint Cup title. In all, Kahne led five times for 63 laps, including the final 37 as he posted a 5.229 seconds win over Kenseth. Tony Stewart, who placed third, led twice for a race-high 99 laps. Jimmie Johnson had his string of four straight top-10's at this race snapped, as he finished 11th. Kahne still remains as the lone pole sitter to ever win this race.

In 2005, Greg Biffle overtook Casey Mears with just 24 laps remaining to take the lead for the seventh and final time, as he crossed the finish line over three seconds ahead of Jamie McMurray, collecting his second win of that season and fifth of his "Cup" career. Mears, who started in the 32nd position, finished fourth, while pole sitter Ryan Newman finished 16th.

Construction on Texas Motor Speedway began in 1995, with the original configuration calling for an unusual dual banking system that had 24 degrees of banking for stock cars and eight degrees for open-wheel cars. The first NASCAR race at Texas was a NASCAR Nationwide Series event on April 5, 1997. The first Sprint Cup race at Texas was held the following day. In 1998, Turn 4 at Texas was reshaped to ease the transition from the turns to the front straightaway. A second renovation started after the 1998 race which eliminated the dual banking and gave the track its current configuration. In all, there have been 22 Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway, one per season from 1997 through 2004 and two races per year since 2005.

When Matt Kenseth started in the 31st position in 2002, it was the lowest starting position of a race winner at Texas. Jack Roush has posted eight victories at Texas, more than any other car owner. Carl Edwards has won three of those races (2005, 2008 spring and fall). 16 of the previous 22 races at TMS have been won from the top-10 positions, 13 of which have come from the top-5. When Hamlin doubled in 2010, he won from the 29th position in the spring and he started from the 30th spot in the fall. Four drivers have competed in all 22 Texas races: Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte and Mark Martin.

The next Sprint Cup Series race is the April 22 STP 400 at Kansas Speedway. Brad Keselowski won last year's race there.

04/10 13:46:37 ET

As of April 10, 2012, at 01:46 PM ET