Found November 03, 2013 on
Fox Sports Southwest:
FORT WORTH, Texas Anyone clinging to the hope that someone other than Jimmie Johnson or Matt Kenseth would make a run towards the Sprint Cup title can forget about it.
Sunday's AAA Texas 500 saw to that.
Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick each came to the race at Texas Motor Speedway needing something to go wrong for the top two in points to keep their fleeting hopes alive.
Not only did that not happen, both Busch and Gordon had troubles that took them out of championship contention, while Harvick's steady but unspectacular run left him with a top-10 finish (eighth) but little else to show for the trip with just two races remaining this season.
Gordon had momentum following his win last week at Martinsville and was third in points, just 27 out of first and still believing he had a shot at championship No. 5.
All that momentum went away on Lap 73 when his front left tire went down, sending him into the wall in Turn 1 while running 12th. The No. 24 Chevrolet went to the garage for repairs and eventually returned to the track but Gordon finished 38th, dropping him 69 behind points leader Johnson and into sixth place in the standings.
Gordon had less than 10 laps on his tires before he found the wall and he wasn't exactly sure what caused the incident.
"I just know that the left front went down as I was going down the front straightaway," Gordon said. "I felt it before I got there, and I just couldn't get it slowed down enough. I don't know. The wind was so strong that the car was doing funky things down the straightaways. I don't know if that was a slow leak, or if it just went all of a sudden."
Sunday capped a bad year at Texas for Gordon. He finished 38th in April because of a freak suspension problem.
"I feel for Jeff because he really showed what that team could do," said team owner Rick Hendrick. "I hate it for that team. They have really come together and he's put a bunch of good runs together."
While Gordon's race hopes were dashed early, the race was much tougher for Busch to take.
Busch recovered from an early tire problem that sent his No. 18 Camry into the wall in Turn 2 on Lap 57. While Gordon's hit sent him to the garage, Busch just brushed the wall as he brought out a caution. He dropped all the way back to 29th on the restart but charged through the field and took the lead twice.But his chances of winning came to an end on the final pit stop when he was penalized for speeding exiting the pits on Lap 298. The pass-through penalty dropped Busch to 15th place and the winner of the April TMS race finished 13th Sunday.
"Things were looking pretty good there, but like I told Kyle after the race, on a team, everybody is giving 100 percent and when everybody is giving 100 percent sometimes they give 100.1 percent and it's that .1 percent that gets you in trouble," Busch's crew chief Dave Rogers said. "Kyle feels terrible today because he sped on pit road late in the race, but this this is a team and we've got his back."
While he remained in fourth place in the point standings, Busch's deficitballooned from 36 to 52 as the series heads to Phoenix.
Rogers isn't ready to give up on the season yet, but he knows the No. 18 team is going to need a lot of things to go right over the next two weeks.
"Realistically at this point with two races left you're probably not going to outrace the 48 (Johnson) and the 20 (Kenseth) to accumulate more points than them to win the championship, but anything can happen," Rogers said. "They can speed on pit road. They can have a failure. They can have a wreck. We're going to give the next two races 100 percent and if them guys stumble a little bit, then hopefully we're there to capitalize."
Harvick was the lone longshot to have a consistent night, butthe No. 29 Chevrolet was never a threat to the leaders.
Harvick, who dropped from 28 points behind Johnson to 40 back, never ran higher than fifth place. He finished eighth but never led a lap.
BEST OF MAXIM
Jeff Gordon has crashed in the race at Texas, a week after his victory returned him to contention in the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship.
Gordon had problems with his front left tire Sunday. The four-time Cup champion hit the wall hard and high between the first and second turns on the 75th of 334 scheduled laps at the 1 1/2-mile track.
The Hendrick Motorsports team was working...
For Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson was proof that perfect is the enemy of good.
Kenseth had a good day -- a very good day -- in the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, finishing fourth, his fifth top-five finish in the first eight races of this year's Chase for the Sprint Cup.
But Johnson was nearly perfect, leading 254 of 334 laps to put his No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports...
Fort Worth, TX- Kyle Busch had very high hopes entering the Texas Motor Speedway this weekend as he was hoping to sweep the weekend in all three NASCAR sanctioned events.
He also was trying to get back into the championship hunt on the Sprint Cup Series side and help on the owner points side of things for the Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series.
Unfortunately for ‚Ä...
Fort Worth, TX- Entering Sunday‚Äôs AAA 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway, Jeff Gordon was still in the hunt for his fifth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title.
Gordon was coming off of a victory last week in Martinsville and only trailed Matt Kenseth and his teammate Jimmie Johnson by 27 points entering today‚Äôs race.
He became everyone‚Äôs favorite to win and get into the title conversation...
And then there were only two. With Jimmie Johnson‚Äôs dominate win and Jeff Gordon‚Äôs falter, it‚Äôs down to Johnson versus Matt Kenseth. Everyone from third on back are too far behind to get back into the title talk with only two races to. Jimmie Johnson | 1st | 2342 points[...]
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In NASCAR racing, nice guys don't finish last.
Jimmie Johnson proved that again Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway as he won his 66th career Sprint Cup race.
Despite taking a seven-point lead in his quest for a sixth championship over another nice guy -- Matt Kenseth, who finished fourth -- it's unlikely the race or the title hunt will monopolize the water cooler talk this...
One week after tussling with teammate Kevin Harvick on the track, Ty Dillon put the drama behind him and scored his second NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory of the season. Leading 130 of the 147 laps, Dillon was the class of the field for much of the night, but was forced to fight his way back to the lead after the final restart.
Taking the checkered flag, Dillon recorded...
What's it going to be -- an inexorable march toward a sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship for Jimmie Johnson or another late-season failure for the No. 48 team?
Based on the preponderance of evidence from Sunday's AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, the sixth title seems the far more likely outcome.
On the face of it, the circumstances are remarkably similar...
MATT KENSETH - WINNER
#20 Home Depot ‚ÄúLet‚Äôs Do This‚ÄĚ Toyota
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 111.0
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Seven wins, 10 top fives, 18 top 10s; two poles
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Average finish of 12.3
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Led 24 races for 1,636 laps
Texas Motor Speedway Outlook:
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Two wins, 12 top fives, 15 top 10s
Here is the entry list for Saturday‚Äôs Great Clips 200 from Phoenix. There are 41 entries for 40 spots, so one driver will miss the show.¬† Among the highlights of the list: Ryan Reed is in the #16 Drive to Stop Diabetes Ford, Matt Kenseth is in the #18 GameStop[...]
getty images for nascar
Entering Sunday‚Äôs NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway both Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson were tied atop the point standings.
Leaving Texas it will be Johnson ¬†atop the standings with Kenseth seven points behind.
WINNER: Johnson wins at Texas, full results for AAA 500
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Standings following Texas
Jimmie Johnson won the AAA 500 from Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday.
Carl Edwards began the AAA 500 on the pole at the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway. Entering the day Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson were tied atop the point standings. It did not take long for Johnson and Kenseth to become 1-2 on the track. Jeff Gordon who entered the race third in the standings saw his...
There are 43 cars on the entry list for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway. With only two races remaining on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule every point matters as Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth compete for the series title.
Johnson currently holds a seven point lead over Kenseth after claiming his sixth win of the season at Texas last week...