Texas Motor Speedway has become Roush Fenway Racing's playground and this past weekend's Samsung Mobile 500 was further proof. The organization swept both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races at "The Great American Speedway!" for the third time.
With Greg Biffle's win in Saturday night's Samsung Mobile 500 and defending Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr.'s victory in the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 the previous evening, team owner Jack Roush walked away with his 17th and 18th NASCAR victories at Texas Motor Speedway, which is the most by any team owner.
"Well, first off God bless Texas," Roush said after picking up the victory in the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300. "The 1.5-mile race track at Texas is configured very well for the understanding the crew chiefs and engineering guys have about what the car needs. I've had a lot of success here, but don't take credit for it myself. I've been in the company of really great race teams and Ford has given us some really fast race cars to work with. It has been a pleasure."
Roush Fenway Racing's winning ways allowed it to continue its impressive streak of consecutive Nationwide Series victories at Texas Motor Speedway. Stenhouse Jr.'s victory was the fourth Nationwide Series win in a row for Roush Fenway Racing at Texas Motor Speedway. Carl Edwards started the run with a win in the fall event in 2010, continued it with a win in the spring race of 2011 and Trevor Bayne extended it with a victory in the fall race of last season.
"We finally got a cowboy hat at Texas!" exclaimed Stenhouse Jr. following the victory. "I love coming here. We finally finished off a race. I'm just glad to be a part of this race team with Jack Roush and Ford Racing."
Roush Fenway Racing Stats at Texas Motor Speedway
- Nine NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Wins (1997, '98, 2002, '05-Spring, '05-Fall, '08-S, '08-F, '11-S, '12-S)
- Eight NASCAR Nationwide Series Wins (1997, '99, 2000, '07-S, '10-F, '11-S, '11-F, '12-S)
- One NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Win (2000-S)
- Seven different drivers have helped tally Roush Fenway Racing's 18 wins (Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Trevor Bayne, Mark Martin, Jeff Burton)
- Kenseth, Edwards, Martin have each won in both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series. Biffle has won in both the Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series.
- "Is this Bristol?" Danica Patrick said referencing the Connecticut home of ESPN's SportsCenter when first seeing the new set on Thursday. "I should be asking, 'where is my teleprompter?"
- "This is like being on the CBS News set," Greg Biffle quipped.
- "I heard a lot about this set and figured I needed to come in and check it out," said winner Ricky Stenhouse after arriving for the Nationwide Series O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 post-race press conference.
- "It is kind of nice," Carl Edwards said with a chuckle. "I think it is really cool to spice it up a little bit."
Greg Biffle became just the third NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver to win the Samsung Mobile 500 spring event at Texas Motor Speedway multiple times. Biffle, who also won this event in 2005, joins Roush Fenway Racing teammate Matt Kenseth (2002, '11) and Jeff Burton (1997, '07). He also becomes the sixth multiple Sprint Cup winner overall at Texas Motor Speedway (Carl Edwards 3, Denny Hamlin, Tony Stewart, Kenseth and Burton 2 each). ... Biffle led seven times for 90 laps en route to his Samsung Mobile 500 victory, which moved him into second for career laps led at Texas Motor Speedway. Biffle, with 732 laps led, moved past Stewart (727) and only trails Kenseth (771). ... History repeated itself for Kenseth, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Mark Martin and Biffle. The group entered Saturday night's Samsung Mobile 500 as the career leaders, respectively, for most top-five Sprint Cup finishes at Texas Motor Speedway. The contingent swept the top-five spots, led by Biffle's victory. Kenseth leads the group with 11 top-five finishes, followed by Gordon, Johnson and Martin with eight, and Biffle with seven. ... With his pole in the Samsung Mobile 500, Martin Truex Jr. became just the fifth multiple Sprint Cup Series pole winner in Texas Motor Speedway history. Truex Jr., whose other pole came in the 2007 fall race, joins Dale Earnhardt Jr., Bobby Labonte, Ryan Newman and Gordon. ... It didn't take very long for Nationwide Series rookie Austin Dillon to top his father Mike Dillon's best performance at Texas Motor Speedway. Austin finished fifth in his Texas Motor Speedway debut in the Nationwide Series at Friday night's O'Reilly Auto Parts 300, topping his dad's best of 13th in 1997 among his four career starts here. ... Race fans at Texas Motor Speedway had to hold onto their hats and to their dollar bills as well during the Samsung Mobile 500. With wind gusts of 30 miles per hour, drivers were fighting to keep swirling debris off the grills of their cars. During the race, Kevin Harvick's No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet had a $100 bill stuck to the grill that was quite a reward for one of Harvick's crew members. ... Kenseth proved once again why he is an annual contender to win at Texas Motor Speedway. He recorded his 14th top-10 finish with his fifth-place showing in the Samsung Mobile 500. It's his 12th top-10 finish in his last 14 starts at Texas Motor Speedway. ... History has shown leading the most laps doesn't always translate to winning. In three of the previous four NASCAR Nationwide Series races at Texas Motor Speedway, the driver leading the most laps has failed to win. Paul Menard led a race-high 100 laps during Friday's O'Reilly Auto Parts 300, only to have Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who led 68, grab the victory.
Green, Green, Green ... And More Green
Thanks to a run of 234 consecutive green-flag laps to close out Saturday night's Samsung Mobile 500, several track records were broken in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.
The Samsung Mobile 500 also set records for fewest cautions (2) and caution laps (10). The previous marks were five cautions - which occurred on four occasions including November's AAA Texas 500 - and 21 caution laps (2011 AAA Texas 500).
The last three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway have resulted in an unusually high percentage of green-flag laps. Of the 1,002 laps run between the Samsung Mobile 500 and AAA Texas 500 in 2011 and Saturday night's edition of the Samsung Mobile 500, 927 laps have been run under green for a 92.5 percentage.
The 234 consecutive green-flag laps - which began on Lap 101 and continued until the end of the 334-lap race - eclipsed the mark of 122 set in the 2009 AAA Texas 500 (then-Dickies 500) won by Kurt Busch. It led to the fastest Sprint Cup Series race in speedway history at 160.577 mph, smashing the mark of 152.705 mph set in last year's AAA Texas 500 won by Tony Stewart.
'No Limits' Half Marathon & 5k Registration Open
Registration is open for the inaugural "No Limits" Half Marathon and 5k running events scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 27, at Texas Motor Speedway to benefit Speedway Children's Charities-Texas Chapter.
Competitors can sign up by visiting www.nolimitsrun.com, with early sign-up discounts for the Half Marathon ($75 through May 1) and 5k ($25 through July 31). After May 1, the Half Marathon entry fee moves to $95 through Sept. 30; $100 through Oct. 25 and $125 on race day. After July 31, the 5k entry is $30 through Oct. 25 and $35 on race day. There also is separate pricing for corporate and open teams in both the Half Marathon and 5k, and school teams for the 5k.
The organizers of the Cowtown Marathon, recognized as one of the premier running events in the state, will handle all the logistics and sanction the course layout for both the "No Limits" Half Marathon and 5k events. The "No Limits" Half Marathon and 5k will be held the morning of Saturday, Oct. 27, with registration and packet pick-up beginning at 6 a.m. CT with races following. Course layout and exact start times will be announced soon.
Texas Motor Speedway will provide the dramatic backdrop that will incorporate several signature elements of the state's largest sports venue and give runners a themed event that is unlike any other in Texas. The "No Limits" Half Marathon will incorporate the actual speedway itself in addition to the traffic-free asphalt ring roads on the 1,500-acre site. The 5k event will be contained to the speedway with just over two laps on the 1.5-mile oval.
Similar to Olympic marathons, the final 1.5 miles of the "No Limits" Half Marathon will have the competitors complete their stretch run inside the expansive venue. Runners will cruise down pit lane, around the oval on the wide, flat apron portion of the track surface and then receive the checkered flag at the actual start/finish line. The course layout also is expected to include a stretch on the concession/souvenir concourse beneath the 112,522 seats on the speedway's frontstretch.
The motorsports theme will be highlighted by one of most distinctive and unique medal presentations in the running community. The major category winners will be treated to the same post-race celebration in Victory Lane as the race winners in NASCAR and INDYCAR. In addition to the medal presentation, each major category winner will receive a Charlie 1 Horse winner's cowboy hat and fire a pair of Turnbull 45 Colt-style, single-action revolvers in celebration.
Media note-The full release and a video package featuring comments from Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage regarding the announcement is available on the media-only portion of
www.texasmotorspeedway.com. To access the media portion of the site, the username is media and the password nolimits2011.
SCC-Texas Raises More Than $300,000 During Race Week
Speedway Children's Charities-Texas Chapter raised more than $300,000 for the various events the organization played host to every day during the Samsung Mobile 500 race week. The charity events consisted of the Foreigner acoustic concert Monday evening, golf tournament on Wednesday, Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame dinner Thursday, live memorabilia auction Friday and Foreigner t-shirt/CD sales prior to Saturday's Samsung Mobile 500. Among the highlights was the memorabilia auction raising $103,000, including $25,000 for the parade lap with three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart, and the Foreigner concert and CD/t-shirt sales raising a combined $84,000.
Going The Extra Mile
Lubbock Fire Department's Jack Todd was awarded this year's ServiceMaster Clean Extra Mile Award prior to Saturday night's Samsung Mobile 500 for his unfailing work ethic and dedication with Texas Motor Speedway's fire and rescue team.
Todd, a full-time employee of 15 years with the Lubbock Fire Department, has been an active member of the Texas Motor Speedway race weekend workforce for 12 years managing the maintenance and inventory of fire and rescue squads' supplies and equipment. Prior to each race weekend, Todd prepares all of the equipment and supplies, and then works throughout the race events restocking and delivering fire and rescue supplies around the track.
"Jack makes sure that they have everything they need from fresh fire extinguishers, meals, fresh batteries, etc. You name it. If they need it, Jack tracks it down and gets it to them," Texas Motor Speedway Vice President of Operations and Development Mat Stolley said. "He embodies the spirit and professionalism of the fire and rescue personnel. He always has an upbeat attitude. Whether it's his job or not, he is always eager to jump in and help wherever help is needed. We're lucky to have him as part of our team and I'm honored to work with him."
Since its inception in 2010, the ServiceMaster Clean Extra Mile Award has recognized 26 track team members across the country. The award recipients can be any member of the track staff and volunteers who work in a service-oriented position.
Johnson Pads The Stats
Five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson walked away with a runner-up finish in Saturday night's Samsung Mobile 500 for the fifth time in 18 appearances at Texas Motor Speedway. Johnson's fifth runner-up performance is the most second-place finishes by a Sprint Cup Series driver, passing Matt Kenseth's four runner-up finishes.
"Yeah man, second sucks," Johnson said following the race. "I wish we could have won. We were in contention, had a great race car."
In Johnson's previous 12 races at Texas Motor Speedway, he has compiled an impressive stat line. He has one win (2007 Dickies 500), started in the top 10 in 10 of the 12 races, tallied five runner-up finishes, eight top 10s and has led 273 laps. His average finish of 9.7 is second best, just behind Matt Kenseth's 8.6 mark.
NASCAR drivers came away quite impressed with Texas Motor Speedway's new state-of-the art, studio set that made its debut for driver media availability and press conferences during the Samsung Mobile 500 doubleheader weekend. The set, designed by FX Design Group, features an 8-foot-by-14-foot backlit duracurve wall featuring racing images at Texas Motor Speedway, along with an eight-foot, custom-built, anchor-style desk with a Samsung 40-inch LED, high-definition SMART television on the front and two Samsung 55-inch LED, high-definition SMART televisions behind the desk. The design and look rivals most national and local television news and sports sets.
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