A repaved/rebanked Texas Motor Speedway led to a better race to many fans and interesting strategies on the track.
I could just copy and paste the Penske report for Ganassi. Kyle Larson kept his strong runs going with a second place and Jamie McMurray finished seventh. Minus McMurray’s tire problems at Martinsville, they have been a solid one-two punch to try and combat Team Penske.
This was Ryan Blaney’s race to win. He captured the two stages and was poised for his first career win. Fate intervened and it was not to be on this day. On the positive he led 148 laps, the most by a Wood Brothers car in about 30 years.
Rolling the dice did not work out for rookie Erik Jones, he finished 22nd, but Martin Truex Jr captured another top-10 finish. For the season the duo are averaging 15.29 place finishes with five top-10 finishes.
Clearly Jimmie Johnson’s beard was why he wasn’t winning. Oh wait, no, he won with the beard, so I guess that wasn’t it. Johnson is back and there was a strong showing out of Dale Earnhardt Jr and Chase Elliott. The only blemish was Kasey Kahne, whose mechanical issue relegated him to 38th place.
A decent outing by the RFR team. Trevor Bayne led the way with a 13th and Ricky Stenhouse Jr was right behind in 14th. The turnaround for this organization has taken a long time, but it is starting to bare the fruits of the labor. A big credit has been a change in culture. It was a surprise when Greg Biffle was released last season, but it seems exactly what the team needed to fully hit the reset button.
Bounce back performance for Kevin Harvick (fourth) and Kurt Busch (10th), and another good run by Clint Bowyer (11th) helped SHR rise in the standings. A 24th by Danica Patrick holds them back, but it’s a good showing after some questionable runs as of late.
Every top team can’t stay on top all the time and Joe Gibbs Racing has been brought back to reality. Their cars are just not as fast as they used to be and bad luck seems to be following the team around. It was 15th or worse for all four drivers this weekend at Texas. The surprise is how the Furniture Row Racing team seems to be running at the same clip as last year.
A forgettable event for RCR that started out in the trash. Austin Dillon couldn’t get going to start the race with mechanical issues, but salvaged a 33rd place finish. Ryan Newman did slightly better without the issues in 26th, and Paul Menard continued to anchor the team down with a 36th place finish.
AJ Allmendinger and Chris Buescher followed each other to a 20th and 21st place finish. It was a good showing for the team, but not quite into the contender category for them. For the season the pair is averaging a 20.57 place finish.
A solid 23rd place finish for the team will help the momentum for the next race in Bristol.
Aric Almirola rolled off an 18th place finish to help make his push up the standings.
A solid output for Ty Dillon at Texas with a 17th place finish, about on par for where he should be running.
Martinsville’s strong run was long forgotten in Texas. Cole Whitt could only manage a 30th place finish.
Decent output for Matt DiBenedetto with a 31st place finish.
A second race for the team yielded a 27th place finish with J.J. Yeley behind the wheel.
18 Beard Motorsports
Did not attempt Texas.
A 35th and 37th place finish for both teams won’t help them rise up the ranks in the standings.
They traveled not so far to finish dead last.
21 BK Racing
Another end of the order run for BK Racing, this is what’s expected for this team for this year with these drivers.
Hey they weren’t last like Cirlce Sport/TMG.
23 Gaunt Brothers Racing
Did not attempt Texas.