NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
RACE: Samsung Mobile 500
TRACK: Texas Motor Speedway
Richard Childress Racing teammates finished ninth (Kevin Harvick), 18th (Paul Menard) and 29th (Jeff Burton).
Harvick maintained the seventh-best average running position (8.599) and made 106 green-flag passes, the fourth highest according to NASCAR Loop Data statistics.
Menard ran as high as eighth and as low as 28th, maintaining an average running position of 16.877 during the 334-lap Samsung Mobile 500. Burton made 87 green-flag passes during the 501-mile race
Greg Biffle scored the win in Saturday night’s race. He was followed to the checkered flag by Jimmie Johnson, Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth.
The next Sprint Cup Series race is the STP 400 at Kansas Speedway on Sunday, April 22, televised live on FOX beginning at 12:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time and broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and Sirius XM Satellite Radio beginning at 12 p.m. EST.
Paul Menard and the No. 27 Team Endure Long Night at Texas Motor Speedway to Finish 18th
Paul Menard drove the No. 27 Quaker State/Menards Chevrolet to an 18th-place finish in Saturday night’s Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Menard started the “Quaker State green” and “Menards yellow” Chevrolet from the 11th position at the Fort Worth, Texas facility and quickly moved into the top 10; however, handling conditions developed and continued to plague the team throughout the remainder of the 501-mile event. Long green-flag runs, two yellow-flag periods and a record-low number of caution laps (10) at the 1.5-mile speedway provided little opportunity for the Eau Claire, Wis., native to gain track position. The Slugger Labbe-led crew made a series of chassis and air pressure adjustments on every scheduled visit to pit road. The No. 27 Quaker State/Menards team took the checkered flag in the 18th position, advancing Menard to 12th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, 27 points out of the final Chase for the Sprint Cup spot. .
Start – 11 Finish – 18 Laps Led – 0 Points – 12
PAUL MENARD QUOTE:
“This was not the night we were hoping for and to say we are disappointed is an understatement – especially since we left here with a top five-finish last year. We struggled with handling throughout the entire race. The long green-flag runs spread the field out and regaining track position with a loose-handling car was nearly impossible. We have a lot of notes to review before we come back to Texas (Motor Speedway) in November. Now, we’ll turn our focus to next week’s race at Kansas Speedway.”
Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser Team Earn Top-10 Finish in the Lone Star State
Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet team took home a ninth-place finish in Saturday night’s Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Harvick started the race from the 15th position and quickly drove into the top 10. The Bakersfield, Calif., native drove as high as second until the caution flag waved and the team pitted at lap 68. Trouble with a lug nut slowed the Shane Wilson-led team’s pit stop and cost Harvick seven spots. While driving in traffic, Harvick was faced with a tight-handling car. Following a lap-96 caution, the field restarted at lap 100 and the remainder of the race ran under green-flag conditions, setting a race record for fewest cautions (two) and caution laps (10). The No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet developed a loose-handling condition in the second half of the race and the team continued to make adjustments on each trip to pit road to alleviate the problem. Wilson reported to Harvick they were a couple laps shy of the finish on fuel and that he needed to save fuel. Harvick’s fuel savings paid off as the car ran out of gas just after he took the checkered flag in the ninth position.Harvick sits fifth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings.
Start – 15 Finish – 9 Laps Led – 0 Points – 5
KEVIN HARVICK QUOTE:
“The Budweiser Chevrolet started off strong tonight, but we lost a lot of ground on the second (pit) stop. We fought the handling back in traffic after that and the car got too loose. There at the end it started to get really loose in (Turn) three. All in all, this is better than I’ve been (at Texas) lately, so we’ll take that and work on what we need to improve for next time.”
Burton Finishes 29th at Texas Motor Speedway
Jeff Burton and the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team finished 29th in the Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas Motor Speedway after suffering lug nut issues during a mid-race green-flag pit stop. The South Boston, Va. native started 24th in his 23rd-career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at the 1.5-mile Texas facility and moved into the top 15 after a strong pit stop by the Cat Racing pit crew under caution on lap 68. After fighting a loose-handling Chevrolet for the next 150 laps, Burton brought his machine to pit road for routine four-tire service on lap 230. During the green-flag pit stop, there was an issue with the lug nut on the left-rear wheel of the No. 31 Chevrolet. The 21-time Sprint Cup Series race winner was forced to pit multiple times under green-flag conditions while crew members fixed the issue, pinning him multiple laps down to the leader. The RCR veteran completed the next 100 laps while running some of his fastest lap times of the race. Burton finished the remainder of the 334-lap event gaining positions, ultimately settling for a 29th-place finish. Burton now sits 16th in the Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, 40 points out of the final Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup spot.
Start – 24 Finish – 29 Laps Led – 0 Points – 16
JEFF BURTON QUOTE:
“I’m not really sure what happened to our wheel on that pit stop, but it just turned the night from bad to worse.”