NNS: O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 preview

Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images for NASCAR

Information:

Date: Friday, April 13, 2012

Time: 8: 30 p.m. EST

Location: Texas Motor Speedway

Distance: 200 laps/300 miles

Broadcast: TV—ESPN2  broadcast starts at 8 p.m.

Radio—PRN

Analysis:

There are three 1.5 mile tracks on the NASCAR circuit that are all very similarly shaped. They are Texas Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Last year in the NASCAR Nationwide series, all five of the races at those three tracks were all won by one team, Roush-Fenway Racing. However, as the Roush-Fenway Racing teams return to Texas Motor Speedway, this weekend their chances of backing up the wins has been greatly diminished.

Last year at all three tracks the Roush-Fenway team had three drivers entered in each race, on Friday, there is only one Roush-Fenway driver entered, last year’s champion, Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Trevor Bayne, who has been the second Roush-Fenway entry all year withdrew his entry because of sponsorship woes.

When it comes to Texas Motor Speedway, Roush-Fenway Racing has won the last three events there with Bayne winning the last time that the Nationwide series visited the 1.5 mile track located outside of Dallas. Carl Edwards, though, won the previous two times before Bayne took the victory in November.

Beside Edwards and Bayne, when it comes to Texas, Kyle Busch has been dominant. Busch holds the record with most wins at the track with five wins.  All five wins came back to back stretching from the April 2008 race to April 2010.

Although Busch has five wins at the track, he will have his brother, Kurt Busch, will be driving the No.54 car this weekend. Making him one of the few previous Texas winners to be entered in this Friday’s race. Kurt Busch last won at Texas in November of 2006.

While the Nationwide series has already raced at a mile and a half track this year, in March when Ricky Stenhouse Jr. took home the win at Las vegas, this will be the first night race of the young 2012 season.

Coming into Texas, Elliott Sadler still leads the points, and although Ford has dominated the Texas track, Sadler has proved in the past that he can knows a thing or two about racing at Texas.

In 2004, Sadler won the NASCAR Sprint Cup series race at Texas, and in the Nationwide series Sadler has two poles, three top-fives and five top-10s.

By the Numbers:

  • 31st—the furthest back a driver has started to go on to win at Texas Motor Speedway (Kyle Busch, 2008)
  • 20—the number of Nationwide races that have been run at Texas Motor Speedway.
  • 11th—the average starting position of a race winner at Texas Motor Speedway in the April race.
  • 6—the number of wins Ford has at the track, leading all manufactures.
  • 2—times the pole winner has won a race in the spring at Texas Motor Speedway, the last time coming in 2011 with Carl Edwards winning.

Entry list:

  1. Mike Wallace
  2. Elliott Sadler
  3. Austin Dillon
  4. Danny Efland
  5. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  6. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  7. Danica Patrick
  8. Ryan Truex
  9. Jeff Green
  10. Brian Scott
  11. Sam Hornish Jr.
  12. Eric McClure
  13. Timmy Hill
  14. Denny Hamlin
  15. Tayler Malsam
  16. Joey Logano
  17. Brad Keselowski
  18. Robert Richardson Jr.
  19. Benny Gordon
  20. David Ragan
  21. Steve Arpin
  22. Justin Allgaier
  23. Paul Menard
  24. Kasey Kahne
  25. Erik Darnell
  26. Blake Koch
  27. Josh Wise
  28. Michael Annett
  29. Mike Bliss
  30. Chase Miller
  31. Scott Speed
  32. T.J. Bell
  33. Jeremy Clements
  34. Tim Schendel
  35. Kurt Busch
  36. Johanna Long
  37. John Jackson
  38. Scott Riggs
  39. Jason Bowles
  40. Joe Nemechek
  41. Cole Whitt
  42. Morgan Shepherd
  43. Two team have no driver listed on the entry list.

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