Texas Motor Speedway Welcomes NASCAR - and watches Chase Elliott win his first Nationwide race
The Nationwide Race is on right now, and youngster Chase Elliott is leading the race, with his boss, Dale Earnhardt Jr. trying to pass... Okay, correct that, Dale Jr. went past.
JR Motorsports has four cars in this race, Regan Smith, Kevin Harvick, and the aforementioned Elliott and Jr., himself.
Sunday the Sprint cup guys race in the Duck Commander 500, sponsored by the TV show, Duck Dynasty. Big Hoss got a trial run a couple of weeks ago, airing an episode of Duck Dynasty on the 218X94 foot TV. It will be used during the race on Sunday.
Kurt Busch, the most recent Sprint Cup winner, wrecked in practice today, and will go to a back up car, and hence to the back of the field for the race. Jeff Gordon, who was disgusted with the tires at California, is concerned that the Texas race will be a story of tires, much as the Auto Club Speedway race was. As he puts it, tires were an issue at Texas last year, and a tire test should have been scheduled between the races, but that didn't happen, so the tires will be a bit of an unknown. Instead of crews and drivers determining who wins the race, the tires may be the determining factor, something no one wants to see. NASCAR made changes to the Gen6 car to bring the fans a better race. Why then, would they ignore the tires issues?
Those who chose to run much lower air pressures are not so quick to put the blame on Goodyear, the tire supplier to NASCAR. In order to get the handling and control the driver wanted, crew chiefs chose to run extra-low pressures. In doing so, they compromised those tires.
No one really knows what we will see on Sunday.
Jimmie Johnson is back with his team after the death of his brother-in-law, grateful for the outpouring of love from his fans. As we have seen in the past, Jimmie seems to be the master at regrouping in the face of tragedy, and Texas could very well be the track where he scores his first win of the year.
As I sign off, and invite you to make your picks for Sunday, I can't help but inform you that you need to keep your eye on Chase Elliott. His dad is Awesome Bill from Dawsonville, Bill Elliott. As the announcers have said, he has a mountain of talent. He has never raced at Texas, and yet he has just won. He is in the number 9, made famous by his dad, and runs a full schedule for JR Motorsports. Well done, Chase. This is only the first of very many more to come.