Texas Motor Speedway schedule, news, media, tickets, and information for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series track only on the official site of NASCAR.
Texas Motor Speedway schedule, news, media, tickets, and information for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series track only on the official site of NASCAR.
Driver of No. 11 Toyota has strong history at final four tracks on the schedule RELATED: Follow your picks in the Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Denny Hamlin has had an up and down year, but that hasn't stopped the Joe Gibbs Racing driver from emerging as a dark horse to win this year's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship. From an eye ailment that kept him out of a race at Auto Club Speedway , to his win at Talladega Superspeedway in the spring, to seeing his crew chief Darian Grubb be suspended for the six races before the start of the Chase to battling his way through the Challenger and Contender Rounds, it has been a roller coaster season. And with his advancement into the Eliminator Round of eight drivers, things are setting up nicely for "The Deliverminator" to get to the Championship Round at Homestead-Miami Speedway with a shot at the title. "Really, this year, our expectations have been so low from everyone around that we've flown so much under the radar that we don't have any pressure from here on out," Hamlin said during Eliminator Round Media Day at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. "I mean, no one thought we'd be here. Now, I love our chances at having a shot for a championship at Homestead. "This format is just tailor made for an average team that's just been squeaking by, squeaking by, to get hot at the right time and next thing you know, steal a championship." Martinsville Speedway , Texas Motor Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway are three of Hamlin's better tracks in the Sprint Cup Series. The 33-year-old has four wins at Martinsville (with an average finish of 8.8, his second-best among active tracks), two wins at Texas (with an average finish of 10.8, his fifth-best among active tracks) and one win at Phoenix (with an average finish of 11.3, his seventh-best among active tracks). "Looking at these three racetracks, I can win any of them, easily." Hamlin sees this round -- specifically Sunday's race at Martinsville Speedway (1:30 p.m. ET, ESPN) -- as a great chance for his team to take advantage of speed not being as big of an issue. "It's a huge opportunity for us," Hamlin said. "As average as our team, in general, has been this year, we go into a short track where horsepower doesn't matter. Aerodynamics doesn't matter. It's about the driver and mechanical setup. And I feel like that's our strong suit with our team." While speed has been an issue at times for the Gibbs group and the Toyota fleet in general, Hamlin sees no reason that the team can't be right there at the end. "I believe we've got all the tools necessary. We've got a pit crew that is very, very fast even though we've got a setback there with losing our jackman (Nate Bolling). There's no reason we can't be as competitive as any one of these seven guys that we're going to be racing against these last four races." Despite his good record at Martinsville, Hamlin finished 19th there in the spring after qualifying second. He warned that those results came with little practice time at the track as the final two practices were washed out by rain. Since then, Hamlin disclosed that his team worked on their Martinsville setup at a similarly-configured track in Sandusky, Ohio. "Normally I wouldn't give that information away, but there's no more testing," Hamlin joked referring to a change announced as part of the 2015 rules package for the Sprint Cup Series that bans private testing by teams. And should he reach Homestead, Hamlin has a strong record there with two wins and an average finish of 11.2, his sixth-best among active tracks. The driver of the No. 11 Toyota won there in last year's season finale. "Truth be told, if you ask me 'you have one race to race heads up for a championship, pick either Martinsville or Homestead?' I'd almost pick Homestead simply because we've just had a lot of success there over these last few years and its been a great track for us. No one saw us winning last year. We were running like 15th every week and all of sudden, we win Homestead." Hamlin came to Homestead once before with a shot at the championship. In 2010, Hamlin led Jimmie Johnson by 15 points entering the season's final race. Hamlin finished 14th that day, while Johnson finished second, securing his fifth straight title by 39 points. Since then Hamlin has learned plenty, but mostly he just wants that chance to race for a championship in the season finale again and the new format makes that a bit easier to reach. "What we learned in 2010 is to have fun," Hamlin said. "And this year is going to be fun no matter what, because the expectations have been so low. I always said that if you just give me that Homestead 2010 chance back, then I promise I'd win it. It's hard to do that knowing you are going to have to race three guys heads-up and its going to be the best of the four (that wins the title), but I just want that chance again to be heads-up with those guys at Homestead." MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL CHASE COVERAGE • Chase hub page • Chase Grid games • #MyChaseNation
Driver of the No. 31 glad NASCAR did its 'due diligence' RELATED: Follow your picks in the Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Ryan Newman admitted to being worried about a possible penalty when his car was ruled too low in the rear on both sides in post-race inspection following Sunday's GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway . "I was worried because you never know what could happen," Newman said during the Eliminator Round Media Day at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. "I was happy with the fact that NASCAR took the time to take the car back to the Tech Center, do everything and analyze everything." On Tuesday, NASCAR ruled that Newman had cleared post-race inspection after deeming that race damage caused the No. 31 car to be too low in the rear. UPDATE: The No. 31 car has cleared post-race inspection from Talladega; there are no issues. Race damage caused the rear to be low. #NASCAR — NASCAR Stats (@NASCARStats) October 21, 2014 "There's so many different perspectives there because they give us the rear springs, they give us the shocks," Newman said. "It's not our stuff that we have at every other racetrack. In the end, they saw that the damage from being hit from behind was enough to knock the back of the car down enough to take it out of its window. "I didn't know if there was going to be a penalty. I didn't know what that penalty was going to be. I was confident it wasn't going to be more than 27 points because that would be the biggest penalty for that type of penalty ever that I can imagine or have heard of. But in the end, you never know. I was happy that they did their due diligence in conjunction with working with our team that they understood everything." Newman thought the damage came from being slammed from behind on the last restart. "I think it was the 20 that actually drilled me really hard and it actually wrinkled the quarter panel, which shows that the body's moving," Newman said. "I never looked at the car after the race. I didn't expect there to be any issues, so I didn't analyze exactly what happened. In talking to Luke (Lambert, Newman's crew chief) he said the quarter panels were wrinkled on it, which shows that the clip had moved a little a bit and the body moved a little bit as well." Newman comes into the Eliminator Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup in third place in the points standings and with four straight top-10 finishes. And the fact that he is quietly lurking hasn't gone unnoticed by his fellow drivers. " Ryan Newman is kind of quiet and has the ability to really sneak up unnoticed and gobble this thing up," 2012 Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski said when asked to handicap the Eliminator Round field. Looking forward, Newman has a win at each of the three Eliminator Round tracks: Martinsville Speedway , Texas Motor Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway. Yet, Newman doesn't see one track that he is better at than the others. In the first go-round at these tracks this year, Newman finished seventh at Phoenix , 16th at Texas and 20th at Martinsville. He sees the return trip as the best chance for his No. 31 team, which is in its first year together with Richard Childress Racing , to show its stuff. "We're coming back to some of these racetracks for the second time together. Having new rules this year and a new team, we couldn't go back and say, 'This is what we did last year, let's try to make the car drive like this.' We're starting from ground zero so to speak and this is our first opportunity to work on the second floor as we go on around to these second races. "We'll just keep digging. Don't really care what other people think of if we should be here, if we shouldn't be. The fact is we are here and we have the ability to go out and have some fun and make the best of it." MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL CHASE COVERAGE • Chase hub page • Chase Grid games • #MyChaseNation
See how the eight Chase drivers have fared at Martinsville, Texas and Phoenix RELATED: Follow your picks in the Perfect Chase Grid Challenge for chance at $100,000 prize MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView
Two-time champion to run his 890th career race and 61st at Talladega RELATED: Follow your picks in the Perfect Chase Grid Challenge for chance at $100,000 prize TALLADEGA, Ala. -- In 1979, Terry Labonte climbed into a car to compete at Talladega Superspeedway in NASCAR's premier series for the first time. Sixty starts later, he'll be doing it for the last time Sunday, tying the record for most career starts at the 2.66-mile track at the same time as he ends a storied career. After 37 seasons of racing, Labonte is retiring -- and this time, he says, it's for good. Labonte first announced his retirement during his last full-time season as a driver in 2004, but it didn't take much for the veteran driver to heed the call to return to the track. "The first time, I guess, it was about halfway through the next year and Rick Hendrick called me, and Michael and Darrell (Waltrip) had asked him if he'd give me a call and see if I'd go run Michael's car," Labonte said. "So I ran a few races in that car and then I thought, 'You know, that was kind of fun, just running a few races here and there.' " The two-time premier series champion, who topped the circuit in both the 1984 and 1996 seasons, has been a constant in the sport across changes in safety, race car technology and rules, as well as a generational change of competitors. Among the 12 remaining drivers in this year's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, six had not yet been born when Labonte began his premier series career: Joey Logano , Kyle Busch , Carl Edwards , Denny Hamlin , Kasey Kahne and Brad Keselowski . Despite his age difference compared to many of today's top contenders, Labonte said he still would want to compete in this year's new elimination-format Chase, but he also enjoys watching the added pressure and excitement of the playoffs. There is, however, one thing that makes Labonte happy he missed the current format: Winning the title hangs on a track he's not so strong at. Of all the tracks on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule, his worst average finish is at Homestead-Miami Speedway at 26.1. "The only thing I don't secretly care about is, I think they should take the last race and move it around to different tracks, kind of like the Super Bowl does," Labonte said. "So I think it would be really cool, because when you've got three or four guys that are really good at that track, and I'm never very good at that track, I would not look forward to that last event going up there against some of the guys that are very good up there." Labonte also addressed rumors that circulated concerning a life in public office, something his brother and nephew took advantage of, making yard signs and posters for Labonte's "campaign." "I'm like 90 percent of the people in here -- I'm way too overqualified for that," Labonte joked in the media center. "I had no idea how that started or where it came from." The Corpus Christi, Texas , native plans to be around the garage every so often, but as a member of his marketing company, SSG/Brandintense. The North Carolina-based firm works to bring marketing to live events for a face-to-face interaction between a company and its customers. In February, Labonte was added to the list of names under consideration on the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2015 ballot. With 22 wins and 361 top-10s in now 890 starts -- not to mention two championships -- his career features a long list of accomplishments. His favorite memory of that career, however, has less to do with himself than his supporters. "It was actually the first time, I think, I ever noticed the crowd. I was passing Dale Jarrett," he said, recalling a 1999 race at Texas Motor Speedway . "We had been running really good all day and they had just beat us on the pit stop, and I ran him down and passed him with less than 10 laps to go, and I saw the whole place stand up. And I had never seen the crowd, actually noticed the crowd stand up at the track, and I thought to myself, 'Oh, man, I better not screw this up, 'cause I think there's 200,000 people there pulling for me, and they're gonna be mad if I don't win this thing.' " MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL CHASE COVERAGE • Chase hub page • Chase Grid games • #MyChaseNation
From special Texas paint schemes to one large TV, check out GarageCam from Texas Motor Speedway .
Matt Crafton and the No. 88 team's call to stay out for a 61-lap race-winning final run at Texas Motor Speedway makes him the Mobil 1 Driver of the Race.
FORT WORTH, Texas (April 4, 2014) ? Fourth-grader Whitney Thomason of Trophy Club's Samuel Beck Elementary School may have a future in NASCAR. Thomason is not an aspiring race-car driver, but exhibited the artistic talent for creating the winning paint scheme in Spin Master's NASCAR Authentics "Design A Die-cast" competition among the 11 local elementary schools and more than 6,500 students participating in Texas Motor Speedway's "Speeding To Read" educational program. On Friday in front of nearly 4,500 students at the "Speeding To Read" assembly crowning the year-long champions at Texas Motor Speedway , Spin Master's NASCAR Authentics presented Thomason with a die-cast with her design and surprised her by unveiling an actual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series show car bearing her paint scheme. She also received tickets to Sunday's Duck Commander 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race from Texas Motor Speedway and a gift bag with NASCAR officially licensed merchandise Thomason's winning design, as voted upon by representatives from Texas Motor Speedway , NASCAR and Spin Master, incorporated her school's colors and logo as well as reading into the overall theme. The car featured a blue design with black trim ? Beck's school colors ? while utilizing the school's bulldog paw prints throughout. Thomason added "Speed To Read!" on the hood and three open books on the deck lid. She also had flames coming off the paw prints and books as well as a flame design on the side and hood of the car. "We are so excited to present Whitney Thomason with her very own Die-cast car," said Krista DiBerardino, Spin Master chief marketing officer. "Her design was exactly what we are looking for. She incorporated her school's colors and logo as well as reading into the overall theme. She should be very proud." NASCAR Authentics and Texas Motor Speedway partnered to create the program as an incentive for the students participating in the speedway's third-year "Speeding To Read" program. To be eligible to participate in the "Design A Die-cast" competition, students had to meet or exceed their reading goals through Turn 3 of the "Speeding To Read" competition that concluded Feb. 3. The students had the month of February to work on their designs and then each school selected their top choice in both Kindergarten-2 nd Grade and 3 rd -5 th Grade. Texas Motor Speedway , NASCAR and Spin Master then reviewed the paint schemes of the 22 finalists and selected the top two overall ? which were both Grades 3-5 ? as well as the best among K-2 students. Alyssa Cappadona, a fifth-grader at Haslet's J.C. Thompson Elementary School, was the runner-up in the overall competition with a design that was highlighted by a book on fire on the hood and JCT on the deck lid of a green-and-yellow paint scheme. Chloe Pace, a second grader at Lantana's E.P. Rayzor Elementary, had the top K-2 design featuring the school's mascot ? a wolf ? on the hood and "Read" on the deck lid on a blue car. The 11 schools competing in the third year of the "Speeding To Read" program designed by Texas Motor Speedway as well as Spin Master's NASCAR Authentics "Design A Die-cast" competition encompass eight communities and three school districts (Northwest, Denton, Eagle Mountain-Saginaw) in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. The schools consist of E.P. Rayzor (Argyle), Kay Granger (Keller) and Samuel Beck (Trophy Club) in the Frontstretch Division; Chisholm Ridge (Fort Worth), Clara Love (Justin), J.C. Thompson (Haslet) and Prairie View (Rhome) in the Backstretch Division; and Carl E. Schluter (Haslet), Haslet, Roanoke and Sendera Ranch (Haslet) in the Pit Road Division. About "Speeding To Read": The mission of Texas Motor Speedway's "Speeding To Read" program is to utilize motorsports, its drivers and our races to incentivize elementary school children to read more frequently and enrich their educational experience and future. "Speeding To Read" is an incentive-based, NASCAR-themed reading program created by Texas Motor Speedway to encourage elementary school students to read more frequently during the school year. The student bodies are split into two divisions ? kindergarten through second grade and third through fifth grade ? with individuals, classrooms and schools competing against each other to read the most books and earn the title of "Speeding To Read" champion. At each turn (or quarter), TMS crowns the top individuals and classrooms in K-2 and 3-5 as well as presents a giant, perpetual trophy to the school leading the competition at that point to display at their school until the next turn/quarter. The quarters are based off key dates in the NASCAR schedule and represent the four turns of a racetrack. Turn 1 is the start of the Chase for the Sprint Cup in mid-September; Turn 2 is TMS' AAA Texas 500 NASCAR race week in November; Turn 3 is the start of the new season with SpeedWeeks and the Daytona 500 in February; and Turn 4 is the Duck Commander 500 in April.