Tag Archives: Phoenix International Raceway

Race Recap: AAA Texas 500

5 Nov

What. A. Race.

The last 10 laps of yesterday’s AAA Texas 500 were, in my opinion, the most intense of the entire NASCAR season.  (If you have 10 minutes, check out the Race Rewind here).

Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski, numbers 1 and 2 in the Chase standings, respectively, zoomed around the track, banging and bumping until Johnson got his break and sneaked past “Bad Brad” for the victory at Texas.

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Jimmie Johnson celebrates in victory lane after winning the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

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As always, there was a bit of drama in this one, as Keselowski and Johnson were both accused of jumping a restart near the end of the race for an unfair advantage.  NASCAR has since dismissed the charges.

[There is a great explanation here of why a small lead at the line by the 2nd-place driver is acceptable on a restart.  Essentially: it’s impossible to tell whether the race leader slowed down on purpose to get the other driver penalized.]

There was also (maybe) some drama on Lap 320 when Kasey Kahne hit the wall to bring out a caution (see below).  A later restart allowed Johnson (on four fresh tires from his previous pit stop) to pass Keselowki, who had elected to go with only two fresh tires on his previous pit stop.

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Brad Keselowski talks to the media after his second-place finish in the AAA Texas 500.

Some comments on the race:

  • I was really impressed by Keselowski’s levelheadedness after losing 8 spots (and the lead) on pit road on Lap 275.  As he left pit road, he said on the radio: “Stay cool here guys.  Stay cool.”  That attitude brought him back to the lead a few laps later and almost produced a victory.
  • This Jimmie Johnson post-race interview on NASCAR.com is worth 3 minutes of your time.  He’s so dang nice; he’s like the quarterback of your HS football team that you’d love to hate (because he gets all the girls and everyone worships him), except that he reads to blind kids in his spare time.
  • Here’s a sample from Keselowski’s post-race interview, regarding the two-tire call:  “I stopped short of saying it was my call because we’re a team and we make decisions together […] and Paul and I made the decision together.”
  • Wowww.  Kyle Busch hates Bad Brad, huh?  From KyBusch’s post-race interview: “I guess there’s no restart rules.  I mean, I think Brad went early – I think – the last two times. […] From my experience with Brad, it doesn’t surprise me.”
  • If the two-tire change for Keselowski on Lap 312 had worked, he would have looked like an absolute genius.  It didn’t, but only because of some bad luck (read: multiple cautions) at the end.

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I picked up some new NASCAR knowledge this week, thanks to some awesome folks on Twitter.  Here’s a summary:

  • Per NASCAR regulations, all cars have the same size gas tank.  This leads to pretty equivalent gas mileage across the board, with some exceptions:
  • Team Hendrick are a bunch of cheaters!

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Tweet of the weekend:

(If you aren’t sure why this is funny, check out this article and associated pictures at “From The Marbles” blog on Yahoo! Sports).

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Only two weeks left before a 2012 Sprint Cup Series champion is crowned…  Next weekend, the Chase for the Sprint Cup moves to Phoenix International Raceway for the AdvoCare 500.

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