Saturday, April 14, 2012

Sprint Cup 2012: Race 7 -- Texas Boogie for the Long Haul

Tonight, deep in the heart of Texas, the 2012 Sprint Cup season begins the main drag where the true character of the season will be defined. From tonight’s race, the Samsung Mobile 500 until July 22, they’ll race every weekend up to their final weekend off  prior to the Brickyard 400.

So far in 2012, fans have seen Tony Stewart setting the pace to continue his championship form from last year with two victories. The Roush/Fenway drivers are strong with Matt Kenseth, the Daytona 500 winner and Greg Biffle atop the points standings. Changes in the Michael Waltrip operation is paying off with Martin Truex Jr. showing himself a strong competitor. Denny Hamlin is back – one of the season’s top drivers so far.

Perhaps the struggles of Hendricks Motor Sports could be one of the big stories this season so far. Consider the high expectations for Kasey Kahne is buried deep at 31st in the point standings. Jeff Gordon’s season has been a disaster so far in 21st. As horrible as prospected looked for Jimmie Johnson with his DNF in the Daytona 500 and the possible huge penalty overcome in appeal, Johnson sits in 10th. But who is leading the esteemed operation? Dale Earnhardt pushing to end his long winless streak stands proudly in 2nd place.

Martin Truex Jr. showing the new-found strength of Michael Waltrip’s team, sits on the pole escorted by Roush boys, Kenseth and Biffle in 2nd and 3rd while his teammate, Mark Martin is right up there in 4th. What an excellent opportunity for “Mikie” to announce his team has finally arrived as the 2012 season shifts into high gear tonight.
1-56-Martin Truex Jr.ToyotaNAPA Auto Parts190.369
2-17-Matt KensethFordBest Buy190.148
3-16-Greg BiffleFord3M Filtrete190.121
4-55-Mark MartinToyotaAaron's 2011 Best of the Best190.020
5-5-Kasey KahneChevroletFarmers Insurance189.633
6-39-Ryan NewmanChevroletU.S. Army189.494
7-9-Marcos AmbroseFordStanley189.467
8-2-Brad KeselowskiDodgeMiller Lite189.381
9-1-Jamie McMurrayChevroletBass Pro Shops / Tracker Boats189.294
10-48-Jimmie JohnsonChevroletLowe's / Kobalt Tools189.281
11-27-Paul MenardChevroletQuaker State / Menards189.082
12-22-AJ AllmendingerDodgeShell / Pennzoil189.023
13-11-Denny HamlinToyotaFedEx Office / March of Dimes188.884
14-20-Joey LoganoToyotaDollar General188.805
15-29-Kevin HarvickChevroletBudweiser188.653
16-88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.ChevroletDiet Mountain Dew / National Guard188.442
17-18-Kyle BuschToyotaInterstate Batteries188.298
18-15-Clint BowyerToyota5-hour Energy188.291
19-21-Trevor BayneFordMotorcraft / Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center188.186
20-99-Carl EdwardsFordFastenal187.957
21-34-David RaganFordScorpion Truck Bed Liners187.872
22-13-Casey MearsFordGEICO187.813
23-43-Aric AlmirolaFordSmithfield187.748
24-31-Jeff BurtonChevroletCaterpillar187.676
25-42-Juan MontoyaChevroletTarget187.539
26-78-Regan SmithChevroletFurniture Row / Farm American187.292
27-51-Kurt BuschChevroletPhoenix Construction Services187.182
28-83-Landon CassillToyotaBurger King / Dr Pepper187.110
29-14-Tony StewartChevroletMobil 1 / Office Depot186.994
30-47-Bobby LabonteToyotaBush's Baked Beans186.981
31-10-David ReutimannChevroletAccell Construction186.664
32-26-Josh Wise*FordMorristown Driver's Service186.361
33-98-Michael McDowellFordCurb Records185.925
34-24-Jeff GordonChevroletDuPont 20 Years185.605
35-38-David GillilandFordModSpace185.605
36-49-J.J. YeleyToyotaJPO Absorbents185.542
37-93-Travis KvapilToyotaDr Pepper185.191
38-95-Scott SpeedFordTommy Williams Drywall185.122
39-32-Reed SorensonFordJani-King184.824
40-23-Scott RiggsChevroletNorth Texas Pipe / Embassy Suites184.748
41-36-Dave Blaney+ChevroletJimmie Johnson's Anything With an Engine183.275
42-33-Tony Raines+ChevroletPrecon Marine181.824
43-19-Mike BlissToyotaHumphrey Smith Racing184.729
Did Not Qualify
44-30-David StremmeToyotaInception Motorsports184.716
45-87-Joe / Pellet & Wood Stoves184.376
46-O1774-O17Stacy ComptonChevroletTurn One Racing181.038

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