Joe Gibbs Racing goes into Texas Motor Speedway’s Duck Commander 500 for the Sprint Cup Series this weekend with its drivers –Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamlin – having a total of five wins the 1.5-mile track near Fort Worth. Busch, driving the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry on Sunday and the No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota on Friday night in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 Nationwide Series race, swept both of last spring’s races, becoming the first driver to do so in track history.
Busch, who has a series-leading six Nationwide Series wins at the track, dominated last year’s spring Cup race at Texas. He won the pole with a track-record speed of 196.299 mph, led a race-high 171 of 334 laps and became only the third Cup Series driver to win from the pole in the track’s history.
"It felt good to sit on the pole with a new track record and go to Victory Lane," said Busch. "Doesn't get much better than that. It was a fast race and I expect more of that this weekend."
Kenseth, driving the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota on Sunday and the No. 20 GameStop/Lego: The Hobbit Toyota on Friday night, has an average finish of 8.3 at Texas – the best of all current drivers and one of only two in the top 10 (Jimmie Johnson is the other). He has two wins at the track – most recently in the spring of 2011 with Roush Fenway Racing – as well as 16 top 10 finishes in 23 races. In the Nationwide Series, Kenseth has two wins and 15 top 10 finishes in 17 starts, with an average finish of 7.1; his last win came in spring 2007, also for RFR.
Hamlin, driving the No. 11 March of Dimes Toyota on Sunday, is hoping that Texas will be as kind to him as it was in 2010, when he swept both the spring and fall events at the track. In addition to the two wins, Hamlin has nine top 10 finishes in his 16 starts, and has an average finish of 10.7.
Elliott Sadler joins Busch and Kenseth in the Nationwide Series race, driving the No. 11 OneMain Financial Toyota Friday night. Sadler has six top 10 finishes in 12 starts at TMS, and is looking for his first win there.
The Nationwide Series qualifies for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 on Friday at 3:10 p.m. CT, followed by the green flag at 7:30 p.m. CT. The Sprint Cup Series qualifies for the Duck Commander 500 on Saturday at 2:10 p.m. CT with the race going green Sunday at 2 p.m. CT. Keep up with the action at joegibbsracing.com.
Quotes in this piece provided by Texas Motor Speedway.
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