Saturday, 13 April 2013 07:45
Race number seven on the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule gets underway tonight with the NRA 500 field set for an 8:00 p.m. ET starting time at Texas Motor Speedway.
For the second time in their careers, Kyle and Kurt Busch will start side-by-side at the front of the pack in a Sprint Cup race. The first was at Las Vegas in 2009 where Kyle also started from the pole with older brother Kurt on the outside.
Tonight’s 500-mile contest is the first for the Gen6 car at the 1.5-mile oval near Ft. Worth. The faster speeds predicted with the new style car were validated when Kyle Busch broke a seven-year-old track record in qualifying yesterday.
Higher speeds mean drivers will have less reaction time to avoid a “Big One.”
"It's going to be a tough race, certainly. Five hundred miles here are always grueling, but we just have to work hard and continue to do what we know how to do and that's to try to make the most of it," Kyle Busch said after his record-breaking lap.
Aric Almirola starts tonight’s race from the inside of row two in the No. 43 RPM Ford and has the attention of several of his competitors, including champs Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski.
Almirola had an early draw in Friday’s qualifying session and held the number one spot on the leader board for much of the day. His lap drew comments from Johnson and Keselowski, who said Almirola “by far” has the best car this weekend.
I wouldn’t have changed anything about my car, I would have just changed my draw," Almirola said. "If I could have went out a little bit later, I think the track had more grip and we probably would have gone a little bit faster. I feel really good about my car in race trim, so it’s gonna be a good night, I think, for us."
Johnson carries a six-point lead over Brad Keselowski in the point standings with Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 12 points back in third. Kyle Busch is fourth and Kasey Kahne currently rides in fifth.
Dale, Jr. rolls off sixth tonight, Johnson seventh, Kahne 14th and Keselowski 16th. Danica Patrick starts 42nd.
FOX will broadcast the NRA 500 live from Texas Motor Speedway with coverage beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET.
NRA 500 NASCAR Starting Lineup
1. Kyle Busch
2. Kurt Busch
3. Aric Almirola
4. Marcos Ambrose
5. Martin Truex, Jr.
6. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
7. Jimmie Johnson
8. Jeff Gordon
9. Carl Edwards
10.Juan Pablo Montoya
17.Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.
MORE NASCAR NEWS