o’reilly auto parts 500

NASCAR America: Scan All from Texas Motor Speedway

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Even before the green flag dropped on the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 on Sunday, one driver had reason to put the censors to work on this week’s Scan All.

“Something just broke ya’ll,” Austin Dillon informed his team before going to the garage with a broke track bar. “I’m not (redacted), something broke.”

Before long, drivers and team members were cursing the track, the wind and everyone else.

“The wind has picked up here pretty good,” said the spotter for Clint Bowyer. “Good thing (Stewart-Haas Racing competition director Greg Zipadelli) gives me hazarded pay for this.”

“You mean we pay you?” joked team owner Tony Stewart.

At one point Kyle Busch became angered by the driving of Derrike Cope

“NASCAR, can we ****ing park the 55, please. He can’t even hold his own lane, that’s ****.”

Watch the video to enjoy the rest of the best scanner communication from Sunday’s race.

NASCAR America: Kyle Larson showing what he’s made of after Texas performance

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For the fourth time this season, Kyle Larson missed it by that much.

Larson finished second in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway, missing out on a chance to challenge Jimmie Johnson for the win by a least one lap.

“If he had gotten to Joey Logano‘s bumper a little sooner and gotten him loose, then we would have seen a real battle, a battle I think we are really wanting to see now,” Dale Jarrett said on NASCAR America. “Kyle Larson is showing us exactly what he’s made of. If he could have gotten by (Logano) there, we want to see him race the seven-time champion for a win.”

Larson continues to lead the point standings through seven races this season and one win (Auto Club Speedway). He has five runner-up finishes dating back to the 2016 season finale.

“To start the year, the run (Larson) is on is very remarkable,” Steve Letarte said.  “To think he’s still such a young driver. He’s wise, he knows how to pick his positions.”

Watch the video for the full discussion.

NASCAR America at 6 pm ET: What’s up with JGR, Jimmie Johnson win

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Today’s episode of NASCAR America airs from 6 – 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Carolyn Manno hosts from our Stamford (Connecticut) studio along with NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett, while Steve Letarte joins from Burton’s garage.

On today’s show:

  • We review Sunday’s NASCAR Cup race at Texas. With a new racing surface, there were a lot of unknowns and unanswered questions. But the race proved to not only answer many questions, it gave us unprecedented two-groove racing, which is oftentimes unheard of on a new surface.
  • Reigning Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson scored his first win of the season Sunday at Texas. After the race, we learned about some physical challenges he had overcome in the car on his way to victory (had to have three bottles of IV solution afterward). We’ll hear what the seven-time champ had to say about his win.

  • Joe Gibbs Racing did not produce a top-10 finish for the second time this season. Still winless through seven races, is it too early in the season to be concerned? Our panel of experts discuss the state of JGR.

  • Next stop on NASCAR America’s My Home Track: 50 States in 50 Shows is Idaho! The 43rd state of the union isn’t home to just potatoes, it’s also home to Magic Valley Speedway. We’ll tell you about Jerry McKean, a racer who had to overcome tremendous adversity to become a champion.

If you can’t catch the show on TV, you also can watch it via the online stream at http://nascarstream.nbcsports.com

If you plan to stream the show on your laptop or portable device, be sure to have your username and password from your cable/satellite/telco provider handy so your subscription can be verified.

Once you plug-in that information, you’ll have access to the stream.

Click here at 6 p.m. ET to watch live via the stream.

Erik Jones: ‘Nothing positive’ in disappointing Cup finish at Texas

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Erik Jones missed graduation ceremonies at his Michigan high school in 2014 because he was racing at Texas Motor Speedway.

But the Speedway went ahead and held a special graduation ceremony where Jones received his diploma – in cap and gown, no less – before shortly climbing into his race truck.

Erik Jones at his graduation ceremony, June 6, 2014, at Texas Motor Speedway.

In Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500, Jones got an education of another kind.

And it was a valuable lesson learned, struggling to a 22nd-place finish in his second career Cup race at the newly repaved 1.5-mile track.

Jones’ teammate, Martin Truex Jr., finished eighth.

No matter what crew chief Chris Gayle tried, the No. 77 Furniture Row Racing Toyota Camry failed to respond, leaving Jones with a handful to drive for 500 miles.

That wasn’t all.

There was a pit road contact Chris Buescher that put a hole in the front end of Jones’ car early in the race, tire problems and even garbage stuck to the front end grill, leaving Jones and the No. 77 with their second-worst finish of the season.

“There’s really nothing we can take as a positive from this race that we can apply for the next time we’re here other than the need to get better,” Jones said in a media release. “We tried everything we could to make the 5-hour Energy Toyota Camry to handle better but nothing worked. It was just a very frustrating day for the entire Furniture Row Racing team.”

Actually, it was more of a frustrating weekend on the Cup side. While he won Saturday’s Xfinity Series race, Jones wrecked his primary Cup car in practice on Friday, failed to make an attempt in qualifying later that same afternoon and started 36th position.

Jones finished 20th at the end of both Stage 1 and Stage 2 in Sunday’s race and could not improve after that.

Jones, one of five drivers competing for NASCAR Cup Rookie of the Year, left Texas not only with a disappointing finish, but also dropped one spot in the standings to 14th.

“It was a frustrating race that forced Erik to have his hands full all day,” Gayle said. “It was one of those days that you hope doesn’t happen very often, or really at all, where you just don’t know what’s wrong with the car, the speed is just off and not consistent enough to race hard.

“We just struggled. It could have be a little bit of nose damage or something, but we totally missed it.”

Follow @JerryBonkowski

 

Joey Logano credits crew chief with third-place finish in ’12th-place car’

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For 16 laps, Joey Logano did all he could to prevent the inevitable from happening.

But with 17 to go in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500, new prevailed over old.

On old tires, the lead slipped from Logano’s grasp and into Jimmie Johnson‘s, who went on to win Sunday’s Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway.

Logano successfully kept Kyle Larson behind him until two laps remained, when the No. 42 Chevrolet finally got Logano loose enough in Turn 2 to get by.

The Team Penske driver finished third for his best result of 2017, a week after placing fourth at Martinsville Speedway.

“That is Todd’s (crew chief Todd Gordon) top-three there,” Logano said. “He did a good job giving us a shot to win.”

Gordon kept Logano out of the pits during a debris caution with 35 laps to go. That was after Logano went several laps longer on the previous green-flag run than the other lead-lap drivers, putting the No. 22 Ford out front for 17 laps.

“I tried to hold off (Johnson), he was just faster,” Logano said. “There is nothing to say besides that. I was in the clean and had the clean air, and he was still faster behind me. Once he passed me, my car kind of came to me a little bit, and I was able to run him back down a little bit. If he had made a mistake, I was going to be there. He was loose, I could tell, then all of a sudden, he wasn’t loose anymore.”

Johnson streaked off to his seventh win at Texas Motor Speedway and his first win of 2017. Logano leaves Texas still looking for his first victory of the season. Last year, he didn’t earn it until the 15th race at Michigan International Speedway.

“My car started falling off like it did all day,” Logano said of the last green-flag run. “I needed a 15-lap run instead of a 30-lap run, or a couple cautions in there, and we would be standing in victory lane with a 12th-place car, and that would have been something. We just have to get faster. We weren’t fast, and that is why we didn’t win. We had a good execution race, something we haven’t had really all year. We executed and finished third with a car that wasn’t as fast as we have had all year.”

Gordon attributed Logano’s lack of speed to his team focusing more on aero than balance with the track’s repave and reconfiguration. Logano had an average running spot of 7.61.

“You have to give him a good race car, and if you can’t do that, you have to work on something else,” Gordon said. “We were a little off on speed and balance, especially in traffic.

“Repaves you worry about aero so much that I think we got a little off on where our balance needed to be. He dug all day long, and the opportunity was there. When we went long on the first pit stop there in the last stage, the final part of the race, we actually picked up speed once we got clean air.”

A week ago, Logano lamented a lack of stage points earned in his fourth-place run at Martinsville. He managed to earn two by finishing ninth in stage one at Texas.

Logano heads into the Easter break fifth in the standings and 72 points behind Larson.