The Sprint Cup Series: A Good Old-Fashioned Shootout in Texas

Samuel SicaAnalyst IApril 6, 2008

The Sprint Cup Series put on a shootout this week at the Texas Motor Speedway. The Samsung 500 began with Earnhardt, Jr. on the pole with Carl Edwards starting alongside in the second position.

Earnhardt led the first 14 laps of the race until Kyle Busch assumed the lead.

The first caution of the day flew on lap 29 when Michael Waltrip spun coming around turn three.  All the leaders took advantage of this by coming down pit road for some fresh tires and fuel. 

Earnhardt gained three positions by winning the race off pit road, pushing Busch back to third.

Earnhardt led the race again until Jimmie Johnson took the lead on lap 50. Johnson continued to lead the race through green flag pit stops that occurred around lap 80 of the race.

Johnson held the lead after the green flag cycle of pit stops until the second caution flag of the race came out on lap 109 for a spin by Jeff Gordon, who slapped the turn four wall.

All the lead lap cars came down pit road again, with Matt Kenseth beating Johnson off pit road.

Kenseth led the race until a brush up with the wall by Robby Gordon on lap 132, brought out the third caution of the race.

The leaders once again took advantage of the caution and came down pit road with Kenseth holding serve.

Kenseth would continue to lead the field until a wreck by JJ Yeley brought out the fourth caution on lap 175. 

The leaders once again came to pit road with Kenseth's pit crew getting the job done, again with him in the lead.

Kenseth took the restart as the leader but soon lost it.  Montoya got loose and got into Kenseth, knocking him back into the fourth position.

This incident gave the lead back to Kyle Busch until lap 220, when Edwards finally took command.

Another round of green flag pit stops took place around lap 230. Edwards held onto the lead until another round of green flag stops with just 50 laps to go occurred.

Edwards continued to dominate, when a caution came out for debris with just 40 laps remaining in the race.

Only 11 cars remained on the lead lap, and all of them came to pit road for what they thought was the last pit stop of the race. Little did they know that a caution with just five laps to go would come out for a blown motor on Martin Truex's machine.

The top five cars stayed out on the track, but those in sixth place and back came to pit road for tires. The race had become a two-lap shootout, and they all desperately tried to determine the winner.

Edwards led the field to the restart and never looked back. He won in a dominant fashion, showing that his car was No. 1 the whole race.

The top ten in today's race were Edwards, Johnson, Busch, Newman, Hamlin, Burton, Stewart, Martin, Kenseth, and Bowyer.

Some notables were Kevin Harvick in 11th position and Earnhardt, Jr. in 12th. 

Jeff Gordon finished in 43rd position for only the second time in his career. The other time was in the 1998 race, also at the Texas Motor Speedway.

I also want to give a shout out to David Gilliland and Travis Kvapil, who finished in the 15th and 18th positions today. 

These cars don't have sponsorship, and they need some to continue racing in the Sprint Cup Series this year. These two drivers know how to get the job done, and they really deserve a sponsor to continue this season.

The two teams are quality teams, and I hope they do get some support because they can still compete with the big names.

The top five in points are Burton, Harvick, Busch, Earnhardt, and Stewart.

This race in Texas is now in the history books, and we can all look forward to an exciting race out in Phoenix under the lights next weekend.