The Frontstretch Newsletter: Christopher Bell Fastest in Truck Practice, XFINITY Announcements Made

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Nov 4, 2016, 4:22:26 PM11/4/16
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Nov. 4, 2016
Volume X, Edition CXCVII

What to Watch: Friday

- Today is a very busy day at Texas Motor Speedway.  All three of NASCAR's National Series are supposed to be on-track, culminating with Sprint Cup Qualifying and the Camping World Truck Series' Striping Technology 350k.


Beth Lunkenheimer (@Beth_Frntstrtch)

Also, don't forget to follow our Twitter page@Frontstretch as well for updates!
This weekend's TV Schedule can be found

Top News
by The Frontstretch Staff

Kevin Harvick Leads First Practice at Texas Motor Speedway, Kyle Busch Goes to Backup Car

Earlier today, Kevin Harvick was fastest in the opening Sprint Cup practice session with a lap of 27.455 seconds (196.685 mph).  Carl Edwards was second fastest, then Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney.  Kyle Busch smacked the wall early on and had to go to a backup.  Read more

Christopher Bell Leads Lone Truck Series Practice at Texas Motor Speedway

After Thursday's scheduled practice sessions were wiped out due to rain, the Camping World Truck Series ventured onto the 1.5-mile quad-oval for one session at 8:30 a.m. local time.  Christopher Bell was fastest with a lap of 29.580 seconds (182.556 mph).  Tyler Reddick was second, followed by Matt Tifft, Matt Crafton and William Byron.  Read more

Matt Tifft Joins Joe Gibbs Racing XFINITY Lineup Full-Time in 2017

Joe Gibbs Racing announced on Friday morning that Matt Tifft will drive full-time in the XFINITY Series in 2017 for the team.  Sponsorship and car number is currently unclear.  Read more

JR Motorsports Expands XFINITY Lineup for 2017 With Michael Annett

On Friday, JR Motorsports announced that they will be expanding to four full-time XFINITY Series teams with the addition of Michael Annett to the stable.  Annett will bring sponsorship from Pilot/Flying J to the No. 5 Chevrolet next year.  Read more

Frontstretch Folio: AAA Texas 500
by Phil Allaway
This weekend, the Sprint Cup Series returns to Fort Worth for the eighth race of the Chase and the second race of the Round of 8.  Coverage of the AAA Texas 500 begins with a one-hour edition of Countdown to Green at 2 p.m.  The green flag should fly around 3:15.  Radio coverage will be provided by local MRN radio affiliates and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90).

Records and facts

In last year's AAA Texas 500, Brad Keselowski dominated the race, leading 312 of the 334 laps.  However, Jimmie Johnson ran him down and passed him with four laps to go and stole his third straight win at Texas.  Keselowski had to settle for second, followed by Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards.

Jimmie Johnson is the all-time leader in triumphs at Texas Motor Speedway with six career victories, including three of the last four visits.  Carl Edwards has three career wins.  Six separate drivers (Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch and the retired Jeff Burton) have two wins.  Ten more drivers have a win a piece.

Track Facts
Track / Race Length: 1.5-mile quad-oval, 334 laps (501 miles)
Banking: 24 degrees

Frontstretch: 2,250 ft., banked 5 degrees

Backstretch: 1,330 ft., banked 5 degrees

Grandstand Seating: 128,655

Pit Road Speed: 45 mph
Pace Car Speed: 55 mph
Opened: 1997




Pre-Race Schedule:

Practice No. 1: Friday, November 4, 12:30 - 1:55 p.m. on NBCSN

Qualifying: Friday, November 4, 6:30 p.m. on NBC Sports App/Live Extra

Practice No. 2: Saturday, November 5, 10:30 - 11:25 a.m. on CNBC

Happy Hour: Saturday, November 5, 1:30 - 2:25 p.m. on NBCSN

*Note: Qualifying will air via tape-delay on NBCSN at 10:30 p.m. on Friday night.

Say What?!

"The surface at Texas is pretty rough which is a good thing for our cars because you have a lot more tire fall off. We’re down to the final few races and I’m going to race hard and if I have the chance to win, I want to make that happen." - Kasey Kahne

"I’d say at Texas you need to have a well-balanced car. It’s a very fast racetrack, but I think as you look at the bumps and the way that the asphalt has worn out, cars drive pretty tough and  become more difficult to drive as you get later in the run. So you need to have a well-balanced racecar to try to make as much speed as possible." - Kevin Harvick

"Texas has been one of those bread-and-butter racetracks for us where we expect to go there and get a good, solid finish. The way we can improve and get better with the Haas Automation/Monster Energy Chevy is to be able to do better on like a two-tire sequence. Right now, our car wants four tires every time we pit and, when we do two tires, our handling really goes off. That limits our ability to spend less time on pit road. We lose some spots on pit road by putting four tires on each time, but we can work our way back up. We just can’t hold onto those positions later in the race when we are trying to do two tires. That is one thing we are going to try to work on in practice." - Kurt Busch

"We always have a little extra pressure at the home track to run well. It's my home track as well as Love's Travel Stops' home track with them being up the road in Oklahoma City. The first race was pretty early in the year, so it's been a long time since we were last there. I feel like we made some great gains throughout the season at Front Row Motorsports. We've been able to pick up our mile-and-a-half program quite a bit. We haven't always gotten the results from it, but we've definitely seen the speed from it. And I just feel like Texas Motor Speedway is a place where we can apply some of what we've learned and be better this time around.

"One thing that's different about Texas is it's a bumpy racetrack. There's a lot of character in it. But it's not the high-frequency, jarring bumps. It's more of just dips in the racetrack. They're more gradual, rolling bumps in the track that make it unique for a place that's as worn out as it is." - Chris Buescher

Phil Allaway is the Newsletter Manager and a Senior Writer for  He can be reached via e-mail at

by Zach Catanzareti


Q: The 1998 Texas 500 race weekend had some infrastructure issues (in addition to a bunch of wrecks and multiple drivers sent to the hospital).  What happened?

Check back Monday for the answer, here in the Frontstretch Newsletter!

Thursday's Answer:
Q:  The 2001 Jani-King 300 at Texas Motor Speedway featured a rather unusual instance in the quad-oval during the race.  What happened?

A: Dale Earnhardt is often said to have pulled off a "Pass in the Grass" on Bill Elliott during the final segment of The Winston in 1987.  It wasn't actually a pass.  It was more of an exquisite save from the eventual seven-time champion.

Mike Skinner technically pulled off a pass in the grass here.  Bobby Hamilton, Jr. had gotten out of the groove and was slow up high.  Tony Raines dove to the inside to get past in the quad-oval and had contact with Skinner.  Skinner went through the grass, then slid sideways before recovering.  In that move, he got past Raines for the spot.

This was a pass for 17th spot.  Skinner ended up finishing ninth.
In The Frontstretch Newsletter:
We'll have recaps of the Sprint Cup, XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series races from Texas.  In addition, we'll also cover other news that breaks.

We'll have a series of post-race commentaries analyzing this weekend's action at Texas Motor Speedway.
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