Breaking the Lap Record

Photo Courtesy: Sarah Crabill /Getty Images

Rajan Khanna/Staff Reporter

The triple-header weekend at Texas Motor Speedway was topped off by the AAA Texas 500. Last year’s race was delayed and shorted by rain, resulting in a long day for NASCAR officials, drivers, crews, and the fans. This year’s race had much better weather, with sunshine throughout the entire race. This playoff race had a very entertaining qualifying session. The track record was reset by Kurt Busch, averaging over 200mph as he clinched the pole position. He was joined on the front row by Denny Hamlin, still under fire from his controversial move at Martinsville involving fellow playoff contender Chase Elliott. Early in the race, Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski got together, causing Keselowski to pit for a flat tire. Kyle Busch also suffered minor damage. Later in the first stage, Daniel Suarez became loose on the bottom of turn one with Kasey Kahne above him, causing both cars to spin. Many single car spins occurred throughout the race but none of them suffered major damage. Later in the race, Kyle Larson took a hard hit into the wall. This crash marks Larson’s third straight DNF in the past three races. Upon further investigation, it was determined that tire failure caused the accident. At the end of the race, Martin Truex Jr. was leading but was chased down by Kevin Harvick. Harvick took the lead with only ten laps to go and won the AAA Texas 500, reserving himself a spot in the championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The next race is the Can-Am 500 at Phoenix International Raceway, where the bottom four drivers will be eliminated and unable to fight for the championship. The defending winner at Phoenix is Joey Logano.