NASCAR Track Facts: Texas Motor Speedway

“Well, after two short tracks in a row (and arguably coming off the best race of the 2009 NASCAR season) we head to my home track, Texas Motor Speedway. And yes, once again, the NASCAR ticket fairy has graced the wife and I with race tickets.
Samsung 500
Here is a quick run down of trivial facts and statistics for this weekend’s Samsung 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas.

Texas Motor Speedway History

  • Construction on Texas Motor Speedway began in 1995.
  • The original configuration called for an unusual dual banking system that had 24 degrees of banking for stock cars and eight degrees for open-wheel cars.
  • The first NASCAR race at Texas was a NASCAR Nationwide Series event on April 5, 1997.
  • The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Texas was on April 6, 1997.
  • In 1998, Turn 4 at Texas was reshaped to ease the transition from the turns to the front straightaway.
  • A second renovation started after the 1998 race and eliminated the dual banking and gave the track its current configuration.

Track Numbers

  • There have been 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway, one per season 1997 through 2004 and two races per year since 2005.
  • Four drivers have competed in all 16 Texas races: Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte and Mark Martin.
  • Jeremy Mayfield won the first timed qualifying on April 4, 1998. Qualifying for the inaugural race in 1997 was canceled.
  • Jeff Burton won the first NASCAR Sprint Cup race.
  • 11 drivers have scored poles at Texas, led by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Bobby Labonte and Ryan Newman with two each.
  • 13 drivers have won races, led by Carl Edwards, with three.
  • 12 of 16 races have been won from a top-10 starting position. Only one has been won from the pole (Kasey Kahne in 2006).
  • Matt Kenseth started 31st en route to his victory at Texas in 2002, the deepest in the field that a race winner has started.
  • There have been two green-white-checkered finishes: fall 2006 (339/334) and spring 2008 (339/334).

Hot Fact

Carl Edwards is the only driver with a season sweep at Texas, winning both races in 2008. Jimmie Johnson, who won there in 2007, is the only active driver who averages a top-10 finish at Texas (9.1).

Texas Motor Speedway Data

  • Race #: 7 of 36 (4-05-09)
  • Track Size: 1.5-mile
  • Race Length: 334 laps/501 miles
  • Banking/Corners: 24 degrees

Qualifying/Race Data

  • 2008 pole winner: Dale Earnhardt Jr (190.907 mph, 28.286 seconds)
  • 2008 race winner: Carl Edwards (144.814 mph avg race speed)
  • Track qualifying record: Terry Labonte (192.137 mph , 03-31-00)
  • Race record: Carl Edwards (151.055 mph, 11-06-05)
  • Estimated Pit Window: Every 48-52 laps, based on fuel mileage.