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Texas 400 race preview

Written by Gabriel Tsui, Edited by Vyas Ponnuri

After one of the most dominating performances in recent history by Hendrick Motorsport on the 40th anniversary of their first ever win, we head to Fort Worth, Texas, for the second race of the month. 

As we turn around and head back to Texas for the ninth race of the season, will we see another win by the dominating Hendrick Motorsport, or Joe Gibbs Racing? Or will we see other teams step up and rise above the intense competition to win a race here in the lone star state?

Martinsville 400 Race Debrief

The race started off with Kyle Larson leading the field to the green, and he got off to a hot start before catching up to the tail end by lap 21. The stage was pretty uneventful, as Larson led all 80 laps to win stage one in Martinsville. 

After the stage break, Joey Logano led the way as Larson had a slight slip up that sent him down from second to fourth. Logano led for a while, but Denny Hamlin soon caught and passed Logano for the lead with ten laps to go for stage two. He led the rest of the way and won stage two, taking the stage points and the playoff point.

At the restart for the final stage of the race, Hamlin led the way, but a roaring Chase Elliot took the lead round the outside. Green flag racing did not last for long, as a Christopher Bell spin brought out the caution. 

Chase Elliot led the way on the restart, and held onto it for an extended period during stage three, up until the green flag pit cycle. 

An early pit decision by William Byron paid off big time, as he jumped up all the way to the lead after the pit cycle, while Elliot and Larson trailed behind. In the penultimate lap, A right front tyre issue sent John Hunter Nemechek into the wall, bringing out the overtime. 

On the overtime restart, Byron took the win and never looked back, taking the chequered flag and his third win of the season. In one of the most dominating fashion, Hendrick Motorsport achieved a historic one-two-three finish on their 40th anniversary of their first ever win, leading a combined total of 238 laps of the available 415 laps. 

Track Preview

The Texas Motor Speedway is located in Fort Worth, Texas, two hours north of the state’s capital, Austin. The track has a length of 1.5 miles (2.414 kilometres), with a banking of 20 degrees on turns one and two, and a banking of 24 degrees on turns three and four. 

The race was first launched in the year of 2005, and this year marks the 20th time NASCAR visits this track. The race used to be a race distance of 500 miles, but was shortened to 400 miles last year, and this year will be the second year of the shortened race. 

The race consists of three stages, with 80 laps in stage one, 85 in stage two, and 102 in the final stage for a total of 267 laps. 

The race will commence on the Sunday of April 14th, at 15:00 ET (12:00 PT, 21:00 CET). Weather forecast indicates that there will be no rain on the weekend, with temperatures ranging from 19 to 27 degrees Celsius.

Race Prediction

Ever since the start of March, Hendrick Motorsport and Joe Gibbs Racing have been trading blows at each other. They both have three wins, and they definitely do not intend to lift their foot off the gas. 

Joe Gibbs’ two aces in Denny Hamlin and Christopher Bell have been performing exceptionally and securing wins, while Ty Gibbs also had amazing performances so far by taking multiple top five finishes in the month of March. 

Martin Truex Jr isn’t too far back either, having scored a top ten finish in every race in March. They have a strong lineup that has a mix of youth and experience that could get great performances every week.

On the other side, Hendrick has one of the best lineups in the history of NASCAR, with NASCAR champions Kyle Larson and Chase Elliot leading the way, while William Byron has been ascending to superstar status, taking multiple wins in the past few years. Alex Bowman has been a bit up and down so far this season, but could pull great performances if circumstances allow it. 

These two teams will throw the kitchen sink at each other for this win, but the tower of balance is swaying in favour of the Chevys. Chevrolet has won three in a row here, and it is tough to see that change. 

We will see if JGR can overcome the predicament, but ultimately the prediction is one of the Hendrick cars going to victory road yet again, taking their fifth win of the season.


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