Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Again at Texas, field pursuing Johnson

Points leader Jimmie Johnson, in pursuit of his sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup championship, earns the pole for the second week in a row.

Associated Press

Points leader Jimmie Johnson, in pursuit of his sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup championship, earns the pole for the second week in a row.

FORT WORTH, Texas — Jimmie Johnson finished his qualifying run with the fastest lap on the day, then stayed in his car while waiting to see if anybody would knock him off the pole for Sunday's AAA Texas 500.

It turned out the same way it did a week earlier in Martinsville.

When the Sprint Cup leader finally climbed out of his No. 48 Chevrolet more than 30 minutes later Friday, after Brad Keselowski and the rest of the field failed to top his lap of 191.076 mph, he was the pole-sitter for the second week in a row.

"I was ready to get out, and my engine tuner stuck his head in and said, 'Hey, man, you're going to be sitting here a long time this week,' " Johnson said, adding that he thought, " 'Oh yeah, that's right. I'm not superstitious, but I'll sit here.' It doesn't mean anything, but at this point in the season, you have to pull out all of the stops."

Johnson's 29th pole is his first at Texas Motor Speedway, where he was second in April.

With his win from the pole at Martinsville, Johnson regained the series points lead, by two over Keselowski.

Johnson was the 20th car on the track for Texas qualifying.

"It was a while-knuckle lap. I can say I didn't leave anything on the table with that one," Johnson said.

Keselowski, 44th of 46 drivers to make a run, ran 189.534 mph, good for eighth spot. He also qualified eighth his past two races at the 1½-mile, high-banked track, where he has never had a top-10 finish.

"We're in strong position to control our own destiny as far as the Chase is concerned and having a shot at winning it," he said. "That's really about all you can ask. Certainly you'd like to have a big lead, but that's not very realistic when you're racing the best and competing against the best."

2013 SWITCH: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing is switching engine suppliers, and going away from its namesake company. The struggling two-car team, with drivers Jamie McMurray and Juan Montoya, will move from Earnhardt Childress Racing engines next season to engines from powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports.

Sauter wins in trucks

FORT WORTH, Texas — Johnny Sauter regained the lead with 11 laps to go and went on to his second NASCAR truck series victory this season, both coming at Texas Motor Speedway.

Sauter made the winning pass in his Toyota around Parker Kligerman, who took only two tires his last stop and couldn't hold on to the lead in the WinStar World Casino 350.

Points leader James Buescher, who started second in a Chevrolet, finished 11th, the last truck on the lead lap. With two races left, his points lead over Ty Dillon was cut from 21 to 15. Dillon was fifth in a Chevy. He led one lap, late in the race when he stayed out during the last cycle of green-flag stops to pick up a bonus point. Sauter became the third driver to sweep both races at the Texas track in a season.

Sauter, who finished 2.2 seconds ahead of Kligerman, led twice for 28 laps and won the fastest race in series history with an average speed of 154.734 mph. There were only two cautions, slowing the race down for eight laps.

Nelson Piquet Jr., the pole-sitter who led twice for a race-high 65 laps, finished third and Kyle Busch was fourth.

FORMULA ONE: Series chief Bernie Ecclestone said he's not worried about Bahrain once again hosting a race despite ongoing clashes between security forces and anti-government protesters. Ecclestone also seemed to put a damper on prospects of France's return to the schedule as a replacement for the canceled New Jersey race. The French GP has been off the calendar since 2008.

Again at Texas, field pursuing Johnson 11/02/12 [Last modified: Friday, November 2, 2012 10:45pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs journal: Kicker Nick Folk has up and downs against Jaguars

    Bucs

    JACKSONVILLE — If the Bucs had hoped for a drama-free night in their kicking game, they'll have to wait another week.

    Bucs kicker Nick Folk celebrates one of his two made field goals against the Jaguars, but he also misses a field goal and has an extra point blocked.
  2. Bucs start strong vs. Jaguars

    Bucs

    JACKSONVILLE — On his worst pass of Thursday's preseason game against the Jaguars, Jameis Winston threw a ball from the seat of his pants toward the end zone and it appeared to be intercepted by safety Barry Church.

    Doug Martin gets the Bucs’ only touchdown of the first half on a 2-yard run, squeaking past Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith in the first quarter.
  3. Rays journal: Archer has strong outing, with two mistakes

    The Heater

    TORONTO — Two pitches RHP Chris Archer didn't execute are the ones that stood out Thursday as Josh Donaldson hit them out of the park. But the two solo home runs aside, Archer turned in a sterling outing that went atop the pile of good pitching the Rays keep wasting.

    Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) works during the first inning. [Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP]
  4. Tim Tebow continues wowing fans as he wraps up bay area games

    Minors

    CLEARWATER — Tracey Fritzinger has seen Tim Tebow play baseball a few times this year. The 40-year-old St. Petersburg resident went to two of his games against the Tampa Yankees, along with Joy, her little sister from Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

    St. Lucie Mets outfielder Tim Tebow, middle, hangs out in the dugout during Thursday night’s game against the Clearwater Threshers at Spectrum Field, the last of St. Lucie’s eight-day trip to the Tampa Bay area.
  5. Rays vs. Mariners, 7:10 Friday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Mariners

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun, 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Austin Pruitt (50) in the dugout during the ninth inning of the game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays on Opening Day at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, April 2, 2017. The Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees 7-3.