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NASCAR Sprint Cup Notebook for Thursday

by Dave Grayson
Thursday, April 02, 2009

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Carl Edwards pits from the lead last year at TMS
The elite teams of NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series will be returning to the so-called cookie cutter tracks following two consecutive weekends of short track racing. The series heads to race number seven on the schedule at the Texas Word Speedway where the race winner gets to stand in victory lane wearing a cowboy hat while firing a pair of six shooters into the air. Here's the breakdown for Sunday's Samsung 500:

The race has 48 official entries. 12 of those teams are on the go or go home list meaning they are outside of NASCAR's top 35 in owner's points and will have to earn a starting berth in the race based on their qualifying times.
   
The Texas Motor Speedway is 1.5 miles in length and is banked 24 degrees in the turns. The speedway seats 159,585.

The race will be 334 laps long which calculates to a total of 501 miles. The purse for the race is $7.3 million. The pit road speed is 45 MPH.

Construction on the speedway began in 1995. The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was held in April of 1997. Since that time there has been 16 Cup races that has produced 13 different winners. 12 of the 16 winners won their races from a top ten starting position. Kasey Kahne is the only driver to win a Texas race from the pole position which occurred in 2006. Matt Kenseth won a race from the lowest starting position,31st, in 2002.

Carl Edwards won both races at this track in 2008 and has the most wins there with three. Ford has the most manufacturer wins with nine. Brian Vickers holds the track qualifying record, 196.235 MPH, set in November of 2006.     
 
The race will be aired by Fox Sports beginning at 130 pm eastern time.

The NASCAR Nationwide Series will be running the O'Reilly 300 Saturday. The race can be seen on ESPN2 at 230 pm eastern. 

THE VEGAS REPORT.

The Sprint Cup numbers from the Las Vegas based World Sports Exchange-WSE naturally favor driver Carl Edwards, at 5 to 1 odds, to win the Samsung 500. Based on his strong personal record at this speedway, as well as Ford's strong performance record, this is a very safe wager. This could be the week that he does his famous race winning back flip for the first time this year . Also rated at 5 to 1 this week is Kyle Busch who's always a threat to win any NASCAR race he enters.

At 7 to 1 this week are a trio of drivers comprised of Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch and Jeff Gordon. Johnson is naturally riding a wave of momentum off of his first win of the season last week in Martinsville. Kurt Busch and his team seems to be rejuvenated this year as seen from his dominant win at Atlanta a few weeks ago. Series points leader Jeff Gordon seems to be a very good bet at 7 to 1 despite the fact he's still trying to eradicate the winless streak he's tired of hearing about combined with the fact Texas is one of two tracks on the NASCAR circuit he's never won at. Gordon and his team has been strong in this still young season and it's just a matter of time before he gets that next win.

Other notables include Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle, in their Fords, at 12 to 1 odds. Coming in at 20 to 1 are fan favorites Dale Earnhardt Jr, Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick and Mark Martin.

As always we remind you that these numbers are for entertainment purposes and NASCAR would prefer that you do not place wagers on their races.

We also need to remind you to consider tipping your bookie after he hands you your winnings.

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