A week of in racing is possibly the best thing for any team to have early in the season. Some teams needed a break because of all the travel, others possibly just wanted a break to see what needed worked on.
Even the top teams need a break to simply look back at what occurred already, and then look ahead to what is next.
Case in point: Jimmie Johnson.
Two weeks ago, Martinsville was a track where he was already looked at one of the cars to beat. He wasn’t the one necessarily at the top that weekend in the eyes of the garage, that was eventual winner Denny Hamlin. However, given his history at such a track, it was certainly a high probability that Johnson would be near or at the front at any point in the race.
Yet, it never happened. In fact, they struggled with handling, and would finish worse than mediocre. By the standards that this team has set, they were absolutely poor. Maybe it was experimentation, or simply they had no handle on the track. In any case, they were horrible, so the week off came as a welcome relief to the No. 48 team.
Come Saturday at Texas, it was back to business. Johnson would lead the most laps, and once again showed why he is a master of the 1.5-mile tracks, which makes up the bulk of the schedule on the circuit.
He’s back in victory lane once again, and all the memories of Martinsville are gone. Two wins this year, it’s a guarantee he will be in the Chase, something he’s done every year since its inception.
Looks like “Six-Time” is back, then again, he really never went anywhere.
RESULTS: 1-Johnson 2-Harvick 3-Earnhardt Jr. 4-Logano 5-Keselowski 6-McMurray 7-Gordon 8-Kahne 9-Truex Jr. 10-Edwards
NOTABLE FINISHES: 11-Hamlin 23-Kenseth 24-Stewart
CAUTIONS: 8 for 40 laps. Lap 33-36 (#33 Spin-T4), 110-113 (Debris-T2), 173-176 (Debris-T3), 229-234 (#20 Spin-T4), 251-255 (#46 Accident-T2), 261-269 (#51 Accident-T3), 296-299 (Debris-T3), 310-313 (#47 Accident-T3&4).
LEAD CHANGES: 29 among 9 drivers. Busch POLE, Harvick 1-33, Busch 34-36, Harvick 37, Busch 38-79, Gordon 80-81, Keselowski 82-108, Johnson 109, Harvick 110, Johnson 111-124, Harvick 125-155, Johnson 156, Harvick 157, Kahne 158-159, Johnson 160-172, Harvick 173, Johnson 174-220, Menard 221, Kahne 222-225, Johnson 226-228, Harvick 229, Johnson 230-250, Harvick 251, Johnson 252-265, Logano 266-284, Harvick 285-310, McMurray 311-312, Gordon 313, McMurray 314-320, Johnson 321-334.
TIME OF RACE: 3 Hrs, 33 Mins, 57 Secs.
AVERAGE SPEED: 140.500 MPH
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 1.107 Seconds
POINT STANDINGS: 1. Harvick, 306 points*; 2. Logano, -26*; 3. Truex Jr, -40; 4. Keselowski, -60*; 5. Kahne, -76; 6. Johnson, -90*; 7. Earnhardt Jr, -93; 8. Hamlin, -101*; 9. Almirola, -111; 10. Ragan, -112.