Hendrick Motorsports qualifying at Texas Motor Speedway
FORT WORTH, Texas – Jeff Gordon advanced to the final round of NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying on Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway and ultimately earned the 12th spot. His Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. made it to the second round before qualifying 16th and 19th, respectively. Kasey Kahne, who dealt with a tight-handling condition early, qualified 32nd.
In 26 races (105 starts) at Texas, Hendrick Motorsports has five wins, 26 top-five finishes and 46 top-10s. Johnson most recently went to Victory Lane for the organization in November 2013 after starting from third. Johnson ranks tied for first among drivers all-time with three wins and 16 top-10 finishes at the 1.5-mile oval. Johnson’s average finish of 8.7 ranks second behind Matt Kenseth (8.3). Gordon and Earnhardt rank tied for first all-time with two pole positions.
Coverage of Sunday’s race will begin at 2 p.m. ET on Performance Racing Network and 2:30 p.m. ET on FOX.
Here is a look at Hendrick Motorsports going into Sunday's event at Texas Motor Speedway:
KASEY KAHNE, NO. 5 TIME WARNER CABLE CHEVROLET SS
MARTINSVILLE RECAP: Kasey Kahne opened Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup event at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway from the 27th position and overcame several incidents to run inside the top five with 37 laps to go. However, Kahne reported a tight-handling condition that affected his ability to maintain good track position. Kahne finished 22nd and now ranks 22nd in the driver standings.
AT TEXAS: Kahne went to Victory Lane at Texas on April 9, 2006, after starting from the pole position and leading 63 laps. The driver of the No. 5 Chevrolet SS has five top-five finishes, six top-10s and has led a total of 218 laps in 19 Cup starts at the Fort Worth, Texas, oval. Most recently, Kahne scored a fifth-place result there in November 2013.
CHASSIS CHOICE: Crew chief Kenny Francis has selected Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 5-863 for Sunday’s race at Texas. This is a new chassis.
JEFF GORDON, NO. 24 AXALTA/TEXAS A&M ENGINEERING CHEVROLET SS
2014 SEASON: Jeff Gordon has posted finishes of 13th or better in each of the season's first six races. He is fourth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings, trailing points leader and Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. by 11.
AT TEXAS: Gordon, driver of the No. 24 Axalta/Texas A&M College of Engineering Chevrolet SS, has one win, two pole positions, eight top-five finishes and 11 top-10s in 26 Cup starts at Texas Motor Speedway. Currently tied with Jeff Burton, Bobby Labonte and Mark Martin for the most Cup starts at the 1.5-mile track, Gordon will move into sole possession of most starts with a 27th on Sunday.
CHASSIS CHOICE: No. 24 crew chief Alan Gustafson has selected Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 24-830 for this Sunday's race. This chassis has been used in competition twice - once at Las Vegas Motor Speedway earlier this year when Gordon raced it to a ninth-place finish and once in the 2013 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway where he finished 11th.
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S SPRING IS CALLING CHEVROLET SS
MARTINSVILLE RECAP: Jimmie Johnson led a race-high 296 laps last Sunday at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, but couldn’t hold on for his ninth victory at the short track. The driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Spring Is Calling Chevrolet SS took runner-up honors and now ranks fifth in the driver standings.
STAT LEADER: Johnson leads several categories in the season-to-date rankings after six Cup races this year. Johnson notably has the best average running position (8.7); the most laps led (493) and the highest driver rating (115.6).
AT TEXAS: In 21 starts at Texas Motor Speedway, Johnson has three wins, 10 top-five finishes and 16 top-10s. Johnson has an average starting spot of 8.5 and an average finish of 8.7 during this timeframe. Last April, Johnson started seventh and finished sixth at the 500-mile event. He won the race in November en route to his sixth Cup series championship.
CHASSIS CHOICES: Crew chief Chad Knaus has selected Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 48-797 which Johnson drove to Victory Lane last November at Texas. The backup car is Chassis No. 48-784 which Johnson most recently raced last season at Michigan International Speedway in June.
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS
POINTS REPORT: Six races into the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup season, Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads the driver standings on the strength of one win, four top-five finishes and four top-10s. He has a nine-point lead over second-place Matt Kenseth, and Earnhardt’s 7.3 average finish currently is a Series-best.
AT TEXAS: In 23 Sprint Cup starts at Texas Motor Speedway, Earnhardt has scored one win, two pole positions, four top-five finishes and 13 top-10s. He has an average starting position of 11.3, which is his second-best at all tracks. He has led at least one lap in 13 of those starts for a total of 448 laps.
CHASSIS CHOICE: This weekend at Texas, crew chief Steve Letarte has selected Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-822. Earnhardt last raced this chassis to a second-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March.