The Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway this past weekend saw Team Chevy narrowly miss an entire weekend sweep between the NASCAR Sprit Cup and NASCAR Nationwide Series races. Team Chevy drivers grabbed both pole positions in the two series’ as well as a victory in Nationwide, but a last lap pass by race winner Joey Logano on Hendrick Motorsports’ Jeff Gordon put the bowtie’s winning aspirations to an end.
Steady rainfall postponed the start of the Duck Commander 500 from Sunday afternoon to Monday morning. The 334-lap race saw Gordon lead the entire field during the early stages of the race before losing control of his car 40 laps in. Gordon was eventually able to rally back to second and after a caution flag came out with only two laps remaining, the race went into a green-white-checkered state. The No. 24 Chevrolet SS team took only two tires on the last pit stop, giving them the lead out of the pits, but Gordon couldn’t hold the position and finished second behind Logano. The finish marked Gordon’s fifth top-10 finish of the season and ultimately moved him into the series points lead.
Meanwhile, Gordon’s Hendrick Motorsports teammates Dale Earnahrdt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson both had disappointing days. Only 12 laps into the race Earnhardt Jr. clipped the edge of the soggy infield grass, causing the No. 88 National Guard Chevrolet SS to lose control, crash into the wall and catch on fire, ending the driver’s day. The mishap also affected Johnson, who was running behind his teammate at the time of the crash. The incident flung debris at Johnson’s No. 48 Lowe’s ‘Spring is Calling’ Chevrolet SS resulting in windshield and left front body damage. They managed to salvage a 25th place finish despite the incident.
Danica Patrick’s streak of bad luck continued after a bizarre incident involving the jet dryers used to dry the track. Danica, along with Ryan Newman and Brad Keslowski, apparently came too close to the dryers on parade laps, which loosened the hinges that keep the hood shut. She pitted on lap 4 to secure the hood as well as have the roof flaps checked. She went on to finish 25th.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Team Chevy will race under the lights when the circus travels on to Darlington Raceway for the Bojangles’ Southern 500 in South Carolina on April 12th.