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AAA TEXAS 500 WEEKEND NOTEBOOK

FORT WORTH, Texas (Nov. 9, 2015) - Notes from the AAA Texas 500 weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.

Renowned sports artist David Arrigo completed his week-long “Live Mural Experience” tribute to Jeff Gordon in front of the AAA Texas 500 starting grid on pit road during Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 pre-race activities. Arrigo began his five-mural creation that depicted Gordon’s career at Texas Motor Speedway on Monday and visited more than a dozen locations throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex painting in front of the public day and evening. One of the highlights came on Friday when Gordon added a few of his own brush strokes to the artwork during Texas Motor Speedway’s gift presentation to him in the media center. One of the five mural pieces was given to Gordon while the other four will be given to Speedway Children’s Charities-Texas Chapter and be auctioned off at a later date.

Retiring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series superstar Jeff Gordon was honored during Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 pre-race activities with 24 Re/Max sky divers carrying “24” flags, including the final sky diver with a giant 20x40 flag bearing his car number, arriving on the ball field. Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage also presented him with a proclamation from Texas Governor Greg Abbott during pre-race driver introductions and that was followed by a congratulatory video on “Big Hoss TV” from former President George W. Bush. President Bush culminated the weekend-long video congratulatory messages for Gordon compiled by Texas Motor Speedway that also included Pro Football Hall of Famer Roger Staubach of the Dallas Cowboys, Pro Hockey Hall of Famer Mike Modano of the Dallas Stars, Tony Romo and Jason Witten of the Dallas Cowboys, J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans, Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks, Foreigner founder Mick Jones, renowned celebrity chef Mario Batali, former NFL great Herschel Walker, WWE champion Shawn Michaels, coach Lindy Ruff of the Dallas Stars and college football coaches Gary Patterson of TCU, Charlie Strong of Texas and Bob Stoops of Oklahoma.

Brad Keselowski’s love affair with the Lone Star State continued in full force in the O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway. Keselowski grabbed the lead from polesitter Austin Dillon on Lap 189 of 200 after a restart with 16 laps left in the race. The No. 22 Team Penske Ford finished 1.137 seconds ahead of the No. 88 JR Motorsports entry driven by Kevin Harvick. The victory was Keselowski’s second of the season, his second at TMS and the 34th of his career. The eighth win of the season for the No. 22 Ford (accomplished by Keselowski and teammates Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney) clinched the third straight XFINITY Series owner's championship for Roger Penske."To get our team owner, Roger Penske, No. 4 as far as XFINITY championships go, I’m really proud of that," said Keselowski, who also won a series title as a driver in 2010. "When I came to (Team Penske) in 2010, we didn’t have any, and now we have four in five years, so I’m really proud of that accomplishment." 

With his win in Friday night’s WinStar World Casino & Resort 350, Erik Jones became just the fifth NASCAR Camping World Truck Series rookie driver to win at Texas Motor Speedway.  He joins Kenny Irwin Jr. (1997), Travis Kvapil (2001-fall), Brendan Gaughan (2002-summer, ’02-fall) and Jeb Burton (2013-summer). … The WinStar World Casino & Resort 350 established a record as the fastest race truck series race at Texas Motor Speedway. The average speed of 158.002 miles per hour/1 hour, 23 minutes., 44 seconds, surpassed the previous mark of 154.737 miles per hour/1 hour, 25 minutes, 30 seconds, which was established during the 2012 WinStar World Casino & Resort 350. The mark was aided by track records for fewest cautions (1) and fewest caution laps (five).  

With his record 312 laps led in Sunday’s AAA Texas 500, Brad Keselowski vaults to seventh all-time among Sprint Cup Series drivers at Texas Motor Speedway with 585. The all-time leader is Jimmie Johnson, who has led 1,023 career laps in 25 starts. … Johnson’s AAA Texas 500 win on Sunday was his 13th career top-five finish at Texas Motor Speedway, tying him with Matt Kenseth for most top-five efforts. He also is the all-time leader at Texas in top-10 finishes with 19.

 

About the author

The Texas Motor Speedway Media Relations Department is located on the 6th floor of The Speedway Club outside of Turn 1 of the speedway. 

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