Looking ahead to the Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas Motor Speedway: Is this Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s year?

The Samsung Mobile 500 will be under the lights on Saturday night at Texas, which always seems to add to the excitement at a track that is never short on drama.
by Scott Wright Published: April 7, 2012

As is customary, the NASCAR Sprint Cup series is off for Easter Sunday, which means the focus has been squarely on Texas Motor Speedway for a week now.

The Samsung Mobile 500 will be under the lights on Saturday night at Texas, which always seems to add to the excitement at a track that is never short on drama.

Here are three story lines to watch for in Saturday night's race:

1. Strong at the top

Sure, it's early in the season, but it wouldn't be any surprise to see one of the drivers currently in the top five in points eventually holding the championship trophy.

Greg Biffle, Dale Earnhardt Jr., defending champ Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth and Kevin Harvick have each had moderate to strong success at Texas, so one of them could be adding a victory bonus this week as well.

Stewart and Kenseth each won at Texas last year, and they've combined for three wins this season. Stewart, typically a slow starter who hits his stride in the summer, has already won twice this year, and could be in the running for No. 3 on Saturday night.

2. Is this Junior's year?

Earnhardt Jr. knows how to find Victory Lane at TMS. His first NASCAR win, a Nationwide race, was at Texas, and his first Cup win came there as well.

He's off to his best start ever, and a good showing on Saturday could be a sign that this is the year he breaks through and seriously contends for a title.

Continue reading this story on the...

by Scott Wright
Reporter
A lifelong resident of the Oklahoma City metro area, Scott Wright has been on The Oklahoman staff since 2005, covering a little bit of everything on the state's sports scene. He has been a beat writer for football and basketball at Oklahoma and...
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