The Norman Transcript

Breaking News

National Sports

April 12, 2013

New car gets Texas test

NORMAN — By Stephen Hawkins

FORT WORTH, Texas — One of the key moments in the development of NASCAR’s new Sprint Cup car came in a multicar test at Texas last fall.

Now six races into the first season with the new model cars, they get to race on that 11⁄2-mile high-banked track Saturday night.

“Texas really was one of the pivotal moments of the development of this car and the package that we handed off to the teams to race this year, ‘’ Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition, said Thursday.

“I think we’re off to a pretty good start for the year for the package that we have. ‘It seems to me that the teams are pretty happy with what they have been handed off to start with.”

The new models look more like their passenger car counterparts. And each of the three manufacturers has a car in the top four of the Sprint Cup standings.

Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are first and third, respectively, in Chevrolets. Defending Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski is second in a Ford, and Kyle Busch fourth in a Toyota.

“Every weekend is a big weekend right now for our sport and this new car. We have been very fortunate over the last two or three races to have great runs. Not just as the 2 team, but as the sport,” Keselowski said. “I think we have seen compelling racing and great battles. I think the car is doing as well as you can expect it to coming out of the gate.”

There were two testing sessions Thursday, providing more than three extra hours on the Texas track.

Greg Biffle, the defending race winner, turned the fastest lap in those sessions at 192.864 mph. That was faster than the qualifying speed for both Cup races at Texas last year — Martin Truex in the spring race (190.369 mph) and Jimmie Johnson (191.076 mph) last fall — but well off Brian Vickers’ qualifying mark of 196.235 mph set for the 2006 fall race.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
National Sports
  • Luke Donald shoots 66, takes lead at RBC Heritage

    HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — Luke Donald believes he’s got the right game on the right course — and is ready to make up for so many near-misses at the RBC Heritage. Donald had an eagle and six birdies to shoot 66 on Saturday and take a ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Teague leads Hawks past top-seeded Pacers in Game 1

    INDIANAPOLIS — Atlanta’s Jeff Teague demolished the Pacers’ grand playoff plan. As his teammates set up around the 3-point line, Teague simply blew through open lanes to the basket repeatedly. The Pacers didn’t have an answer....

    April 20, 2014

  • Sooners advance to Super Six

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Oklahoma, Georgia and LSU advanced to the Super Six of the NCAA women’s gymnastics championships....

    April 19, 2014

  • Can the Heat flip the switch?

    MIAMI — LeBron James was walking down the hallway that the Miami Heat call “Championship Alley” a few minutes after last season’s NBA Finals, when he decided the time was right to send a message. It wasn’t for his fans....

    April 19, 2014

  • No April, May or June Madness in NBA

    AP National Writer ATLANTA — If the playoff-bound Atlanta Hawks were in any other sport, they might have a glimmer of hope for winning a championship. The NBA? No way....

    April 19, 2014

  • Warriors and Clippers take mutual dislike into playoff series

    LOS ANGELES — As much as the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors don’t like each other, they’re a lot alike in some ways....

    April 19, 2014

  • Fieger leads Senior PGA

    PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Gene Fieger shot a 3-under 69 in windy conditions Thursday to take a four-stroke lead in the Senior PGA Professional National Championship....

    April 18, 2014

  • Kuchar builds on momentum

    HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — There were no major letdowns for Masters contenders Matt Kuchar and Jordan Spieth at the RBC Heritage on Thursday. Kuchar, who tied for fifth at Augusta National, shot a bogey-free 5-under 66 to share the ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Angel Jimenez set for Champions Tour debut

    DULUTH, Ga. — Miguel Angel Jimenez’s starring role in the best Masters ever for players 50 and over was the perfect lead-in for his Champions Tour debut....

    April 18, 2014

  • Puig focuses on baseball despite issues

    SAN FRANCISCO — Yasiel Puig believes he has the support from his Los Angeles Dodgers teammates and the club to help him keep his focus on baseball despite challenges off the field....

    April 18, 2014