Hurtin’ SHR: Ryan Newman got a top-10 out of Fontana, Calif., last week, bumping him up to No. 20 in the driver standings. But that makes him tops in points at Stewart-Haas Racing. Tony Stewart is No. 22. Danica Patrick is No. 29.
Revised finish: NASCAR revised the order of finish for last week, moving Joey Logano from sixth to third and Kurt Busch from third to fifth. NASCAR said Logano did maintain reasonable speed earlier than thought at the final caution.
At the top: This is the first time Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been at the top of the driver standings in back-to-back seasons.
Break time: It’s a two-week break for the series. The next action is a Friday night race, April 12, at TMS.
He’s back: Kyle Busch went winless in Nationwide in 2012, ending a string of eight years with a win. Now he’s won three times in 2013.
Street podium: Marco Andretti went a year and a half without a podium finish on a street or road course. But he ended that Sunday at St. Petersburg.
Better TV: The numbers are modest, but, taken relatively, encouraging for IndyCar. Last week’s season opener drew 78 percent more viewers (388,000 to 218,000) than last year’s, both on NBC Sports Network.
6 Years since a Canadian driver had won an Indy car race, a drought that ended when James Hinchcliffe won at St. Petersburg last week.
“Something I never really was good at for years, and now we’re doing it as good as anybody. Just riding the wave. Just real happy with how things are going for our team.”
— Dale Earnhardt Jr., on closing strong
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NASCAR team owner Jack Roush, whose teams have won 18 times at Texas Motor Speedway — more than any other owner — will become the 15th member of the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame.
His induction will be recognized during a banquet at TMS on April 11 as part of the events leading up to the Nationwide and Sprint Cup races that weekend.
The drivers for Roush, a 70-year-old Kentuckian who founded Roush Fenway Racing 25 years ago, have won nine Sprint Cup races at TMS, more than twice as many as the four won by those of owner Rick Hendrick.
The other Hall of Fame members are A.J. Foyt, Johnny Rutherford, Terry Labonte, Lee Shepherd, Kenny Bernstein, Jim Hall, Eddie Hill, Mark Martin, Jim McElreath, Bobby Labonte, Bruton Smith, Joe Gibbs, John Force and Lanny Edwards.
Roush’s induction is part of a gala benefitting Speedway Children’s Charities, and it will also recognize the TMS Racer of the Year (Jimmie Johnson), the TMS sportsman of the year (Graham Rahal), the TMS humanitarian of the year (Kurt Busch) and the Bruton Smith Legend Award winner (late racing journalist Chris Economaki).
Tickets are available by calling 817-215-8421 or visiting the website at www.scctexas.org
Speedway Children’s Charities helps children who have educational, financial, social or medical needs. TMS said the Texas chapter has raised $8.5 million for more than two million children in Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant counties since it was established in 1997.
Carlos Mendez, 817-390-7407 Twitter: @calexmendez
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