Duck Commander 500
|Venue||Texas Motor Speedway|
|Distance||501 miles (806.281 km)|
|Previous names||Interstate Batteries 500 (1997)
Texas 500 (1998)
Primestar 500 (1999)
DirecTV 500 (2000)
Harrah's 500 (2001)
Samsung / RadioShack 500 (2002–2006)
Samsung 500 (2007–2009)
Samsung Mobile 500 (2010–2012)
NRA 500 (2013)
The Duck Commander 500 is a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stock car race held at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) in Fort Worth, Texas, United States. Even though it is advertised as a "500 mile" race, because TMS is a track that is 1.5 miles (2.4 km) in length, the actual race distance is 501 miles (806.3 km).
The first two runnings of the race were controversial, crash-strewn affairs, with universal criticism that the track's design was one groove; Kenny Wallace argued, "They're so busy building condos they don't have time to fix the racetrack."
There were 10 different winners in the first ten races, the longest such streak for any NASCAR track in the Cup Series. Jeff Burton, the winner of the inaugural race, broke that streak by getting his second Texas win in a last lap pass in 2007. In 2011, the race became a Saturday night event, whereas before it was always a Sunday afternoon race. This was done since the night race at Phoenix was moved to February and became a day race. The 2011 race was run on April 9, 2011 and was the first scheduled night race of the season, and in Texas Motor Speedway history for the Cup Series.
In 2013, NASCAR became involved in controversy when the National Rifle Association (NRA) began to sponsor the race; although race sponsorships are negotiated with the track owner, not NASCAR itself, the sanctioning organization has final approval and did not object to the sponsorship. Both NASCAR's acceptance of this sponsorship, and its timing, has been controversial, and offensive to some.[who?] Because of the sponsorship, Senator Chris Murphy asked Rupert Murdoch, whose News Corporation owns Fox Sports, which was scheduled to air the race, to not broadcast it. Fox broadcast the race as scheduled, not least because failure to do so would have been a breach of the network's contract with NASCAR. However, Fox only used the official sponsored name once per hour (the minimum mandated by NASCAR) and otherwise referred to it generically (in this case as the "Texas 500"), the network's usual practice when a race's title sponsor does not buy ads during the race broadcast; the NRA reportedly did not seek to purchase any such ads.
In 2014, the race will return to being a Sunday afternoon race because of the NCAA Men's basketball Final Four games being held at AT&T Stadium in nearby Arlington, so that the race occurs on a day in between tournament games. On February 6, 2014, Duck Commander, the business that is the subject of the TV show Duck Dynasty, bought the naming rights for the race.
Samsung sponsored the race from 2002–2012, while RadioShack was previously a co-sponsor. The joint sponsorship was grandfathered in 2003 by NASCAR's grandfather clause when Nextel became a NASCAR sponsor, as they banned rival wireless sponsorships (Nextel used Motorola exclusively); the ban was lifted after the 2005 merger of Sprint and Nextel because Sprint is sold at RadioShack, and Sprint offers Samsung products.
|Year||Date||Driver||Team||Manufacturer||Race Distance||Race Time||Average Speed
|1997||April 6||Jeff Burton||Roush Racing||Ford||334||501 (806.281)||4:00:16||125.111||Report|
|1998||April 5||Mark Martin||Roush Racing||Ford||334||501 (806.281)||3:39:47||136.771||Report|
|1999||March 28||Terry Labonte||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||334||501 (806.281)||3:28:21||144.276||Report|
|2000||April 2||Dale Earnhardt, Jr.||Dale Earnhardt, Inc.||Chevrolet||334||501 (806.281)||3:49:12||131.152||Report|
|2001||April 1||Dale Jarrett||Robert Yates Racing||Ford||334||501 (806.281)||3:31:59||141.804||Report|
|2002||April 8*||Matt Kenseth||Roush Racing||Ford||334||501 (806.281)||3:31:01||142.453||Report|
|2003||March 30||Ryan Newman||Penske Racing||Dodge||334||501 (806.281)||3:43:28||134.517||Report|
|2004||April 4||Elliott Sadler||Robert Yates Racing||Ford||334||501 (806.281)||3:36:30||138.845||Report|
|2005||April 17||Greg Biffle||Roush Racing||Ford||334||501 (806.281)||3:51:08||130.055||Report|
|2006||April 9||Kasey Kahne||Evernham Motorsports||Dodge||334||501 (806.281)||3:37:55||137.943||Report|
|2007||April 15||Jeff Burton||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||334||501 (806.281)||3:39:41||143.359||Report|
|2008||April 6||Carl Edwards||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||339*||508.5 (818.351)||3:30:41||144.814||Report|
|2009||April 5||Jeff Gordon*||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||334||501 (806.281)||3:25:22||146.372||Report|
|2010||April 19*||Denny Hamlin||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||334||501 (806.281)||3:25:34||146.230||Report|
|2011*||April 9||Matt Kenseth||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||334||501 (806.281)||3:21:26||149.231||Report|
|2012*||April 14||Greg Biffle||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||334||501 (806.281)||3:07:12||160.577||Report|
|2013||April 13||Kyle Busch||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||334||501 (806.281)||3:27:40||144.751||Report|
- 2002 & 2010: Race postponed from Sunday to Monday due to rain.
- 2008: Race extended due to a Green-white-checker finish.
- 2009: Jeff Gordon in his 17th start at Texas finally wins there, leaving Kentucky as the only track he has failed to win at as of November 19, 2012.
- 2011: First scheduled night event in Sprint Cup history at Texas Motor Speedway.
- 2012: The last 234 laps went green, setting a NASCAR record for the longest consecutive green flag run on an intermediate track.
Multiple winners (drivers)
|# Wins||Driver||Years Won|
|2||Jeff Burton||1997, 2007|
|Matt Kenseth||2002, 2011|
|Greg Biffle||2005, 2012|
Multiple winners (teams)
|# Wins||Team||Years Won|
|7||Roush Fenway Racing||1997, 1998, 2002, 2005, 2008, 2011, 2012|
|2||Hendrick Motorsports||1999, 2009|
|Robert Yates Racing||2001, 2004|
|Joe Gibbs Racing||2010, 2013|
|# Wins||Manufacturer||Years Won|
|9||Ford||1997, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2011, 2012|
|4||Chevrolet||1999, 2000, 2007, 2009|
|2013||Fox||Mike Joy||Darrell Waltrip
- The 2002 race, which was to be shown on Fox, was postponed to Monday on FX due to Fox's weekday programming
- "National Rifle Association sponsors NASCAR Sprint Cup race". Usatoday.com. 2013-03-04. Retrieved 2013-04-10.
- Short Bus (2013-03-08). "NASCAR NRA 500". Daily Kos. Retrieved 2013-04-10.
- By ASSOCIATED PRESS (2013-03-05). "NRA Nascar sponsorship: Texas race will be known as NRA 500 - Associated Press". Politico.Com. Retrieved 2013-04-10.
- "NRA to be title sponsor for NASCAR Cup race in Texas". Fox News. Retrieved 2013-04-10.
- By Zach Bowman RSS feed Google+. "Conn. Senator Murphy urges NASCAR to reconsider NRA race sponsorship [w/poll]". Autoblog.com. Retrieved 2013-04-10.
- politicalnews.me - Free Press Release Distribution Center. "New MURPHY URGES NASCAR TO REVERSE DECISION TO NAME NEW RACE NRA 500". Politicalnews.me. Retrieved 2013-04-10.
- Populi, Vox. "Vox Populi: 'Now that the NRA is sponsoring a NASCAR race, I'm glad I stopped following NASCAR years ago.'". savannahnow.com. Retrieved 2013-04-10.
- "NRA 500 NASCAR Race Will Be Free From Gun Group Propaganda, Says Organizer". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2013-04-10.
- Gendreau, LeAnne; Schulz, Sam (2013-04-11). "Conn. Senator to Rupert Murdoch: Don't Air NRA-500 Race". KNTV. Retrieved 2013-04-11.
- "Texas Motor Speedway alters race schedule with NCAA Final Four in Dallas"
- Owens, Jeff (February 6, 2014). "Duck Dynasty stars to sponsor NASCAR race at Texas". Sporting News. Retrieved February 6, 2014.
|NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Duck Commander 500
Bojangles' Southern 500