Texas Motor Speedway is fast, treacherous and tough on competitors. Will the NASCAR race there Sunday have a dramatic impact on the Chase for the Sprint Cup? Greg Biffle won there in the spring — and Chase drivers have won all seven races in the segment. Still, the title battle is tight entering Sunday's race with Jimmie Johnson holding a mere two-point lead over Brad Keselowski. So who does history favor this weekend at Texas?
Edwards needs a good run at Texas. Still seeking his first win of the season, he and his Roush Fenway Racing are running out of chances to snare one. Texas, though, affords him a solid shot. In 15 starts at the track, Edwards has three wins. He has seven top-10 finishes, five of them top fives, for an average finish of 15.0. He has led 493 Texas laps.
Busch is continuing to adjust to racing with his Furniture Row Racing team, but he has a strong chance to showcase the group this weekend. In 19 starts at Texas, he has one win. He has 11 top-10 finishes, three of them top fives, for an average finish of 14.421. He has led 235 laps at the track.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Earnhardt Jr. will enjoy a more normal weekend this time. He missed two races with a concussion, then returned to much fanfare at Martinsville last weekend. At Texas, he'll be back to business as usual. In 20 starts at the track, he has one win. He has 11 top-10 finishes, three of them top fives, with an average finish of 13.9. he has led 448 laps at the track — and started from the pole position twice.
At this point, it would be foolish to overlook Bowyer at any track. He and his Michael Waltrip Racing team have melded well and been a threat to win week to week of late. This is a team that truly bears watching. Bowyer is up to third in the standings and riding on the heels of the front pair. Can he pick up ground at Texas? In 13 starts at the track, he has seven top-10 finishes, three of them top fives. He has an average finish of 13.308 with 84 laps led.
Martin, in his part-time Michael Waltrip Racing effort, has been one to watch every time he has wheeled the car this season. Can he be the driver outside the Chase who spoils the party with a win? In 23 starts at Texas, he has one win. He has 13 top-10 finishes, eight of them top fives, with an average finish of 13.261. He has led 208 laps there.
The defending champion's Chase has, quite frankly, not been what he expected. Struggling for consistency week to week, he heads to Texas looking to make up some ground on the field. In 21 Texas starts, he has two wins. He has 11 top-10 finishes, five of them top fives, for an average finish of 13.095. He has led 727 laps there.
Harvick is deep in the Chase hunt, but just looking for some consistency and strong runs to close out the season. Texas has traditionally been a solid track for him. In 19 starts there, he has nine top-10 finishes, three of them top fives, with an average finish of 12.684. He has led five Texas laps.
Hamlin (left, with crew chief Darian Grubb) suffered heartbreak with a parts failure at Martinsville that virtually knocked him out of title contention. Now he's in it for the wins. In 14 starts at Texas, he has two wins. He has eight top-10 finishes, five of them top fives, with an average finish of 10.286. He has led 131 Texas laps.
The Hendrick Motorsports driver took the points lead last Sunday with his win at Martinsville Speedway. Can he continue his recent roll at Texas? He brings the second-best average of active drivers into the race. In 18 starts there, he has one win. He has 13 top-10 finishes, eight of them top fives, for an average finish of 9.722. He has led 275 Texas laps.
Kenseth has endured a sporadic run in the championship race. He has two wins in this segment, but is eighth in the standings and 65 points behind the leader. Still, he excels at Texas. Kenseth has 20 starts at the track. In those, he has two wins. He has 14 top-10 finishes, 11 of them top fives, for an average finish of 8.50. He has led 771 laps there.