One for the taking: Texas win within several Chase drivers' reach
This weekend all the NASCAR action is at Texas Motor Speedway. It's a very fast 1.5-mile track. It's also the second of only three races in this Eliminator Round of the Chase. There are eight Chase drivers left but after next weekend there will be only four who qualify for the championship race at Homestead on Nov. 16.
When I look at the eight remaining Chase drivers, all of them, except maybe Carl Edwards who seems to still be off a bit on these type tracks, have a chance of pulling into Victory Lane at Texas Motor Speedway.
One thing I think I've seen as a constant this year is at a track like this, if you want to be that driver spraying champagne all over your team at the end of the race, you are going to need to beat either Kevin Harvick or the two Team Penske drivers of Brad Keselowski or Joey Logano. Like I mentioned Wednesday, two of those three drivers are already in a must-win situation, and that's Kevin along with Brad. They are in a pretty deep hole and need to dig their way out of it. This weekend at Texas Motor Speedway might just be what they need.
Don't forget that this is our final 500-mile race of the year. That means some sleepless nights and some nail-biting by the engine folks. The speeds will be at their greatest late in the race and, as you know, that puts a lot of pressure on those power plants. We know we will probably have our fair share of cautions while at the same time we know there will be our fair share of long green-flag runs.
We also know that tires will be very important at Texas so when the opportunity presents itself, these drivers will want new Goodyear tires any time they can get them. It's hard to believe we only have three races left this season. Two races remain in this Eliminator Round, and then on Nov. 16at Homestead, four drivers will have a shot at all the marbles -- the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup championship.