Jimmie Johnson punched his ticket to the championship race by virtue of his win at Martinsville last weekend. Carl Edwards, Kurt Busch, and Kevin Harvick had troubles and find themselves in a hole once again at the beginning of this round of the Chase. These drivers probably need to win one of the next two races if they want to move on to the championship race at Homestead.
AAA TEXAS 500
The series heads to Texas Motor Speedway for the second race in this round of the Chase. This track is another of the mile-and-a-half tracks that make up the Chase. We will look at all of the drivers left in the Chase and decide which ones have a legitimate chance to win this race. We will also look at the drivers who have been eliminated or never made the Chase and see if any of these drivers can win this race.
Jimmie Johnson: I think Jimmie will win the race once again this weekend. Jimmie has won five of the last eight races he has started at this track and by winning more races he can eliminate some of the drivers who need a win to continue on and make sure he doesn’t have to race them at Homestead. We have seen this team win multiple races in a row in the past and they very well could do that again.
Kyle Busch: Kyle won the race here this spring and has finished in the top five in six of his last seven starts here including two wins. Kyle is the defending champion in this series and wants to win a race to guarantee himself a chance to defend his title when the series goes to Homestead in a few weeks. He also showed me his maturity in the past two years by racing smarter instead of harder and that can go a long way to winning a championship.
Kevin Harvick: Kevin almost needs to win one of the next two races to make it to the championship race once again. There is still a chance he can make it on points if someone ahead of him has some major problems on the track in the next two races and he is also the favorite at Phoenix next weekend. However, even though he hasn’t won a race at Texas yet, he has finished in the top three in three of his last four starts here.
Joey Logano: Joey currently sits in fifth place and is only four points out of the fourth position. He has run very well at Texas the past few years coming away with one win and five top five finishes in his last seven starts. This team always seems to have a good car and qualifies well every week and if they can keep up with the changing track conditions during the race they have a chance to win every race they start.
Carl Edwards: Carl is another driver who really needs to win one of the next two races if he wants to have a shot at winning the championship and with three wins at Texas in his career he has shown that he knows how to get the job done here. He has also finished in the top ten in his last four starts here. I think this team might take some chances this weekend if they need to because they really need to win this race.
Kurt Busch: Kurt is another driver that needs to win a race if he wants to make the championship race. He has one career win at Texas, but he has struggled a bit this year on this type of track. I don’t see this team flipping a switch and winning one of the next two races or making it into the championship race with a chance at the championship. They have some work to do.
Matt Kenseth: Matt always runs well at Texas and has two wins and thirteen top five finishes in twenty-seven starts. Any time a driver can finish in the top five in half of the races he starts at any track you have to consider having him on your team. I keep saying that Matt is great at staying calm during races and that is what could get him into the championship round.
Denny Hamlin: Denny won back to back races here back in 2010. Since that time he has only finished in the top ten twice in ten races. I think Denny just needs to come away with a top ten this week and I think he will be able to make it on points because he always runs well at Phoenix. He needs to look at the big picture this week and try not to put himself in a position where he finishes a lap down. He had another speeding penalty on pit road last week that he battled back from, but he can’t continue to do that.
Martin Truex Jr.: Even though he has been eliminated from the Chase, Martin came back and sat on the pole once again last weekend at Martinsville and we know how good he has been on the intermediate tracks this season. HE is still looking for his first win at this track, but he has finished in the top ten in his last three starts here and with the way he has run all year he might be able to pick up that first win this week.
Brad Keselowski: Another driver who was eliminated from contention, Brad is still looking for his first win at this track also. He has finished in the top ten here in six of his last eight starts and has the same speed as his teammate, Joey Logano, and could easily find himself winning another race this weekend and spoiling the party for another championship hopeful.
YAHOO! FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
Yahoo Driver Group A
- Jimmie Johnson
- Kyle Busch
Yahoo Driver Group B
- Martin Truex Jr.
- Carl Edwards
- Kasey Kahne
- Jamie McMurray
Yahoo Driver Group C
- Chase Elliott
- Alex Bowman
MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
- Jimmie Johnson
- Kyle Busch
- Kevin Harvick
- Matt Kenseth
- Martin Truex Jr.
Dark Horse: Chase Elliott
Stay Away From: Kurt Busch
Big 18: Kasey Kahne