There are just three more races left in NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup, and this week finds the stars at Texas Motor Speedway for the AAA Texas 500 on Sunday, November 2nd. Six of the eight drivers still fighting it out for the championship have wins at TMS, and a championship driver looking for his first win of the season, who had a break-out run last weekend at Martinsville, also has a couple of wins at the 1.5-mile track. Here are a few drivers to watch this weekend at Texas.
Carl Edwards – Quietly, unassumingly, Edwards has made his way into the Chase’s Eliminator Round and currently sits sixth in points, 15 points back of Matt Kenseth in fourth and 20 points behind Jeff Gordon in first. Edwards has three wins and eight top 10 finishes in 19 starts at TMS, and finished 14th there in the spring; last fall, Edwards had engines issues that dropped him from being the pole sitter at the green to 37th-place after completing just 187 laps.
Matt Kenseth – Kenseth, currently fourth in points and only five back of Gordon, has two wins and 17 top 10 finishes in 24 races – his average finish of 8.3 is the best among active drivers. Kenseth’s worst finish in his last eight starts is 12th, and he earned his last win at TMS in spring 2011; he finished seventh in the spring race this year.
Denny Hamlin – Hamlin also has two wins at Texas (a sweep in 2010), along with nine top 10 finishes in 17 starts; he sits just two points behind his teammate Kenseth in fifth. Hamlin finished seventh last fall and 13th in the spring race this year.
Tony Stewart – Stewart finally found what he was looking for at Martinsville – in the form of a fourth-place finish – and fans of “Smoke” are hoping that was a sign of things to come. Stewart has two wins at Texas, the last coming during his epic championship run in November 2011, and he sat on the pole for the spring race this year, coming home to finish 10th.
Also notable – Points leader Gordon, second-place Ryan Newman and third-place Joey Logano each have one win at Texas; Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick (seventh and eighth in points, respectively) are winless at Texas.
Qualifying for the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway gets underway Friday at 5:45 p.m. CT; the race goes green Sunday at 2 p.m. CT. Keep up with this weekend’s action at www.nascar.com.
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