Texas Motor Speedway is one of my favorite tracks on the circuit. The track itself is fast and Texas is one of those places that stay warm all year round. Looking at the track on tv I guess I’m a little disappointed in myself that I never attended a race while we lived in San Antonio but was willing to go to a couple of baseball games.
With that being said the picks this week are the usual suspects.
Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin are obvious bets this weekend. Johnson has the best average finish and Hamlin came away with the win in the spring race. Hamlin also finished second in last falls race so don’t get the jitters about the change in season.
As for Johnson it’s quite likely that we will be reminded time and time again that his car and that of his teammate Jeff Gordon did not play too kindly when together this spring.
Fellow Chase contender Kevin Harvick who enters third in the points but well withing striking distance has 3 top-10’s in the last four races is a good bet as well. Harvick will be looking to close the gap even further on the top two and if all goes well may leave the long star state as the top gun.
There was a time that Jeff Burton was an obvious pick at Texas. Then again considering he’s gotten 5 top-10’s in his last 7 starts one has to wonder why anyone ever stopped. I though must admit I am a little guilty myself, Burton has come across as a strong car but accident prone all season. Last week’s run at Talladega was just the latest in a string of bad luck that has seemed to follow him around all season when he has a car capable of winning. You’ll probably hear it a few more times but I’ll go ahead and mention it here as well that Burton won the first ever race at the track in 1997.
Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch are two drivers in the Chase but not in the Chase that I think will ahve good days. You can throw Greg Biffle, Kurt Busch, Jeff Gordon into that category as well.
If you are looking for guys outside the Chase then Dale Earnhardt Jr and Martin Truex are likely the way to go. Earnhardt has 8 top-10’s in 16 starts and is beginning to show some life in the #88. Truex and MWR will likely chalk 2010 up to a disappointment but Texas is one of the remaining tracks he’s done well at with 5 top-10’s in 10 starts. He finished 9th in the spring race as well. If Truex has a chance and it comes down to pit road I wouldn’t bet against his pit crew for one second.