2012 AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway:
Will point leader Jimmie Johnson extend his Chase lead or can Brad Keselowski regain his place at the top? The stage has been set. Now the 2012 AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway begins the final three race sprint in the battle for the Cup.
The Big Picture:
Denny Hamlin is now out of contention as his problems last week dropped him to fifth in points 49 points behind. This is too much to realistically expect to make up in three races. Clint Bowyer and Kasey Kahne are clinging by a thread to this points battle but it is starting to look like a two man tussle for the 2012 Chase for the Cup.
The 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings:
Johnson's Chase racing records now include:
- Johnson is the only driver to win at least one race in every single Chase dating back to 2004.
- Jimmie now has twenty-one career Chase victories. Tony Stewart is second on the Chase win list with eleven.
- Johnson has won five of the eight Chase championships and currently leads a potential sixth crown.
The media has been laying off Jimmie Johnson so far during the 2012 Chase. That will change this weekend.
Radio: PRN and SIRIUS Satellite
Actual Race: 3:10 p.m. Eastern
2011 Winner: Tony Stewart
2011 Polesitter: Greg Biffle
Kyle Busch lost his temper during the Truck Series race in Texas and was parked by NASCAR for blatantly and dangerously wrecking Ron Hornaday under caution.
I think Jimmie Johnson will have another strong run this weekend in Texas and extend his Chase lead.
For my backup this week I'm going with the driver that has the best Texas average finish (8.6) among all active drivers and teammate of the April race winner here. Matt Kenseth is always strong in Texas. He has two previous Texas wins under his belt and finished fifth here in April.
Matt Kenseth is out of Chase contention but will almost certainly post another strong Texas finish.