NASCAR’s Texas three step this weekend

Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson are tied for the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship. This week the race in is Texas.

Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson are tied for the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship. This week the race in is Texas.

All three NASCAR series will be running this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway in Ft. Worth, a tricky 1.5 mile oval that always seems to bring out the best in the drivers. There are plenty of big storylines as we get together in the Metroplex for the final time in the 2013 season.

Let’s start with the truck series, where the NASCAR world is still talking about James Buescher, who has been nothing short of amazing this season. He heads home to Texas Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series points lead and a championship in his grasp. In only one 200-lap race, the Plano, Texas native transformed a one-point deficit to rookie Ty Dillon into a 21-point advantage.

Now, only three races remain for Buescher to hold serve and claim a title he’s been stalking since he entered the series full-time in 2009.

After two weeks off, the Nationwide gang is back and ready to finish off their 2013 season. Eight points separating leader Austin Dillon and second-place Sam Hornish Jr., it’s time for the two drivers and their teams to buckle down and take full advantage of every opportunity.

They have Texas, Phoenix and Miami over the next three weeks to settle this battle. As fate would have it, Dillon and Hornish are both running for their first NASCAR Nationwide title and they know that any little slip-up could cost them the title.  Based on past series history at Texas, Dillon holds a slight edge over Hornish, but it should be a wide-open race on Saturday afternoon.

The main event comes Sunday afternoon with the Chase for the Sprint Cup title on the line. Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson are tied for the points lead with just three races to go the 2013 season. We have a little bit of history going on here as we have a tie for the first time this late in the season since 1975, when the current points structure was implemented.

In 1996, Jeff Gordon led Terry Labonte by a single point. A year ago, Johnson held a two-point lead over champion-to-be Brad Keselowski.

This will be really close. As we look inside the numbers, we see that Kenseth’s average finish at Texas Motor Speedway is 8.5. Johnson is close at 9.1. Kenseth owns the track’s best driver rating of 106.5. Johnson is second at 103.3. The edge goes to Kenseth in laps led with 772 to Johnson’s 443.

The most glaring difference – at least in 2013, the first season for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ Gen-6 car – is in their 1.5-mile track performance. Four of Kenseth’s seven wins have come on tracks just like Texas. His Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Kyle Busch, won April’s Texas race from the Coors Light Pole. Johnson has been shut out on the 1.5s, as have his Hendrick Motorsports partners Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kasey Kahne.

Look for the Gibbs boys to get Kenseth out of Texas still in first place in the standings heading west to the Valley of the Sun.

Friday Night: Camping World Truck Series –Windstar World Casino 350

Broadcast: TV Fox Sports 1 — 8:30 p.m. ET
Radio: PRN and Sirius XM Channel 90

Saturday Afternoon: Nationwide Series – O’ Reilly Auto Parts 300

Broadcast: TV ESPN2 – 3:30 p.m. ET
Broadband: Watch ESPN
Radio: PRN and Sirius XM Channel 90

Sunday Afternoon: Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship — AAA Texas 500

TV: ESPN 3 p.m. ET Broadband: Watch ESPN
Radio: PRN and Sirius XM Channel 90

 

 

 

 

NASCAR's Texas three step this weekend by

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