Idriver Handicaps:/I Texas

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1. Jimmie Johnson (Points: 977): Johnson remains on top of the point standings for the third-straight race after his eighth-place finish at Martinsville last weekend. Johnson, who now leads Greg Biffle by 160 points, has finished in the top-10 in the three Texas races he's competed in, and his 7.6 finishing average leads all drivers that have entered three or more races. Last year at Texas, Johnson fell two laps down after a green flag pit stop and a loose tire penalty, but was able to make both laps up and finish ninth. He has always started in the top-15 (8.3 starting average) at Texas with his best start of fourth coming in 2003, but has yet to lead a lap at the Fort Worth track. Johnson will be behind the wheel of the same car that finished a close second to Carl Edwards at Atlanta and won three times last year (Lowe's-2 and Atlanta).

Quotable: "For the mile and a half tracks, Texas is going to be a good race. Everyone has had time to work on their setups and try to develop their mile and half stuff. During the two off weeks, I know everyone was testing at Kentucky."

2. Greg Biffle (Points: 817): Biffle has two starts at Texas finishing 28th (2003) and 31st (2004). Last year he ran in the top-five before the engine expired in the No. 16 Ford. Biffle will drive chassis RK-195, which is a car he raced to a third-place finish at Atlanta last month. Biffle, who's back in the Post-It paint scheme, also has one win, one pole and three top-five finishes in four Truck Series races at TMS.

Quotable: "Texas is an extremely fast race track and handling is very key because of the speeds. If you can get your car going through the corner it can make for a fun day, but if you are a little off it's no fun at all. I really like the track though."

3. Elliott Sadler (Points: 795): Sadler battled from a 19th starting position at Texas in 2004 to win the race. In six starts at the track, he has started from the second position twice, but only finished in the top-five once and top-10 twice. In 2003, after starting second and leading 91 of his 145 laps led at TMS, Sadler posted his only DNF after being involved in an accident. Currently, Sadler is six positions higher in the point standings than at the same time last season.

Quotable: "Texas was by far my favorite track long before I ever won. I know that I can come here to Texas and figure at a way to make my car very fast and very efficient."

4. Mark Martin (Points: 779): Martin, who has a 14.8 average finish in eight races, has one win (1998) and four top-10's at Texas. He will turn back the clock with a retro 1989 paint scheme that will resemble the Stroh's Light car he won his first career Cup race with at Rockingham in 1989. Martin will race in the IROC, Busch and Cup races this weekend. In Saturday's Busch race he will be shooting for his fourth win in only his fifth race.

Quotable: "We won the second race there and we've been pretty good there ever since. Hopefully we can go back there and get us another win this weekend. We'll be racing in the IROC, Busch and Cup races, maybe we can get us a couple of wins in there."

5. Tony Stewart (Points: 774): Stewart, who dropped two positions in the standings, still holds the longest current streak for being in the top-10 in points at 51 weeks. He will make his 219th career Cup start and seventh at Texas this weekend. Stewart has four top-10 and two finishes of 23rd or worse to give him an overall average of 14.2. His best finish of fifth came in the 2002 event, the same year he led his career TMS total of 15 laps. Stewart scored his best qualifying effort at the 1.5-mile track last year after he started 17th in the Home Depot Chevrolet. The team will bring Chassis No. 88 to Texas. This car has logged top-10 finishes in every race it's entered, finishing a best third at Las Vegas last year. Stewart will also enter his fourth Busch race of the season for Kevin Harvick this weekend.

Quotable: "Texas has always been a place that's had a lack of grip. You don't have enough grip to get into the corners as hard as you want, and then it makes your car tight in the center and on exit. Unless you have a really well-balanced race car, this track is a place where you can struggle."

6. Jeff Gordon (Points: 772): After his win at Martinsville, Gordon moved back into the top-10 in the point standings, after a two week absence. Texas is one of four tracks where Gordon has yet to visit Victory Lane. Since 2001, Gordon has posted one fifth-place, one runner-up and two third-place finishes. Last year Gordon had a good shot of winning, but had to switch to the backup battery when he was leading towards the end. He has led three Texas races for a total of 132 laps.

Quotable: "It's not a goal of ours to win at each track because it's a record. We look at it as something that is within our reach that we haven't accomplished...yet."

7. Rusty Wallace (Points: 771): Rusty Wallace has scored seven straight top-15 finishes at Texas Motor Speedway. His personal best at the 1.5-mile track was a pair of fourth-place finishes in 1999 and 2000. Wallace will race a car (chassis No. PRS-035) that he tested at TMS last week. He has completed 93.4% (2,497/2,672) of the laps contested at the Fort Worth track and has collected $1,001,065 in winnings there. For the second time in his career Wallace will be back with the Kodak colors. Last year, Wallace had the Kodak sponsorship on his No. 2 Dodge at Watkins Glen, marking the first time he raced for another sponsor since being with the Miller Brewing Company.

Quotable: "We had us a pretty good test out at Texas and think we’ll really be strong in the race. The thing about it is that I get to liking the place better and better every time we get out there and our performance on the track shows that we have really made a lot of progress."

8. Ryan Newman (Points: 753): Texas has been a rollercoaster ride for Newman. In three starts he has finished 40th (engine), first and 39th (accident). His lone victory at the Fort Worth track boosted his finishing average to 26.7, the worst among all drivers that have one victory. Texas is one of eight tracks Newman has yet to win a pole at. His career best start at TMS is third (2003). Newman, who has led 79 laps at Texas, will drive chassis PRS-61 for the third time this season. This car was tested on April 5th at TMS and has two ninth-place finishes (California and Las Vegas).

Quotable: "We had a good test session last week. Hopefully we unraveled a few mysteries and we'll be back to our 2003 performance level at TMS this weekend."

9. Kurt Busch (Points: 746): Busch will make his fifth start at Texas this Sunday. In his previous four starts at the speedway, Busch has posted one top-five (fourth, 2001) and three top-10 finishes. This weekend's primary car will be the same chassis Busch clinched the 2004 NEXTEL Cup championship with at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Starting at Texas, the No. 97 will sport the IRWIN colors for the next six events.

Quotable: "Texas is very fast and smooth with a lot of grip in the corners. Over the years the racing surface has developed nicely, and the second groove should work its way in over the weekend."

10. Dale Jarrett (Points: 732): Commemorating his 350th consecutive Cup start, Jarrett is one of two drivers to have started and finished all eight races at Texas. He is also one driver who has won at the track, paying a visit to Victory Lane in 2001. With all three of his top-five finishes in either first or second place, Jarrett has the third best finishing average (13.0) among drivers having raced in all eight events at Texas. He tops all active drivers in laps led at Texas with 407 laps led, 154 laps more than the next driver. Jarrett will drive chassis No. 32 on the 1.5-mile track, marking only the second time the car has been used by the team. He enters the race rounding out the top ten, improving upon his 22nd place in the points after six races one year ago.

Quotable: "We're very happy to be in the top 10 and working to stay there rather than trying to fight our way into the top 10."

11. Carl Edwards (Points: 727): Edwards will make his first start in the Busch and Cup Series this weekend at Texas. He will drive the same car (chassis RK-270) that went to Victory Lane at Atlanta last month. Edwards has two top-five and four top-10 finishes in the Truck Series at TMS.

12. Sterling Marlin (Points: 723): Last week in Martinsville Marlin scored his best finish in 2005 and his 100th career top-10. Marlin, who is nine points out of the top-10 in the standings, will make his ninth start at Texas this weekend. He has three top-10 finishes at TMS and a career average of 20.1. Last year Marlin was running in the top-five when he hit the wall on lap 129. The Coors Light team will bring chassis No. 401 to the track. This car finished 15th at California, 35th at Las Vegas this season and was tested at TMS this month.

13. Kevin Harvick (Points: 721): In the Busch Series, Harvick is familiar with winning at Texas. But, with little success after four Cup starts, Harvick's team developed a new strategy for running 1.5-mile tracks in 2005. Hoping to better his highest finish of seventh at TMS, Harvick will pilot chassis No. 134, which he raced to a seventh-place finish at California and a fifth-place finish at Las Vegas earlier this season. Texas will be the last race without crew chief Todd Berrier.

14. Scott Riggs (Points: 666): Even though he's only raced once at Texas with the Cup Series, starting 24th and finishing 15th, Riggs has sat on the pole twice at Texas in the Truck Series and finished twice in the top-five in Busch.

15. Jamie McMurray (Points: 654): McMurray has entered two races at Texas and has finished tenth in both. He has started 24th and 26th respectively at the 1.5-mile speedway. Chassis No. 403 will be the primary car for McMurray at Texas. This car has raced four times this season already, posting its best finish of fourth at California. This weekend the No. 42 Dodge will sport the first of four "Shine On" Texaco paint schemes.

16. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Points: 649): Home to his first Cup win in 2000 and a pole start the following year, Texas is also the first place Junior won in the Busch Series. In the last two years at Texas, he has finished in the top-five. In total, after five starts at Texas, Earnhardt has three top-five and four top-10 finishes and has led 253 laps.

17. Jeremy Mayfield (Points: 645): Mayfield will make his ninth start at Texas. He won the first pole award there in 1998, because qualifying for the inaugural event was rained out. In three races, he has led a total of 125 laps. The team will bring chassis No. 53, which was tested at Kentucky in March, where they equipped the car with new aerodynamic changes that the team is confident will change the rest of the year.

18. Kasey Kahne (Points: 640): Kahne, who climbed from 38th to 18th in the point standings in the last three races, will enter his second race at Texas. Last spring Kahne started third and finished second after leading a race-high 148 laps for his third of six career runner-up finishes.

21. Matt Kenseth (Points: 594): Climbing seven positions, Kenseth made the biggest gain in the driver standings to 21st with his 11th-place finish at Martinsville. He has one win, two top-10's, a finishing average of 14.8, and has led 150 laps in five career Cup races at Texas. His 2002 win came from the 31st-starting position, the deepest that a race winner has won at TMS. Kenseth will be behind the wheel of chassis No. 41 this weekend. This is the same car that finished 31st last month at Atlanta. Kenseth has seven Busch starts at TMS, and has captured one win and six top-five's.

22. Jeff Burton (Points: 587): Burton has started in all eight races at Texas after being the first winner at the track in 1997, four seconds faster than Dale Jarrett. He has two top-five's and three top-10's with an average finish of 18.0. Burton will drive chassis No. 115, which Dave Blaney drove to a 15th-place finish at Michigan in June 2004. The car has a new body for the 2005 season.

23. Casey Mears (Points: 580): Mears has raced twice at Texas finishing once in the top-10 last year, in his best finish of seventh at the track. Debuting the green and white No. 41 Fujifilm Dodge for the first time this season, Mears will drive chassis No. 114 on the 1.5-mile track, which was raced at Atlanta this season.

24. Brian Vickers (Points: 574): Vickers' first race at Texas was last season where he started 13th and finished 12th. His team will bring chassis No. 334 which he raced at California as well as Atlanta. At Atlanta, Vickers started eighth and finished sixth, marking the best performance of his career. The car at Texas will feature the new bright-green paint scheme of Garnier Fructis.

28. Joe Nemechek (Points: 547): With seven starts at Texas, Nemechek has one top-five, a fourth place finish in 2003. Last year he was running third with 70 laps to go when a power level problem ended his contention for the win. He will be using the same car this weekend which he used in California and Atlanta, both races where engine failure ended his strong runs. Nemechek has led 38 laps at the track.

30. Michael Waltrip (Points: 536): After eight starts at Texas, Waltrip has failed to break into the top-five and has only finished in the top-10 two times with a best finish of ninth in 1998. He will drive a car (chassis No. 29) that was tested at Texas three weeks ago, but has not been raced this year. The gang from Orange County Choppers presented a NAPA themed bike to Waltrip, Tony Eury Jr., and all of the crew before they headed to Texas. The NAPA themed dragbike is unlike any bike ever built on the show and will be showcased on episodes in June.

37. Bobby Labonte (Points: 416): Texas native Labonte has won two poles at Texas in the last two years. Although he has started on the pole more than any other driver, Labonte's best finish at Texas is third, marking all three of his top-fives achieved at the track. Labonte has started five races fourth or better contributing to his 6.25 starting average, which is the best of any driver who has started all eight races at TMS. His 37th position in the points stems from finishing two races with engine problems and being involved in accidents at three other races this season. The team is bringing chassis No. 87, which finished 13th in California this year and was driven in six races last season.

43. Terry Labonte (Points: 169): Labonte has raced at Texas in all eight events where he holds the race record. He won the race in 1999, and started on the pole the following year. With two top-five's and five top-10's, Labonte is tied with Rusty Wallace for the best finishing average (12.4) among drivers racing in all eight events. Texas is one of ten races on Labonte's limited schedule this season. As a throwback to his early years in racing, Labonte's No. 44 GMAC Chevrolet will carry a red, white and blue paint scheme like the one on his 1984 championship year Piedmont Airlines car. On Wednesday, Labonte was inducted into the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame.

45. Bill Elliott (Points: 131): Elliott currently holds the qualifying record at Texas with a lap of 194.224 mph, which he set in 2002 for his only pole at the track. He will attempt to make his third regular start of the season (740th career) in the No. 91 Dodge with Stanley Tools returning as the sponsor for the second of four races. Elliott, who has a 22.1 finishing average at TMS, has led in the last three events for a total of 82 laps.

RacingOne Staff Picks:

Pete Pistone: Matt Kenseth
Rick Benjamin: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Ron Lemasters: Ryan Newman
Jeff Wackerlin: Jimmie Johnson

Wins: Jeff (Greg Biffle-California, Kevin Harvick-Bristol, Jeff Gordon-Martinsville)

Samsung/RadioShack 500
Texas Motor Speedway

TV: FOX, 12:30 p.m. (ET).
Radio: PRN/XM Satellite.
Race length: 334 laps, 500 miles.

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