Idriver Handicaps:/I Texas

Who's HOT at Texas
  • Greg Biffle led 219 laps in the spring en route to his first Texas victory.
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. has the best finishing average among the nine different drivers that have visited Victory Lane at TMS. He will be back in the same car that led the most laps at Atlanta last weekend.
  • Jimmie Johnson has finished ninth or better in his four starts at TMS.
  • Jamie McMurray finished a career-best second in the spring for his third top 10 in three starts.

    Who's NOT
  • Dave Blaney has yet to lead a lap at TMS.
  • Robby Gordon, who also has yet to lead a lap, has the worst finishing average (29.8) among all drivers that have entered the last four events.
  • Bobby Labonte has placed 25th or worse since capturing third-place finishes in 1999 and 2000.
  • Scott Wimmer has two DNFs in two starts at TMS.
  • Among the active full-time drivers that have started all nine races at TMS, Ken Schrader is the only that has yet to score multiple top 10s.

    Who Else to Watch
  • Jeff Gordon was among the fastest in testing last month at Texas. His 5.6 finishing average is the best over the last five events at TMS.
  • Dale Jarrett tops all active drivers in laps led at Texas with 407. He is also the only driver that has led in seven of the nine events, two more than the feat five other drivers have accomplished.
  • Points leader Tony Stewart has four top 10 finishes at TMS.
  • Matt Kenseth, who has one victory at Texas, was happy with the test results of this weekend's chassis.

    1. Tony Stewart
    Points: 6100
    Avg. Start: 25.1
    Avg. Finish: 16.6

    Stewart will make his 246th career NEXTEL Cup start and eighth at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend. Stewart has four top 10 and three finishes of 23rd or worse at TMS, including his only DNF (engine) in 2005. His best finish of fifth came in the 2002 event after leading 15 laps. Stewart scored his best qualifying effort at the 1.5-mile track this year after he started 10th in the Home Depot Chevrolet. He went on to lead for the second time at TMS in that event for 45 laps, before scoring his second DNF at the track. The team will bring Chassis No. 83 to Texas. This is the same car that Stewart won the Brickyard 400 with.

    2. Jimmie Johnson
    Points: 6057
    Avg. Start: 10.8
    Avg. Finish: 6.5

    Johnson has finished ninth or better in his four starts at Texas Motor Speedway. His finishing average leads all drivers that have entered four 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 started 18th or better at TMS with his best start of fourth coming in 2003, but has yet to lead a lap at the Fort Worth track.

    3. Greg Biffle
    Points: 6025
    Avg. Start: 9.7
    Avg. Finish: 20.0

    Biffle won the spring race at Texas Motor Speedway after leading 219 laps. The win was his first finish inside the top 20 in three starts at TMS. Last year he ran in the top-five before the engine expired in the No. 16 Ford. He will return in the same car (chassis: RK-275) that won at TMS in April. Biffle also has one win, one pole and three top-five finishes in four Truck Series races at TMS.

    4. Carl Edwards
    Points: 5993
    Avg. Start: 20.0
    Avg. Finish: 19.0

    Edwards will make his second start in the NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. He will drive the same car (chassis RK-281) that finished 24th at Bristol in August. The chassis is the sister car to the one raced at Atlanta. Edwards also has two top-five and four top-10 finishes in the Truck Series at TMS.

    5. Ryan Newman
    Points: 5993
    Avg. Start: 13.8
    Avg. Finish: 24.0

    Texas has been a rollercoaster ride for Newman. In three starts at Texas Motor Speedway, Newman has finished 40th (engine), first, 39th (accident) and 16th. His lone victory at the Fort Worth track boosted his finishing average to 24.0, the worst among all drivers that have one victory. He earned his first pole at TMS in the spring and led one of his 80 laps at the 1.5-mile speedway. Newman tested this weekend's chassis (PRS-61) last week at TMS.

    6. Mark Martin
    Points: 5957
    Avg. Start: 13.4
    Avg. Finish: 15.3

    Martin has one win (1998) and four top 10s in nine starts at Texas Motor Speedway. He has a 10.8 finishing average over the last five races at TMS, which ranks fourth among all drivers. The last time Martin led a lap at Texas came in 2002 when he led five of his track total of 116 laps. This weekend he will pilot the same car (chassis RK-314) that finished fifth at Lowe's last month.

    7. Matt Kenseth
    Points: 5945
    Avg. Start: 25.3
    Avg. Finish: 15.3

    Kenseth has one win, two top 10s and has led 151 laps in six career NEXTEL Cup races at Texas Motor Speedway. His 2002 win came from the 31st-starting position, the deepest that a race winner has won at TMS. Although he was credited with the 31st-starting position, he did start 43rd in that race due to an engine change. Kenseth will be behind the wheel of chassis No. RK-48 this weekend. This is the same car that won the pole and finished fifth last month at Kansas. The car was also tested at TMS last month. Kenseth has seven Busch starts at Texas, and has captured one win and seven top fives.

    8. Rusty Wallace
    Points: 5843
    Avg. Start: 15.2
    Avg. Finish: 12.1

    Wallace has scored eight 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 the same car (chassis No. PRS-035) that finished 10th at TMS in the spring. He has completed 94.2% (2,831/3,006) of the laps contested at the Fort Worth track and has collected $1,120,265 in winnings there.

    9. Kurt Busch
    Points: 5840
    Avg. Start: 19.2
    Avg. Finish: 9.8

    Busch will make his sixth start at Texas Motor Speedway this Sunday. In his previous starts at the speedway, Busch has posted one top-five (fourth, 2001) and four top-10 finishes. This weekend's primary car will be the same chassis (No. 71) that was tested at TMS last week. The car also placed 18th in this season's Brickyard 400. The Crown Royal colors will ride on the No. 97 for the last time in 2005 and the last time with Busch.

    10. Jeremy Mayfield
    Points: 5790
    Avg. Start: 16.7
    Avg. Finish: 19.6

    Mayfield will make his 10th start at Texas Motor Speedway. He won the first Cup pole award there in 1998, because qualifying for the inaugural event was rained out the year prior. In four races he has led a total of 159 laps, including 34 in the spring.

    11. Jamie McMurray
    Points: 3782
    Avg. Start: 27.0
    Avg. Finish: 7.3

    McMurray scored his best finish (second) in the spring race at Texas Motor Speedway. He finished 10th in his first two starts in 2003 and 2004.

    12. Jeff Gordon
    Points: 3740
    Avg. Start: 12.0
    Avg. Finish: 17.4

    Texas Motor Speedway is one of four tracks where Gordon has yet to visit Victory Lane. Gordon's 15th-place finish in the spring was his worst since finishing fifth or better in the four previous races. 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 four Texas races for a total of 133 laps.

    13. Elliott Sadler
    Points: 3722
    Avg. Start: 12.9
    Avg. Finish: 21.7

    Sadler battled from a 19th starting position at Texas Motor Speedway in 2004 to win the race. In seven starts at the track, he has started from the second position twice, but only finished in the top 10 twice. In 2003, after starting second and leading 91 of his 146 laps led at TMS, Sadler posted his first of two DNFs after being involved in an accident. This weekend will be the first race for Richard "Slugger" Labbe, who joined Robert Yates Racing as a consultant for the teams of Sadler and Dale Jarrett.

    14. Kevin Harvick
    Points: 3711
    Avg. Start: 21.0
    Avg. Finish: 14.6

    Harvick's only top 10 (seventh) in five attempts at Texas Motor Speedway came in his first start at the track in 2001. In the spring he scored his second consecutive 13th-place finish at TMS without his crew chief Todd Berrier. This time around Berrier will get a shot to make the calls for Harvick at TMS, as he returns from another suspension. Harvick will race the same chassis (No. 134) that captured top-10 finishes at Las Vegas and California, but placed 22nd last week at Atlanta, a track similar to Texas.

    15. Joe Nemechek
    Points: 3693
    Avg. Start: 16.9
    Avg. Finish: 26.3

    Nemechek has captured one top five - a fourth-place finish in 1998 - in eight starts at Texas Motor Speedway. In 2004, he was running third with 70 laps to go when a power level problem ended his contention for the win. In the spring he started ninth and finished 17th.

    16. Brian Vickers
    Points: 3617
    Avg. Start: 18.5
    Avg. Finish: 23.0

    Vickers captured his best finish in his first start at Texas Motor Speedway last season when he started 13th and finished 12th. His team will bring chassis No. 353 to TMS, which most recently raced at Lowe's last month where it finished 12th.

    17. Dale Jarrett
    Points: 3583
    Avg. Start: 11.1
    Avg. Finish: 13.1

    Jarrett is one of two drivers to have started and finished all nine races at Texas Motor Speedway. 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 second best finishing average among drivers that have won at TMS. He tops all active drivers in laps led at Texas with 407 laps led, 154 laps more than the next driver. This weekend Jarrett will race the same car (chassis No. 54) that finished 14th last Sunday at Atlanta.

    18. Jeff Burton
    Points: 3524
    Avg. Start: 27.3
    Avg. Finish: 17.3

    Burton has started in all nine races at Texas Motor Speedway after being the first winner at the track in 1997. He has two top fives and three top 10s and has led 145 laps. Burton will return in last weekend's chassis (No. 149) that finished eighth at Atlanta.

    19. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
    Points: 3489
    Avg. Start: 7.2
    Avg. Finish: 11.0

    Home to his first NEXTEL Cup win in 2000 and a pole start the following year, Texas Motor Speedway is also the first place Junior won in the Busch Series. In the last three races at Texas, he has finished in the top 10. In total, after six starts at TMS, Earnhardt has three top-five and five top-10 finishes and has led 253 laps.

    20. Kyle Busch
    Points: 3485
    Avg. Start: 35.0
    Avg. Finish: 21.0

    Busch, who finished 21st in his first NEXTEL Cup start at Texas Motor Speedway in April, will race in the Cup, Busch and Truck Series this weekend. His Cup car will adorn the colors of Carquest for the final time in 2005.

    21. Ricky Rudd
    Points: 3388
    Avg. Start: 15.6
    Avg. Finish: 17.6

    In April, Rudd scored his best finish (eighth), and first top 10, at Texas Motor Speedway since joining the Woods Brothers. It was his fourth overall top 10.

    22. Kasey Kahne
    Points: 3377
    Avg. Start: 3.0
    Avg. Finish: 18.5

    This spring's 35th-place finish marked the first DNF for Kahne at Texas Motor Speedway. Last year he started third and finished second after leading a race-high 148 laps in his first start at the track.

    23. Michael Waltrip
    Points: 3267
    Avg. Start: 24.6
    Avg. Finish: 19.0

    After eight starts at Texas, Waltrip has failed to break into the top five, but has finished in the top 10 three times with a best finish of sixth in April. He will drive the same car (chassis No. 39) that led 31 laps at Lowe's before getting caught up in an accident.

    24. Casey Mears
    Points: 3215
    Avg. Start: 21.3
    Avg. Finish: 12.7

    Mears has finished seventh or better in his last two starts at Texas Motor Speedway. His best finish (fourth) came in the spring after leading at TMS for the first time for 15 laps. This weekend will mark his fourth start at the Fort Worth track.

    25. Bobby Labonte
    Points: 3187
    Avg. Start: 8.0
    Avg. Finish: 21.0

    Texas native Labonte has won two poles at Texas Motor Speedway in two of the last three races. 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.

    30. Sterling Marlin
    Points: 2938
    Avg. Start: 26.8
    Avg. Finish: 18.4

    Marlin captured his fourth top 10 at Texas Motor Speedway in April with a fifth-place finish - his best in nine starts. Last year Marlin appeared to be on his way to another top 10, as he was running in the top five when he hit the wall on lap 129. The Coors Light team will bring chassis No. 205 to the track. This car finished a best 16th in the spring at Atlanta in its three starts in 2005.

    32. Scott Riggs
    Points: 2806
    Avg. Start: 19.0
    Avg. Finish: 23.5

    Even though he has only raced once at Texas Motor Speedway in the NEXTEL Cup Series - best finish 15th in 2004 - Riggs has sat on the pole twice at Texas in the Truck Series and finished twice in the top five in the Busch Series.

    RacingOne Staff Picks:

    Pete Pistone: Greg Biffle
    Rick Benjamin: Elliott Sadler
    Ron Lemasters: Tony Stewart
    Jeff Wackerlin: Matt Kenseth

    Jeff (Greg Biffle-California, Kevin Harvick-Bristol, Jeff Gordon-Martinsville, Tony Stewart-Daytona, Ryan Newman-New Hampshire)
    Rick (Jeff Gordon-Talladega, Greg Biffle-Michigan, Kurt Busch-Richmond)
    Ron (Tony Stewart-Infineon, Tony Stewart-Indianapolis, Tony Stewart-Watkins Glen)
    Pete (Jimmie Johnson-Lowe's, Jeff Gordon-Martinsville)

    Dickies 500
    Texas Motor Speedway

    TV: NBC, 3:00 p.m. (ET).
    Radio: PRN/XM Satellite.
    Race length: 334 Laps, 500 miles.

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