Carl Edwards, who starts from the pole in Sundays AAA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, said one of the things that makes this years championship battle special is the winner will have to beat Jimmie Johnson to claim the sports top prize.
If its Matt Kenseth or Jeff Gordon or Kevin Harvick or even somebody further back. I know were still mathematically able, and thats what you want thats what I would want, said Edwards, who is 10th in the series standings.
I would want to beat a guy like Jimmie, and Id want to beat him and Chad (Knaus, crew chief) and those guys when theyre on their game. So it is amazing what theyre able to do.
Someone put it really well the other day. They said, The best rivalry thats gone on the last decade has been the field vs. Jimmie Johnson, and thats where were at right now. Those guys are really good.
Hire our Heroes honors N.C. vets: Three veterans from North Carolina were among those honored this weekend at Texas by Cup driver Greg Biffle and his teams sponsor, 3M, through their Hire Our Heroes campaign.
Kevin Young of Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington won a grant to purchase tools and equipment needed to start a career in collision repair.
In addition, Joshua Pearson of Rudys Truck and Trailer in Bailey and Jerry Mccoy Patterson of Henderson won trips to this weekends race.
Keselowski, Kenseth lead the way: Brad Keselowski and Matt Kenseth tied for the fastest average lap speed during Saturdays final Cup series practice session at 189.434 mph. Kenseth was tops in best 10-lap average with Keselowski just a tick behind. Clint Bowyer was fastest in Saturday mornings practice session.
Three things to watch
1. Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth are tied atop the Sprint Cup series standings the closest the points race has been with three races remaining.
2. Jeff Gordon has climbed within 27 points of the series lead, but Texas has not historically been one of his best tracks.
3. Nationwide Series regular Parker Kligerman makes his first career Cup start on Sunday with Swan Racing.
• It remains mathematically possible for Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick or Kyle Busch to win this seasons championship but to do so would require the biggest comeback in the Chases 10-year history. Since the Chases advent in 2004 season, the largest comeback with three races to go to win the title was in 2006 by Jimmie Johnson, who made up 26 points on Matt Kenseth. That 26-point margin equates to a roughly six-point deficit under the current points structure.
• Heres an odd stat: Johnson has yet to win a race this season on a 1.5-mile speedway, and Sunday is his last chance this season. Johnson has never won a championship without winning on a 1.5-mile track and the last time he went an entire season without a victory on the most common type of track on the Cup series schedule was 2002.
• How many times have we heard from drivers, media and even fans that some of the best racing they see on any particular race weekend comes in the Truck series? Friday nights race was excellent and took place on a 1.5-mile speedway, where the quality of racing is often lambasted in the Cup series. The obvious difference begs the question: Why doesnt NASCAR take what it learns from Truck and apply it to the Cup side? Is it because the two are not compatible or is it because Trucks run considerably slower than Cup cars, and NASCAR is unwilling to go down the slower-could-be-better-racing road?
Three picks for your fantasy racing team:
Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski