The AAA Texas 500 race on Sunday is the eight race of the 2012 NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup and the first in which Jimmie Johnson has led the standings.
With only two more races to go, the results at Texas Motor Speedway just may determine who ends up being this year’s champion.
The last time we found ourselves at Texas was back in April for the Samsung Mobile 500. Points leader Johnson was the runner-up to Greg Biffle who walked away as the winner.
Current second-place points driver Brad Keselowski is seeking his first Sprint Cup championship but will have to perform remarkably better than his showing at Texas back in April in order to stand a chance down the stretch at regaining his lead.
Where: Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, Texas
When: Sunday, Nov. 4, 2 p.m. ET
Live Stream: TrackPass
Listen: Motor Racing Network
|5||56||Martin Truex Jr.|
|17||22||Sam Hornish Jr.|
|19||68||Dale Earnhardt Jr.|
For the full starting order please visit NASCAR.com.
Full TV Schedule
AAA Texas 500 Practice, Nov. 3, 3 p.m. ET, SPEED
AAA Texas 500 Final Practice, Nov. 3, 5:30 p.m. ET, SPEED
AAA Texas 500 Race, Nov. 4, 2 p.m. ET, ESPN
Drivers to Watch
As mentioned, Keselowski has fallen two points behind Jimmie Johnson after Johnson’s win last week at Martinsville. He didn’t race badly but didn’t do quite enough to maintain his points lead.
In his last race at Texas, Keselowski finished a miserable 36th out of 43 drivers. In fact, he’s never even placed within the Top 10 at the track. He’ll be pulling out all the stops, though, to help keep himself in contention for the final two races. He likely won’t win but expect a better showing than his last performance.
Johnson is coming off of a big win at Martinsville and has surpassed Brad Keselowski as the points leader heading into Sunday’s AAA Texas 500.
His second-place finish at Texas and his great career at the track (and all 1.5 mile tracks) are big things in Johnson's favor this weekend.
Bowyer is still in contention but needs to do whatever it takes to start getting some wins down the stretch. This pivotal race would be a great time to do that.
He’s been the epitome of consistency in this season’s chase and has found himself in a favorable third position with three races to go. He trails leader Jimmie Johnson by just 26 points.
Predicted Winner: Jimmie Johnson
It’s hard to predict a back-to-back win for anyone in a NASCAR race, especially one with the magnitude of this weekend’s race. However, Johnson finished second at Texas back in April and is surging at the right time.
He’s won five Sprint Cups in the past six years and is looking primed to win another one this year. He also sits atop the pole after Friday afternoon’s qualifying round.