The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season is off to a strong start. Six different drivers have won the first six races of the season, which showcases the parity throughout racing's top series and creates a logjam atop the standings with five drivers within 18 points of the lead.
In a perfect world, the battle for the top spot would remain close all the way until the final race. A lack of competitiveness, mostly due to the dominance of Jimmie Johnson, has led to some anticlimactic finishes in recent years. As of now, it looks like there's a good chance to reverse that trend.
The next stop is Texas Motor Speedway. Let's check out all of the important viewing information for the Duck Commander 500. The key details are followed by three drivers to watch, including the current championship leader.
Where: Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas
When: Sunday, April 6 at 3 p.m. ET
Live Steam: Fox Sports Go
Radio: Motor Racing Network
Since no driver has been able to separate from the pack in the early going being consistent is key. That's been the name of the game for Earnhardt, who's been in contention virtually every week so far. The result has been one win and a handful of top-five finishes.
Early in his career, the wildly popular driver might have pushed a little too hard to get a win in those situations. Now, while he still wants to cross the finish line first, he understands the importance of any top-10 result. As NASCAR notes, he leads the series in that category so far:
Wins capture the headlines, but it's those other strong finishes that put a driver on the path to a championship. Although Earnhardt only has one win in 23 Texas races, he's finished in the top 10 on 13 occasions. He has a good chance to make it 14 as he attempts to defend his series lead.
It's been a frustrating start to the season for Biffle. Normally one of NASCAR's most reliable drivers and a consistent Chase participant, the driver of the No. 16 car hasn't finished in the top 10 since the season opener at Daytona and has only improved on his starting spot twice in six races.
There's still plenty of time for Biffle to get things back on track, of course. He believes this week is a good chance to do exactly that. Chris Estrada of MotorSportsTalk passed along comments from "The Biff" about building some momentum:
As a team we are looking to gain momentum, get back on track and get a good run at Texas.
A win is important for us at this stage in the game, but so is a Top-5 finish and to run competitively. I feel really good where we are at; leading laps at Martinsville was great for us. We just need to close the deal and this is one of our best tracks.
Biffle has a pair of wins and 12 top-10 finishes in 20 starts at Texas. While it's certainly too early in the season to push the panic button, another lackluster finish this week could be an ominous sign for a driver viewed as a potential title contender when the season began.
Busch won this race last season after leading more than 170 laps in one of his strong performances of the year. He's also one of this season's winners after capturing the checkered flag at California a couple weeks ago.
Last season's win at Texas marked the first of Busch's career at the track. He did have five finishes inside the top five in 16 appearances before finally getting into victory land, though. So overall it's a track that has treated him fairly well over the years.
As always, Busch is one of the top boom-or-bust drivers in the series. Given his success at Texas and the fact he's been running well over the past couple weeks, it definitely wouldn't be a surprise to see him become the first racer with two wins on the season.