Dustin Off the Next Race: Dickies 500 at Texas

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Dustin Off the Next Race: Dickies 500 at Texas
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With all the smoke and grass settled from Talladega, NASCAR stays in the southern portion of the United States as the series moves to Texas.

There will be no restrictor plates, no bump drafting, and the big packs will only occur on the restarts. The Texas Motor Speedway is fast, wide, and has provided a lot of excitement since it opened in 1997. A Texas tornado could quite possibly be in the future for Sunday's race.

Now, let me dust off the Dickies 500 and give you my views on who could be the drivers to watch once the green flag flies.

 

FAVORITES

JEFF GORDON

For once I can actually put this man in this category. Texas has been nothing but a house of horrors for Gordon and the No. 24 team. Crashes, handling, and mistakes have been the story for this team since the track opened.

Finally, this past spring, the team broke through, and Gordon put his car and his team in victory lane. After 12 years of anguish, Gordon got to put on the cowboy hat and fire off his "six shooters."

He will certainly be one to watch as he returns to the track of his last win. Gordon has come close to getting the second victory of the season, but just has not finished the job. He only has three more opportunities to get a win, and this weekend could possibly be the best opportunity.

The No. 24 will be up front early and often, watch out for the DuPont Chevrolet.

 

CARL EDWARDS

Now here's a driver with a chip on his shoulder. This time last year, Edwards was in a close battle for the championship, now he's just battling to get a victory.

Edwards was the first driver to sweep both races at Texas, and it is no secret that Jack Roush has done well at this track. Do not count this team out, he could get that long awaited victory this weekend.

The No. 99 team had it's moments of greatness during the season, but has not seen victory lane in 34 races. Now is the best chance for Edwards to get a win, and to finally do his signature back flip.

 

JEFF BURTON

This is an interesting pick not because of the struggles of RCR this year, but because Burton is exceptionally good at Texas.

Back in 1997, Burton got his first win in Cup competition at the inaugural race at this track. In 2007, he became the first driver to repeat as a winner. He has also won at the sister race track to Texas, Lowe's Motor Speedway.

I predict to see the Caterpillar car near the front, and could shock everyone with a win.

It has been a season of woes this year for the entire Richard Childress organization, and a win could certainly get them ready for the 2010 campaign.

 

SLEEPERS

GREG BIFFLE

Here's a guy that has really surprised me by not getting to victory lane once this year. After having such a stellar year in 2008, the fact that Biffle has yet to win a race is unbelievable.

There have been moments where it appeared to finally happen, most notably at Michigan. Had he not run out of gas coming into turn three, he would have gotten that win by a big margin.

However, Roush is very good at this track, and coming off the win last week at Talladega, the entire organization rallied and is set for battle.

The No. 16 is for certain on my watch list.

 

RYAN NEWMAN

Here's a driver with not only a chip on his shoulder but more motivation than any driver in the garage to win.

Last week, Newman was on his roof and then blasted NASCAR for the race at Talladega. This week, it is a little different story.

Two days ago, the shootings at Fort Hood were on everyone's mind as the nation saw terror on it's own home front. With Newman sponsored by the U.S. Army, it had to hurt a lot more as he represents all the troops home and overseas.

He does not only want to win the race for him, but also the soldiers suffering the loss of their brothers and sisters at the Fort Hood.

A win by Newman will not only erase last week's incident, but will be a boost to the entire country. Watch out for the Stewart/Haas driver.

 

The saying is "Everything's bigger in Texas" and that will certainly come true Sunday afternoon. Coverage of the Dickies 500 begins on ABC with NASCAR Countdown at 2:30 PM.

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