Dustin off the Next Race: Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas

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Dustin off the Next Race: Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas
Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images

When it comes to Texas Motor Speedway, it is one of the most unpredictable tracks on the circuit.

When this track debuted in 1997, rain plagued the weekend of the event, and on the second lap of the race, a wreck that was more suited for Talladega occurred in the first corner. Later in the race, the leader got caught up in an accident. In the end, a first-time winner was crowned, not just in the race, but in the series.

A repaving, weeping corners, and a lot of fast action have been the stories of racing at Texas. This weekend could be another one of those weekends.

So let's dust off the Samsung Mobile 500. Here's my five drivers to watch for on Sunday.

 

FAVORITES

Kyle Busch

Last fall, Rowdy nearly had this race won, which would've meant a complete sweep of the weekend. He won the Truck race, dominated the Nationwide event, and came so close to winning the Cup event.

But, his message of "I'm out, I'm out" on the radio clearly ended his night, as his fuel cell ran dry.

This weekend could mean redemption and vindication for Busch. Keep a very close eye on the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota.

 

Kasey Kahne

You talk about an incredible week for a driver, here you go. Kahne got a lot of stress removed from his shoulders when he signed with Hendrick Motorsports in 2012.

Now, he comes to a track where he has run extremely well. Plus, the RPM program at the 1.5-mile tracks is phenomenal. Kahne has nine wins on intermediate tracks, including one win at Texas. Plus, he has two wins in Atlanta along with three victories at Charlotte, the sister tracks to Texas.

Watch for the momentum to continue on Sunday. The Budweiser Ford is going to be tough to beat.

 

Carl Edwards

Here's another guy that loves to hold up those six-shooters. "Cousin Carl" has three victories at Texas, plus another three in Atlanta.

Edwards really enjoys racing here, and desperately wants to be in victory lane. It has been since the 2008 season finale at Homestead that the No. 99 car won a race. He has come so close on many occasions. He's bound to get there, he just needs the cards to fall his way.

Last season, he nearly won this particular race, had it not been for a miscue on pit road. Don't expect lightning to strike twice. The Aflac/Scotts Turf Builder Ford will be charging to the front.

 

SLEEPERS

Jeff Gordon

Yes, I actually listed last year's winner in the sleeper category. I'm doing this because of history.

Texas has not been kind to the No. 24. He crashed in the first four races here, including out of the lead in 1997. His only two last-place finishes have come at this track. His best finish in the first four races at Texas was 25th.

Since then, Gordon has seven top-5 and nine top-10 finishes, including his first win at Texas last year. Momentum is on his side, as he finished third at Martinsville and second at Phoenix. Only one position left to go.

I went on a limb and picked Gordon this week. Let's see if the DuPont/National Guard Special Forces Chevrolet will get the job done.

 

Jeff Burton

Here's another guy who wants to get back to victory lane. Richard Childress Racing has been incredible so far this season, and may look to take a win this weekend.

Of their three drivers, Burton is clearly the driver with the best chance. He became the track's first repeat winner with his win in 2007, and has been very consistent at the 1.5-mile quad oval.

If RCR wants a win this season, Burton may be the man to get the job done. Watch the No. 31 come Sunday.

 

They say everything is bigger in Texas, and it will certainly be a big event when the green flag flies. The Samsung Mobile 500 will go full throttle at 3 p.m. ET on FOX, with the pre-race coverage starting an hour before.

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