Without question, Jeff Gordon has not had the best luck at Texas Motor Speedway. In fact, he never had a top-five finish until 2001.
It's the site of his only 43rd place finish in his career. Texas has simply been a nightmare for the driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet.
But, in recent years, Gordon has seemingly found his groove. He has seven top-five finishes and finally got his victory at the track last season. He was on his way to getting his second win there in the spring had it not been for a run-in with his teammate Jimmie Johnson. Gordon's race ended when he was included in a multi-car wreck on the front straightaway.
But, this track has come around for Gordon and company. Can he be the ultimate sleeper pick for Sunday?
Let's look at the facts: Since his first top-five finish in 2001, Gordon has only two DNF's, one in the spring and one in 2008. Other than those, his worst finish was 22nd.
He certainly looked to be a winner in the spring, but the Texas curse seems to continue to follow him even with the great runs.
Texas is a track that is similar to both Atlanta and Charlotte, tracks that Gordon has always been strong at. But Texas seems to be a lot tougher because of the different transitions between the corners and the straightaways. Texas gets extremely difficult especially off the fourth turn, which seems to be the Achilles heel for Gordon.
Still, there is a strong chance he can get the job done here on Sunday. His championship hunt is pretty much over, but his drive for victory is as strong as ever.
Texas is his best chance to end a win-less streak dating back to this track since 2009 and also could prevent his second win-less season in the last three years.
Is it a stretch? Sure, but his confidence is up considering how well he has run during the Chase. It wasn't his fault when the alternator went at Charlotte, and he got spun out in Martinsville.
The desire is still in Gordon to win this year, not for him or his team, but for his wife and his two children. Maybe Texas will give him the opportunity to celebrate in victory lane with his family.
Don't bet against the No. 24 in the AAA Texas 500. He could show his muscle and steal the spotlight away from the championship contenders.
It's not to late for him to get a victory, but time is running out for Gordon; he needs to cowboy up and bring out the whip to win on Sunday.