Friday, April 13, 2007

Rootin' and Tootin' Time in Texas

Photo Credit: The Dallas
Grab your hats, belts, and boots, pard'ners, it's Teyxas time agin'! The ultra-fast, medium sized (1.5 mile) Texas Motor Speedway promises the same kind of excitement we've seen at Atlanta and Las Vegas.
With twelve different winners in twelve different races, there isn't a single driver who has been consistently dominant at TMS. As we have seen in the past, anything can happen. Though it is always fun to predict a winner, this is one of the more difficult tracks for which to do so.
The odds that there won't be a repeat winner at TMS get smaller with every first-time winner there, but with twelve different winners, we can still safely assume that Sunday's winner could be someone who hasn't yet seen Victory Lane in Texas. Since Jeff Gordon has a mental block against TMS,. we can safely assume that he won't be the one we are looking for to take the checkers, Sunday. He absolutely hates the track, which features abrupt transitions between the 24 degree banked turns, and the five degree banked straightaways, definitely a challenge to even the most experienced drivers. Jimmie Johnson has a slightly better chance, as he is on a hot streak, and has come close to winning there before. Of the Rick Hendrick drivers, Kyle Busch is the best prospect to pick as winner, for he doesn't seem to care what the track conditions are. He will drive his usual style--wide open throttle, dodge the traffic, and hope those in front get out of the way--and, for him, his usual style could be the formula for victory.
Bobby Labonte could surprise us all and score a victory for Petty Enterprises. Drivers seem to perform better at their home tracks, but the very talented driver from Texas has yet to score a victory there. He is determined to win in his home state, and determination in the psyche of a competent driver can overcome the odds against him. Our hearts are saying “Go, Bobby, Go!” for he has gone way too long without a Cup level victory, but our minds are saying "What!?!"
Personally, I think the winner will come from the Childress stable, particularly Jeff Burton or Clint Bowyer. Burton is at the top of his game, and getting better, while Bowyer has climbed to the top of the list of Drivers Most Likely to Get Their First Career Cup Victory This Year, seventh in championship points after six races.
We should never underestimate Denny Hamlin, however. Whatever keeps that guy from winning doesn’t seem to be that big of a problem. Hamlin is sure to be one of the top all time NASCAR drivers not too far in the future.
Of course, there is always the increasing chance that somebody will be the first repeat winner in Texas. Based on performance, so far this year, the drivers most likely to get a second win at TMS would be Tony Stewart, Carl Edwards, or Matt Kenseth. Smoke has overcome an early season setback at Daytona to climb to eight in points, while Matt The Brat has been a regular among the top ten finishers. The Acrobat, Carl Edwards is working his way to a Cup win, and he seems to be overcoming the setbacks he has had since last season.
Tell yew what, it's going to be a good and exciting race, Sunday, and we will, yet again, be satisfied that our favorite sport is the best when it comes to thrills and drama.


Racefan57 said...

i love the speedways after some good shorttracking

Jenn of the Jungle said...

I can't wait till football season begins.