AAA Texas 500 Preview and Pick to Win

Race: AAA Texas 500
Date: Sunday November 7, 2010
Track: Texas Motor Speedway
Time: 3 pm ET
Channel: ESPN
by Virginia Vroom, NASCAR Handicapper,

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With only 3 races left in the season, it’s no wonder the excitement we had in the final lap of the Talladega race with Allmendinger ending on his roof and Clint Bowyer winning over Kevin Harvick by a thousandth of a second according to scoring loops. This weekend more than likely won’t be much different as we enter the race with the closest points in the Chase in history.

This 1.5 mile quad-oval has 24 degree banking in the turns and 5 degree banking on the straights. The frontstretch is 2250 feet while the backstretch is 1330 feet. This particular track is very much about tires and track position. Theses guys can pull away from the pack here and get 5 or 6 seconds easily in front of the other drivers.

For some reason, though, I don’t think we are going to see that all race long. Although there may be points where we do see the leader pull away, the pack will certainly be tightening up throughout the race leaving plenty of time for some good close racing on this pretty big track.

When we think about Texas, there are 3 names that immediately come to my mind. Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, and Kyle Busch are always strong runners here. We have to keep Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon, and even Kurt Busch in our minds, though, because they tend to have pretty strong runs here as well and have done very well over the past few weeks. I truly think that Jimmie Johnson is going to make it happen here. He’s got a lot of success at this track and also these types of tracks in general, very similar to Charlotte where Jimmie has unprecedented success. Denny Hamlin is one to watch as well and certainly needs this win to push him to the top of the points, but I think that Jimmie is going to pull is out here.

So long as these guys can maintain track position and make strong pit stops and smart tire stops, this is going to be a heck of a race.

Here are your current top 12 in the points after Talladega:

1. Jimmie Johnson
2. Denny Hamlin
3. Kevin Harvick
4. Jeff Gordon
5. Kyle Busch
6. Carl Edwards
7. Tony Stewart
8. Matt Kenseth
9. Kurt Busch
10. Jeff Burton
11. Greg Biffle
12. Clint Bowyer

The race here is between the top 3 drivers with only 38 points between Johnson and Harvick. Gordon sits in 4th place 207 points behind teammate Johnson. You better believe that Harvick, Johnson, and Hamlin are going to fight it out. These are 3 of the best drivers in Motorsports and also 3 drivers who aren’t afraid to defend their position on the track if you know what I mean. Stay tuned for this Sunday’s race. There are only 3 left and it’s sure to be an awesome ride to Homestead!

Virginia’s Prediction to Win the AAA Texas 500: Jimmie Johnson