Texas Motor Speedway A Most Appropriate Place For Big-Time Race With Big-Time Ramifications; Dickies 500 Positioned Prominently In Chase For The NASCAR Sprint Cup DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 27, 2008) -- The old-time adage about everything being...
Texas Motor Speedway A Most Appropriate Place For Big-Time Race With Big-Time Ramifications; Dickies 500 Positioned Prominently In Chase For The NASCAR Sprint Cup
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 27, 2008) -- The old-time adage about everything being big -- or bigger -- in Texas certainly applies this week, when talking about the Dickies 500.
Sunday's event at Texas Motor Speedway has "big" written all over it:
• Big race: Time grows short for championship contenders. Sunday will be Race 8 in the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR's "playoffs."
• Big lead: Jimmie Johnson comes into Texas with a big lead: 183 points ahead of second-place Carl Edwards and 185 ahead of third-place Greg Biffle.
• Big historic ramifications: The 1.5-mile oval will serve as a 500-mile backdrop for a most meaningful motorsports quest: Johnson's attempt to win a third consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. Johnson has the series lead but Cale Yarborough has the record, having won three straight from 1976-78.
• Big comeback potential: Edwards won this past Sunday at Atlanta and will surprise no one if he wins again at Texas. After all, he won at Texas earlier this year (April 6 Samsung 500) -- and his organization, Roush Fenway Racing, has won six of the 15 NASCAR Sprint Cup events held at TMS.
• Big upset potential: Normally, you wouldn't ever call Tony Stewart a long shot but fact is, he's eighth in the series points this week. But a look at the Driver Rating at Texas Motor Speedway shows Stewart tied with Johnson at a series-best 107.9. Watch out for that other two-time series champion.
• Big Texas flavor: It starts in the garage with Corpus Christi native Bobby Labonte -- the former (2000) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Cup champion now driving for the legendary Petty family. It continues with eight NASCAR Sprint Cup crew members.
• Big-time urgency: That would be for Jeff Gordon, the four-time series champion who is winless this season. Gordon has won at least two races every season since 1994 -- his second full-time season in NASCAR Sprint Cup.
• Big-time promotion: Fans attending should expect a first-rate event courtesy of one of racing's true promoters -- TMS President Eddie Gossage, the man who has brought the Wild West to his track's Victory Lane via cowboy-boot trophies, 10-gallon hats and six-shooters.
It all adds up, fittingly, to a big show.