If past statistics are any indication, to win the Samsung Mobile 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday night, one will have beat tough competition in the form of the three-car Roush Fenway Racing brigade -- the No. 16 Ford of Greg Biffle, the No. 17 Ford of Matt Kenseth and the No. 99 Ford of Carl Edwards.
"I've always liked the race track and sometimes you run better at some tracks more than others and you don't always know why," Kenseth said. "I don't really know why, but it has been a pretty good track for us in the past. We have had a lot of good runs and finishes here."
RFR knows how to get to victory lane in Texas. The organization got started off on the right foot in the Lone Star State when TMS opened in 1997, claiming wins in the first two series races there. In all, Roush Fenway has eight Cup wins to its credit at the track, more than its two closest competitors combined. The next two winningest teams are Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing with a total of six Sprint Cup wins.
Kenseth is the defending winner of this weekend's event, since he drove his No. 17 car out to an eight-second lead en route to his win in last year's race.
All three Roush Fenway drivers finished in the top-five in both Sprint Cup races at TMS in 2011. The best finish for a Roush Fenway driver in the Texas race last fall was a runner-up showing by Edwards.
All three drivers currently in the Roush Fenway stable know how to win at Texas. Edwards won both races at the track in 2008 and has a total of three victories there. Kenseth has two and Biffle one.
"They have a great race track there, and we have had huge success at Texas," Edwards said. "We would like to go there and get a fourth win."
But don't hand the trophy over to Roush just yet. RFR drivers aren't the only ones who have TMS figured out well enough to make multiple visits to victory lane. Denny Hamlin, driver of the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, and Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet, have also each won at Texas a couple of times.
"It puts you in a positive frame of mind when you go to a track knowing that you've run well there before," Stewart said.
Hamlin swept Texas Sprint Cup action in 2010. Stewart is also a two-time winner in the Lone Star State, including a trip to victory lane in the most recent visit to the track last fall. It's probably also worth mentioning that Darian Grubb, the crew chief who guided Stewart to the win last year, is now calling the shots from atop Hamlin's No. 11 pit box.