Good Texas News for Tony... Track stats favor "Lone Star" winners DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 1, 2005) -- Texas Motor Speedway is the new wrinkle in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup. On Sunday, the Dallas/Ft. Worth-area 1.5 mile quad-oval will...
Good Texas News for Tony... Track stats favor "Lone Star" winners
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 1, 2005) -- Texas Motor Speedway is the new wrinkle in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup. On Sunday, the Dallas/Ft. Worth-area 1.5 mile quad-oval will host a second event in a season for the first time -- the Dickies 500.
That is good news for Chase leader Tony Stewart (No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet): He's never won there. Granted, that's incongruent. But it's also indicative of possible success.
Since TMS hosted its first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event in 1997, there never has been a repeat winner. Stewart's best Texas finish is fifth, his only top five at the demanding track. He also has four top-10 finishes in seven starts. In the April event at TMS, Stewart had a disappointing day. He started 10th, but finished only 296 laps of the 334-lap event due to engine problems.
So if the Texas stats hold true for Stewart, he could be a candidate to take a Lone Star win of his own.
Stewart says he and his Joe Gibbs Racing teammates have their work cut out for them.
Texas, "hasn't been a good track for us historically," he said. "It just seems like Texas is one of those places where we haven't figured out how to be a top-flight car. It's one of the places we have to try to pick up our performance. For me, it comes down to just 'feel' more than anything. A driver has to like the feel of his race car and the feel of the track. If one of those things doesn't mesh right, then you're probably not going to be as successful as you want to be."
Chase drivers with a previous Texas win who would like to become the first to do a "Texas Two-Step" include 2005 spring race winner Greg Biffle (No. 16 National Guard Ford) who arrives at Texas third in points; Ryan Newman (No. 12 Alltel Dodge) 2003; Mark Martin (No. 6 Viagra Ford) 1998 and Matt Kenseth (No. 17 USG Sheetrock/DeWalt Ford) 2002.
The 2005 Chase contenders who have not won at Texas are: Carl Edwards (No. 99 Office Depot Ford) hot off last Sunday's win at Atlanta; Jeremy Mayfield (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge), and a pair of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champions, Rusty Wallace (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge) and Kurt Busch (No. 97 Irwin Industrial Tools Ford).