A mere seven points separate Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup leader Jeff Gordon and fifth-place Denny Hamlin, with three others – Ryan Newman (-3), Joey Logano (-4) and Matt Kenseth (-5) – sandwiched in between.
The five will attempt to distance themselves from the pack in Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway (3 p.m. ET on ESPN).
Here is the outlook for the drivers:
Jeff Gordon – The No. 24 Chevrolet driver finished second at Ft. Worth in the spring after coming home 38th in both 2013 races there. He claims one victory (2009), nine top fives and 12 top 10s in 27 starts at the 1.5-mile track.
Ryan Newman – Newman will attempt to extend his streak of top-10 finishes to five in this weekend’s race in the Lone Star State. His “lone” victory at Texas came over a decade ago in 2003.
Joey Logano – Arguably the story of the NASCAR’s playoffs, Logano will be going for his eighth top-five finish in nine Chase starts on Sunday. Also at stake is a sweep. The 24-year-old won the April race at Texas, and has already surpassed his career-highs in wins (five), top fives (15), top 10s (21) and laps led (976).
Matt Kenseth – Kenseth boasts the most top-five (13) and top-10 (17) finishes all-time at Texas. He also claims two victories at the 1.5 mile track – his last coming in spring of 2011.
Denny Hamlin – In 17 Texas starts, Hamlin has posted two victories, five top fives and nine top 10s. Since sweeping at Fort Worth in 2010, the No. 11 FedEx driver has only one top-10 finish in six races.