Capsules for all drivers competing in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
48 JIMMIE JOHNSON, Chevrolet
Team: Hendrick Motorsports
WHERE HE STANDS: Jimmie Johnson went from a four-point lead in the standings to a tie with Matt Kenseth for first-place following last Sunday's race at Martinsville. The pair leads third-ranked Jeff Gordon by 27 points.
TEXAS RECORD: 20 career starts, 2 wins, 9 top-5s, 15 top-10s, 1 pole. Best career finish: First in fall 2007 and fall 2012. Finished first in this race last year and was sixth in this year's spring race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Johnson knows it's "go time" this Sunday at Texas if he hopes to win his sixth career Sprint Cup championship. Matt Kenseth is presenting a challenge that Johnson has rarely seen in previous seasons. Here's Johnson's thoughts on Sunday's race: "(Having won at Texas before) does bring confidence. It makes the weeks leading into that race easier and less stressful. You still have to go get on the track and get it done. You still have to work through the practice sessions and find speed. There will be challenges thrown at you regardless of past history at a track. And in the race, there are plenty of opportunities to make mistakes and get in trouble, so you've got to be on your toes. In all honesty, it makes the week leading up - Monday through Friday morning - much more enjoyable, but then the pressure starts up as if you haven't run well there before. It kind of all goes out the window."
LOOKING BACK: Johnson led 123 laps at Martinsville and was seeking his ninth career win there, but trailed off in the closing laps to finish fifth.
ETC.: Johnson has completed 97.0 percent (6,487) of the 6,691 total laps contested in 20 career starts at Texas. His average start there is 8.8 and his average finish is an excellent 9.1. He has one DNF there.
20 MATT KENSETH, Toyota
Team: Joe Gibbs Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: After being on top of the Chase standings through the first six races, Matt Kenseth fell to second after Talladega, but rebounded at Martinsville to end up in a tie with Jimmie Johnson for first place in the standings. The duo leads third-ranked Jeff Gordon by 27 points.
TEXAS RECORD: 22 career starts, 2 wins, 12 top-fives, 15 top-10s, 0 poles. Best career finish: First in spring 2002 and spring 2011. Finished fourth in this race last year and was 12th in this year's spring race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Kenseth goes from what historically had been one of his worst tracks (Martinsville) to one of his best tracks this weekend (Texas). He continues to keep the pressure on Jimmie Johnson, and there's no reason to think it won't continue. In fact, the championship race between those two drivers could mirror the battle down the stretch between Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards in 2011. Here's Kenseth's thoughts on Sunday's race: "I think if you're within a race, anything can happen. If you're more than a race behind multiple drivers, I think that makes it tough. Whatever you can get in a race -- 48 points (maximum) -- if you're more than that behind more than one driver, more than two drivers, I think that's hard to overcome with three races to go. But, as we've seen through the years, you just never know what's going to happen."
LOOKING BACK: Kenseth had one of his worst career track records at Martinsville coming into last Sunday's race, but surprised everyone with a strong run, leading 202 laps, and finishing second to winner Jeff Gordon. A good job by Kenseth, indeed.
ETC.: Kenseth has completed 99.3 percent (7,307) of the 7,359 total laps contested in 22 career starts at Texas. His average start is 16.0, while his average finish is an outstanding 8.5. He has one DNF there.
24 JEFF GORDON, Chevrolet
Team: Hendrick Motorsports
WHERE HE STANDS: After dropping to fifth place after Talladega, Jeff Gordon bounced back in a big way this past Sunday at Martinsville. With his eighth career win there, he moved up to third in the standings, 27 points behind the tied series leadership of Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth, and one point ahead of fourth-ranked Kevin Harvick.
TEXAS RECORD: 25 career starts, 1 wins, 8 top-fives, 11 top-10s, 2 poles. Best career finish: First in spring 2009, his only win thus far there. Was 14th in this race last year and 38th (suffered suspension issues) in this year's spring race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Gordon has two primary bits of motivation coming into this weekend's race at Texas: to avenge his terrible 38th-place finish there in the spring, and to build upon the momentum he earned from his win at Martinsville this past Sunday. Here's Gordon's thoughts on Sunday's race: "We have nothing to lose and everything to gain, so that puts us in a comfortable position as to how we approach each race. Less frustration and we're executing better. We're really in sync right now. ... We've had sort of a love-hate relationship with this track. This has always been a very challenging track and there were some years when we struggled. The last few times, though, we've been competitive and the last time we were here we were very competitive but had a failure. It's been a bit of love and hate. But with a lot more love recently."
LOOKING BACK: Gordon led 78 laps and regained the lead late in the race to win for the eighth time in his career this past Sunday at Martinsville.
ETC.: There's no question Gordon has struggled over the years at Texas, having completed just 89.7 percent (7,503) of 8,361 total laps contested in 25 career starts at the Fort Worth track. His average start is 12.4, but average finish is a mediocre 17.0 He also has an unsettling six DNFs there.
29 KEVIN HARVICK, Chevrolet
Team: Richard Childress Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: Kevin Harvick fell from a tie for third with Kyle Busch to sole possession of fourth place after this past Sunday's race at Martinsville. He trails points leaders Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth by 28 points, is one point behind third-ranked Jeff Gordon and leads fifth-ranked Kyle Busch by eight points.
TEXAS RECORD: 21 career starts, 0 wins, 3 top-fives, 10 top-10s, 0 poles. Best career finish: Third in fall 2006. Was ninth in this race last year and 13th in this year's spring race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Texas has not been the most hospitable track to Harvick, given he has never won a Cup race there and has just three top-five finishes in 21 starts. He knows whatever hopes he has left in the Chase hinge on a good finish at Texas. Here's his thoughts on the race: "Qualifying is definitely very important on the 1.5-mile race tracks. Texas is one of those places where the tires wear out, but track position is so important to keep the handling on your car. We tested there last week and hope that the information we gathered will allow us to go back to the track with a good balance on our car. We tried some different things and I'm hoping we learned enough to not only make me comfortable in the race car, but to be able to put ourselves in a position to run in the top five and possibly even win the race."
LOOKING BACK: Even though he failed to lead even one lap, Harvick still managed to keep his championship hopes alive by finishing sixth at Martinsville this past Sunday.
ETC.: Harvick has completed 99.8 percent (7,011) of the 7,025 total laps contested in 21 career starts at Texas. His average start is 21.2 and average finish is 12.5. He has zero DNFs there.
18 KYLE BUSCH, Toyota
Team: Joe Gibbs Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: Kyle Busch fell from a tie for third to sole possession of fifth place after this past Sunday's race at Martinsville. He trails points leaders Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth by 36 points (was 26 points back before Martinsville), is eight points behind fourth-ranked Kevin Harvick and leads sixth-ranked Clint Bowyer by 19 points.
TEXAS RECORD: 16 career starts, 1 wins, 6 top-fives, 7 top-10s, 1 poles. Best career finish: First in spring 2013. Finished third in this race last year and a career-best first in this year's spring race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Even though he won there for the first time in the spring, Texas has historically given the younger Busch brother trouble. He can have a good run or two or three in a row and then falls back to mediocrity. He has to be 100 percent on his game this Sunday and has to go for a second straight win there if he has any chance of keeping his Chase chances alive. Here's his thoughts on Texas: "It's a fast racetrack. Texas was really hard for me at the beginning with the Cup cars, for some reason. I took to it right off the bat in the Nationwide stuff. We've kind of correlated some of that information back and forth and, having the cars from Jason Ratcliff (former Nationwide Series crew chief and current crew chief of the No. 20 Sprint Cup team for JGR) and from Dave Rogers (Busch's Sprint Cup crew chief) being as good as they've been, we've been really fast there. And now that Jason is on the Cup side with Matt (Kenseth), I'm hoping they can bring back a little of that magic that helped us win five in a row there in the Nationwide car. ... It's an interesting facility. Texas, Charlotte and Atlanta all might look exactly the same, but they drive nothing alike. It keeps you on your toes."
LOOKING BACK: Busch could ill afford a mediocre, let alone bad, run at Martinsville, but ultimately wound up with such a finish, ending up 15th in a race he desperately needed to win or finish higher to keep his Chase chances alive.
ETC.: Busch has completed 98.4 percent (5,269) of the 5,355 total laps contested in 16 career starts at Texas. His average start is 14.4, while his average finish is 14.1. He has zero DNFs there.
15 CLINT BOWYER, Toyota
Team: Michael Waltrip Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: Clint Bowyer climbed from eighth to sixth after this past Sunday's race at Martinsville. He trails points leaders Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth by 55 points, is 19 points behind fifth-ranked Kyle Busch and leads seventh-ranked Dale Earnhardt Jr. by one point.