NASCAR

Johnson, Keselowski had Texas issues

Brad Keselowski
Brad Keselowski endured a setback at Texas. Does that matter now?
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Larry McReynolds

Larry McReynolds has more than 30 years of NASCAR experience as a mechanic, Daytona 500-winning crew chief and broadcaster. He earned 23 Sprint Cup wins as a crew chief, including two victories in the prestigious Daytona 500, as well as a pair of non-points victories in the annual all-star race. Follow him on Twitter.

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As the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup moves to Texas Motor Speedway, look at Brad Keselowski’s philosophy: “We don’t race the stat book.”

NASCAR Power Rankings

THAT'S THE WAY!

Keselowski's back in charge after JJ's setback. NASCAR Power Rankings

What that means is I can look and tell you where all these top guys finished in the spring: Current points leader Jimmie Johnson finished second, Kasey Kahne finished inside the top 10. Clint Bowyer really didn’t run that well. Brad Keselowski, he and his Penske Racing team finished 36th because they had some fuel injection-related issues that plagued them all day.

Throw those numbers out. Jimmie Johnson and his team, with three races to go in the Chase and now with the points lead, this is where the monster starts to rear its head.

It’s starting already.

Everyone knows how well Brad Keselowski and those guys are running everywhere, especially at these mile-and-a-half tracks. Go back to the race at Charlotte Motor Speedway where he led 139 laps plus they had the fuel situation where he ran out of gas heading into a mid-race pit stop.

Bowyer and his Michael Waltrip Racing group is a seasoned team now where they really weren’t in the spring. We know Kasey Kahne and crew chief Kenny Francis will run well there.

NASCAR Chase analysis

NARROW GAP

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You’re going to see the same players there but this is the final 500-mile race of the year and it’s a race that’s going to have some changing elements because of daylight savings time.

This race is going to start in daylight but it’s going to end close to night. That racetrack is going to go through some major changes that the drivers and the teams are going to have to keep up with.

Texas is one of the faster 1.5-mile racetracks that we go to with very little margin of error and we’ve seen some pretty big wrecks there, including Jimmie Johnson a couple of years ago that pretty much put him out of the race that day. That type of incident could change things Sunday.

You don’t normally wreck at Texas and come to pit road and tape it up. It’s normally done for the day or major repairs in the garage area.

Tagged: Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Brad Keselowski

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