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Race 7 – Samsung 500 Preview

Posted by chadmusselman on April 5, 2008

For those people that keep track of the tire issues you’ll be happy to know that the much complained about tire used in the Atlanta race won’t be used in this race at Texas. Usually Goodyear uses the same tire, but this year they decided not to since there were so many complaints. The track owner is obviously happy about this, since the tire their going to use produced two great finishes last year.

After a 3rd place finish last week Jeff Burton jumped up 3 spots in the standings to take the lead. Over the past four races Jeff is averaging a 4.75 place finish, with one win. Texas is a track that Jeff has done well at over the past couple of years. He’s taken home two 6th place finishes and a win. With the hot streak he’s on, and the fact that the does well at Texas should be good news for Burton fans. Don’t let his 35th place qualifying effort scare you away. He’s only qualified better than 20th twice in Texas, and has done very well. This is a wide track that allows for some good racing. Jeff should be able to make his way to the front of the field.

Jeff Gordon had a good run last week and moved up to 9th in points, and looks to continue the trend at Texas. In the first four races at this track Jeff Gordon did horrible, not finishing better than 25th. The next four races he averaged a 3.25 place finish, but the three races after that (when they started having two races per year in Texas) he didn’t finish better than 14th. The good news is that over the last three races he’s averaged a 6.67 place finish. So, what does this mean? Well, it looks like Jeff is streaky here. He’s had three top 10 finishes in a row, is he now due for a run of bad luck in Texas? Jeff will start out in 18th, which isn’t great, but if they can perform some in race tweaks he should make it to the front.

With his win last week Denny Hamlin moved up the most spots in the championship standings, 7 places, up to 8th. He’s done well at this track in his career with 4 top 10’s in 5 tries. Look for him to continue to climb in the standings as his 14th place qualifying spot should let him get into the top 10 quickly and run there all day.

Drivers with a real shot to win
· Matt Kenseth – 2nd, 2nd, 2nd in 3 of last 4 and qualified 8th this week
· Martin Truex Jr. – 3rd, 7th, 8th in 3 of last 4, qualified 12th this week
· Jeff Burton – 6th, 1st, 6th in 3 of last 4, qualified 35th this week
· Jeff Gordon – 7th, 4th, 9th in last 3, qualified 18th this week
· Kevin Harvick – 10th, 3rd, 5th in 3 of last 4, qualified 21st this week

Two others that should do well:
o Jamie McMurray – 9th & 5th in last 2, qualified 32nd. He’ll have to make some moves early to get up in the standings, but his confidence has to be up after last week, and he should do well.
o Denny Hamlin – 9th, 4th, 10th in 3 of last 4, qualified 14th

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