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