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Matt McLaughlin’s Driver Handicaps: 2007 Texas Fall Race Edition

Jeff Gordon – Quick; Gordon hasn’t won at which two tracks currently on the Cup schedule? That’s right… Homestead and Texas. Gordon did finish second at TMS in 2002 and has top-10 finishes in six of his 13 Cup starts here; however, his average finish in Fort Worth remains a paltry 16th.

Jimmie Johnson – Johnson finished second in this race last year, and prior to this spring’s race, when he crashed and finished 38th, he’d never finished worse than 11th at the track. That’s rather surprising considering that in eight Texas starts, Johnson has only led a total of three laps.

Clint Bowyer – Bowyer finished fifth in this race last year, but his other two Texas Cup performances were less than impressive.

Carl Edwards – Edwards won here in 2005, but usually finishes somewhere in the teens at TMS.

Kyle Busch – Busch finished fourth in this race last year, but his average finish after five TMS Cup starts is still 23rd. He finished 37th here in the spring.

Tony Stewart – Stewart won this race last year, and dang it if TMS promoter Eddie Gossage didn’t find a black hat for Stewart to wear in place of the standard white one issued in Victory Circle. (Other than that whole beer referendum thing, the man doesn’t miss a trick.) Stewart has top-10 finishes in seven of his 11 Texas Cup starts.

Kevin Harvick – Harvick finished third and fifth here last year, but those represent two of his three top-10 results in nine Texas career starts. Harvick has won three Busch Series events here.

Denny Hamlin – Hamlin has never finished outside the top 10 in four Texas Cup starts.

Jeff Burton – Burton won the inaugural Texas Cup race in 1997 and the latest Texas race this spring. In the 11 TMS Cup races between those wins, Burton managed only one top-five result.

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Kurt Busch – Busch has finished 11th or better in seven of his nine Cup starts at TMS. His average finish here is 12th.

Matt Kenseth – Kenseth won here in 2002, and has finished second in the last two TMS spring races. He’s averaging an 11th-place finish here after 10 starts, and has won two Busch Series races here.

Martin Truex Jr. – Truex has top-10 finishes in two of his four Cup starts here, averaging an 11th-place finish in the process.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. – Texas is a special place for Earnhardt, who recorded both his first Busch Series victory and first Cup victory at this track. He has top-10 finishes here in seven of his 10 Texas Cup starts, but blew an engine here this spring. Now, there’s a surprise…

Casey Mears – Mears has top-10 finishes in four of his seven starts at TMS, and is averaging a 12th-place finish.

Greg Biffle – Biffle won here in 2005, but has just one additional top-10 finish in seven starts at TMS since then. He’s failed to finish three of those seven races.

Ryan Newman – Newman won here in 2003, but has finished 25th or worse in six of his eight TMS Cup starts.

Kasey Kahne – Kahne won here last year and finished second in 2004. Unfortunately, he’s also failed to finish three of the six Cup races he’s started here, too.

Bobby Labonte – Labonte had top-10 finishes in the first four Cup races in his home state of Texas, but he has just one such finish in the last nine Cup races run here.

Jamie McMurray – McMurray has finishes of 11th or better in five of his seven TMS Cup starts. He was runner up here in 2005.

Juan Pablo Montoya – Montoya had a solid eighth-place finish here in his first Texas Cup race back in April.

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