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Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson the Battle Continues at Texas

Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson left Martinsville Speedway last week in a tie for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. This week that just might continue when NASCAR returns to Texas Motor Speedway for the AAA Texas 500.

The Texas Motor Speedway is almost exactly like Charlotte and Atlanta.  The only difference is the track surface itself is different.  There is 24 degrees of banking in the turns and 5 degrees in the straights.  The high banking in the corners is what makes this tracks one of the fastest 1.5 mile tracks on the circuit.

This track is all about handling and speed.  Running good here is the most important.  Fortunately, for those teams that don’t quite get it right during practice, there are 500 miles of racing to adjust their car.  The race is 334 laps or 501 miles.

Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson are in a statistical tie when it comes to their driver ratings. At 106.5 and 103.8 respectively they hold the top spot.  Greg Biffle and Kyle Busch are not much farther back but when you consider average finishes, Kenseth and Johnson own Texas.  Matt Kenseth has an average finish of 8.5 and Johnson 9.1. They stand alone. They both have two wins here.

Although it appears that Kenseth and Johnson have it all in hand, Matt Kenseth doesn’t seem to think so.

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.” Kenseth added, “Whatever you can get in a race — 48 points — 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.

Johnson said, “We tested Texas last week and we felt good coming out of there. It’s going to be a great race. It’s an older surface so that means tires are going to be important. I think we finished sixth there earlier this year and did the same at Las Vegas, which I think is similar to Texas. Either way, with three races to go it’s going to be a great battle and I know that’s what the fans want to see. I don’t think they’ll be disappointed after Sunday.

If you can’t get to Texas Motor Speedway the race will be broadcast on ESPN starting at 2 PM ET.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for RantSports.com.

Follow him on Twitter @brian_jr1 during the race and throughout the week for more NASCAR news and commentary, or on Facebook, Pinterest, and Google.

Top 13 Driver Rating at Texas
Matt Kenseth…………………. 106.5
Jimmie Johnson…………….. 103.8
Greg Biffle…………………….. 102.7
Kyle Busch……………………. 101.5
Tony Stewart…………………… 99.1
Carl Edwards………………….. 98.1
Denny Hamlin………………….. 93.3
Dale Earnhardt Jr…………….. 92.6
Jeff Gordon…………………….. 92.3
Clint Bowyer……………………. 92.0
Martin Truex Jr……………….. 89.0
Kurt Busch……………………… 89.0
Mark Martin…………………….. 87.8
Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2013 races (17 total) among active drivers at Texas Motor Speedway.