The Duck Commander brand is extending its reach to NASCAR with its sponsorship of this weekend’s Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, April 6. The spring race at TMS is normally held on Saturday night, but with the NCAA Basketball Tournament Final Four match-ups in nearby Dallas on Saturday, NASCAR made the decision to move the race to Sunday rather than compete – unlike what’s happening in November, when the Formula One race at Circuit of the Americas in Austin falls on the same weekend as NASCAR’s second stop at TMS.
With the exception of Carl Edwards, who has three wins at Texas, the other drivers with multiple wins at TMS are still looking for their first win of the season – something of a shock when you consider there have been six winners in the first six races of the season. With the parity that seems to be NASCAR’s brand this season, it won’t be a surprise if one of these drivers goes to victory lane.
Greg Biffle – Biffle has two wins and 12 top 10 finishes in 20 races at Texas, the most recent win coming in the spring of 2012. Biffle has had a lackluster season to date, starting with a promising eighth-place run at Daytona before sliding downhill. Currently 18th in points, a win will give Biffle both a boost in points and a boost in confidence, knowing that he’s currently locked into the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
Denny Hamlin – Hamlin, who already missed one race this season with an eye injury, is hoping that Texas will be as kind to him as it was in 2010, when he swept both events at the track. Hamlin also has nine top 10 finishes in his 16 starts, and has an average finish of 10.7. Hamlin has been on something of a slide since Daytona, where he was runner-up, including his missed race at Auto Club Speedway and a couple of 19th-place finishes.
Matt Kenseth – Kenseth is one of just two drivers in the series with an average finish in the top 10 at TMS – and his is the best at 8.3. He has two wins at the 1.5-mile track – most recently in the spring of 2011 with Roush Fenway Racing – as well as 16 top 10 finishes in 23 races. Kenseth is proving to be his consistent self early in the season, with finishes of 13th or better in all six races -but consistency won’t necessarily put him in the Chase this year – he needs to turn something into a win, which he had no problem doing last season, his first with Joe Gibbs Racing.
Tony Stewart – Another two-win driver at TMS, Stewart’s 2014 season started off a bit bumpy, but it’s turned around in the last three races, progressing from 32nd in points following Daytona to a season’s-high of 15th after his 17th-place run at Martinsville. Stewart’s last win at Texas, where he also has 12 top 10 finishes in 23 starts, came during his 2011 championship run.
Jimmie Johnson – When there’s a race to be won, Johnson will usually be in the thick of it – in the last two races at Auto Club Speedway and Martinsville, he led over half the laps in each race, only to come home empty-handed. At Texas, Johnson has three wins, including two in the last three races, and an average finish of 8.7; he also has 16 top 10 finishes in 21 starts.
Source: “Statistical Advance: Analyzing the Duck Commander 500,” NASCAR Media, March 31, 2014