NASCAR Texas 2013: Weekend preview

John Harrelson

In the land where everything is bigger, Roush Fenway drivers usually deliver big.

As the largest state in the contiguous United States (only Alaska is larger) and the second most populous state in the country (behind California), Texas always expects to deliver big.

In the same vein, on-track action at Texas Motor Speedway always delivers big. And, no team performs bigger at the 1.5-mile track in the Lone Star State than Roush Fenway Racing.

The same should hold true this weekend when Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and 40 other drivers saddle up for Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' 500-mile event (7:30 p.m. ET, FOX) at Texas Motor Speedway.

In 24 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at "The Great American Speedway," Roush drivers have won nine times, including last spring's event when Biffle claimed the checkered flag after pacing the field with a track race record speed of 160.577 mph.

All three Roush Fenway Racing drivers competing in the event under the lights have found Victory Lane at least once. Biffle and longtime teammate Edwards have won two and three times, respectively, in NASCAR's premier series. Stenhouse, who moved into the No. 17 Ford Fusion fulltime this season after winning back-to-back titles in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, won last year's Nationwide Texas spring race.

Additionally, Edwards has two Nationwide victories at Texas, while Biffle has one NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win.

The other four NASCAR Sprint Cup victories at Texas for Roush Fenway belong to Jeff Burton (1997), Mark Martin (1998) and Matt Kenseth, who drove the No. 17 Ford to Victory Lane in 2002 and 2011 before leaving for Joe Gibbs Racing after the 2012 season.

Once the race starts, Roush Fenway Racing drivers should be easy to spot near the top of the leaderboard, as they will probably be among the fastest on the track. In the past eight years (16 races), Biffle leads all active drivers with 455 fastest laps and 732 laps led (13.7% of laps led, also best among active drivers), which is his personal best at any track. In 18 NASCAR Sprint Cup starts, he has seven top fives, 11 top 10s and a pole to go with his two wins.

"We are really excited to go back to Texas as the defending race winner," said Biffle. "It takes a good balanced car to be able to win at Texas. ... The car we are taking just came out of the wind tunnel with really good numbers. I'm ready to get on the track and defend our win."

Edwards has run 4,043 laps in the top 15 in the last 16 races at Texas, which is third most among active drivers, behind only Matt Kenseth (4,174) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (4,106). He has the fourth highest number of fastest laps with 342. Edwards' three victories (in 16 starts) at Texas ties a personal best for the Missouri native; he also has three at Atlanta. In addition, he has five top-five and seven top-10 finishes.

Although Stenhouse has never competed in the premier series at Texas, he has one victory, two top fives and four top 10s in six Nationwide starts there.

"We're hoping for our second win of the season and fourth at Texas Motor Speedway," said Edwards. "It's going to be an awesome 500 laps under the lights of Texas."

"We won their last year in the Nationwide series so hopefully we can get another cowboy hat," said Stenhouse. "We have a test session on Thursday to work on getting our Best Buy Ford dialed in. After last weekend, I am looking to get a top-10 finish."

Through six races this season, Edwards has one win (Phoenix) and three top fives. Biffle has three top 10s, including a pair of sixth-place finishes at Daytona and Auto Club, while Stenhouse's best finish in his first season in the series was a 12th in the season opener at Daytona.

Among all three national series, Roush Fenway Racing boasts a combined total of 18 wins, 74 top fives, 125 top 10s, eight poles and 3,439 laps lead at Texas.

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