Throughout the week on FS1’s NASCAR RACE HUB (Monday-Thursday at 6:00 PM ET), co-hosts Adam Alexander and Shannon Spake welcomed multiple analysts to the studio to break down last week’s race at Martinsville Speedway, its championship implications and predictions ahead of this weekend’s MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES stop at Texas Motor Speedway. Below are excerpts from FOX NASCAR analyst and four-time champion Jeff Gordon and driver analystBrad Keselowski, 2012 Cup Series champion and current driver of the No. 2 Ford Fusion, from this week’s Race Hub:
On retaliation after bump-and-runs (as part of a conversation regarding Gordon’s on-track incidents with Rusty Wallace at Bristol and Richmond in 2002):
“When you bump someone out of the way to win a race, be careful of what’s coming your way. Because Rusty (Wallace) — he didn’t just bump me out of the way; he just flat-out dumped me and wrecked me.”
We’ve seen race wins slip through Martin Truex Jr.’s fingers a few times lately, for a variety of reasons. How much does that stick with a driver?
“It sticks with you for a long time. Wins are hard to come by, and when you’re in position to win a race, you want to close the deal. Each time you close it, you build your confidence, and you move on to the next one and build your confidence up even more. Go back to the Roval, and you see what happened there with Jimmie Johnson … Then you go to Martinsville and the incident between him and Joey. Right now, I think Truex’s patience is gone. He’s done.”
What do we expect out of Martin Truex Jr. the next couple of races, and ultimately, racing for the championship at Homestead?
“You never forget, but the best thing that can happen to Joey Logano is for Martin Truex Jr. to get to Homestead because he (Logano) does not want that grudge to be taken out on this season. I don’t know if that’s the kind of driver Martin Truex Jr. is. He’s hot right now, and he might calm down. Joey is hoping it happens this weekend — that they get it out this weekend and then they can go on to Homestead.”
Who will you be watching this weekend at Texas?
“I’m really interested to see what Kyle Busch does in the next two weeks because we know he is a really aggressive driver. He doesn’t have to be aggressive. He can get in by points. I just don’t think that’s his style. And could that jeopardize his chance if he gets too aggressive?”
“I’m looking at the 4 car as being really strong. The 4, 9 and 78. That’s going to be one heck of a battle for this last playoff position.”
How much could this weekend’s race at Texas shake up the Playoff standings?
“It really could. Chase Elliott won the last-mile-and-a-half race. If Chase wins this weekend, with as far back as he is in points, then all of a sudden, the ‘Big 3’ are broken up. I think Kevin Harvick is going to be the guy to beat this weekend, but I think Martin Truex can be strong and also Chase Elliott. And that doesn’t include all the drama that can happen from pit stops or pit road incidents or whatever may happen on the track.”
With only one win in the playoffs, is Texas the place the ‘Big 3’ take back that title?
“Kevin Harvick has two weeks – he also has Phoenix, and he loves Phoenix. He knows how good he is at Texas, and he has won there recently. I think this is the opportunity he wants to get himself sealed in there and not have to worry about going to Phoenix.”
On whether momentum continues to build for a driver between now and the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway:
“Go back to Kansas and the last couple of mile-and-a-halves. Whoever is strong at Texas is going to be strong at Homestead, so this is a real sign.”
FOX Sports PR