SPRINT CUP SCOUTING REPORT
Texas Motor Speedway
What/when/where/TV: AAA Texas 500; 3 today; Fort Worth; ESPN
Denny Hamlin's mechanical issues at Martinsville all but knocked him out of the Chase for the Championship and left four real contenders: leader Jimmie Johnson, second-place Brad Keselowski (two points behind), plus Clint Bowyer and Kasey Kahne, who both need to get great finishes and help in the next three weeks to win the Sprint Cup. Johnson, whose win last week gave him the points lead, has just one win in 18 starts at Texas, but his average finish of 9.7 is second only to fellow Chase driver Matt Kenseth (8.6 in 20 starts). Keselowski has never finished in the top 10 in eight starts at the 11/2-mile oval; his best finish is 14th in the spring 2010 race.