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Dustin Off the Next Race: AAA Texas 500

God blessed Texas, with his own hands.  And in 1997, he blessed the Fort Worth area with an excellent 1.5-mile speedway that has shown to be just as challenging as many of it’s quad-oval counterparts.

But it took a long time before finally this place got two races, and when this event became one of the key events before the final round of the playoffs, the wick got turned up quite a bit.  We’ve seen that Martinsville has been a catalyst for some intense moments in the playoffs, but let’s not forget that Texas certainly has given us a couple moments to remember when it comes to competition getting heated, with the championship nearly within grasp.

Remember that fight in 2014 between Jeff Gordon and Brad Keselowski, the one that saw then-ESPN reporter Jamie Little try and get a word with one of the parties.  She ultimately was in the middle trying to help separate the two as it seemed someone connected with the No. 24 driver, as blood showed he got a piece of the action.

I gave props to Little back then when the fight took place, because she easily could have gotten mixed up in the action and got thrown to the ground or gotten trampled as big as that crowd was.

But remember, this is the playoffs, and this is what the third round means for each.  There is very little give any longer, and an extreme amount of taking, even on a 1.5-mile speedway.

Everyone still is buzzing about the Logano-Hamlin “fight” from last weekend, and at this point it’s even frustrating people like Tony Stewart, who’s seen his fair share of on-track incidents lead to some off-track encounters.  He’s even gotten into it with Logano, and still had the intelligence to actually thank the reporter for the interview.  Then again, when it comes to Stewart and fights, I would always pick the bigger man, which normally tended to be him.

Everything is bigger in Texas, we know this, especially when a spot in the playoffs is on the line.  At the same time, there’s only eight vying for the final round of the playoffs, and one spot is already taken.  So, seven are going after those final spots, while 33 are just going for a victory.

It certainly would not be surprising if one of those 33 get a victory here, and actually take away the spotlight from the playoff drivers.  It’s no secret since this formula was introduced back in 2014, playoff drivers dominate and win most of these races.  But, the times when one doesn’t have the green decals, or yellow as it was back in the Sprint era, made for special moments.

Time to cowboy up, because a pair of six-shooters awaits this afternoon.

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