NASCAR race in Texas could the Championship battle

This has been one of the most exciting years in NASCAR history. With only three races left on the schedule, Jimmy Johnson is bidding for a record-extending fifth consecutive Sprint Cup Series championship in his Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Chevy, but he is being challenged like never before.


Denny Hamlin, driving the No. 11 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, is only 14 points back and Kevin Harvick, piloting the No. 29 Chevy for Richard Childress Racing, is trailing Johnson by a mere 38 points.


This week is Texas, next week it will be Phoenix and then the 2011 finale at Homestead-Miami Raceway. All three tracks offer different challenges to the trio fighting to win the Cup.


The races will be airing on ESPN with the broadcast team of Marty Reid (anchor), Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree (analysts). Pit reporters will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch and Vince Welch.


Rusty Wallace is part of the crew seen on ESPN America's "NASCAR Countdown" with Allen Bestwick , Brad Daugherty, Ray Evernham and Tim Brewer. We had a chance to talk about the about his thoughts on how this Cup challenge might end.


You have followed these three drivers all season long. How do you see it playing out?


» I think that this is really dead even. All three guys survived last week at Talladega and now they are on to Texas this weekend where back in April, Hamlin and JGR won the race. Remember, Johnson has never really been in a position that he has had to win in Texas to secure the title. As for Harvick, he really pulled things together last week at Talladega to finish second and that gives him momentum coming into this race. But I think that this is going to be about 70 percent something happening to derail one or two of these guys and about 30 percent them outright winning this thing. Look, it has nothing to do with their great talents as drivers or the hard work their crews put in. This season has been expect the unexpected and I don't see that changing over the next three weeks and, frankly, that makes for a more exciting ending.


What about the health of NASCAR this season?


» Lord knows these are tough times for our fans, our teams and our sponsors. Both myself and my broadcast partner Brad Daugherty are car owners and we have found that if the big sponsor is not out there, then there are plenty of smaller sponsors wanting to be part of NASCAR. There have been great storylines in the Truck Series, Nationwide Series, as well as the Sprint Cup. So even with tough time racers find ways to race. I think we all are looking forward to a great finish to 2010 and a super 2011 season.


 Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer.


Be sure to follow him on Twitter at

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I loved the performance of 48 Chevy the performance was just outstanding..

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