This year, Texas seemed to be a hot bed for many big events over the course of the year.  This weekend, the NCAA Final Four is in town, as Kentucky, Wisconsin, UConn and Florida are set to compete to decide a championship.  Later this year, the X-Games comes to Austin for the first time, and before you know it the football season will be back in season in both Dallas and Houston.  The Spurs once again are having an epic year, so the Lone Star State certainly has been on a roll this year.

But, this weekend that strong year now is going to include 43 race cars that put out 800 horsepower a piece.

NASCAR returns to town for the first time since the second-to-last Chase race, and with Cowboys Stadium having a lot of attention for a few nights, the race is being held on a Sunday afternoon for the first time in a few years.  It will make for a different track than what teams were used to, but in reality it's just another challenge for these drivers to saddle up to.

The writers themselves are ready to ride hard and wrangle up a victory after coming so close one week ago.  Time to hook those horns and showcase the picks for the Duck Commander 500:

 

Misan Akuya:  Carl Edwards

Check it out, Carl Edwards in a contract year is leading the points!  Cousin Carl has three wins at Texas.  No reason he can't get a fourth and halt this endless string of winners.

Rob Blount:  Matt Kenseth

No reason.

James Broomhead:  NO PICK SENT

No pick submitted by posted deadline.

Billy Fellin:  Matt Kenseth

Kenseth has an average finish of 8.3 at Texas.  Good enough for me.

Michael Hirshbein:  Kyle Busch

No reason.

Kara Martin:  Kyle Busch

Going with my gut!

Ryan O'Hara:  Joey Logano

No reason.

Dustin Parks:  Matt Kenseth

We're back to a 1.5-mile speedway, and as much as I want to go with Carl Edwards or even Greg Biffle, I think I'll save my RFR picks for Michigan and Pocono.  At this kind of track, it's hard to bet against that No. 20.

Patti Rodisch:  Kyle Busch

No reason.

Aaron Rosser:  Carl Edwards

No reason.

Sal Sigala Jr:  Jimmie Johnson

You could see the disappointment in Johnson's face last week when he failed to get the win after dominating the race.  Its obvious the 48 team has the speed to stay up front, and with Texas being a fast track and the heartbreaking loss last weekend.  Look for Johnson to redeem himself and get his first win of the season.

Rob Tiongson:  Dale Earnhardt Jr.

I can't help but think of how solid Dale Earnhardt Jr. was at this track last fall and aside from Jimmie Johnson, the No. 88 car was on a league of its own.  Thinking this time, he capitalizes on a good race weekend in....the That Race 500 at Texas!

 

Standings after Martinsville:

Sal Sigala Jr (229) Jimmie Johnson finished 2nd - 2

Kara Martin (219) Jeff Gordon finished 12th - 2

Ryan O'Hara (218) Jeff Gordon finished 12th - 2

Rob Tiongson (218) Jeff Gordon finished 12th - 1

Dustin Parks (196) Denny Hamlin finished 19th - 1

Michael Hirshbein (189) Kyle Busch finished 14th - 1

Rob Blount (185) Jeff Gordon finished 12th - 1

Patti Rodisch (177) Jeff Gordon finished 12th - 1

Billy Fellin (169) Jimmie Johnson finished 2nd - 0

Aaron Rosser (168) Jimmie Johnson finished 2nd - 1

James Broomhead (145) Jeff Gordon finished 12th - 1

Misan Akuya (144) Matt Kenseth finished 6th - 0

 

Final Remarks:  This track opened in 1997, and since that time some odd happenings have gone down at the track, including the track "weeping" a bit.  But since then, it's been a track where fans certainly know how to do it big.

This year's big event is set to go green at 3 p.m. ET on FOX.  Time to cowboy up for a show more wild than a rodeo.

 

Summary of Picks:

Kyle Busch-3

Matt Kenseth-3

Carl Edwards-2

Dale Earnhardt Jr-1

Jimmie Johnson-1

Joey Logano-1