Clint Bowyer will line up in the No, 4 spot for the eighth stop in NASCAR's 10-race Chase for the Cup playoffs Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway in Ft. Worth. Points leader Jimmie Johnson will be on the pole for the second straight week.
It will be Johnson's fourth pole of the 2012 season as he tries to extend his two-point lead over Cup challenger Brad Keselowski, who conceded the top spot in the standings at Martinsville last Sunday after leading the 12-car Chase field for four consecutive weeks. It will be Johnson's first start from the pole in 19 previous races at Texas Motor Speedway.
Bowyer, from Emporia, Kan., remains within striking distance with just three Chase races remaining. He sits third in the standings, trailing the leaders by 26 points. The driver of the No. 15 5-Hour Energy Toyota was fifth last week at Martinsville, sixth at Kansas Speedway the week before and won the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Oct. 13.
While winning his first Sprint Cup title is definitely a long shot at this stage with just three races left in the Chase, Bowyer at least will be giving it a go in two previous winners as far as cars go. His No. 15 car at Texas on Sunday is the car he drove to victory at Charlotte three weeks ago, and next week at Phoenix, he will drive the car that won at Richmond in September.
"All I can do is worry about running well and putting ourselves in position to win races every week," Bowyer said this week in practice sessions at Texas Motor Speedway. "Bad luck is not really something I can really wish upon the other guys in front of us or even worry about.
"Yes, we are going to need some help from the other guys to stay in this deal. Even after winning Charlotte we were still 20 something points out and we're going to need some help to catch these guys," he said.
The top five qualifiers for Sunday's AAA Texas 500 along with the polesitter Johnson are Greg Biffle, Kyle Busch, Bowyer and Martin Truex Jr.
Race time is set for 2 p.m. Sunday, with TV coverage on ESPN.
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