This article is part of our Weekly Preview series.
We make a return to the intermediate ovals for the first race of the season in Fort Worth this weekend. After the beating and banging short-track action of Martinsville Speedway, the O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway is up next. This event marks a temporary break in the spring, short track part of the schedule, and gives us just one more look at the teams on a cookie cutter oval. The teams that performed well in the close confines of Martinsville can now focus on the business of racing at high speeds and with a return to the emphasis of handling sensitivity and the aero package. For the drivers that finished well at the Virginia bull ring, they have a leg up in the championship standings as we enter the heart of the NASCAR schedule. For those drivers who do well on the intermediate ovals and looking for a boost in the standings, it's time to strike while the iron is hot.
Texas Motor Speedway possesses the trademark characteristics of the "D" shaped tri-ovals on the circuit. This facility has 24 degree banking in the turns and very high speeds similar to that of the oval in Atlanta. This race will give us a good indication of the drivers that will be dominant for the remainder of the season, since this style of track makes up the bulk of the Monster Energy Cup Series schedule. We can look back at the results from Las Vegas Motor Speedway and