Only three Sprint Cup drivers have had the good fortune to win in the last eight races at Texas Motor Speedway.
Luckily for them, they’re all drivers who are still in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
Those wins belong to Jimmie Johnson (five), Kyle Busch (two) and Joey Logano (one).
But they’re not the only Chasers with Texas success. In fact, of the eight remaining drivers only one – Kevin Harvick – has not found victory at the 1.5-mile track in Fort Worth, Texas.
Texas represent one of four Sprint Cup tracks the 2014 champion has not won at. The others are Kentucky Speedway, Pocono Raceway and Sonoma Raceway.
Harvick has six top fives at the track. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver has finished in the top three in three of the last four visits.
Fortunately for Harvick, he’s won the second race in each Chase round so far.
Here’s who is hot and cold heading into this weekend’s AAA Texas 500.
- Finished in the top 10 in five of the last six races with wins at Charlotte and Martinsville
- 455 laps led in the 2016 Chase, 266 in the regular season.
- Six wins at Texas Motor Speedway, including the last four fall races.
- Advanced to the championship race for the first time in elimination era.
- Average Texas finish: 8.3.
- Finished in the top 10 in 17 of the last 21 races.
- Won at Texas in April 2014; finished third last April.
- Earned top-three finishes four times on 1.5-mile tracks this season.
- Average Texas finish: 17.5.
- Top-10 finishes in six of the last seven races, including two second-place finishes.
- Finished 11th at Texas in April, best finish in last three Texas races.
- Top-10 finishes in the last six races on 1.5 mile tracks
- Average Texas finish: 9.5.
- Top-10 finishes in seven of the last eight races (strategic 30th-place finish at Talladega).
- Won at Texas in April after leading 34 laps.
- Finished in top four in six of the last seven Texas races, including two wins.
- Average Texas finish: 11.9.
- Only two top 10s in the last nine races.
- Only one top five since the Kentucky race in July.
- Three wins at Texas, but none since 2008.
- Average Texas finish: 14.2.
- Only four top 10s in last eight races.
- Finished top 10 in three of the last four races at Texas, ninth in April.
- Has not finished worse than 14th on a 1.5-mile track in 22 races (Kansas 2014).
- Average Texas finish: 15.3.
- Only two top 10s in the Chase.
- Finished ninth at Texas in April; Earned first Xfinity Series win at Texas.
Martin Truex Jr.
- Finished seventh at Martinsville after leading 147 laps.
- Finished in the top 10 in last three Texas races.
- Average Texas finish: 14.3.
Other interesting notes entering the AAA Texas 500.
- There has been a green-flag stretch of 100 laps or more in 12 of the last 14 Texas races.
- Eight of the 11 Texas Chase races held were won by drivers still competing for the championship. But in the past two seasons Johnson won it after having been eliminated in the Chase.
- The race winner started outside the top 10 in four of nine races on 1.5-mile tracks in 2016.
Martin Truex Jr. and Chase Elliott will start on the front row for Saturday night’s Cup race at Richmond Raceway.
Truex won his third pole of the season.
The top five is completed by Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson.
Kyle Busch, who is trying to win a third consecutive race, qualified 32nd.
Click here for the starting lineup.
Martin Truex Jr. qualified first for Saturday’s Cup race at Richmond Raceway, winning his third pole of the season.
Truex claimed the pole with a speed of 123.859 mph around the .75-mile track. The Toyota Owners 400 will mark Truex’s 450th Cup start. Truex had DNFs in the last two races.
“It’s definitely been a crappy two weeks,” Truex told Fox Sports 1. “But that’s part of racing. This team, I’ve got so much faith and confidence in them and everything we’re doing. You can’t let those kinds of things get you down. It was nothing we did, just circumstances. Just proud of the effort today.”
The pole matches Truex’s total from last year.
Chase Elliott qualified second (123.621 mph). The top five is completed by Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson.
Ryan Blaney will start 12th, followed by Ryan Newman, David Ragan, Clint Bowyer and Jimmie Johnson.
Daniel Hemric will start 22nd in his first Cup start.
Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski both failed to advance out of the first round. Keselowski will start 28th and Busch will start 32nd.
“We didn’t make a mock run in practice and then we thought the spread would be about three tenths (of a second),” Busch told Fox Sports 1. “It wasn’t, it was faster than that. We only ran two laps trying to make sure we preserve out tires for later on deeper into the session. A bunch of those guys ran three laps and obviously we needed that third lap. It would have picked up. For some reason the tire here today, even in race trim, your fastest lap was the seventh lap. So just takes awhile for everything to come in. Just trying to short cut it a little bit and it didn’t work out for us.”
Click here for qualifying results.
Cole Custer will start first in tonight’s Xfinity Series race at Richmond Raceway after earning his second consecutive pole.
Custer won the pole for the ToyotaCare 250 with a lap of 121.332 mph. He earned his first career pole last weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway.
The Stewart-Haas Racing driver will be joined on the front row by Christopher Bell (120.881 mph). He has started on the front row in four of the first eight races this season.
The top five is rounded out by Austin Cindric, Daniel Hemric and John Hunter Nemechek.
Cindric will start in the top five for the first time this season.
Hemric is the highest qualifying of the four Dash 4 Cash drivers. Justin Allgaier will start seventh and Elliott Sadler will roll off eighth. Spencer Gallagher will start 17th.
Noah Gragson will start 11th in his Xfinity debut.
Tyler Reddick suffered some cosmetic damage when he scrapped the frontstretch wall in Round 2. He will start 10th.
Click here for qualifying results.
The Xfinity Series is back on a short track for round two of the Dash 4 Cash series. Justin Allgaier, Elliott Sadler, Daniel Hemric and Spencer Gallagher will compete for the $100,000 bonus tonight at Richmond Raceway.
Here is all the info for tonight’s race.
(All times are Eastern)
START: Leslie Gravitte, Toyota Camry owner, will give the command to start engines at 7:07 p.m for the ToyotaCare 250. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 7:13 p.m.
DISTANCE: The race is scheduled for 250 laps (187.5 miles) around the .75-mile track.
STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 75. Stage 2 ends on Lap 150.
PRERACE SCHEDULE: Driver/crew chief meeting is at 5:10 p.m. Driver introductions are at 6:35 p.m.
NATIONAL ANTHEM: Henrico Fire Choir will perform the anthem at 7:01 p.m.
TV/RADIO: Fox Sports 1 will broadcast the race beginning at 7 p.m. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. Motor Racing Network’s radio broadcast begins at 6:30 p.m. and also can be heard at mrn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will have MRN’s broadcast.
FORECAST: wunderground.com calls for a high of 59 degrees and a zero percent chance of rain at the start of the race.
LAST TIME: Kyle Larson took the lead with 10 laps to go to win this race last April. He was followed by Justin Allgaier and Daniel Hemric. Brad Keselowski won last September’s race and was followed by Kyle Busch and Ty Dillon.
STARTING LINEUP: Click here for starting lineup.