Full-time Cup drivers with longest winless streaks ahead of 2019

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The 2018 Cup season was partially defined by streak busters.

Six drivers ended winless streaks of 50 or more races, including Clint Bowyer snapping a 190-race winless streak in March at Martinsville.

Aric Almirola also ended a multi-season winless streak when he won at Talladega, earning his first win since 2014.

The 2018 season was also defined by surprising drivers going winless, including seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson.

Who has the longest winless streaks ahead of the 2019 season?

The following list is made up of drivers who are confirmed to compete full-time in 2019 and who did not win in 2018 but have won previously.

Should Jamie McMurray accept an offer from Chip Ganassi Racing to race in the Daytona 500, it’ll be his 185th start since his last points win (Oct. 20, 2013 at Talladega).

Paul Menard – 268 starts (July 31, 2011 at Indianapolis; Only Cup win)

David Ragan – 206 starts (May 5, 2013 at Talladega; Second Cup win)

Chris Buescher – 87 starts (Aug. 1, 2016 at Pocono; Only Cup win)

Ryan Newman – 68 starts (March 13, 2017 at ISM Raceway)

Jimmie Johnson – 59 starts (June 4, 2017 at Dover; went winless for first time in Cup career in 2017)

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – 55 starts (July 1, 2017 at Daytona; Second Cup win)

Denny Hamlin – 47 starts (Sept. 3, 2017 at Darlington; went winless for first time in career in 2017)

Kyle Larson – 46 starts (Sept. 9, 2017 at Richmond)

NASCAR America: New rules level 2019 Cup playing field

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A significantly altered rules package for 2019 has the potential to create new opportunities for teams, according to NASCAR America analyst Parker Kligerman.

Last year, relatively minor changes in the body style caused Chevrolet to begin the season with little momentum and allowed Ford to get a head start. Teams now have several large changes that need to be factored into the handling of their cars.

“With a new package, it’s a bit of a reset,” Kligerman said on Wednesday’s show. “No one exactly knows what is going to be best. Everyone is going to show up at Daytona and then go on to Atlanta and say ‘all right, what’s best? I don’t know. We’re going to find out.’

“They’re going to do the best simulation, the best research they can, but when you have that unknown – that X-Factor – that just opens up that door for teams to catch up to other teams and for bigger teams to make a mistake and not really hit it right off the bat.”

According to Kligerman, this could result in an extremely tight race in the middle of the pack. Last year Richard Childress Racing placed one of its drivers in the playoffs on the strength of Austin Dillon‘s Daytona 500 win. Teammate Ryan Newman finished the season 17th in the standings.

Only 68 points behind, Roush Fenway Racing finished 18th with Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

The Wood Brothers and Paul Menard were nine points behind in 19th.

JTG Daugherty finished 22nd (AJ Allmendinger) and 24th (Chris Buescher).

“We’re talking about the rule change condensing the field and maybe giving midfield teams a chance to catch up. And when I look at teams that would be right there in the middle – your fringe playoff contenders – I look at (Richard Childress Racing). And now the other side of that is if some of those teams behind them are able to catch up more, it puts more competition. … It almost condenses the field and gives them some teams they weren’t fighting with before catching up.”

For more, watch the video above.

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Active Cup wins list after 2018

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The 70th season of Cup racing was put to bed last weekend as Joey Logano won the season finale and the championship.

Over 36 races, the series saw 12 drivers win at least one race.

Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch combined to win 16 races at eight each.

Chase Elliott and Erik Jones each won their first career Cup races.

Here’s a look at how the active driver wins list looks after the season.

This list is made up of drivers who started in the season finale, including Matt Kenseth and Jamie McMurray, who likely made their last or next-to-last Cup starts.

Kasey Kahne missed the final 11 races of the season, as issues with hydration cut his season and career short. He finished with 18 career victories.

Trevor Bayne made 21 starts in a part-time capacity, sharing the No. 6 Ford with Kenseth. His only Cup win remains the 2011 Daytona 500.

1. Jimmie Johnson – 83 wins (Winless in last 59 starts)
2. Kyle Busch – 51 wins (Eight wins in 2018 tied career-best)
3. Kevin Harvick – 45 wins (Eight wins in 2018 is a career-best by three)
4. Matt Kenseth – 39 wins (Winless in 15 starts in 2018)
5. Denny Hamlin – 31 wins (Went winless for the first time in 13 full-time Cup seasons)
6. Kurt Busch – 30 wins (One win in 2018; Has won at least once in last five seasons)
7. Brad Keselowski – 27 wins (Three wins in 2018; Has won at least one race in last eight seasons.)
8. Joey Logano – 21 wins (Three wins in 2018; Has won at least one race in last seven seasons)
9. Martin Truex Jr. – 19 wins (Four wins in 2018; 17 wins in the last four seasons)
10. Ryan Newman – 18 wins (Winless in last 68 starts)
11. Clint Bowyer – 10 wins (Two wins in 2018; Victory at Martinsville in March ended a 190-race winless streak)
12. Jamie McMurray – 7 wins (Has gone winless since 2013)
13. Kyle Larson – 5 wins (Went winless this season)
14. Chase Elliott – 3 wins (Earned all three wins in an 11-race stretch this season)
15. Aric Almirola, Ryan Blaney, Austin Dillon, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., David Ragan – 2 wins
20. Erik Jones, AJ Allmendinger, Chris Buescher, Regan Smith, Paul Menard – 1 win

Today’s Cup playoff race at Texas: Start time, lineup and more

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After the memorable finish at Martinsville last weekend, the Cup playoffs continue today with the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

There are just two races left to determine the championship four at Miami.

Here’s all the info you need for today’s playoff race:

(All times are Eastern)

START: U.S. Army Maj. Ed Pulido (Retired) will give the command to start engines at 3:07 p.m. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:16 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is scheduled for 334 laps (501 miles) around the 1.5-mile speedway.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 85. Stage 2 ends on Lap 170.

PRERACE SCHEDULE: Garage opens at 9:30 a.m. Driver/crew chief meeting is at 1 p.m. Driver introductions are at 2:30 p.m.

MOMENT OF SILENCE: Will be held at 3 p.m. for Mary Hulman George, Chairman of the Board Emeritus of Hulman & Company, which owns and operates Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

NATIONAL ANTHEMAir National Guard Band of the Southwest will perform the anthem at 3:01 p.m.

TV/RADIO: NBCSN will broadcast the race beginning at 3 p.m. Coverage begins at 1 p.m. with NASCAR America on NBCSN. Countdown to Green begins at 2:30 p.m. Performance Racing Network’s radio broadcast begins at 2 p.m. and also can be heard at goprn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will have PRN’s broadcast.

FORECAST: wunderground.com calls for sunny skies with a high of 65 degrees and a zero percent chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST TIME: Kyle Busch led 116 laps in the spring and beat Kevin Harvick and Jamie McMurray. Harvick won this race last year over Martin Truex Jr. and Denny Hamlin.

TO THE REAR: Martin Truex Jr. (engine change), Daniel Suarez (engine change), Chris Buescher (engine change), Matt DiBenedetto (transmission change), Aric Almirola (body adjustment)

PRE-RACE INSPECTION: William Byron will start from the rear and a crew member will ejected for the race after his car failed inspection three times. Jimmie Johnson will also start from the rear for failing inspection.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for the starting lineup

Martin Truex Jr. to start at rear for engine change

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FORT WORTH, Texas – Martin Truex Jr. will start at the rear of the field for the second consecutive weekend after his Furniture Row Racing team made an engine change Saturday.

Truex started at the rear last weekend at Martinsville after failing post-qualifying inspection. Truex will give up his 13th starting spot for Sunday’s race (3 p.m. ET on NBCSN). Truex was third on the speed chart in the final practice session with a top lap of 191.844 mph. He ranked 14th in the best average over 10 consecutive laps in the session.

Truex is one of four drivers going to the rear this weekend.

Daniel Suarez, who qualified 19th, will go to the rear for an engine change. Both Suarez and Truex have Toyota horsepower.

Chris Buescher, who qualified 21st, will go to the rear for an engine change. This team is using a Hendrick Motorsports engine this weekend only. JTG Daugherty Racing runs Earnhardt Childress Racing engines but will switch to Hendrick horsepower next season.

Matt DiBenedetto, who qualified 31st, will go to the rear for a transmission change.