Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 Race Preview

TRACK: Texas Motor Speedway (1.5 mile Oval) DISTANCE: 130 Laps – STAGE 1: 25 Laps, Stage 2: 52 Laps, FINAL STAGE 53 LAPS 325 Miles)
WEATHER: RAIN 0%, 96 degrees high

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Kevin Harvick

Harvick has 11 straight top 10 finishes at Texas. Among those are four top two finishes in his last five starts there. In the spring race, he has two runner-ups in the last five years.

Kyle Busch

He won this race two years ago. While it’s his only top five at Texas in his last six starts, he does have eight top five finishes in his last 14 Texas starts overall.

Martin Truex Jr.

He’s never won at Texas before, but Truex has been close. He has eight top 10s in his last 10 starts there.

Joey Logano

He has seven top seven finishes in his last eight Texas starts.

Ryan Blaney

Blaney has a top 12 finish in all but one Texas start. In fact, he has four top eights in his last five tries and the only one he doesn’t, he led 145 laps in this race last year before an engine problem.

Sleepers

Kurt Busch

Mr. top 10 machine is a top 10 machine at Texas too. Busch, has six straight top 10s there and eight in the last nine years. The only reason for these odds is, his last top five was 2010.

Clint Bowyer

He was second in this race a year ago. He has three straight top 11s there overall.

Erik Jones

Might be the top sleeper. Jones, has five straight top 10 finishes at Texas including three fourth place runs in his last four overall. Also, in five Xfinity Series tries on the 1.5 mile track, he’s finished in the top four in all including two wins.

Jimmie Johnson

Which one do we get here? From 2006 through 2017, the seven time series champion had 12 top two finishes at Texas and 14 top sixes. Since? 27th, 35th, 15th, 5th and 34th respectively.

William Byron

In two career Texas spring race starts, Byron was 10th in 2018 and sixth last year.

Aric Almirola

With Stewart-Haas Racing, Almirola has three straight top 10 finishes including a seventh place run last spring and a runner up in the fall.

O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 Race Preview

Fans are back again. We saw fans back at the All-Star race the other night in Bristol, now we have them back this weekend in Texas.

They will be treated to a show. Last year, we saw 26 lead changes in both races. This year, we have a hot Texas day with what’s surely going to be hot and slick conditions.

Despite that, look for the winner to come from the top 6 Rows. Owners points will make the winner since 16 of the last 18 and 18 of the last 21 Texas races were won from a top 10 starter.

Stewart-Hass Racing will look to pick up where they left off in 2019 with them going 1-2-3 in the Fall race and 2-3-7-8 last spring. They’ve been a top team recently too.

Kevin Harvick hasn’t finished outside the top 10 at Texas since the spring race in 2014. He also has three top two finishes in his last four tries there overall.

He’s the one to beat.

The Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota’s may not be. They’ve won this race in three of the last four years but their drivers haven’t necessarily been at their best at Texas lately. They looked pedestrian last Sunday in Kentucky.

Kyle Busch has one top five in his last six Texas starts. Denny Hamlin has three finishes of 28th or worse in his last four. Martin Truex Jr. has never won at Texas before one top five in his last six.

Brad Keselowski and Jimmie Johnson may not be threats either.

Keselowski hasn’t had a top 10 at Texas since 2017. That year is his only top 10 since 2016 as six of his last eight starts there have seen him finish 12th or worse including three of the last four being 26th or worse.

For Johnson, which one do we get here? From 2006 through 2017, the seven time series champion had 12 top two finishes at Texas and 14 top sixes. Since? 27th, 35th, 15th, 5th and 34th respectively.

This has all the makings to maybe shuffle up the playoff standings a bit.

Key Stat

There’s been a different winner in each of the last seven Cup races on 1.5-mile tracks, including all of them run in 2020. If we get another new winner on the season for 1.5-mile standards, then Ryan Blaney, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Erik Jones, Aric Almirola, Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth, William Byron, Jimmie Johnson or Alex Bowman are your best bets to do.

They Said It

“It’s tough, said Kyle Busch is winless season thus far. “We’re struggling right now. There’s just no speed in our racecars for some reason. I don’t know what’s going on.

 

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