After a week off for the Easter Holiday, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup and NASCAR XFINITY Series resume action this Saturday and Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway. Ford drivers will be looking to continue a MENCS streak that has seen the manufacturer win four of the first six races in 2018. Here’s a look at how the Blue Oval has done at TMS through the years.
FORD’S HOT CUP START CONTINUES
When Clint Bowyer took the checkered flag at Martinsville Speedway, it not only marked his first win of the 2018 season but continued a Ford hot streak that has seen the manufacturer win four of the first six events. Kevin Harvick’s three consecutive victories at Atlanta, Las Vegas and Phoenix got it started and Bowyer kept it going. This marks the best start to a season for Ford since 1997 when Rusty Wallace (Richmond), Dale Jarrett (Atlanta and Darlington) and Jeff Burton (Texas) combined to win four of the first six races.
FORD IN THE MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES AT TMS
· Ford is tied for the most all-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series wins at TMS with 13.
· Joey Logano (2014) and Kevin Harvick (2017) have Ford wins at the track.
· Jack Roush is tied for the most wins among car owners at TMS with nine.
· Carl Edwards became the first driver to sweep both TMS events when he did it in 2008.
· Jeff Burton won the inaugural MENCS event in 1997.
FORD IN THE NASCAR XFINITY SERIES AT TMS
· Ford leads all manufacturers with 11 NASCAR XFINITY Series wins at TMS.
· Five current Ford Cup drivers have at least one NXS win at TMS (Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Trevor Bayne and Kurt Busch).
· Mark Martin won the first NXS race at Texas and leads Ford with three series victories overall.
· Ford has swept the MENCS/NXS weekend four times at TMS.
· Jack Roush has eight series wins at TMS, which is second among car owners.
PLAYOFF WIN SENDS HARVICK TO CHAMPIONSHIP FOUR
The last time NASCAR came to Texas Motor Speedway it saw Kevin Harvick pass Martin Truex Jr. with 10 laps remaining to win and advance to the Championship Four. The Playoff race was Harvick’s first Cup victory at the speedway in 30 starts and his second since he and Stewart-Haas Racing joined Ford at the start of 2017.
LAST LAP PASS LEADS LOGANO TO VICTORY
Joey Logano’s first Cup win at TMS came in 2014 in a race that was delayed until Monday because of rain. Logano dominated much of the second half, but a caution with two laps to go forced a green-white-checker finish. He started third on the restart after the leaders stopped on pit road, and was able to get past Jeff Gordon on the final lap to claim victory. Logano led 108 of the final 116 laps to claim the first of five wins that season.
A TEXAS TWO-FIRST
A couple of firsts happened on April 6, 1997 as Texas Motor Speedway hosted its inaugural Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event and Jeff Burton took his first checkered flag. Burton, led by crew chief Buddy Parrott, passed Todd Bodine with 58 laps remaining and beat fellow Ford driver Dale Jarrett to the finish line by four seconds. The race was slowed by 10 cautions, which included a multi-car accident in first turn of the first lap. Burton went on to win 21 career series races with 17 of those coming in a Thunderbird or Taurus.
SADLER WINS FIRST RACE WITH RYR
Elliott Sadler passed Jeff Gordon with 27 laps remaining and then held off Kasey Kahne in the closing laps to win the Samsung/Radio Shack 500 on April 4, 2004. Sadler, in his second season with Robert Yates Racing, hugged the inside lane over the final three laps as Kahne worked the outside. When the two cars came off turn four for the final time, Sadler had a lapped car in front of him and that allowed Kahne to make one last charge. Despite gaining crucial ground through the tri-oval, Kahne came up half-a-car length short as Sadler crossed the line first to gain his second of three career series wins.
FORD MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES WINNERS AT TEXAS
1997 – Jeff Burton
1998 – Mark Martin
2001 – Dale Jarrett
2002 – Matt Kenseth
2004 – Elliott Sadler
2005 – Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards
2008 – Carl Edwards*
2011 – Matt Kenseth (1)
2012 – Greg Biffle (1)
2014 – Joey Logano (1)
2017 – Kevin Harvick (2)
* Denotes season sweep
Campbell Marketing & Communications for Ford Performance/ Photo Sarah Crabill/Getty Images