After a thrilling Wednesday night of All-Star racing at Bristol Motor Speedway, the NASCAR Cup Series turns their attention to Texas Motor Speedway for Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. This weekend’s race at Texas will mark the halfway point of a 2020 season that has already produced nine different winners including Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Cole Custer’s thrilling victory at Kentucky last weekend – the first time a rookie has won since Chris Buescher did it at Pocono in 2016.
Texas Motor Speedway has hosted 38 NASCAR Cup Series races dating back to the inaugural event on April 6, 1997 – the event was won by former driver turned NBCSN sports analyst Jeff Burton by more than 4-seconds over NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett in second. The 38 series races at Texas Motor Speedway have garnered 25 different pole winners and 19 different race winners. Two of the 19 different Texas winners got their first series career win at Texas Motor Speedway – Jeff Burton (1997) and NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2000). Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kurt Busch leads the series in poles at Texas with three (2015, 2017, 2018), and seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson leads the series in Texas victories with seven wins (2007, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 sweep and 2017).
Last season’s March Texas race was won by Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin; it was the team’s eighth victory at Texas (third-most). In total nine different organizations have won at Texas Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Cup Series, led by Hendrick Motorsports and Roush Fenway Racing with nine wins each.
Another thing worth noting is this weekend at Texas will be the seventh time this season the series has competed on a 1.5-mile track. The six previous 1.5-mile tracks this year have put up six different winners: Joey Logano (Las Vegas), Brad Keselowski (Charlotte-1), Chase Elliott (Charlotte-2), Kevin Harvick (Atlanta), Denny Hamlin (Homestead-Miami) and Cole Custer (Kentucky).