Cup Series Playoff Driver Stats at Texas Motor Speedway

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Looking ahead to this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, there are nine former winners in the field and four of them are Playoff contenders (Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano and Kurt Busch). The Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio is one of just two races left for the Playoff drivers to secure their spots in the Championship 4 round. Below are insights into the eight drivers as they head to Texas Motor Speedway in order of the Playoff outlook:

Joey Logano (No. 2 Team Penske Ford) has catapulted himself into the Championship 4 round with his big win last weekend to open the Round of 8 at Kansas Speedway. This is the fourth time in Logano’s career he has qualified for the Championship 4 round (2014, 2016, 2018, 2020). Th 2018 NASCAR Cup Series champion now has two weeks to prepare for the season finale at Phoenix. Looking to this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, Logano has made 24 series starts putting up one win (2014), 11 top fives and 13 top 10s. He is also ranked in top 12 of several key pre-race Loop Data categories at Texas with an Average Running Position of 14.624, 11th-best, a Driver Rating of 90.0, ninth-best and 4,773 Laps in the Top 15 (59.7%), ninth-most. Logano finished third just behind the RCR teammates of Austin Dillon and Tyler Reddick at Texas earlier this season.

Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford) conceded following Kansas that Joey Logano literally blocked him from his 10th win of the season and now the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff standings leader finds himself 41 points ahead of the Championship 4 cutoff heading into Texas. Harvick is looking to make the Championship 4 for the sixth time in his career (2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019). Arriving in Texas this weekend, Harvick has made 35 series starts at the 1.5-mile speedway posting two poles, three wins (last three Playoff races 2017, 2018, 2019), 12 top fives and 23 top 10s. Plus, the Stewart-Haas Racing driver from California is in the top five of several key pre-race Loop Data categories at Texas with an Average Running Position of 11.947, fourth-best, a Driver Rating of 97.8, fourth-best and 7,450 Laps in the Top 15 (72.1%), series-most. Harvick finished fifth in the Texas race back in July.

Denny Hamlin (No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota) will be looking to rebound this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway after bouncing off the wall at Kansas Speedway resulting in a 15th-place finish to start the Round of 8. Now the Virginia native, Hamlin is third in Playoff standings outlook 20 points above the Championship 4 cutoff. Hamlin is looking to make the Championship 4 round for the third time in his career (2014, 2019). At Texas, Hamlin has made 29 series start accumulating three wins (2010 sweep, Spring 2019), seven top fives and 13 top 10s. Hamlin also is in the top 12 of several key pre-race Loop Data categories at Texas with an Average Running Position of 14.456, 10th-best, a Driver Rating of 88.6, 11th-best and 6,076 Laps in the Top 15 (62.8%), seventh-most. But Hamlin will have work cut out for him this weekend, the 39-year-old finished 20th at Texas earlier this season.

Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Team Penske Ford) might be walking with a little pep in his step this weekend after his fourth-place finish at Kansas to open the Round of 8 helped him leap frog Chase Elliott to the fourth in the Playoff standings outlook. Now Keselowski sits in the fourth and final transfer position to the Championship 4, just eight points ahead of Elliott  as he looks to make the Championship 4 round for the second time in his career (2017). The Michigan native now turns his attention to the Lone Star state where he has made 24 series starts posting five top fives and nine top 10s. Keselowski also ranks in the top 15 of several key pre-race Loop Data categories at Texas with an Average Running Position of 16.430, 15th-best, a Driver Rating of 85.6, 13th-best and 4,279 Laps in the Top 15 (53.5%), 10th-most. Keselowski finished ninth at Texas Motor Speedway earlier this season.

Chase Elliott (No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet), following a sixth-place finish at Kansas, has landed fifth in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs – the first spot outside the Championship 4 round cutoff. Elliott is on a quest to make the Championship 4 round for the first time in his NASCAR Cup Series career but is currently eight points behind Keselowski in the final transfer position. Elliott has made nine series starts at Texas posting two top fives and five top 10s. Plus, the Georgia native falls into the top 15 of several pre-race Loop Data categories at Texas with an Average Running Position of 12.777, seventh-best, a Driver Rating of 88.6, 10th-best and 2,229 Laps in the Top 15 (75.1%), 13th-most. Elliott finished 12th at Texas back in July.

Alex Bowman (No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet) kicked off the Round of 8 in impressive fashion, finishing third behind Logano and Harvick at Kansas Speedway. Now the 27-year-old Hendrick Motorsports driver is sixth in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, 27 points behind the Championship 4 round cutoff. And like his teammate Chase Elliott, Bowman is also looking for his first berth in the Championship 4. Looking to Texas this weekend, Bowman has made 10 series starts putting up one top-five finish – a fifth in this Playoff race last season. Bowman is also in the top 30 of several key pre-race Loop Data categories at Texas with an Average Running Position of 24.153, 26th-best, a Driver Rating of 60.1, 24th-best and 1,073 Laps in the Top 15 (32.4%), 20th-most. Bowman will be looking to improve on his first stop at Texas this season, he finished 30th due to an incident back in July.

Martin Truex Jr.  (No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota) finished ninth last weekend at Kansas to start the Round of 8 and now finds himself seventh in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, 31 points back from Chase Elliott in the final Championship 4 transfer position. The 2017 series champion is looking to make the Championship 4 for the fifth time in his career (2015, 2017, 2018, 2019). Texas is a track Truex has yet to win at, but has made 30 series starts, collecting four top fives and 16 top 10s. He has run well at the 1.5-mile track and his rankings inside the top five in several pre-race Loop Data categories at Texas back that up. He has an Average Running Position of 12.463, sixth-best, a Driver Rating of 93.4, sixth-best and 6,832 Laps in the Top 15 (68.3%), fourth-most. Truex will be hoping to rebound from his performance at Texas earlier this season where he finished 29th.

Kurt Busch (No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet) was struck by bad luck last weekend at Kansas to open the Round of 8 when the power plant to his Chevrolet expired mid-race, leaving him with a 38th-place result. The Las Vegas, Nevada native is now eighth in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs 73 points back from Chase Elliott in the final Championship 4 transfer position.

In a must-win situation, the veteran Busch is not giving up and is ready to lead his team. “It’s a shame for everyone at Chip Ganassi Racing,” Busch said. “Having an engine failure in the Playoffs is like a huge parachute that slows you up. We’ll pack that parachute up, throw it away and go to Texas to win. We knew we were going to have win either here (Kansas) or Texas and Martinsville we’ve got a shot at it too. The odds are stacked against us, but hey, we’re in the top eight for a reason and I’ve got a great crew chief in Matt McCall. We’ll bounce back.”

Busch has found success at Texas, in 35 series starts he has put up one win (2009), three top fives and 22 top 10s. Not to mention, Busch ranks in the top 10 in several pre-race Loop Data categories at Texas with an Average Running Position of 13.156, eighth-best, a Driver Rating of 90.5, eighth-best and 6,824 Laps in the Top 15 (66.0%), fifth-most. Bush finished eighth at Texas Motor Speedway earlier this season.

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