In this weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series action at Texas Motor Speedway, eight former series winners at the 1.5-mile track are entered for Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 and half of them are looking for their first win of the 2020 season.
Defending series champ and Joe Gibbs Racing driver, Kyle Busch, has three NASCAR Cup Series Texas Motor Speedway wins under his belt but heads into this weekend looking for his first victory of 2020. The 35-year old Las Vegas native is currently 11th in the series driver standings, 198 points back from Kevin Harvick in the standings lead. In 17 starts this season, he has gathered seven top fives and nine top 10s; including three runner-up finishes. Busch’s resume at Texas has been solid posting one pole, three wins (2013, 2016, 2018 all spring races), 12 top fives and 15 top 10s in 28 starts.
Chip Ganassi Racing’s Matt Kenseth is also looking for his first win of 2020 and heads into this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway ready to get his third career victory at the 1.5-mile facility. Kenseth received the Playoff waiver after replacing Kyle Larson in the No. 42 Chevrolet this season, but will most likely need to win to get into the postseason as he is currently 28th in the driver standings, 178 points back from Jimmie Johnson in the 16th and final Playoff transfer spot. In 13 starts this year Kenseth has put up one top five and two top 10s. The veteran from Cambridge, Wisconsin has made 30 series starts at Texas posting one pole, two wins (2002, 2011), 14 top fives and 19 top 10s. He also leads the series in key pre-race loop data stats at Texas – driver rating (103.8) and average running position (9.351).
For Ryan Newman, the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season has been a whirlwind to say the least. The Indiana native kicked the season off with a dramatic last-lap crash in the Daytona 500 that sidelined him for three races but has since returned to competition and is looking for his first win of 2020. Newman’s last series win came 121 races ago at Phoenix in 2017.
Currently the Roush Fenway Racing veteran is 26th in series driver standings with a Playoff waiver in hand looking for his first win of 2020 to click his ticket to the postseason. In 14 starts this year, Newman has accumulated one top 10 and an average finish of 18.6. With 136 points between Newman and 16th place Jimmie Johnson – in the final postseason transfer spot – it will most likely take a win for Newman to make the Playoffs and Texas is place he has been able to do just that. In 33 starts at the 1.5-mile track, he has put up two poles, one win (2003), three top fives and six top 10s. He finished 11th in the March Texas race last season.
Rounding out the four previous Texas winners looking for their first victory in 2020 is Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kurt Busch, who currently is wrestling a 34-race winless streak that dates back to the race at Kentucky last season. Heading into this weekend at Texas, Busch is ranked 10th in driver standings 183 points back from Kevin Harvick in the series standings lead. In 17 starts this year, he has amassed a pole, four top fives and 10 top 10s. Looking ahead to Sunday, Texas could be the place he gets back to his winning ways. The 41-year old Las Vegas native has made 34 series starts at Texas posting a series leading three poles, one win (2009), three top fives and 21 top 10s. He finished ninth in the March Texas race last year.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!