After the race at Bristol (and ANOTHER surprise, non-Championship contender takign the checkers), the Playoff field was lopped to 12. Kyle Busch, Tyler Reddick, Kevin Harvick, and Austin Dillon are no longer eligible for the Cup this year, but they’ll still very much be driving around these tracks and posing a threat. We’re off to Texas, the only points race of the season at this venue after the All-Star is now housed here and replacing the Spring race. First race today in the Round of 12.
Here’s what to look for:
–Brad Keselowski is your Polesitter for today’s race, one week removed from a very proud moment in which Chris Buescher got the first victory for Roush-Fenway-Keselowski Racing. Bad Brad hopes to continue the trend with another non-Playoff driver taking the checkers. He’s still looking for that first Texas win, just six Top 5s in twenty-six attempts.
–Kyle Larson won this race in 2021, his only visit to Victory Lane in eight attempts. Three of those are Top 5s though, which is pretty nice. He’s got an 18.4 average finish in those race though, too, lots of feast or famine for Larson here.
-Not exactly the same thing, but Ryan Blaney won the Spring Texas event this year, the 2022 All-Star Race. He led 84 of 140 laps, really good performance here, too. In the last ten Texas points races, he’s got the 2nd highest total and seven Top 10s.
-The highest points-getter int he last ten Texas races is Kevin Harvick, carrying a 4.9 average finish through those races with three Wins and nine Top 10s to go with it! Maybe could’ve used a Ft. Worth race instead of Bristol to advance, but we’ll have to see how today goes.
–Denny Hamlin won the Coca-Cola 600 this year, Charlotte being a track that is very similar to Texas. He didn’t lead too many there, but twas enough. He’s got a Win at Texas, too; could we see Denny Hamlin as the first Championship contender to stamp their ticket for the Round of 8?
No NASCAR food this week (over at an awesome Bills game party, GO BILLS), but I do have something fun to show! Yesterday, I got to Drive The Glen, a birthday gift from Lisa. I brought the ‘Stang, showed up around 11:30, and got to take in some bonus Rally Race or something. Lots of old-time cars driving around, and what looked to be way more than 40 cars. At noon, we were to be by our car and ready for some laps!
So yeah! Really great time, everyone should do it! You get three laps, can’t pass anyone, and the entire line of cars is out there at the same time. There is a Pace Car way out front that we’re supposed to follow, but if you lay back a little bit and let the field spread out, you get to floor it for a little bit. NOT PICTURED: I was north of 90 mph at the end of the front stretch on our first lap, and was whipping us around through The Bus Stop and the Carousel, and my tires were SCREAMING through The Boot (which I’ve never even seen!). “Don’t make us rolllllll!!” Lisa yells. Awesome stuff, would like to do it again sometime in the future. Who wants to come with us? Lisa will have her own Challenger in the near-near (after her lead foot made that decision for her on our Myrtle Beach jaunt) and we’ll be back out there. Thanks Lisa, great job! I love you.
Coverage of the race starts on USA at 3:30pm, green flag scheduled for 3:49pm.