The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to Texas Motor Speedway this weekend for racing on the 1.5-mile track.
Before the OâReilly Auto Parts 500 gets underway (3 p.m. ET, Sunday on FOX, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), letâs give you the lowdown on some things to watch.
RELATED: Full weekend schedule for Texas
Texas Motor Speedway is a 1.5-mile oval with a minimum width of 58 feet. The banking is 20 degrees in Turns 1 and 2 and 24 degrees in Turns 3 and 4, with five degrees of banking in the straightaways. The asphalt surface was repaved before the spring race in 2017. The inaugural NASCAR Xfinity Series race at the track was April 5, 1997, won by Mark Martin. Jeff Burton won the first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on April 6, 1997.
Texas will feature the baseline 2019 rules package with a tapered-spacer engine that will generate about 550 horsepower. Unlike last week at Martinsville Speedway, cars will have aero ducts.
This weekendâs configuration was first used this season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and will be used 16 times this season.
Cup teams are allowed three sets of Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials for practice, one set for qualifying and nine sets for the race. This is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that Cup teams ran last November at Texas.
âThe smooth track surface at Texas dictates that we bring a tire setup that runs as cool as possible because tire wear will be at a minimum,â said Greg Stucker, Goodyearâs director of racing. âWhile itâs important for us to bring the right tire, it also becomes quite a team effort between Goodyear, NASCAR and the track to make sure that the asphalt is prepared even before teams arrive for race weekend. We provide the speedway with tires for them to run on their âtire monsterâ and rubber-in the surface.Â Doing that goes a long way to creating a second groove, and that has a positive impact on the racing.â
Kevin Harvick has been the king of stage wins on 1.5-mile tracks with 16, and he has also been dominant at Texas, winning four of the eight stages there. Ryan Blaney has two stage wins at Texas, and Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson both have one.
Harvick also has the longest active top-10 streak at Texas with nine in a row, a mark that ranks second all-time to Greg Biffleâs 10 in a row. Joey Logano, with six, and Kurt Busch, with four, also are working on significant top-10 streaks at Texas.
This weekâs race will be televised on FOX, with radio coverage on PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Log onto NASCAR.com for coverage, including in-car cameras on Drive and in-car audio on RaceView. Be sure to follow your Fantasy Live team and make your garage decision by the end of Stage 2 when rosters are final.
2018 RACE WINNER
Kyle Busch edged Kevin Harvick by .300 seconds last spring for his third victory at Texas. It was the first win by Joe Gibbs Racing last season. Busch and JGR are red hot again this year as they come to No Limits, Texas. According to Racing Insights, the teamâs combined average finish of 9.1 this season is one position better than any other organization. And Buschâs average finish of 2.67 through the first six races is the third-best all-time behind Cale Yarboroughâs fast starts in 1974 and â77.
ACTIVE TEXAS WINNERS
Jimmie Johnson (seven), Kyle Busch (three), Kevin Harvick (two), Denny Hamlin (two), Kurt Busch (one), Joey Logano (one) and Ryan Newman (one).