Friday, Sep 22
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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Notes of Interest


● Back In The Lone Star State: Ryan Preece and the No. 41 Autodesk Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) are taking on the 1.5-mile oval at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. EDT. Live coverage will be provided by USA, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.


● By The Numbers: Sunday afternoon’s race at Texas will mark Preece’s seventh career Cup Series start at the track. He has a best finish there of 18th, which came in the October 2020 race for JTG-Daughtery Racing. His first career Texas start was in November 2015. Preece has four Texas starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series with a best finish of fifth in April 2018 for Joe Gibbs Racing. He started 13th on his way to the fifth top-five finish of his Xfinity Series career. Preece also made one NASCAR Truck Series start at Texas, which came in May 2022 for David Gilliland Racing. He started fifth, led 27 laps and finished third.


● Welcome Back, Autodesk: San Francisco-based Autodesk is back on the No. 41 this weekend, sporting the black and white colors for Sunday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway. From the greenest buildings to the cleanest cars, from the smartest factories to the biggest stories, amazing things are created every day with Autodesk. For four decades, Autodesk has worked together with its customers to transform how things are made and, in doing so, it has also transformed what can be made. A car’s performance now inspires the method of its manufacture, a city’s infrastructure helps predict the unpredictable, and the creation of ever bigger universes shapes ever-bigger stories. Today, Autodesk’s solutions span countless industries empowering innovators everywhere. But the company is restless to do more. Autodesk doesn’t believe in waiting for progress, it believes in making it. By combining and recombining technologies. By blurring boundaries, reinventing rules, and merging fields. By unleashing talent and unlocking insights across industries. By helping customers converge on solutions to the challenges everyone faces today. Autodesk believes that when provided the right tools to work with and think flexibly, people have the power to transform what actually needs making. The power to design and make a better world for all.

● Last Weekend: Preece returned to Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway last Saturday night for some short-track action under the lights. He qualified the No. 41 Ford Mustang 17th and finished Stage 1 in that same position. From there, he rallied toward the front and was able to stay out of trouble, finishing ninth in Stage 2. Fast pit stops and strong tire strategy kept him near the front and he took the checkered flag in 12th place, marking his eighth top-15 and third top-12 of the season.


● Where He Stands: Preece heads to Texas 24th in the driver standings with 484 points.


Ryan Preece, Driver of the No. 41 Autodesk Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing


What are your thoughts heading to Texas this weekend after having a strong race at Bristol last Saturday?

“I’m looking forward to getting to Texas and seeing what this No. 41 team can do. We’ve been working hard on different setups and figuring out what works best for us to show the most speed at these types of tracks. We had a really good weekend at Bristol and that’s exactly what we needed. I’ve mentioned it before, but consistencty is what we’re looking for most in these final races, so we want to keep that going. SHR has had speed at Texas in the past and I think, if we bring that with us this weekend, we can have a really decent day.”


Although you’re not competing for the championship this season, does anything change in these final races from your perspective?
“Nothing changes for me. This is my job and this is what I’ve worked my whole life for, so nothing changes for me. I’m at the shop during the week, in the simulator and working out. I keep the same routine as best I can during the week. My crew chief Chad (Johnston) and I are always talking and working on different ways to approach things to consistently get better. We want to continue qualifying better and better each weekend and then putting ourselves in position to run up front and stay out of trouble throughout the entire race. That will be important this week at Texas and definitely next weekend at Talladega. I'm looking forward to it.”



USAC regulars have gone undefeated all season in AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship competition with full-time series drivers and teams winning every event run thus far in 2023.


Now, NOS Energy Drink and USAC are posting a $10,000 bounty to any driver who can beat the USAC regulars during the Saturday night, October 7, Fall Nationals at Indiana’s Lawrenceburg Speedway.


Any driver outside the top-12 in the USAC National Sprint Car standings will be eligible for the opportunity to cash in an extra $10,000 bonus by winning that night’s feature event.


With the Fall Nationals already paying $20,000 to the feature winner, it is possible that a driver could walk out of the southeastern Indiana 3/8-mile dirt oval that night with a total of $30,000 in earnings.


The Fall Nationals at Lawrenceburg Speedway began in 2007, and this year, enters its 16th edition under the promotion of Dave and Kim Rudisell. Robert Ballou captured the inaugural running of the Fall Nationals in 2007.


Furthermore, the Fall Nationals presents the finale of the 10-race Bubby Jones Master of Going Faster Series presented by Spire Sports + Entertainment. Emerson Axsom (Franklin, Ind.) leads the miniseries’ point standings by five points over C.J. Leary (Greenfield, Ind.). Defending “Bubby Jones” champ Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, Okla.) sits third, 14 points out of the lead.


The Bubby Jones Master of Goin’ Faster driving champion will earn a $10,000 bonus while the champion crew chief will receive a $2,500 reward.



The Super Late Models of the ASA Midwest Tour return to Elko Speedway for the first time since 2017 for Thunderstruck 93 on Saturday, September 23rd. The 125-lap race will honor Elko Speedway Hall of Famer "Thunder" Dan Ryan Sr., who passed away in 2009 after a three-year battle with ALS.

A full slate of racing action will take place on Saturday, September 23rd featuring a double-feature night of local racing. The night will host Late Models, Power Stocks, Thunder Cars, Legends, Bandoleros, all capped off with the 125-lap ASA Midwest Tour feature event.

Jake Ryan, son of the late Dan Ryan, will be competing in the weekly Late Model division in memory of his father. The second Late Model feature of the night will run 39 laps in honor of Dan Ryan Sr. and his original car number at Elko Speedway.

The ASA Midwest Tour has put on 14 fantastic shows at Elko Speedway including the series' first-ever event on April 28, 2007. Two-time series champion Dan Fredrickson, who will be racing on Saturday, has 4 Midwest Tour wins at Elko, the only driver with more than one.

The Big 8 Series took over Thunderstruck 93 sanctioning in 2018 and 2019, with Owin Giles and Jacob Goede taking home wins. This will be the first time Thunderstruck 93 has returned to the Minnesota Track after a 3-year hiatus.

Gabe Sommers currently holds the ASA Midwest Tour points lead by 79 over Justin Mondeik with two races left in the 2023 season. Mathematically, Sommers could clinch the 2023 ASA Midwest Tour championship at Elko Speedway.

The ASA Midwest Tour will be joined by Late Models, Power Stocks, Thunder Cars, Legends, and Bandoleros.  Gates open at 4:30pm CT with racing slated to begin at 7:00.

The Thunderstruck 93 event is also in benefit of "A Race Worth Winning" - ALS. More information of the non-profit can be found here.

For more information on Elko Speedway, go to  Information on the ASA Midwest Tor can be found at

Elko Speedway PR

RFK Advance | Texas

Tuesday, Sep 19

Texas Event Info:
Track Info:
Texas Motor Speedway, 1.5-mile oval
Sunday, Sept. 24
3:30 p.m. ET
NASCAR Cup Series (NCS)
Fort Worth, Texas
267 laps, 400 miles, Stages: 80-80-107
PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90)

Weekend Schedule:
12:35 p.m. ET, Practice (USA, NBC Sports App, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
1:20 p.m. ET, Qualifying (USA, NBC Sports App, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
3:30 p.m. ET, Race (USA, NBC Sports App, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Pace Laps:

  • Texas Motor Speedway hosts its lone race date of 2023 this weekend, and race one in the Round of 12 of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.
  • Texas is the site of 18 wins for Jack Roush all-time, including nine in the Cup Series alone. Only Bristol (12) and Michigan (14) have seen more Roush Cup wins.
  • Both RFK Fords advanced through to the Round of 12 in the NASCAR Playoffs, with Texas, Talladega and the ROVAL hosting the next three races in the Round of 12.
  • Brad Keselowski is coming off a pole run at Texas a season ago, while Chris Buescher returns to his home state and home track.


6 Team Info:
Crew Chief: Matt McCall

17 Team Info:
Crew Chief: Scott Graves

Keselowski at Texas
Starts: 27
Wins: --
Poles: 2 (2015, 2022)

  • Keselowski makes his 28th Cup Series start at Texas this weekend. He has a 16.1 average finish at the 1.5-mile track with 12 top-10s, and two runner-up results in 2012 and 2015.
  • He’s coming off four-straight top-10 finishes at Texas, including an eighth-place run last season. He finished fourth in 2021, and sixth and ninth in the pair of 2020 events.
  • Despite no victories at TMS, Keselowski has led 685 laps at the track, fourth-most of any track in his career.
  • Keselowski earned the pole in last season’s race and went on to lead 31 laps, one of two poles in his Cup career (2015).
  • He made an additional 23 combined starts at Texas in the Xfinity and Truck Series with two NXS victories in 2013 and 2015.


Buescher at Texas
Starts: 13
Wins: --
Poles: --

  • Buescher makes his 14th Cup start at his home track of Texas this weekend. In last season’s race at Texas, Buescher ran third late in the race before blowing a tire – a theme throughout the 400-mile race.
  • He has a best finish of 15th (2018) at TMS and a 23.3 average finish overall.
  • Buescher has a career-best qualifying effort of 10th (2021), and qualified 13th a season ago.
  • Buescher also made five Xfinity starts at Texas with a best finish of ninth (2015).


RFK Historically at Texas
Cup Wins: 9 (Jeff Burton, 1997; Mark Martin, 1998; Matt Kenseth, 2002, 2011; Greg Biffle, 2005, 2012; Carl Edwards, 2008, 2008)

  • Dream Season: RFK won both the first NCS (Jeff Burton) and NASCAR Xfinity Series (Mark Martin) races at Texas in 1997. Burton began the afternoon from the fifth position and led 60 laps en route to the inaugural victory.
  • Houston, We Don’t Have a Problem: RFK has earned nine NCS victories at Texas, dating back to the inaugural event in 1997. Former drivers Burton, Martin, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth have captured the checkered flag in the Lone Star State.  
  • J.R.’s ’08 Sweep: Edwards swept the 2008 NCS races for RFK at Texas, leading 335 laps in the two events.
  • 9 a.m. in Dallas: RFK has started 152 NCS races at Texas, recording a total of nine victories, 38 top-five finishes, 60 top-10 finishes, an average finish of 16.1 and has led 2,555 laps. Biffle earned RFK’s most recent victory at Texas in the April 2012 event.
  • North Dallas Forty: RFK has earned eight victories, 26 top-five finishes, 47 top-10 finishes and an average finish of 13th at Texas in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. RFK won three of the first four races at the 1.5-mile oval.
  • Jack Roush: TMS Hall of Famer: Based on the strength of RFK’s numerous accomplishments at Texas, team owner Jack Roush was inducted into the Texas Motor Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.
  • Tale of the Tape: RFK has started 303 races all-time at Texas Motor Speedway, recording 18 wins, 76 top-fives and 134 top-10s. RFK Fords have captured 10 poles at the 1.5-mile track and led 3500+ laps while turning more than 111,000 miles.


RFK Texas Wins

1997       Burton        Cup

1997       Martin         NXS

1998       Martin         Cup

1999       Martin         NXS

2000       Martin         NXS

2000       Biffle           Truck

2002       Kenseth      Cup

2005-1    Biffle           Cup

2005-2    Edwards     Cup

2007-1    Kenseth      NXS

2008-1    Edwards     Cup

2008-2    Edwards     Cup

2010-2    Edwards     NXS

2011-1    Edwards     NXS

2011-2    Bayne         NXS

2011-1    Kenseth      Cup

2012-1    Biffle           Cup

2012-1    Stenhouse  NXS


Last Time Out & Where They Stand
Bristol: Both RFK cars finished inside the top-10 and punched their ticket into the Round of 12 in the NASCAR Playoffs Saturday night at Bristol. Buescher finished fourth, his eighth top five of the season, while Keselowski finished eighth.

Points Standings (17: 5th, 6: 10th): With the points reset entering the Round of 12, Buescher is back to fifth in the playoff standings. He is +10 to the good, while Keselowski now sits 10th, -3 points to P8.


iRacing and the Superstar Racing Experience (SRX) have announced that they have entered into a long-term partnership to have the SRX car and series in iRacing. iRacing is already working on a trip to scan the SRX car and gather data for an expected 2024 release. 


“We’re excited to welcome SRX into iRacing in a future release,” said iRacing president Tony Gardner. “The SRX car has been a big request from our customers, and many of their past and present tracks are already on the service, which will allow for a quick and seamless integration. We’re looking forward to a release sometime next year, and can’t wait for our iRacers to get their hands on it!” 


“We’ve heard the fans on social media, and we are thrilled that race fans will have the opportunity to get behind the wheel of an SRX car in iRacing,” said SRX Chief Executive Officer, Don Hawk. “We think that the SRX car, schedule, and race format will produce incredible action in the virtual world as in the real one, and the series should prove to be a popular addition to iRacing in 2024. We are excited for iRacers around the world to get to experience what we’ve built firsthand in the coming months!” 


Established by a group headlined by NASCAR Hall of Famer, Tony Stewart, SRX brings a unique mix of racing legends, current superstars, and up-and-coming talent to both paved and dirt short tracks across America. The 2023 season saw the series partner with ESPN to revive the historic “Thursday Night Thunder” branding that was a staple of the network’s motorsports programming in its early years. SRX debuted in 2021, and Series champions have included Stewart, Marco Andretti, and Ryan Newman, while dozens of other top stock car, open-wheel, and dirt oval racers have also lined up over the past three years of action. 


For more information on SRX, visit For more information on iRacing and for special offers, visit 



Although Byron, Michigan native Erik Jones would probably prefer Detroit Vs. Everybody® on his racecar - for this weekend he is going to be a fan of Dallas. LEGACY MOTOR CLUB today announced a partnership with the Vs. Everybody ® fashion brand, a leading apparel company which will be featured on Erik Jones’ No. 43 Chevrolet for the 500-mile event at Texas Motor Speedway on September 24.

Through the collaboration with LEGACY M.C., Vs. Everybody will launch their brand in Dallas this weekend a d a silver, white and blue Dallas Vs. Everybody® will adorn the hood of Jones’s No. 43 Chevrolet.

"We are excited to welcome Vs. Everybody® on board as our primary partner this weekend," said Jones. "The brand was created out of pride for the city of Detroit, which means a lot to me personally. Being from Michigan, and being a fan of the Lions, I have a Detroit Vs. Everybody® shirt, and it's cool to introduce this brand into the Dallas market. Tying it to my foundation makes it even more special." 

“It's nice to see this partnership finally come to fruition,” said Jimmie Johnson, co-owner of LEGACY MOTOR CLUB. “We’ve been working on this since the spring to find the right opportunity to go to market and promote the brand. It’s really a unique partnership and opportunity for the team to have some visibility in the lifestyle space and provide fans of all sports in each town with some attention-grabbing apparel to show their pride.”

In 2012, founder Tommey Walker's inaugural Vs. Everybody® collection was launched and was instantly embraced by the city of Detroit. The brand has since burgeoned into a formidable movement that's resonated locally, nationally, and internationally. Detroit Vs. Everybody has enjoyed wide-ranging media exposure on shows like The Colbert Report and American Idol. The brand's influence spans the realms of sports, news, and entertainment, engaging celebrities Rick Ross, Young Jeezy, Big Sean, Drake, and Nas. Eminem’s Shady Records and Gucci have licensed the mantra for their respective "Shady Vs. Everybody" and "Gucci Vs Everybody" collaborations. The Detroit Pistons have also worked with Vs. Everybody giving out over 22,000 t-shirts to fans.

This weekend marks the initial foray into NASCAR competition for the brand. 

"This collaboration with LEGACY MOTOR CLUB to bring Dallas Vs. Everybody® to life at Texas Motor Speedway is more than just introducing a new brand to a city; it's about championing the spirit of a city and its people,” Walker said. “We're here to remind everyone that Dallas, just like Detroit, is a force to be reckoned with.” 

In the spirit of the partnership with Vs. Everybody® fans can purchase Dallas Vs. Everybody® branded t-shirts at the trackside merchandise hauler or online at A portion of the proceeds from t-shirt sales will benefit the Erik Jones Foundation. The goal is to spread the message throughout the city of Dallas and allow Vs. Everybody® to make a positive impact both on and off the racetrack. 

The NASCAR Cup Series 500-mile race at Texas Motor Speedway will take place on Sunday, Sept. 24 at 3:30 p.m. ET, and is scheduled to broadcast on USA Network, PRN Radio, and SiriusXM NASCAR Channel 90. 



Zane Smith returns to the Texas Motor Speedway this weekend, this time, in the No. 38 Ford Mustang for Front Row Motorsports (FRM). Smith will be making his eighth NASCAR Cup Series start.


Ambetter Health will make their primary NASCAR Cup Series debut this weekend as they ride with Smith and the No. 38 Ford Mustang team for the 267-lap event.


Ambetter Health is a health insurance offering that is available on the Health Insurance Marketplace, or exchange, established by the Affordable Care Act.


It is one of the healthcare programs provided by Centene Corporation, a leading healthcare enterprise. Ambetter Health is made available through local health plans and covers a wide variety of healthcare services, including preventive and wellness services, maternity and newborn care, pediatric services, mental health and substance misuse services, prescription drug coverage, and more.


Track activity will begin with practice and qualifying on Saturday at 12:35 p.m. ET. Sunday’s 400-mile race is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET on the USA Network.



Smith heads to the Texas Motor Speedway looking to best his 10th-place finish at the grueling Coca-Cola 600 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in May. The finish was Smith’s first top-10 in NASCAR Cup Series in only seven starts in one of NASCAR’s crown jewels.


The Huntington Beach, California native finished 17th in his Cup Series debut in 2022 and qualified into his first Daytona 500 this season by racing into the prestigious event through his 150-mile qualifier. Smith ended his first Daytona 500 in 13th.


This past weekend, Smith announced that he’ll race in full-time in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2024.


Smith last competed at the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway oval in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series in April. He finished fifth in the first two stages but was involved in a late race incident while leading at the white flag. He finished 14th in the event.



“I am excited to be working with Zane again. He has proven himself again and again in the truck series and his 10th-place finish in the Coke 600 further proved that he is a contender on Sunday’s.


“This will be another learning experience for Zane, but I know that we’ll have a car that he can go and prove himself again."



“I’m really excited for the opportunity to get back into the seat of a Cup car this weekend thanks to Ambetter Health and Front Row Motorsports. We had a really great run at Charlotte the last time I ran Cup and Ryan (Bergenty) and the entire team have been helpful in getting me prepared for this race. Texas is a tough track, but I feel good about the preparation for this weekend.”


NASCAR Cup Series – Race No. 30 – 334 laps / 501 miles
Texas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval) – Fort Worth, Tex.
Fast Facts for September 23-24, 2023
Tire: Goodyear Eagle 18-inch Speedway Radials

Set limits: Cup: 1 set for practice, 1 set for qualifying and 9 sets for the race
     (8 race sets plus 1 set transferred from qualifying)

Tire Codes: Left-side -- D-5186; Right-side -- D-5222

Tire Circumference: Left-side -- 2,263 mm (89.09 in.); Right-side -- 2,277 mm (89.65 in.)

Minimum Recommended Inflation: Left Front -- 20 psi; Left Rear -- 22 psi;
     Right Front -- 50 psi; Right Rear -- 46 psi

Storyline – Round of 12 begins on demanding Texas track: Coming off the recent race at Kansas Speedway, the NASCAR Cup Series returns to a mile-and-a-half track at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend.  Speeds will be high and teams must be cognizant of Goodyear’s recommended air pressures, as well as their cars’ geometry settings.  Getting too aggressive with a set-up can put undue stress on the tires, causing the sidewall to over-deflect and suffer damage to the point of air loss.
     “We start the Round of 12 of the Cup playoffs this weekend at Texas, so there is a lot at stake for teams,” said Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s director of racing.  “As we often see at the intermediate tracks, the speeds and loads make it important for teams to balance that ‘risk vs. reward’ equation of speed vs. durability.  As always, we are working directly with the teams to help them understand how the air and car settings will affect the tires.  We provide a lot of data leading into the weekend so they can make informed decisions as to where the line is, and then those conversations continue throughout practice and the race to make sure everyone knows where they stand.”

Notes – Cup teams on new right-side tire at Texas: Being on 18-inch bead diameter tires, NASCAR Cup teams will run a different tire set-up than those in the Xfinity Series at Texas this weekend . . . this is the same left-side tire code that Cup teams ran at Texas last September, but with a different right-side code . . . compared to the 2022 race, this right-side tire features a construction update . . . while this right-side tire is unique to Texas, Cup teams have run this left-side tire at Auto Club, Kansas, Las Vegas, Michigan, Nashville and Pocono this season . . . this tire set-up came out of a Goodyear test at TMS on July 11-12 . . . teams (drivers) participating in that test were the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota (Denny Hamlin), No. 22 Penske Racing Ford (Joey Logano), No. 99 Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet (Daniel Suarez) . . . with this 18-inch tire, and its lower profile sidewall, NASCAR Cup cars do not run inner liners in any of their tires.

Follow us on Twitter: @GoodyearRacing.


NASCAR Xfinity Series – Race No. 28 – 200 laps / 300 miles
Texas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval) – Fort Worth, Tex.
Fast Facts for September 23, 2023
Tire: Goodyear Eagle 15-inch Speedway Radials

Set limits: Xfinity: 6 sets for the event

Tire Codes: Left-side -- D-6110; Right-side -- D-6112

Tire Circumference: Left-side -- 2,225 mm (87.60 in.); Right-side -- 2,250 mm (88.58 in.)

Minimum Recommended Inflation: Left Front -- 19 psi; Left Rear – 19 psi;
     Right Front -- 52 psi; Right Rear -- 48 psi

Notes – Xfinity returns to Texas on 2022 tire set-up: Being on 15-inch bead diameter tires, NASCAR Xfinity Series teams will run a different tire set-up than those in the Cup Series at Texas this weekend . . . Xfinity teams are on the same combination of left- and right side tires that they ran at this track last September . . . in 2023, they have also run this tire set-up at Las Vegas, Michigan and Kansas . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, Xfinity teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Texas . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.

Follow us on Twitter: @GoodyearRacing.

Goodyear Racing PR


Although Michael McDowell and the No. 34 team will not be racing for the NASCAR Cup Series championship, this team is still on a mission to make history for Front Row Motorsports (FRM).


As teams get eliminated from the playoffs, points are reset to 2,000 plus points earned in the playoffs. This means, theoretically, McDowell can finish as high as fifth in the championship.


For McDowell and the No. 34 team, the goal is setting a new high mark in the history of FRM at the end of the season. McDowell and Chris Buescher currently own the best season-end mark for FRM at 16th.


Sunday’s race is live on the USA Network at 3:30 p.m. ET.



In 2021, McDowell and the No. 34 team finished 16th in the NASCAR Cup Series championship. Heading into the Texas Motor Speedway (TMS), McDowell is 16th in points, but only 12 points out of 13th as the team attempts to gain more spots by the end of the season.


McDowell will be making his 25th start at TMS. His best start is fifth and finish is 11th last season.



“We’re disappointed to be eliminated from the playoffs, but there is still a lot to race for. It’s cool to chase history for FRM and we want to be able to do that for our organization and for Michael.”



“This is part of the process for us. We didn’t have what we needed to advance, but we’re still a playoff team in two of the past three seasons with wins. And having points to do it this year without the win. So, we see consistency and that’s how you build.


“The rest of this year is getting as high as possible in points, making more history and racing for another win.”


Notes of Interest


●  Kevin Harvick has a stout track record at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, especially in his time since joining Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) in 2014. In his last 15 NASCAR Cup Series races at the 1.5-mile oval – all of which have come with SHR – Harvick has only two finishes outside the top-10. That first result came in the 2020 AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 500, when Harvick finished 16th after his No. 4 Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford Mustang slipped off turn two while leading and brushed the outside wall as a heavy mist made the track slick. Harvick rebounded in his next points-paying start at Texas, finishing fifth in the 2021 AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 500. His other result outside the top-10 came last September when he finished 19th. In the 12 races prior to that 2020 race where Harvick finished 16th, he scored nine top-fives, three of which were wins, while three others were second-place results.


●  In those three wins at Texas – November 2017, 2018 and 2019 – Harvick led a total of 334 laps, which is the exact same lap total for a 500-mile race at Texas. This weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Texas is 400 miles, which translates to 67 fewer laps.


●  Prior to joining SHR, Harvick’s laps-led total at Texas was five, earned over the course of 22 races. In his 16 Texas starts since being a part of SHR, Harvick has led 686 laps. His total of 691 laps led at Texas is the second-most among all NASCAR Cup Series drivers. Only Kyle Busch has led more laps at the track (1,069).


●  Before joining SHR, Harvick’s best finish at Texas was third (November 2016). It was one of just three top-fives and 11 top-10s he had at the track.


●  Sunday’s AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 400 will mark Harvick’s 39th NASCAR Cup Series start at Texas, the most among all Cup Series drivers, past and present. It will be Harvick’s 820th career Cup Series start, which puts him eighth all-time behind only Richard Petty (1,185 starts), Ricky Rudd (906), Terry Labonte (890), Dave Marcis (883), Mark Martin (882), Kyle Petty (829) and Bill Elliott (828).


●  Harvick also leads all NASCAR Cup Series drivers – past and present – in top-10s at Texas with 24. Next best on this list is Kurt Busch with 23 top-10s, followed by Jimmie Johnson with 22.


●  Harvick is good at Texas even outside of the NASCAR Cup Series. He has five wins in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and has led a total of 779 laps, the second-most among all drivers despite not competing in an Xfinity Series race at Texas since 2018. Only Kyle Busch has led more laps in Xfinity Series competition at Texas (1,795). Busch led those laps across 23 starts while Harvick earned his tally in 21 starts. In four NASCAR Truck Series starts at Texas, Harvick owns a win (November 2011) and one other top-five – a fourth place drive in his first Truck Series start at the track in June 1998 when he was just 22 years old and still three years away from his Cup Series debut.


●  The 2023 season marks the 14th year of partnership between Harvick and Hunt Brothers Pizza. The nation’s largest brand of made-to-order pizza in the convenience store industry has sponsored Harvick for years in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Truck Series. Hunt Brothers Pizza joined Harvick fulltime in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2019 and has been a mainstay in NASCAR’s premier division ever since. With more than 9,000 locations across the country, Hunt Brothers Pizza offers original and thin crust pizzas available as a grab-and-go Hunk A Pizza®, perfect for today’s on-the-go lifestyle, or as a customizable whole pizza that is an exceptional value with All Toppings No Extra Charge®. Hunt Brothers Pizza is headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, and is family owned and operated. For additional information, visit or download the app.


●  Said Harvick about his more than decade-long partnership with Hunt Brothers Pizza: “Our fans are pretty loyal to the brands that are on our cars. Many of my pictures come from the standees in the store. People take selfies next to them. There are a number of reasons you have sponsorships – you want that brand recognition, the brand integration. Hunt Brothers Pizza is a very family-oriented company and we’re a very family-oriented group. Those relationships you build through the years with brands that recognize and reflect what you believe in are few and far between. We’ve grown with the Hunt Brothers Pizza brand. They’ve grown with us and have been very loyal to us, and I think our fans are very loyal to Hunt Brothers Pizza. It’s fun to see that brand recognition and that understanding of loyalty and partnership. You realize how many Hunt Brothers Pizza stores there are as you drive to racetracks.”


Kevin Harvick, Driver of the No. 4 Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford Mustang 


You’re out of the playoffs, but racing continues. Without a championship to strive for, how do you stay motivated through these final seven races?

“That’s just something from when I wrestled in high school and raced our Late Models, it was always pounded into my head that it’s OK to not be good, but it’s not OK to quit. It’s never OK to not give it 100 percent. It’s never OK to quit grinding away for every single second of whatever it is you’re doing because you’re letting yourself down. And in this deal, you’re not only letting yourself down, you’re letting your whole team down, and I think that’s contagious because nobody ever lets down. We can be off and struggling in a race, but we can keep ourselves on the lead lap and have a good pit stop and all of a sudden show up and finish fourth or fifth at the end of a race just because five or six of them have crashed and we’ve ground away all day at the little things and made our car a little bit better and hung in there and all of a sudden here we are. Sometimes it’s just about grinding away and doing the little things right. You don’t have to be the fastest, but if you just do more right than everybody else, you’re probably going to be pretty successful. There are a lot of details that go into what we do to be good. Even with a slow car, you can still find 100 details to make a slow car faster, and sometimes making a slow car faster is OK on certain days. Every day is different. Every day you have to find something to improve on and it’s a constant improvement.”


Back in 2017, Texas was repaved and turns one and two were reconfigured. How has the track aged since then, and has it changed how you drive the track?

“It changed where you drive on the racetrack. You move up the racetrack, so you don’t have to be as technical through (turns) one and two as you used to. Just put it on the grip strip and hope for the best. It’s still a good racetrack for us, still a lot of good things that have happened for us, and hopefully we can continue that.”


Explain a lap around Texas – specifically, how you approach turns one and two and how you approach turns three and four?

“Texas is unique in the fact the two ends are so different. When they changed the racetrack, they made the width of the racetrack a lot wider through (turns) one and two than what it used to be. It’s a lot flatter, as well. It’s a very technical corner both in order to get your car positioned correctly and in order to make your car turn and stay in the throttle. You have to have your car handling on one end, and on the other end you just have to be pretty brave and hold the throttle down.”


Your track record at Texas is impressive. What makes you so good there?

“Texas has been a good racetrack for us – old configuration, new configuration – and it’s one of those places that has just fit what we do. Hopefully, it’s the same way this year, but Texas has been a lot of fun to race at for us.”



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