Saturday, October 31, 2020

Martinsville Betting Preview: 2020 Xfinity 500

After Sunday’s Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway, four drivers will advance from the Round of 8 into the Championship 4 next week at Phoenix Raceway and four drivers will be chopped from the competition.

The latest odds to win the 2020 NASCAR Cup title are listed below and it appears to be a four-horse race.


  • Kevin Harvick +160
  • Denny Hamlin +240
  • Joey Logano +375
  • Brad Keselowski +375
  • Martin Truex Jr. +1700
  • Chase Elliott +2600
  • Alex Bowman +7500
  • Kurt Busch +5000

Joey Logano is the only driver locked in by his Kansas win two weeks ago to kick off the Round of 8.

Kevin Harvick, who leads the series with nine wins in 2020, has a 42-point lead over the fifth-place driver.


  • Race:Xfinity 500
  • Date: Sunday, November 1, 2020
  • TV-Time: NBC, 2:00 p.m. ET
  • Venue: Martinsville Speedway
  • Location: Martinsville, Virginia

Denny Hamlin, who has seven wins this season, has a 27-point lead, and Brad Keselowski has a 25-point lead. All three can advance if they don’t get involved in an early wreck, but things get dicier if one of the lower four drivers in points wins the race.

Martin Truex Jr. has won the last two Martinsville races and is 36-points behind the cutoff mark. If he is leading late, then it’s a likely battle between Hamlin and Brad Keselowski for the final slot which should be fun.

Same with Chase Elliott who is only 25-points out from the final spot.


  • Martin Truex Jr. +325
  • Denny Hamlin +550
  • Brad Keselowski +550
  • Kyle Busch +850
  • Chase Elliott +850
  • Joey Logano +850
  • Ryan Blaney +900
  • Kevin Harvick +1000
  • More NASCAR Futures
  • (Odds Subject to Change)


Here’s a look at the favorites to win the Xfinity 500, along with some others drivers to keep an eye on this Sunday at Virginia.



He’s 31-points behind the transfer position to make the Championship 4 next week, but the reality is that he needs to win to advance unless Hamlin and Harvick wreck each at the start of the race. He’s won the last two on the flat half-mile paperclip layout, so why not another? Seven top-fives and 858 laps led between his 29 starts are really good.

Read More Here.....Top-5 Finish on

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Clint Bowyer is 25/1 to win 2020 Xfinity 500



Martinsville Thank You


KANNAPOLIS, North Carolina (Oct. 29, 2020) – In his 16 years of racing in the NASCAR Cup Series, Clint Bowyer has sported dozens of paint schemes in many colors, but none like he’ll drive Sunday at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway when the 41-year-old former race winner makes his final appearance at the historic, half-mile track in Southern Virginia.


Bowyer announced on Oct. 9 that he will retire from full-time racing and join the FOX television booth in 2021. To commemorate his career, Bowyer’s No. 14 Ford Mustang fielded by Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) on Sunday will carry 58 logos of nearly every major sponsor that appeared on a Bowyer racecar during his tenures at Richard Childress Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing and SHR.


“SHR allowed us to run this paint scheme at Martinsville as a way to say ‘thank you’ to all my current and past sponsors,” said Bowyer, who will close out his full-time racing career at Phoenix Raceway on Nov. 8. “Along with the fans, it’s our corporate partners that allow the drivers and race teams to do what we do each weekend. If it wasn’t for the support of all these people, we wouldn’t be able to race.”


Bowyer’s car will feature his 2020 partners at SHR on the hood while carrying 43 brand logos on the decklid that date back to his first full NASCAR Cup Series season in 2006. Since his first start in 2005, when he ran one race, Bowyer has run 539 races, earning 10 victories, 82 top-five finishes and 225 top-10s. Bowyer hopes to add to those totals when he returns Sunday to Martinsville, where he owns a victory, six top-fives and 16 top-10s in 29 races.


While Bowyer is closing out his full-time driving schedule, he remains highly competitive. He arrives in Martinsville after finishing 17th at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth in a race that began Sunday afternoon but didn’t finish until Wednesday night because of persistent rain. Bowyer won the first stage, led 89 laps and held the lead until he was forced to make an extra fuel stop with just 25 laps remaining.


He wouldn’t mind a little redemption at Martinsville. Not only does he like the flat, .526-mile oval, it’s sort of a home race for the native of Emporia, Kansas, as his current residence is in nearby Clemmons, North Carolina.


“It’s 40 minutes from the house,” he said. “It’s just a fun, fun weekend. Fun racetrack. It’s old-school racing at its finest.


“When I went there the first couple of seasons in the sport, that was the one racetrack that I couldn’t wait to leave. I was terrible. I hated it, every aspect of it. Everything in your natural tendencies as a racecar driver doesn’t hold true there. Alright, I have to pass this guy in front of me. Well, I have to get in the corner deeper than him, I have to pick up the gas sooner than him, and both of those things took me about 27 times there before I ever figured it out.”


In 2018, Bowyer notched one of his most memorable victories when he dominated the 500-lap race by leading 215 laps on his way to ending his 190-race winless streak. It was his first victory at SHR, and he climbed from his No. 14 Ford on the frontstretch and looked to his left to see his wife Lorra and daughter Presley, led by then 3-year-old son Cash running from turn four toward “Dad.”


He couldn’t resist running toward his family.


“You know, I make fun of these other drivers sometimes for having tears in victory lane, but I’ve got to admit that moment got to me,” Bowyer said with a laugh about embarking on a raucous victory celebration that saw him climb into the stands with the Martinsville fans who stayed in Southern Virginia an extra day because snow canceled the race scheduled for the previous day.


“Cash was young enough that he had never been to victory lane before, so it was his first chance to be there,” Bowyer said. “That’s something I always wanted to make happen.”


Bowyer said Cash still asks him when he’s going back to victory lane. He’d love to Sunday and carry all the logos of the corporations that have made his career possible.


CLINT BOWYER, Driver of the No. 14 Clint Bowyer Tribute Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

Martinsville seems to be the most difficult track for drivers to figure out. Why is that?

“It’s a short track, but it’s not like any other short track you’ve ever been to. It goes against everything your tendencies tell you to do. You have to back the corner up and let the car roll way around the corner before you get back on the gas. Your tendencies are to get in the corner as deep as you can and get back on the throttle as fast as possible. Those are two things that are catastrophic there, so you’ve got to discipline yourself and stay disciplined throughout the race.”


Martinsville is your second-to-last NASCAR race. Are you at peace with how you career has played out?

“I don’t think anybody is ever satisfied with anything in life. I mean, if you win, you leave, ‘Damn, I wish I had hit that restart a little bit better. I didn’t lead every lap. I had a bad pit stop.’ That’s if you win. There are certainly things about that that you’ll always be not satisfied about, but I’m very satisfied with being able to be a part of this sport for a long time, having a lot of friends in this sport, making a lot of friends because of this sport, representing so many different organizations and just powerhouses in Corporate America. It’s cool to have those relationships still to this day, to be able to look back and say, ‘Hey, man. I represented them. They were a sponsor of mine.’ Or, ‘I know that CEO or that president, and I’m going to dinner with him next week.’ Those are all the things that were afforded to me in my life and my family because of this sport and being a part of it for so long. I don’t regret anything. I can promise you this – I’ve probably had more fun than about anybody out there these last 16 years, probably too much fun, sometimes. But, would I take anything back or change anything? Absolutely not. I mean, we got close (to the championship) once – finished second and I think fifth – had good runs within the playoffs and things like that. Did I win as many races I would have liked? No, but I had wonderful opportunities to and raced for a lot of good organizations. I won races for all three manufacturers. That’s something that was super cool. I’ve done a lot. I’m proud of what I’ve done and I’m satisfied, for sure. There’s no question about it.”


Do you envision a time when you’ll return to the car for a one-off race at some point in the future?

“I’m definitely open for anything. Hey, you can’t just shut off being a racecar driver. Are there tracks that I wish I never see again? Yes, but I’m probably gonna see them anyway. I’m gonna be there calling the races, but certainly there are some tracks that I’m really, really going to miss. Those road courses, believe it or not, are right up there. The short tracks and things like that, those are tracks that I felt like my talent and my experience that I’ve learned over the years were really good. I think that if an opportunity comes down the line and somebody was to be out or something like that, I would love to fill in if I could do a good job, and I know I could at some of those tracks, so who knows? I think we’re just going to have to see how it all goes and, if an opportunity comes to the table, maybe I’ll take it.”


How do you want your racing career to be remembered?

“I want people to obviously remember the good runs that I had, the fun that we had. I think everybody knows there are people who win races and there are people who win races and had a lot of fun doing it, and I’m proud to say there are probably not many people who celebrated and had as much fun winning as we did, but we had a lot of fun on the bad weekends, too. You’ve got to shake that off. You’ve got to chase this dream and the organizations and the people I represented – that’s what you’re most proud of, but the relationships and friendships I’ve made because of this sport, being a part of it, are what you’re most proud of. The fans, I haven’t said that enough. There is nothing more fun than going to a NASCAR race, and it’s that way because of the fans. This year has completely sucked, being at those tracks without fans. It is an empty hole that you can’t replace. You literally can’t. I’ve been one of the only drivers over the years – I’m not saying I’m the only one, but I go out each and every week and jump on the golf cart and go ride around and see fans and see people. I can’t tell you how many people – you know that ‘Ole Jim’ is going to be parked right there in the corner with his Winnebago and he’s going to have cornhole out, and he’ll have him some Busch Lights there. You know you can stop there for a cold beer, gotta see Jim. Over here are those people from Louisiana who have been your fans forever. You know those people. I don’t know their names, but I know damn well every single year that’s where they’re parked, where you can rely on them and know that they’re there and know that they’ll be there with your flag or your shirt on or your hat on their head. Those are the things that you’ll miss the most.”

Kyle Busch is 8/1 to win 2020 Xfinity 500 at Martinsville



Sweet 16


HUNTERSVILLE, North Carolina (Oct. 29, 2020) – With Wednesday’s NASCAR Cup Series win at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Kyle Busch celebrated a Sweet 16 of sorts following his first victory of 2020.


Sixteen of course is the number of consecutive seasons Busch has scored at least one or more victories, as the two-time Cup Series champion has now scored a win each season since entering NASCAR’s top series as a full-time competitor in 2005.


The Texas win also enabled Busch to join seven-time Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, Ricky Rudd, and Rusty Wallace for the third-longest streak of consecutive years with at least one victory. With his streak still alive, Busch will look to extend it in 2021 in hopes of catching David Pearson, who is second on the list by scoring wins in 17 consecutive years from 1964 to 1980. Richard Petty holds the all-time record with 18 consecutive seasons with at least one victory from 1960 through 1977.


As the Cup Series heads to Martinsville (Va.) Speedway this weekend for the penultimate race on the 36-race schedule, Busch is hoping to keep the momentum from Texas going and also add a third Grandfather clock to his trophy case for winning a race at the paperclip-shaped half-mile oval in NASCAR’s top series.


Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M’S Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), heads to Martinsville for Sunday’s Xfinity 500 with a win in hand and to a track where he’s run as well as anywhere over his last 10 starts. Since the fall of 2015, Busch has racked up an impressive eight Martinsville top-10 finishes, including victories in April 2016 and October 2018.


Early in his 13-year tenure with JGR, however, this wasn’t always the case at Martinsville. In fact, Busch finished outside the top-10 in three of his first four Martinsville races with JGR in 2008 and 2009. While he scored four combined top-fives from 2010 to 2014, it wasn’t until 2015 that he found his stride at Martinsville.


The beginning of the recent success at Martinsville for Busch and the M&M’s team came with the Las Vegas native’s first career win there in April 2016. Not only did he bring home his first Martinsville clock, he did it in dominating fashion, leading five times for a race-high 352 laps en route to victory lane.


So as the season heads into the homestretch, Busch and the M&M’S team hope to take advantage of the confidence built from their win at Texas Wednesday night, as well as his strong runs at Martinsville since 2015. Since he’s already conquered the .526-mile short track in Southern Virginia twice in recent years, Busch hopes he can turn his Sweet 16 win into yet another traditional Grandfather clock at the end of Sunday’s 500-lap marathon.


KYLE BUSCH, Driver of the No. 18 M&M'S Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing: 


What does the Texas win do mentally for you in these final weeks to wrap up the season?


“I told Coy (Gibbs) when I was on my way into victory lane, I said, ‘I’m done, I’m good for the year.’ I was joking, of course, but that’s how much relief it felt like it was. We got knocked out of the playoffs and, going through this Round of 8, typically there’s pressure. You know, you have the pressure, the pressure builds through every round, and the Round of 12 for me was like the Round of 8. I knew that we had to do everything right in order to make the Round of 8 being like our Final Four. But we obviously weren’t good enough. We weren’t able to capitalize and do what we needed to do. Now that you’re out, you pretty much have no pressure, you just go out there and you race and whatever happens is what happens. But when you’re able to run up front and run with those guys, you’ve still got to push hard, you’ve still got to do things right. M&M’s, Skittles, Interstate Batteries, Toyota, all those guys, they want to see us successful, they want to see us win, and it means a lot to be able to continue that winning tradition with the 18 and with Adam and all of our guys, everybody at Joe Gibbs Racing. They give full effort, man. There’s no quit. But it just hasn’t quite lined up for us this year.”


You have a little bit of momentum going into Martinsville. How do you focus now on such a quick turnaround?


“It’s a quick turnaround but, man, it’s way more stressful for the team guys than it is for the driver. I’m looking forward to it. I felt like, through the middle part of the race, once we got everything sorted out from the start of the race there in the first Martinsville, we were pretty good. We ran lap times comparable. We actually ran with the 19 (teammate Martin Truex Jr.) for much of a couple runs, and I was just trying to stay out of his way because he was on the lead lap. So I felt like we were as good as he was. He obviously won the race, so I feel like there’s a chance that, given, if we can make it through the first set of tires without going a lap down, then we’ll be OK, and I think we could have a shot to win there, too, with our M&M’S Camry.”


Now that you’ve got the monkey off your back, what is your outlook for the next two weeks and possibly getting another win before the year is out?


“Yeah, absolutely. That’s what we’re going to push for. We want to go to Martinsville and run up front, try to win that one, and same thing, go to Phoenix, let’s spoil the championship party and not see the champion have to be the winner.”


What’s unique about Martinsville that makes for good racing there?


“Typically you are off the throttle more than you are on the throttle at Martinsville, so your time is lost or made when you are off the gas. That lends itself to guys dive-bombing and making moves and being light on the brake and running into the back of guys or rooting them out of the bottom and getting them shuffled back. The more that track becomes a bottom feeder type racetrack and you can go and get a guy shuffled out, there’s no worry to you because he can’t get back in line. If he goes back five spots, then you have that cushion again. There are all kinds of different ways Martinsville has always put on really good and exciting racing.”


What is the key to you getting a win at Martinsville?


“It’s a tough racetrack and, any time you come in the pits and make an adjustment on your car, you certainly hope it goes the right way, or you make enough of it, or you don’t make too much of an adjustment. The last run can be tricky, too, because you can be coming off a 50-lap run on right-side tires and take four and you’ve only got 30 (laps) to go, or you could have 80 to go and you know you have to manage that run all the way to the end.”

Kevin Harvick is 12/1 to win at Martinsville



It’s a Journey


KANNAPOLIS, North Carolina (October 29, 2020) – In the 1999 film, For Love of the Game, Billy Chapel (played by Kevin Coster) is pitching for the Detroit Tigers and in the midst of a perfect game.


With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, with his arm weary and aching, he looks up to see Ken Strout ready to bat for the New York Yankees. Ken Strout is the son of Joe Strout, who Chapel played with 20 years prior.


Ken Strout is the last chance for the Yankees to break up the perfect game. As Chapel sees him walking up to the plate, he looks up and says, simply, “Why not?”


That’s how Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), might be feeling after this past week at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. Harvick started on the pole and led early, but he brushed the SAFER Barrier on the outside retaining wall early on as the track may or may not have been a little wet during a constant mist. Then the rains came and, after more than 72 hours, the race finally got restarted late Wednesday afternoon.


Or, better than “Why not?” perhaps an overriding thought in Harvick’s mind is, “It’s a journey.”


That’s because 2020 has been a journey for everyone. NASCAR conducted four races, took a nine-week break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, then contested 30 races in six months before getting delayed by rain for more than 72 hours this week at Texas.


Never fear, though, because we (might) be almost done.


Harvick finished 16th at Texas and is still first in points, 42 markers above the cutoff to advance to the Championship 4.  


He now moves on to Martinsville (Va.) Speedway for the final race in the Round of 8.


Harvick has one win, five top-fives, 19 top-10s and has led a total of 628 laps in his 38 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Martinsville. His average start there is 14.1, his average finish is 14.9, and he has a lap completion rate of 98.2 percent – 18,695 of the 19,039 laps available.


Thankfully, Harvick will have the help of Mobil 1 as a sponsor and partner at the tight, half-mile Martinsville paperclip.  


Mobil 1 isn’t just the world’s leading synthetic motor oil brand, it also provides the entire SHR team with leading lubricant technology, ensuring that all SHR Mustangs have a competitive edge over the competition on the track. In its 18th consecutive season as the “Official Motor Oil of NASCAR,” Mobil 1 is used by more than 50 percent of teams throughout NASCAR’s top three series.


During the playoffs, Mobil 1 is giving fans the chance to win exclusive prizes, including signed exclusive SHR gear, race gloves, race used parts and die casts, one-of-a-kind stickers and a once in a lifetime opportunity to receive a zoom call from SHR co-owner Tony Stewart or Harvick’s SHR teammate Cole Custer.


To find out more or to enter, fans can head to



KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing: 


Thoughts heading into Martinsville?


“For me, it doesn’t really change that much. Most of the preparing comes from videos and things you have done in the past. And I could do all that during the rain delay in Texas.”


Can you talk about the promotion with Mobil 1 that is taking place?


“We are always excited to have Mobil 1 on the car and they are such a great partner of ours as we go week-to-week through the entire season. The best thing I’ve seen that you can win in this promotion is a Zoom call with Tony Stewart. That is a little bit scary (laughs), but they have all sorts of cool racing prizes and things and you can go to and find all these prizes. It’s always fun to have a sponsor that supports what we do and hopefully we can go to Martinsville and have a good showing.”


Can you talk about your relationship with Mobil 1?


“Running up front and winning races has been a lot of fun together. It’s great to see a partner like Mobil 1 come in be so involved in our race team. They are very involved day-to-day in our engine program and our lubricants, whether its transmission, rear-end hubs, whatever it is – we are always getting something that is better. It’s kind of a little bit of an unfair advantage, but one that everyone works really hard at to continue to get better.”


Why do your prefer Mobil 1 synthetic?


“I’m a synthetic guy because, in 1993 when we were sitting in the engine shop, we dumped Mobil 1 synthetic in and that’s all we did and gained seven horsepower. From that day on, we would actually save our money and then go to the local auto parts store because, at that time, it was like $5.50 a quart and the conventional and other oils were like $3.50. At the big races, we would put the Mobil 1 in the car and the regular races would put the regular oil in there. You know I’m going to say synthetic.”


Monday, October 26, 2020

Odds to win 2020 Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway


Martin TRUEX JR 3/1
Denny HAMLIN 6/1
Kyle BUSCH 8/1
Joey LOGANO 8/1
Chase ELLIOTT 8/1
Ryan BLANEY 8/1
Kevin HARVICK 12/1
Alex BOWMAN 25/1
William BYRON 25/1
Kurt BUSCH 25/1
Jimmie JOHNSON 30/1
Clint BOWYER 30/1
Aric ALMIROLA 80/1
Erik JONES 80/1
Ryan NEWMAN 100/1
Austin DILLON 100/1
Tyler REDDICK 100/1
Darrell WALLACE JR 100/1
Christopher BELL 100/1
Matt KENSETH 200/1
Cole CUSTER 200/1
Ricky STENHOUSE JR. 300/1
Chris BUESCHER 300/1
Michael McDOWELL 1000/1
Ty DILLON 5000/1
Ryan PREECE 5000/1
Daniel SUAREZ 10000/1
Corey LAJOIE 10000/1
Brennan POOLE 10000/1
Quin HOUFF 10000/1
JJ YELEY 10000/1
Timmy HILL 10000/1
Josh BILICKI 10000/1
Joey GASE 10000/1
Reed SORENSON 10000/1
James DAVISON 10000/1

Friday, October 23, 2020

NASCAR Texas Betting Preview: 2020 AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 500

Austin Dillon won the July race at Texas.
We say goodbye to the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series race package featuring 550 horsepower Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway which will be the 20th race using it and will also be the 11th and final race on a 1.5-mile track.

It’s the AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 500, the second of three races in the Round of 8 that has only one berth locked in with Joey Logano’s win last week at Kansas Speedway.

Three spots remain for the other seven drivers to fight over.


Race:Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500
Date: Sunday, October 25, 2020
TV-Time: NBCSN, 3:30 p.m. ET
Venue: Texas Motor Speedway
Location: Fort Worth, Texas

Will drivers like Kevin Harvick, who has won at Texas the last three seasons, layback and try to get in on points as he sits 41-points above the cutoff or will he go all out for the win to avoid any catastrophes next week at Martinsville Speedway?

He should probably be safe either way.

“I feel a lot better after (Sunday), getting out of (Kansas) with a good day, leading laps there,” Harvick said of his runner-up last week. “I feel good about that leading into Texas. I think as you look at Martinsville, I feel a lot better about it than what we were the first race. Obviously, the first race we had a whole bunch of problems with no fans, alternator, all the things that went wrong. We ran well at Phoenix. I think we just have to see how the chips fall in the next three races and see where it all ends up.”

Harvick was 15th in the first Martinsville on June 10 which used the 750 hp package that he’s won two of his series-leading nine races with. It sounds like he wants the Championship 4 clinch this week so he doesn’t have to sweat Martinsville which is part of the reason the Westgate Las Vegas has him listed as the 5/2 favorite to win while William Hill sportsbooks have listed lower at 2/1.

Another reason is that seven of his wins this season came using this week’s race package, although only one of them came on a 1.5-mile track (Atlanta, June 7).

The thing about Harvick at Texas is that he didn’t win in his first 29 Cup starts there, but now has three wins in his last six starts. He’s currently on a run of 12 straight top-10 finishes at Texas, nine of them top-fives, and it all coincides with his move to Stewart-Haas Racing to start 2014. In the July Texas race, he led 40 laps and finished fifth.

Harvick deserves to be the favorite. He’s a badass at Texas.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Playoff Contender Performances at Texas Motor Speedway

Joey Logano is in the Championship 4 race at Phoenix.
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 14/1 (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 5/2 (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 5/1 (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 8/1 (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 8/1 (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 25/1 (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. 7/1 (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 30/1 (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.

Aric Almirola is 30/1 to win at Texas



Texas Redemption


KANNAPOLIS, North Carolina (Oct. 19, 2020) – Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), is looking forward to Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. It’s a track he’s had circled on the 36-race schedule all year due to his recent success at the 1.5-mile track.


Almirola has earned three consecutive top-10 finishes at Texas and has led laps in each of those appearances. The 36-year-old has only finished outside of the top-10 once at Texas since joining SHR. Last November, Almirola led 62 laps and battled teammate Kevin Harvick for the win before earning a runner-up finish. It was his best finish at Texas and brought his average finish in the last three races there to 6.3.


“Texas is a track I had circled on the list this year,” Almirola said. “It’s a track that I have really become comfortable with over the years. Last year, we had an incredible run and came up just short of a win and we weren’t in the playoffs at that point. We’re in the same position this year and we’ve had a much better year. I’m really excited to see if we can keep it up front this weekend.”


In addition to his Cup Series experience at Texas, Almirola has four NASCAR Xfinity Series starts, all top-20 finishes with five laps led. He’s also made nine NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series starts at Texas with two top-10s and 14 laps led.


Almirola sits 13th in the playoff standings with 2,167 points. He is currently the second-highest-ranked SHR driver.


The No. 10 Ford driver’s six top-five finishes this year surpass his previous best of four in a season in 2018. In addition, his 297 laps led is a career high for a season, and his 17 top-10 finishes has tied his season best.


“It’s been a great year for us,” he said. “We wish circumstances could have been different at Talladega, where we had a shot to win or earn some good stage points and get us into the next round, but overall for the first year with a new crew chief and team, we have exceeded expectations. We’ve got three more races to earn a win at and cap off the season the right way.”


Smithfield Foods, Inc., which sponsors Almirola’s No. 10 Mustang for a majority of the races this season and will again this weekend, is an American food company with agricultural roots and a global reach. Its 40,000 U.S. employees are dedicated to producing “Good food. Responsibly®” and have made it one of the world’s leading vertically integrated protein companies. It has pioneered sustainability standards for more than two decades, including many industry firsts, such as an ambitious commitment to cut carbon impact by 25 percent by 2025. The company believes in the power of protein to end food insecurity and has donated hundreds of millions of food servings to neighbors in need. For more information, visit, and connect on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Instagram.


Almirola is back with season two of his documentary series Beyond the 10, where fans can get VIP, behind-the-scenes access by subscribing to his YouTube channel. Episodes showcase never-before-seen footage of Almirola at the racetrack, on family trips, and “A Day in the Life” during the week, as well as all that goes into a NASCAR Cup Series driver’s season. Click here to subscribe on YouTube and watch the latest episode.


Almirola can finish as high as fifth place in the final standings, which he did in 2018. He’ll race for his fourth consecutive Texas top-10 this weekend. 


Aric Almirola: Driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:


What is the most difficult thing to get right or figure out at Texas Motor Speedway?


“I think the most difficult thing at Texas is that it’s repaved and they changed the banking in turns one and two, and it’s just the speed you carry through the banked corner of turns three and four, and then you have to get slowed down for the flat turns one and two. That has made it very challenging. Then, the exit of turn two is very flat, so you’re carrying some speed there and the car just doesn’t have a lot of grip because there isn’t any banking.” 


If you’re in the same position this year racing your teammate Kevin Harvick for the win, who is in the playoffs and racing for a spot in the Championship 4, would you race him any differently?


“Kevin and I raced each other clean last year and I would do the same this year. He’s my teammate racing for a championship. If I have the faster car, I’m going to do everything I can to win for my team, Smithfield and SHR, but he had the faster car on the long run and eventually passed me last time to win his way into the championship race. You want to do whatever it takes to win for your team as long as you don’t jeopardize a championship opportunity for your organization.” 


Clint Bowyer is 100/1 to win first Texas race



Remedying a Regret in Texas


KANNAPOLIS, North Carolina (Oct. 19, 2020) – Clint Bowyer might be one of the happiest men in NASCAR these days, but he does have a regret he wants to remedy Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.


With three races left in his 16-year NASCAR Cup Series driving career and just months away from embarking on a long-term deal with FOX to call races with Mike Joy and Jeff Gordon in the television booth in 2021, Bowyer is taking time to enjoy his final days as a driver.


“I’ve told people I really never knew the meaning of bittersweet until all of this happened,” said Bowyer, who announced his planned transition from the cockpit to the television booth on Oct. 8.


“You’re kind of sad to be stopping what you have been doing all your life, but it’s also been fun to think of the things to come and reminisce with everyone about all the good times we’ve had over the years.”


Last weekend at home-state Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Bowyer served as the virtual grand marshal of Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race, then was honored during pre-race ceremonies for Sunday’s Cup Series race in front of 10,000. Later Sunday, Bowyer logged a disappointing 26th-place finish in his final race at the track after an extra stop to fix damage during the closing laps race ruined what looked like a probable top-10 finish.


Bowyer makes his 30th and final appearance as a driver this Sunday at Texas, where he owns four top-five finishes and 12 top-10s in 29 starts. Bowyer’s No. 14 will carry the colors of cornerstone partner Rush Truck Centers, headquartered near San Antonio, and Cummins.


Rush Truck Centers has been the primary partner on the No. 14 team since Bowyer arrived at SHR in 2017 and has been with the organization since 2010. The team from Rush Truck Centers and Rush Enterprises, including company Chairman, CEO and President Rusty Rush, are regular race-goers supporting Bowyer and SHR.


Bowyer considers them to be among his closest friends.


“Everyone has been asking me the last two weeks if there is anything I wished I had done differently or better and things like that,” he said.


“As a racer, you always want to win more races or lead more laps. But the one thing I haven’t done that I really wish I could do is see Rusty Rush and all the Rush folks in victory lane. It’s funny over the years on the 14 car, no matter if Tony (Stewart) or I were driving, we’ve never been to victory lane with Rusty Rush. It was always one of our other partners on the car when we won. Rusty has been our staunchest supporter, so I really feel like we owe it to him.”


Bowyer can’t imagine a victory lane and post-win party with Rush in Texas.


“Here is the thing you need to know about Rusty,” he said. “Rusty flew to my house the night we won at Martinsville in 2018 and joined the victory celebration and stayed up all night with us. That shows you what kind of person he is and his dedication to this team. We only have a few more chances to do this and all of us would love nothing better than to deliver a victory for Rusty and all the Rush Truck Centers folks Sunday in Texas. God forbid we win Sunday in Texas, with Rusty, we might never make it home.”


Rush Truck Centers has used Bowyer and the team to appeal to NASCAR fans as one way to recruit the technicians it needs to operate the largest network of commercial truck and bus dealerships in the country, with locations in 22 states.


“Rush Truck Centers keeps our trucks and transporters in great condition, and you could argue those are the most important parts of our race team,” said Bowyer, who before COVID-19 normally spent time with Rush customers and guests each weekend.


"Without them, our cars never get to the racetrack. The employees of Rush Truck Centers are as detail-oriented as we are, and their technicians are the heartbeat of their dealerships. They play a critical role in the success of our race team.”


Cummins makes its fifth appearance of the 2020 season with Bowyer. The Indiana-based company from car owner Stewart’s hometown of Columbus is no stranger to victory lane with its racing lineage dating back to the inaugural Indianapolis 500 in 1911, when company founder Clessie Cummins was on the pit crew of the race-winning Marmon Wasp of driver Ray Harroun. Since its founding in 1919, the company now employs approximately 61,600 people and serves customers in about 190 countries and territories through a network of some 8,000 wholly owned and independent dealer and distributor locations. While Cummins is a corporation of complementary business segments that design, manufacture, distribute and service a broad portfolio of power solutions, it is best known for its diesel truck engines.


If Bowyer does earn that elusive victory for Rush Truck Centers and Cummins this weekend, it will go a long way to capping a career, as well as remedying one of his few regrets.






CLINT BOWYER, Driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Cummins Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

Will we see less or more of you next year?


“Honestly, you’ll probably see a lot more of me, in general, throughout the first half of the season, especially. I’m looking forward to that, got a lot of cool things, some new things we’re going to see. I won’t be in the car, but I’ll be there to call the race, so looking forward to that. The second half of the season, man, I haven’t even thought about that so far. Obviously, we’ll still have a presence and still be working in the studio and stuff like that for FOX, Race Hub and things like that. That’s important to me. It’s not like you just leave and clock out, but it does enable me to take my family on a weekend and, I don’t know, go figure out I guess what normal people do. It’s been since I was 5 years old I’ve been in a motorhome at a racetrack somewhere, so we’ll have that opportunity to be able to take our family and do some new things. Cash has got a new Outlaw kart we’ve been working on. We’re about done with that. Looking forward to that and maybe taking him to a motocross track and to a race somewhere. It’s time to allow somebody else to have fun.”


Kyle Busch is a juicy 18/1 to win at Texas



Expect the Unexpected


HUNTERSVILLE, North Carolina (Oct. 21, 2020) – Halloween is on the horizon and, for the first time ever, Kyle Busch will sport a special SKITTLES Halloween scheme in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, after bringing popular M&M’S schemes to the track for its October event during his 13-year relationship with Mars Wrigley and the M&M’S brand.


For this year’s Halloween season, Mars Wrigley has re-released Zombie SKITTLES in stores and online at major retailers nationwide. Zombie SKITTLES feature a spooky mix of flavors like Petrifying Citrus Punch and Mumified Melon. But there as catch, as there is also a hidden “zombie” flavor in each pack to attack unsuspecting taste buds.



As the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season hits the homestretch with Sunday’s Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500, Busch and his No. 18 Zombie SKITTLES Toyota team for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) know that there’s always a surprise around each corner at the tricky 1.5-mile Texas oval.

Busch heads there this weekend hoping to bring home his fourth career Texas win in the Cup Series. He’s certainly been trending in the right direction with nine top-10 finishes in his last 12 starts there. He has 29 career Texas starts with 13 top-five finishes.


Along with his three Cup Series wins at Texas, Busch been a frequent visitor to victory lane in most everything he’s raced there. He reeled off an incredible string of five consecutive NASCAR Xfinity Series wins at Texas from April 2008 to 2010 and added four more for a total of nine Xfinity Series wins there. Add his five NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series wins in 2009, 2010, 2014, 2019 and earlier this year and it’s no wonder Busch is feeling good about his chances of reaching victory lane yet again Sunday.


In addition to the Zombie SKITTLES scheme and product, SKITTLES created a socially distant Halloween costume, allowing fans to dress up as a pack of Zombie SKITTLES. The costume features a 6-foot-wide design and special “Zombie Mode” button that releases the smell of rotten zombie, sure to keep others at a distance. Fans can check out to learn how to get their hands on the costume.


So while Busch and his Zombie SKITTLES team look to add yet another signature cowboy hat and six-shooters as race winners in the Lone Star State to their trophy collection, Busch knows there could be a hidden surprise around each corner as he looks to bring home his fourth career Texas victory.


KYLE BUSCH, Driver of the No. 18 Zombie SKITTLES Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing: 


What are your thoughts heading into the Texas race this weekend as far as what the track will be like?


“I know they’ve been working on the track, but you are still trying to put rubber down. With the smooth surface, it’s hard to understand what you’re feeling with your car because you can think you’re tight, you’ve got all the grip in the world, you’re going around the corner and then, ‘Boom,’ it just busts loose right out from under you with no warning. That’s why the older racetracks, the more aged racetracks – the Atlantas, the Californias – you’re sliding the whole time, so you’re already against the slide. You don’t have maximum grip. You’re already playing with it and trying to get the most out of yourself and the car that you possibly can. At Texas, you’re not just locked down, you’re locked in solid, then it can jump out from under you in a hurry. We were OK there last year but would like to have a good run there on Sunday with our Zombie SKITTLES Toyota. The scheme looks awesome this weekend and it’s cool to have SKITTLES get in on the Halloween schemes since we’ve done that with M&M’s for so many years. Zombie SKITTLES were very popular last year, so we’re happy they are bringing the product back and hopefully race fans will go out and buy them for Halloween coming up.”


What did you learn at Kansas Speedway last weekend that could transfer over to Texas, especially when it comes to restarts?


“Restarts in (turns) one and two are certainly treacherous, just the way the banking is not quite there to hold you like it used to. The track ends are very different in three and four, different than one and two. You kind of see, especially with the Xfinity cars with the lower downforce, they have a bit more issues. We’ve seen some late-race restarts and some problems for some guys in that race a couple of times and, for us, it’s no different. We also have some of the same issues. We learned some things I think at Kansas that helped our car and hopefully we can transfer some of that knowledge to Texas with our Zombie SKITTLES Camry this weekend.”


Do you approach Texas differently than other mile-and-a-half racetracks?


“They all have their different characteristics even though they are all 1.5-mile tracks. Texas is a really fast mile-and-a-half racetrack. Charlotte has been fast the last few years and Texas has always kind of been that way. You’ve got to be able to move around a little bit and run the middle, run the top and show some ability to go all over the racetrack. Seems like the track wears in a bit more each time we go there and I’m curious to see how it’s going to be this weekend.”


How fast of a racetrack is Texas Motor Speedway?


“It is a fast racetrack. Texas was really hard for me at the beginning with the Cup cars for some reason. I took to it right off the bat in the Xfinity Series stuff. We’ve kind of correlated some of that information back and forth and, having had the cars from Jason Ratcliff (Busch’s former Xfinity Series crew chief) and we’ve been fast there for a number of years ever since, even with the repave several years back. It’s a fun place. Texas, Charlotte and Atlanta all might look exactly the same, but they drive nothing alike. It keeps you on your toes.”