Harvick Following in Truex's Footsteps?
Texas will mark the 3rd race on a 1.5-mile track this season. Kevin Harvick won the first 2, both in dominating fashion, leading 395 of a possible 592 laps (67%). Overall, Harvick has won 3 of the last 4 races on 1.5-mile tracks dating back to last season, with 11 straight top-10 finishes in those races (4.1 Avg finish).
Last year, Truex dominated on the 1.5-mile tracks on his way to a championship, winning 7 of the 11 races with a 2.5 average finish. Harvick is on a similar track this season.
Overall, Harvick has 3 wins in the 1st 6 races of the season. In NASCAR's Modern Era (since 1972), only 3 drivers have started a season with at least 4 wins in the first 7 races of the season.
Johnson Hopes to Regain Texas Magic
Can a trip to Texas end Jimmie Johnson's career-worst, 29-race winless streak? Johnson has an MENCS-record 7 wins at the track, 3 more than any other driver, including one in this race last year. In fact, all other active drivers have combined for just 9 wins at Texas.
Johnson snapped an 18-race winless streak at Texas in 2014 and a 20-race drought in 2015. Overall, every time Johnson has snapped a winless streak of 18 or more races, it's come at a 1.5-mile track like Texas.
Haas Wins, Bowyer Snapped, Who's Next?
After Kevin Harvick won 3 times in the first 5 races, Clint Bowyer won the last Cup race on March 26 at Martinsville, making it 4 wins in 6 races this season for Stewart-Haas Racing. That makes SHR the 7th team in Cup Series history to win 4 of the 1st 6 races of the season, and the 2nd in the last 20 seasons, joining Hendrick Motorsports in 2007, when it won 18 of 36 races run.
Bowyer snapped a 190-race winless streak with the victory, the 3rd-longest span between wins in Cup Series history.
Who could be next to snap a long winless drought? Bowyer's Stewart-Haas teammate Aric Almirola is looking to snap a 125-race winless streak, and Paul Menard, now driving for the Wood Brothers, could set a record for the most starts between wins.
Who's Hot and Who's Not - Texas
• Kevin Harvick: won last race at Texas, 7 straight top-10 finishes at Texas; won 3 of last 4 races on 1.5-mile tracks
• Martin Truex Jr.: 10 straight top-5 finishes (6 wins) on 1.5-mile tracks
• Jimmie Johnson: won 4 of last 7 and 6 of last 11 races at Texas (defending spring race winner)
• Aric Almirola: only driver this season with top-15 finish in every race
• Joey Logano: 7 top-5, 8 top-10 finishes in last 10 Texas races (won 2014 spring race)
• Chase Elliott: 4 top-10 finishes in 4 career starts at Texas; 1 of 4 drivers with a top-10 finish in each of last 4 Texas races
• Kyle Busch: finished 15th and 19th last year at Texas (7 top-5 finishes in previous 8 races at track)
• Denny Hamlin: 1 top-5 finish in 13 races at Texas since sweeping 2010 races there
• Kyle Larson: finished 14th or worse in 5 of last 6 Texas races
• Austin Dillon: 0 top-10 finishes in 10 career starts at Texas (his most starts at a track without a top 10)
• Clint Bowyer: finished outside top 10 in 7 straight races at Texas (25.0 Avg finish in those races)
--- ESPN Stats & Info ---