O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 (Texas) | Bonehead Picks

O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 (Texas)

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After the Easter off week, NASCAR Monster Energy heads back southwest for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, where practice and qualifying fell under bizarre circumstances thanks to Mother Nature. Qualifying was shortened to one round due to lightning, which awarded Kurt Busch his first pole of the season. Kurt posted a time of 27.523 seconds going 196.200 MPH. He was also fastest in first practice on Friday, with his Stewart-Haas teammates tagging along.

Kevin Harvick and Martinsville winner Clint Bowyer are starting second and third respectively, which makes it the first time in team history that their drivers will start from the top three. Kurt and Harvick each have one win at Texas with Bowyer having a best finish of second in the 2011 Spring race. SHR has won four of the last five races in 2018 with Harvick winning three consecutive (one encumbered). If Kurt were to win at Texas, SHR will have three drivers locked in the playoffs.

Jimmie Johnson (starting ninth) has the most active wins with seven. Johnson won last season’s event while winning four the last seven races at Texas overall. Johnson on the other hand has only one top ten in 2018, and hasn’t been able to perform at his best at some of his best tracks. Johnson is currently on a 29-race winless streak, his last win going back to Dover of last season. Hendrick drivers have been performing poorly since the start of the Daytona 500.

Denny Hamlin (fifth) and Kyle Busch (eighth) each have two wins and both are still looking for their first win in 2018. Kyle won this same race two years ago and Hamlin swept both races in 2010. Hamlin finished third in the Fall race and has finished outside the top ten in five of the last eight Texas races. Kyle has finished in the top five in the last four races, three of those finishing second. Starting eighth will be Kyle’s fourth straight top ten start and five out of the last six.

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