NASCAR Playoff Race #8: AAA 500 | Bonehead Picks

Playoff Race #8: AAA 500 (Texas)

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It is the second race in the Round of 8, and it all takes place at Texas Motor Speedway for the AAA 500. Most of the heaviest hitters in the top four control their own destiny as Kyle Busch earned his trip to Homestead by winning at Martinsville. There are three spots remaining and only two more winners can advance with one by points. Ryan Blaney (starting eighth) was the fastest in first practice on Friday with Kurt Busch winning the pole and was also fastest in final practice on Saturday.

Jimmie Johnson (ninth) holds the most active wins with seven, and has owned Texas in recent years even after being eliminated. Johnson has won six of the last ten races at Texas overall, including this year’s Spring race and has only one DNF altogether. Denny Hamlin (second) himself swept the 2010 Texas races, but has only three top tens since. He has only led 155 laps in 23 total starts and sits seventh in the Playoff standings (-8). Kyle (fifth) also has won at Texas twice, finishing in the top five in seven of the last nine starts.

Believe it or not, those are the only active playoff winners at Texas, so time to expand the rest to see how they fare there. Martin Truex Jr (seventh) has a best place finish of second and has a current streak of five consecutive top tens. In four of those five, Truex has led a combined 257 laps for a career total of 488. Brad Keselowski (tenth) has finished second twice, and since the 2012 Fall race, has seven top tens in the last ten races. Keselowski is also making his sixth consecutive top ten start.

Kevin Harvick (third) has finished second twice including six consecutive top tens, five of those in the top five. Harvick has led a combined 187 laps in five of those races including 77 in a fourth place finish in the Spring. Blaney has no top tens but finished 12th in the last two. In his last Texas race, Blaney led 148 laps. In three races, Chase Elliott (34th) has finished in the top ten in all of them since his rookie season. Elliott’s best finish is fourth and placed ninth in the Spring race.

Non-playoff winners at Texas: Surprisingly, there are six winners at Texas who are not in the postseason, including Matt Kenseth (35th) who has two. Kurt, Dale Earnhardt Jr. (17th), Ryan Newman (25th), Kasey Kahne (19th) and Joey Logano (36th) each have one.

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