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In the Know – Texas

“In the Know”
Texas Motor Speedway

With the NASCAR All-Star Race moving to the Spring Texas date, this week’s race will be the first championship points-paying race of the 2021 season. The Playoff points have reset and the eight drivers advancing to the Round of 8 have their sights on a win at Sunday’s Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500.

Texas Motor Speedway was repaved in early 2017 and is still considered a low tire wear track.

“Texas has begun to age a little bit, but it is still grouped in with some of the more ‘low wear’ tracks that NASCAR goes to,” said Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s director of racing. “We were able to make a compound change to the right-side tire here last fall to give the cars more grip. We have seen some good results from this tire set-up since then, having run it at Texas, Michigan and Las Vegas already this season. We want tires to wear at Texas because of the speeds these cars are running. Speed generates heat, and as this tire wears, it runs a little cooler and performs well over a long run.”

The Details

NASCAR Cup Series Overview

Event: Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 (Round 33 of 36)
Time/Date: 2 p.m. EDT on Sunday, Oct. 17
Location: Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth
Layout: 1.5-mile oval
Laps/Miles: 334 laps, 501 miles
Format: Stage 1: 105 laps / Stage 2: 105 laps / Final Stage: 124 laps
TV/Radio: NBC/ PRN/ SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

NASCAR Xfinity Series Overview

● Event: Andy’s Frozen Custard 335 (Round 30 of 33)
Date: Saturday, Oct. 16
Location: Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth
Layout: 1.5-mile oval
Time/TV/Radio: 3 p.m. EDT on NBC/PRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

What Our Drivers are Saying:

Texas-FallAric Almirola, Driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Walk-On’s Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

You ran well at the All-Star Race this year at Texas. Should we expect similar results this weekend?
“Texas this year was one of the first races that we brought really good speed and had an overall good day. We won the All-Star Open and advanced to the All-Star Race and still had a good run at it. Texas has always been good to us. We found something earlier this year there and our team has continued to work hard and make improvements. We led some laps in 2019 when we weren’t in the playoffs at Texas and just came up short behind Kevin (Harvick), so we know this team can find the speed to compete even in the midst of being outside of the playoffs.”

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

Typically we race at Texas twice a year, but that changed for this season with the addition of a race at Circuit of the Americas in Austin and the All-Star Weekend moving to Fort Worth. How prepared do you feel for your first full race at Texas?
“I’ve always run pretty good at Texas, so I don’t feel lost going into this weekend. I haven’t won there, but I’ve finished second a couple of times in Truck and Xfinity, so I’ve had good results, but it’ll be a bit different. I’m a little curious about how different it will be with resin on the track instead of the traction compound we’ve used in the past. In the All-Star Open, I felt like our car was really, really good, so maybe we can take something from that. But it’s hard to know if anything from that race will apply because we were running with less horsepower, and you could do some other things with the car that I don’t know if we’ll be able to do now. We’re not going to have the most ideal starting position and Texas is a place where track position is important. We’re going to have to do some things to gain that position because I feel like at Texas you run the speed of the guys you’re around, so if we can get up front with the faster cars, I think we could stay there.”

Texas-FallCole Custer, Driver of the No. 41 Feeding America®/Wow Wow Classic Waffles Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing

Texas seems to be one of the tracks on the schedule drivers seem to get just a little bit more excited about. Do you feel that’s the case?
“Yes it is. If you want to see some cars going really fast, then Texas is the place to go. I mean, it’s just a big track, a lot of grip, a lot of speed. We’re just going as hard as we can pretty much the whole lap and the whole race. And honestly, you usually see more incidents there than a lot of the other intermediate tracks because there’s not a whole lot of room to race. You’re constantly going to try and kind of fight over a line.”

Texas-Fall-3-scaledRiley Herbst, Driver of the No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang (Xfinity Series)

There are still four races to go in the 2021 season. What are your goals for the remainder of the year?
“The goal is to win one. That’s been my goal all season long, and we still have four more chances to get the No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang to victory lane. We’ve grown all year, and despite the bad luck we’ve experienced, we’ve gotten better with each race. I know we can win.”

SHR Stats

Sunday’s 500-mile race will be Cole Custer’s 72nd Cup Series start and his third points-paying outing at Texas. An accident ended his day early in his Texas Cup Series debut in July 2020 before he returned in November to finish 14th. He also finished 14th at Texas this past June in his second career appearance in the non-points NASCAR All-Star Race. Custer was victorious at Texas in the November 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series race, one of his six outings at the track in that series. He has three other top-five finishes to go with an eighth-place result in his most recent Xfinity Series visit in November 2019.

In 20 NASCAR Cup Series starts, Aric Almirola has five top-10 finishes, one top-five, one pole, and has led 101 laps at the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway oval in Fort Worth. Almirola finished runner-up there Nov. 3, 2019, behind teammate Kevin Harvick, who was vying for a championship. Earlier this year, Texas hosted the NASCAR All-Star Race, where Almirola pointed his way in by winning the All-Star Open. He finished eighth.

Chase Briscoe finished fourth in the non-points-paying All-Star Open in June. In five NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Texas, Briscoe finished in the top-five twice with a best finish of second in the first of two races at the Fort Worth track in 2020. He also finished in the top-five in both of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series outings in 2017.

The Andy’s Frozen Custard 335 will mark Riley Herbst’s 73rd career Xfinity Series start and his fourth at Texas. Herbst’s best finish at Texas is 12th, earned in the series’ prior visit to the track in June.

Of Special Interest

Be sure to check out our merch hauler at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend! If you can’t attend in person, you can shop anytime at store.stewarthaasracing.com

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