FORD PERFORMANCE NASCAR: TEXAS PLAYOFF NOTES
The Round of 8 hits the midway point this weekend in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR XFINITY Series at Texas Motor Speedway. Ford has won more events than any other manufacturer in the two series and has both defending race winners as well. Kevin Harvick has captured the Texas playoff race on the MENCS side each of the last two seasons while Cole Custer took the NXS event last year. Here’s a look at where Ford’s playoff drivers stand, along with its statistical success at the 1.5-mile facility.
ROUND OF 8 MENCS PLAYOFF STANDINGS (Top 4 Advance After Phoenix)
4th – Joey Logano (+14 ahead of cutoff)
5th – Kevin Harvick (-14 from final transfer spot)
6th – Ryan Blaney (-15 from final transfer spot)
FORD IN THE MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES AT TMS
· Ford has the most all-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series wins at TMS with 14.
· Kevin Harvick is the two-time defending champion of the Playoff race at TMS.
· Jack Roush is tied for the most wins among car owners at TMS with nine.
ROUND OF 8 NXS PLAYOFF STANDINGS (Top 4 Advance After Phoenix)
2nd – Cole Custer +38 ahead of cutoff)
5th – Chase Briscoe (-2 from final transfer spot)
8th – Austin Cindric (-30 from final transfer spot)
FORD IN THE NASCAR XFINITY SERIES AT TMS
· Ford leads all manufacturers with 13 NASCAR XFINITY Series wins at TMS.
· Cole Custer won the NXS Playoff race at TMS last year, giving Ford a season sweep.
· Mark Martin won the first NXS race at Texas and leads Ford with three series victories overall.
HARVICK POSTS CONSECUTIVE TEXAS PLAYOFF WINS
The last two times the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series has come to Texas Motor Speedway in the playoffs, Kevin Harvick has come away with the victory and a spot in the Championship 4. Last season, Harvick took the lead early in Stage 1 and never looked back as he led 177 laps and won all three stages in a dominating performance. That was much different from what he did in 2017 when he passed Martin Truex Jr. with 10 laps remaining to win and advance. That marked Harvick’s first Cup victory at the speedway in 30 starts.
LAST LAP PASS LEADS LOGANO TO VICTORY
Joey Logano’s first Cup win at TMS came in 2014 in a race that was delayed until Monday because of rain. Logano dominated much of the second half, but a caution with two laps to go forced a green-white-checker finish. He started third on the restart after the leaders stopped on pit road and was able to get past Jeff Gordon on the final lap to claim victory. Logano led 108 of the final 116 laps to claim the first of five wins that season.
A TEXAS TWO-FIRST
A couple of firsts happened on April 6, 1997 as Texas Motor Speedway hosted its inaugural Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event and Jeff Burton took his first checkered flag. Burton, led by crew chief Buddy Parrott, passed Todd Bodine with 58 laps remaining and beat fellow Ford driver Dale Jarrett to the finish line by four seconds. The race was slowed by 10 cautions, which included a multi-car accident in first turn of the first lap. Burton went on to win 21 career series races with 17 of those coming in a Thunderbird or Taurus.
SADLER WINS FIRST RACE WITH RYR
Elliott Sadler passed Jeff Gordon with 27 laps remaining and then held off Kasey Kahne in the closing laps to win the Samsung/Radio Shack 500 on April 4, 2004. Sadler, in his second season with Robert Yates Racing, hugged the inside lane over the final three laps as Kahne worked the outside. When the two cars came off turn four for the final time, Sadler had a lapped car in front of him and that allowed Kahne to make one last charge. Despite gaining crucial ground through the tri-oval, Kahne came up half-a-car length short as Sadler crossed the line first to gain his second of three career series wins.
FORD MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES WINNERS AT TEXAS
1997 – Jeff Burton
1998 – Mark Martin
2001 – Dale Jarrett
2002 – Matt Kenseth
2004 – Elliott Sadler
2005 – Greg Biffle (1) and Carl Edwards (2)
2008 – Carl Edwards (Sweep)
2011 – Matt Kenseth (1)
2012 – Greg Biffle (1)
2014 – Joey Logano (1)
2017 – Kevin Harvick (2)
2018 – Kevin Harvick (2)
FORD NASCAR XFINITY SERIES WINNERS AT TEXAS
1997 – Mark Martin
1999 – Mark Martin
2000 – Mark Martin
2004 – Matt Kenseth
2007 – Matt Kenseth
2010 – Carl Edwards (2)
2011 – Carl Edwards (1) and Trevor Bayne (2)
2012 – Ricky Stenhouse (1)
2013 – Brad Keselowski (2)
2015 – Brad Keselowski (2)
2018 – Ryan Blaney (1) and Cole Custer (2)