For the first time, the NASCAR Cup Series ran the 1.5 mile track of Texas Motor Speedway on a hot July date, and man, was this race a spicy one filled with strategy and wrecks. In the end, it was strategy that won the race.
Austin Dillon has won the O’reilly auto parts 500 for Richard Childress Racing. Dillon took two tires on the last top while the rest of the field took four. Dillons 3 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Off Road Chevrolet Camaro led 22 laps and had to hold up past champions Joey Logano and Kyle Busch in the process. This is Dillons third career win, his first win at Texas, his first win of 2020, and Richard Childress first win since 2018. Dillon snapped an 88 race winless streak and locked himself into the playoffs.
His teammate and rookie of the year contender Tyler Reddick took no tires on the last stop, leading five laps and finishing second in the 8 Car Oil and Gas Camaro. This is the first time that Richard Childress Racing had a one/two finishing since Talladega in 2011.
Joey Logano was the highest finishing Team Penske car, leading 22 laps and finishing third in the 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Mustang. Ryan Blaney was the one that led the Penske crew. Blaney led a race high 150 laps and swept the two stages. However, our strategy did not go his way as he finished seventh in the 12 Menards/Maytag Ford. Brad Keselowski rounded out the Penske cars, leading 15 laps and finishing ninth in the 2 Wurth Ford.
Joe Gibbs Racing has had their fastest cars of the year it seemed. However, only two would finish in the top ten as two others were caught up in wrecks. Series Champion Kyle Busch led 11 laps, escaped the big one around lap 220 and finished fourth in the 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry. Erik Jones needed a big day in order to get closer to the playoffs. Jones 20 Craftsman Toyota led seven laps and finished sixth. Defending Texas winner Denny Hamlin led 11 laps in the FedEx Office Camry, but spun out twice later on, finishing 20th. Martin Truex Jr. also struggled late, being involved in the big one and would finish 29th in the 19 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats-ATVs Toyota with 15 laps led.
Kevin Harvick had a strong performance, leading 40 laps and finishing fifth in the 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing. Pole Sitter Aric Almirola had brake troubles early which cost him a penalty on pit road, but still led the opening 35 laps in the 10 Smithfield Hometown Original Ford, finishing 10th. Clint Bowyer finished behind in 11th in the 14 Rush Truck Centers Ford. Last week’s winner and rookie Cole Custer was involved in the big one mid race and finished 39th in the 41 HaasTooling.com Ford.
Matt DiBenedetto led a lap, and finished 17th in the 21 Ford-Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford for Wood Brothers Racing.
Perhaps the worst luck came with Hendrick Motorsports as none of their four cars finished in the top ten. Chase Elliott in the 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro was the highest finishing car in 12th. Seven time champion and Texas Jimmie Johnson has a fast car, but smacked the wall hard, ending his chance of an eighth win at the track. Alex Bowman was involved in a crash late as the 88 Adam’s Polishes/ChevyGoods.com Chevy finished 30th. William Byron was involved in the late accident finishing 37th in the 24 Axalta Camaro. That finish knocked him out of the playoffs with eight races to go.
The next race is the Super Start Batteries 400 Presented by O’Reilly Auto Parts at Kansas Speedway which is Thursday 7:30 on NBCSN.
- Austin Dillon 3 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Off Road Chevrolet Camaro Richard Childress Racing
- Tyler Reddick (R) 8 Caterpillar 3512E DGB Chevrolet Camaro Richard Childress Racing
- Joey Logano 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Mustang Team Penske
- Kyle Busch 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry Joe Gibbs Racing
- Kevin Harvick 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang Stewart-Haas Racing
- Erik Jones 20 Craftsman Toyota Camry Joe Gibbs Racing
- Ryan Blaney 12 Maytag/Menards Ford Mustang Team Penske
- Kurt Busch 1 Monster Energy Chevrolet Camaro Richard Childress Racing
- Brad Keselowski 2 Wurth Ford Mustang Team Penske
- Aric Almirola 10 Smithfield Hometown Original Ford Mustang Stewart-Haas Racing
- Clint Bowyer 14 Rush Truck Centers Ford Mustang Stewart-Haas Racing
- Chase Elliott 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro Hendrick Motorsports
- Ryan Newman 6 Wyndham Rewards Ford Mustang Roush-Fenway Racing
- Bubba Wallace 43 Cash App Chevrolet Camaro Richard Petty Motorsports
- Michael McDowell 34 Love’s/Speedco Ford Mustang Front Row Motorsports
- Corey LaJoie 32 Trump 2020 Ford Mustang Go Fas Racing
- Matt DiBenedetto 21 Ford-Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford Mustang Wood Brothers Racing
- Matt Kenseth 42 McDonald’s McDelivery Chevrolet Camaro Chip Ganassi Racing
- Chris Buescher 17 Roush Performance Ford Mustang Roush-Fenway Racing
- Denny Hamlin 11 FedEx Office Toyota Camry Joe Gibbs Racing
- Christopher Bell (R) 95 Rheem/Procore Toyota Camry Leavine Family Racing
- John Hunter Nemechek (R) 38 Citgard Heavy Duty Engine Oil Ford Mustang Front Row Motorsports
- Daniel Suárez 96 Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Toyota Camry Gaunt Brothers Racing
- J.J. Yeley 77 Formula One Imports Chevrolet Camaro Spire Motorsports
- Gray Gaulding 27 Panini Trading Cards Ford Mustang Rick Ware Racing
- Jimmie Johnson 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro Hendrick Motorsports
- Brennan Poole (R) 15 Spartan Mosquito Pro Tech Chevrolet Camaro Premium Motorsports
- Reed Sorenson 7 Gorilla Glue Chevrolet Camaro Tommy Baldwin Racing
- Martin Truex Jr. 19 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats-ATVs Toyota Camry Joe Gibbs Racing
- Alex Bowman 88 Adam’s Polishes/ChevyGoods.com Chevrolet Camaro Hendrick Motorsports
- Josh Bilicki (R) 53 Junction Fuels Chevrolet Camaro Rick Ware Racing
- Joey Gase 51 Red Rock Secured Ford Mustang Rick Ware Racing
- B.J. McLeod 78 Axele.com Chevrolet Camaro B.J. McLeod Motorsports
- Quin Houff 00 Permatex Chevrolet Camaro StarCom Racing
- Ty Dillon 13 GEICO Chevrolet Camaro Germain Racing
- Timmy Hill 66 RoofClaim.com Toyota Camry MBM Motorsports
- William Byron 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro Hendrick Motorsports
- Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 47 Kroger Chevrolet Camaro JTG-Daugherty Racing
- Cole Custer (R) 41 HaasTooling.com Ford Mustang Stewart-Haas Racing
- Ryan Preece 37 Glad Chevrolet Camaro JTG-Daugherty Racing
Ian O’Brien is a Contributor for the Unwrapped Sports Network. Follow him on Twitter @IanOBBrien.