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Statistically Speaking

AAA Texas 500 Stats

by Dan Beaver
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

This week’s race: AAA Texas 500
Traditional Name: None
Other Notable Names: Dickies 500, Texas 500 (the traditional name for the spring race)

A lot happened in a short period of time. With less than 75 laps remaining in the 500-lap affair at Martinsville Speedway, an accident on a restart set in motion the demise of three Chase contenders and ultimately sidelined one of the top-10 racers at Texas Motor Speedway during the past three years.

Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski sustained significant damage in the pileup as did the driver of the No. 20. Matt Kenseth intentionally wrecked Joey Logano 10 laps later and for his actions, was suspended by NASCAR for two weeks. He appealed, was denied, appealed the denial, and was denied again. Erik Jones will drive the No. 20 this week at Texas and one would assume he will be behind the wheel at Phoenix International Raceway as well. He will be a great value in games that were flexible enough to get him activated this week.

NASCAR certainly is not boring.

10 best drivers at Texas

Over the past six races, these drivers have the best average finish on this track.

1. Kyle Busch
Last six races average finish at Texas: 4.80 (5 starts)
Career avg. finish: 14.5 in 21 attempts

Busch had to be particularly disappointed when he was forced to miss this spring’s Duck Commander 500 due to his early-season injury. He entered the weekend with four top-fives in his previous five Texas races and had a victory in spring 2013. No one other than Jeff Gordon is safe from Chase elimination this week and Busch would like to earn his berth with a win.

2. Jimmie Johnson
Last six races average finish at Texas: 5.83
Career avg. finish: 8.8 in 24 attempts

The numbers are certainly on Johnson’s side this week. He has won four of the last six races at Texas including the most recent one, but something still seems to be off with the No. 48 team. They should have been part of the battle all day at Martinsville, but their name rarely was called.

3. Joey Logano
Last six races average finish at Texas: 6.00
Career avg. finish: 16.9 in 14 attempts

Logano should be concerned by his points’ position after getting wrecked by Kenseth last week, but with how he has run on similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks in 2015, he might not need to worry after this week. He won the last two events on this track type and it was his spin for the win at Kansas Speedway that raised Kenseth’s ire.

4. Brad Keselowski
Last six races average finish at Texas: 6.67
Career avg. finish: 17.3 in 14 attempts

Along with Logano and Kurt Busch, Keselowski is essentially in a win or go home situation. One might assume from his fourth-best, six-race record that this would be a good track to score a victory, but he has not challenged for very many top-fives recently. He will be in the top 10 at the end of the AAA 500, but he’s going to have too much competition to get all the way to the front.

5. Greg Biffle
Last six races average finish at Texas: 10.33
Career avg. finish: 14.7 in 23 attempts

From fall 2008 through spring 2013 Biffle strung 10 top-10s together at Texas. Since then he has earned only one more, but he has been close enough to the front of the pack to secure the fifth-best average finish during the past six races. He could be one of this week’s hidden gems.

6. Denny Hamlin
Last six races average finish at Texas: 12.20 (5 starts)
Career avg. finish: 10.8 in 19 attempts

Hamlin owes his position among the top 10 to consistency. He has finished on the lead lap in his last six races, even though one of them ended in a 20th-place result. Without a top-five since 2010, Hamlin is not likely to score enough points this week to justify his salary cap, but he will finish in the high single digits or low-teens.

7. Ryan Newman
Last six races average finish at Texas: 12.33
Career avg. finish: 18.6 in 24 attempts

Newman is in the same circumstance as Hamlin. He has finished on the lead lap in his last six starts, but has not finished worse than 16th in that span of races. His highs have not been quite as great as the No. 11, but he is cheaper in most games and easier to start.

8. Matt Kenseth (tied with Truex)
Last six races average finish at Texas: 12.50
Career avg. finish: 9.5 in 26 attempts.

Kenseth will miss the AAA Texas 500 to suspension, but it might not have made much difference if he were in the race. His last two attempts in the Lone Star state ended in the 20s.

9. Martin Truex Jr. (tied with Kenseth)
Last six races average finish at Texas: 12.50
Career avg. finish: 15.1 in 20 attempts

In pre-race media coverage, Truex said he does not think the craziness is over in regard to the Chasers. He wants to avoid being part of that drama, but he did crash in back-to-back races in fall 2010/spring 2011. Since then he has finished on the same lap as the leaders in every Texas race and finished second in spring 2013.

10. Kevin Harvick
Last six races average finish at Texas: 12.67
Career avg. finish: 12.7 in 25 attempts

If not for Johnson, Harvick would be the winner of the past two races. He doesn’t need to win in order to advance and he has been even better at Phoenix in recent years. For those reasons he could settle into a comfortable top-five position and ride, but that is not his style. With the No. 48 team in disarray, this is Harvick’s best opportunity to grab his first Texas trophy.

Others of Note

13. Carl Edwards
Last six races average finish at Texas: 14.83
Career avg. finish: 15.0 in 21 attempts

Edwards’ other results in the past six races have not been quite good enough to offset a blown engine and 37th-place finish in the fall 2013 AAA Texas 500. His last two efforts netted top-10s, however, so he cannot be discounted from running well. He does not need to win to advance to Homestead with a shot at the championship, but he certainly needs one to improve this team’s confidence.

14. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Last six races average finish at Texas: 15.00
Career avg. finish: 14.2 in 26 attempts

Earnhardt won both his first XFINITY and Cup race at Texas, but Fantasy NASCAR is a sport concerned with what a driver has done lately. The good news is that three of his last five events ended in results of sixth or better, but his average is destroyed by a 29th in spring 2013 plus a crash and last-place finish last spring.

16. Jamie McMurray
Last six races average finish at Texas: 15.50
Career avg. finish: 17.2 in 23 attempts

McMurray is well down the order this week, but there are plenty of reasons to be hopeful that he will run well enough to outperform his salary cap. His last three Texas races have shown marked improvement with a 17th, fifth, and sixth respectively. He is also coming off a confidence-boosting second-place finish last week to Gordon in the Goody's 500.

19. Kurt Busch  
Last six races average finish at Texas: 20.50
Career avg. finish: 15.9 in 25 attempts

Busch would certainly like to be higher on this list as he finds his easiest path toward moving into the final round of the Chase is a win. He has one Texas triumph to his credit back in 2009, but two of his last five attempts ended in the 30s and that is both more recent and terrifying.

21. Jeff Gordon
Last six races average finish at Texas: 21.33
Career avg. finish: 17.3 in 29 attempts

Gordon is undoubtedly the happiest driver in the field this week because of his victory at Martinsville. It locked him into the finale and he does not have to worry about Texas—a track on which he crashed in his first three outings and which continues to be one of his worst places to perform. 
 

Rank

Driver

3 Yr. Avg. Finish

Attempts

1.

Kyle Busch

4.80

5

2.

Jimmie Johnson

5.83

6

3.

Joey Logano

6.00

6

4.

Brad Keselowski

6.67

6

5.

Greg Biffle

10.33

6

6.

Denny Hamlin

12.20

5

7.

Ryan Newman

12.33

6

8.

Matt Kenseth

12.50

6

9.

Martin Truex Jr.

12.50

6

10.

Kevin Harvick

12.67

6

 

11.

Tony Stewart

14.20

5

12.

Clint Bowyer

14.83

6

13.

Carl Edwards

14.83

6

14.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

15.00

6

15.

Kyle Larson

15.00

4

16.

Jamie McMurray

15.50

6

17.

Kasey Kahne

16.33

6

18.

Aric Almirola

17.33

6

19.

Kurt Busch

20.50

6

20.

Paul Menard

21.00

6

21.

Jeff Gordon

21.33

6

22.

Sam Hornish Jr.

21.50

2

23.

Austin Dillon

23.40

5

24.

AJ Allmendinger

23.50

4

25.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

24.00

5

26.

Trevor Bayne

24.17

6

27.

Danica Patrick

26.00

6

28.

Casey Mears

26.33

6

29.

Justin Allgaier

27.67

3

30.

Travis Kvapil

28.50

4

31.

David Ragan

29.33

6

32.

David Gilliland

29.50

6

33.

Michael Annett

30.33

3

34.

Cole Whitt

30.67

3

35.

Landon Cassill

33.83

6

36.

Brett Moffitt

34.50

2

37.

Alex Bowman

35.67

3

38.

Michael McDowell

35.83

6

39.

Reed Sorenson

36.33

3

40.

Josh Wise

36.83

6

41.

Timmy Hill

37.33

3

42.

Bobby Labonte

38.33

3

43.

JJ Yeley

38.67

6

44.

Mike Bliss

39.33

3

 

Exercise Caution

Most caution flags: 13, 2014 AAA Texas 500 
Fewest caution flags: 2, 2012 Samsung Mobile 500
Average number of caution flags per race: 7.8

Final Caution, last five races:
April 2015: lap 310 of 334: 1-car accident in turn 3 (AJ Allmendinger)
November 2014: 336 of 341: 1-car spin in turn 3 (Jeff Gordon)
April 2014: 334 of 340 (to set up green-white-checkered): debris
November 2013: 257 of 334: debris
April 2013: 315 of 334: debris

Most caution laps: 73, 1997 Interstate Batteries 500
Fewest caution laps: 10, 2012 Samsung Mobile 500
Average number of caution laps per race: 39.9

Leading the way

Most leaders: 17, 2000 DirecTV 500
Fewest leaders: 4, 2009 Dickies 500
Average number of leaders: 10.

Most lead changes: 33, 2010 AAA Texas 500
Fewest lead changes: 13 (2 times), 2009 Dickies 500, 2007 Samsung 500
Average number of lead changes: 22.7

Victory Lane

Last five winners (starting position):
April 2015: Jimmie Johnson (fifth)
November 2014: Jimmie Johnson (third)
April 2014: Joey Logano (10th)
November 2013: Jimmie Johnson (third)
April 2013: Kyle Busch (pole)

Worst starting position for race winner: 31st, Matt Kenseth: 2002 Samsung / Radio Shack 500

A race at Texas has been won by the pole sitter 3 times and from the front row 6 times in 29 races.

Recent races won from the pole:
April 2013: Kyle Busch, NRA 500
November 2012: Jimmie Johnson, AAA Texas 500
April 2006: Kasey Kahne, Samsung / Radio Shack 500

Active winners at Texas
Jimmie Johnson: 5
Carl Edwards: 3
Greg Biffle: 2
Denny Hamlin: 2
Matt Kenseth: 2
Tony Stewart: 2
Kurt Busch: 1
Kyle Busch: 1
Dale Earnhardt Jr.: 1
Jeff Gordon: 1
Kasey Kahne: 1
Joey Logano: 1
Ryan Newman: 1

First time winners at Texas:
Dale Earnhardt Jr., 2000 DirecTV 500
Jeff Burton: 1997 Interstate Batteries 500

Running at the End

The following active drivers have been running at the end of every Texas race they started:
Casey Mears (22)
Kyle Busch (19)
Denny Hamlin (19)
Brad Keselowski (14)
Aric Almirola (9)
Danica Patrick (6)
Austin Dillon (5)
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (5)
Kyle Larson (4)
Cole Whitt (3)
Matt DiBenedetto (1)
Joey Gase (1)
Alex Kennedy (1)

Matt Kenseth failed to finish his first race in 2000, but has been running at the end of the last 25.
Justin Allgaier and Michael Annett had been running at the end of his first two Texas races before they crashed this spring.

Active drivers with top-10s in their first start on this track:
Dale Earnhardt Jr.: first (2000)
Kasey Kahne: second (2004)
Kurt Busch: fourth (2001)
Jimmie Johnson: sixth (2002)
Tony Stewart: sixth (1999)
Denny Hamlin: seventh (2005)
Kevin Harvick: seventh (2001)
Jamie McMurray: 10th (2003)

Current Streaks

At Texas
Jimmie Johnson, two victories
Kyle Busch, two top-fives
Brad Keselowski, two top-fives
Kevin Harvick, two top-fives
Carl Edwards, two top-10s
Dale Earnhardt Jr., two top-10s
Jamie McMurray, two top-10s

On similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks (Texas, Atlanta, Charlotte, Las Vegas, Kansas, Chicagoland, and Kentucky)
Brad Keselowski, 10 top-10s
Kurt Busch, six top-10s
Carl Edwards, five top-10s
Denny Hamlin, five top-10s
Joey Logano, four top-10s including back-to-back victories
Jeff Gordon, two top-10s

In 2015
Jeff Gordon, four top-10s
Dale Earnhardt Jr., two top-fives
Martin Truex Jr., two top-10s

Joey Logano had 11 consecutive top-10s to his credit before he was wrecked last week.
Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski each saw streaks of three top-10s end at Martinsville.
Carl Edwards earned another top-15 at Martinsville, but he snapped a three-race, top-10 streak.

 

Dan Beaver

Dan Beaver has been covering fantasy NASCAR for more than 20 years with a little help from his >650,000 record database. He can be found on Twitter @FantasyRace.