NASCAR Cup Series

Next Race: EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix

The Place: Circuit of The Americas

The Date: Sunday, March 24

The Time: 3:30 p.m. ET

The Purse: $9,740,789

TV: FOX, 3 p.m. ET

Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 231.88 miles (68 laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 15),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 30), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 68)

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Next Race: Focused Health 250

The Place: Circuit of The Americas

The Date: Saturday, March 23

The Time: 5 p.m. ET

The Purse: $1,778,948

TV: FS1, 4 p.m. ET

Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 156.86 miles (46 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 14),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 30), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 46)

NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series

Next Race: XPEL 225

The Place: Circuit of The Americas

The Date: Saturday, March 23

The Time: 1:30 p.m. ET

The Purse: $794,098

TV: FS1, 12:30 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 143.22 miles (42 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 12),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 26), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 42)

NASCAR Cup Series

Let’s Go Road Racing: Circuit of The Americas is the first of five road courses on the schedule

After five points races on ovals, it’s time for the NASCAR Cup Series to return to one of the country’s premiere road courses, the Circuit of The Americas (COTA), for the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix this Sunday, March 24 at 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

This week the NASCAR Cup Series teams are preparing for the first of five road & street courses on the 2024 schedule – Circuit of The Americas (Mar. 24), Sonoma Raceway (June 9), Chicago Street Race (July 7), Watkins Glen International (Sept. 15) and the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL (Oct. 8).

Getting to know COTA

Construction began in 2010 on 1,500 acres of land just outside of Austin, Texas on what is now known as the Circuit of The Americas. The 20-turn, 3.41-mile, multi-elevational counterclockwise circuit takes advantage of the naturally rolling landscape, including a 133-foot hill at Turn 1. The track also has an amphitheater, the largest permanent outdoor amphitheater in Central Texas, and a 251-foot observation tower.

The sprawling Circuit of The Americas road course has hosted three NASCAR Cup Series races (2021-2023) producing three different pole winners and three different race winners.

Circuit of The Americas sets the stage for NASCAR Cup Series’ new road course package

Starting in 2024 the NASCAR Cup Series Next Gen cars will run a simplified diffuser at a majority of tracks measuring one-mile or shorter, as well as all road courses. (Note: Los Angeles, Bristol and Dover excluded.) This weekend at Circuit of The Americas will be the first event the new package will be used on a road course.

The details of the components updated:

  • 2023 short track/road course splitter stuffers
  • No engine panel strakes
  • 3-inch spoiler
  • Simplified Diffuser
  • Simplified Diffuser Strakes

First road course qualifying of the Cup season

It’s time for the drivers to get their elbows up because this weekend the NASCAR Cup Series is taking on the 20-turn Circuit of The Americas this Sunday, March 24 at 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. The first three Cup races at COTA have produced three different pole winners at the 3.41-mile course. Will we see a fourth?

o   Tyler Reddick, Chevrolet, 91.363 mph, 132.911 seconds, May 23, 2021

o   Ryan Blaney, Ford, 92.759 mph, 132.343 seconds, May 26, 2022

o   William Byron, Chevrolet, 93.882 mph, 130.760 seconds, March 25, 2023

Interestingly, three different starting positions have led to victories in the NASCAR Cup Series at Circuit of The Americas, but none from the pole or first starting position – the 2021 race was won from the eighth starting position, the 2022 race was won from the 16th starting position and last year’s was won from the outside front row (second).

This weekend’s on-track activity for the NASCAR Cup Series will begin with practice on Saturday, March 23 at 9 a.m. ET followed by Busch Light Pole Qualifying at 10:30 a.m. ET. Both events will be televised on FS2, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Hamlin becomes fifth different winner in first five races, keeps season streak alive

In arguably one of the greatest short track races ever last Sunday at Bristol Motor Speedway, Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin banked his first win of the 2024 season becoming the fifth different winner in the first five races of the year; joining William Byron (Daytona), Daniel Suarez (Atlanta), Kyle Larson (Las Vegas) and Christopher Bell (Phoenix). Now, the NASCAR Cup Series heads to Austin, Texas for a showdown at the Circuit of The Americas, which has produced three different winners in its last three races. All the ingredients are lining up, could the streak of different winners this season keep rolling and we see a sixth?

The Modern Era (1972-2024) record of different winners to start a NASCAR Cup Series season is 10, set back in 2000. That year, NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt Jr. snapped the different winners streak by winning his second race of the 2000 season at Richmond Raceway (Race No. 11 on the schedule).

None of the former COTA winners have won this season and are looking to get back to Victory Lane. Hendrick Motorsport’s Chase Elliott won the inaugural NASCAR Cup Series race at the Circuit of The Americas on May 23, 2021 after starting from the eighth position. Elliott leads all active drivers in road course wins with seven. If he were to win this weekend, he would tie NASCAR Hall of Famer Tony Stewart (eight road course wins) for second-most on the all-time NASCAR Cup Series road course wins list.

Trackhouse Racing’s Ross Chastain won the NASCAR Cup Series race at the Circuit of The Americas on March 27, 2022 after starting from the 16th position. The victory was extra special because it was the first career NASCAR Cup Series win for driver Ross Chastain. Chastain is also the only driver to finish in the top-five in all three previous Cup races at COTA.

Then last season, 23XI Racing’s Tyler Reddick won the NASCAR Cup Series race at the Circuit of The Americas on March 26, 2023 after starting from the second position. Interestingly, Reddick has won five career Cup races and three have come on road courses – Road America (2022), Indianapolis Road Course (2022) and COTA (2023).

Next Gen car is smashing records in 2024

It has been a strong start to the season statistically as the Next Gen car continues to put the NASCAR Cup Series at the top of the list in terms of the closest and most competitive racing on the planet. Below are just a few of the highlights the first five races of the 2024 season has delivered.

Record Average Lap Leaders – This season the NASCAR Cup Series has produced an average of 14.2 lap leaders per race in the first five races of the year – the series-most average number of lap leaders through the first five races of a season in the Modern Era (1972-2024).

Record Average Lead Changes – The NASCAR Cup Series is averaging 35.4 lead changes per race through the first five races of the 2024 season, the series-most in the Modern Era (1972-2024). The next highest is the 2011 season with 31.6.

Record Green Flag Passes For The Lead – The 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season has produced 487 Green Flag Passes for the Lead – the most through the first five races of the year since the inception of the stat in 2005, surpassing the previous record of 348 Green Flag Passes for the Lead through the first five races of a season set in 2022 & 2023 (tied at 348 each).

Record Total Green Flag Passes – The 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season has produced 29,429 Total Green Flag Passes – the series-most through the first five races of the year since the inception of the stat in 2005, surpassing the previous record of 27,341 Total Green Flag Passes through the first five races set last season.

Five Different Winners In First Five Races – This season is the 17th-time in the Modern Era (1972-2024) the NASCAR Cup Series has opened the year with five different winners in the first five races of the schedule.

NASCAR brings a bevy of road course aces to COTA

At one time in the NASCAR Cup Series being a road course specialist was an anomaly, but not anymore. Heading into this weekend at the Circuit of The Americas, the NASCAR Cup Series has 15 former road course winners entered in the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix this Sunday, March 24 at 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX, PRN, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, and 10 of them are looking for their first win of the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season (all except William Byron, Daniel Suarez, Kyle Larson, Christopher Bell and Denny Hamlin).

Active Road Course Winners (15)
Wins
WGI
Sonoma
Charlotte
COTA
Indy
Daytona
Road Am.
Chicago
Chase Elliott
7
2
0
2
1
0
1
1
0
Martin Truex Jr
5
1
4
0
0
0
0
0
0
Kyle Busch
4
2
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
Kyle Larson
4
2
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
AJ Allmendinger
3
1
0
1
0
1
0
0
0
Tyler Reddick
3
0
0
0
1
1
0
1
0
Christopher Bell
2
0
0
1
0
0
1
0
0
Daniel Suárez
1
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
Denny Hamlin
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Joey Logano
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Ryan Blaney
1
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
Ross Chastain
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
William Byron
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Michael McDowell
1
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
Shane Van Gisbergen
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
Totals
36
11
8
6
3
3
2
2
1

Last season’s Sonoma winner, Martin Truex Jr., with five total road course wins in his career – second-most among active drivers – finished runner-up at Bristol last weekend and is looking for his first win of the season.

“We’ve learned so much over the last couple of years about this car and what it likes and what it doesn’t, so hoping we can come with a lot more knowledge than we had this time last year and get the car where we need it to have a shot to win and run up front all day long,” said Truex. “Our new Camry has been strong so far this year and hoping we can continue what we’ve been doing at the road courses, as well. Looking forward to this weekend with our Bass Pro Shops Toyota team.”

Race Rewind: Looking back at the first three Cup races at COTA

The inaugural NASCAR Cup Series event at Circuit of The Americas was held on May 23, 2021, but was shortened from its scheduled 68 laps to 54 due to inclement weather. The race produced 11 lead changes among 10 different leaders, but it was Hendrick Motorsports driver and 2020 NASCAR Cup Series champion Chase Elliott who won the inaugural event under caution.

The series returned to 3.41-mile track in 2022 and this time the race went into overtime (69 laps total) producing 13 lead changes among nine different leaders. The final lead change of the NASCAR Cup Series March 27, 2022 race took place with two laps to go, when Trackhouse Racing’s Ross Chastain passed Tyler Reddick for the lead, and went on to win his first career Cup Series race. The 2022 race was also the premiere of the Next Gen car on a road course, and it didn’t disappoint, producing a NASCAR Cup Series record for green flag passes for the lead on road course tracks with 30 green flag passes for the lead.

Last season was another hard fought race at COTA, that for the second consecutive year went to overtime producing 16 lead changes among seven different leaders. The final lead change of the NASCAR Cup Series March 26, 2023 race took place with 12 laps to go, when Tyler Reddick passed William Byron for the lead, and ultimately the win. It was another action-filled road race with 21 green flag passes for the lead.

Kobayashi joins the Cup Series at Circuit of The Americas

23XI Racing will have a third car in the field this weekend at Circuit of The Americas and piloting the No. 50 Toyota will be former Formula 1 driver Kamui Kobayashi, who will be making his first career start of the season, and the second NASCAR Cup Series start of his career.

“I’m definitely excited for this weekend at COTA,” said Kobayashi. “My first race last year at Indy, I think I was a little bit surprised, but I think the race went quite smooth. I think I dropped back in the early stage, and I didn’t get any caution. It was quite difficult in the back end of the field, but I had great fun.”

Kobayashi made his NASCAR Cup Series debut at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course last season with 23XI Racing. The driver from Amagasaki, Japan started 28th and finished 33rd in the event.

“I’m definitely looking forward to COTA,” said Kobayashi. “We’ve had more preparation. I’ve raced COTA five times already in Formula 1 and WEC. I think Indy – it was my first time ever racing there, but at COTA I have more experience, so definitely looking forward to the race.”

NASCAR Cup Series, Etc.

Giancarlo Esposito and Skeet Ulrich land dignitary roles at COTA – Giancarlo Esposito and Skeet Ulrich, stars of the new AMC/AMC+ series “Parish,” share leading roles in what is expected to be a high-octane drama premiering Sunday, March 31. Esposito and Ulrich will also serve in prominent dignitary roles for the latest episode of the NASCAR Cup Series – the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix on Sunday, March 24, at Circuit of The Americas (COTA) just outside of downtown Austin, Texas.

Esposito landed the role of Grand Marshal and will provide the traditional “Start Your Engines” command to the NCS drivers for the first permanent road course event of the young season. Ulrich will then take the reins from Esposito as the Honorary Pace Car Driver, where he will be behind the wheel of one of the Toyota Camrys that will pace the 40-car field to the green flag for the start of the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix at 2:30 p.m. CT.

“I play a driver on TV in ‘Parish,’ but in real life, I am an OLD SCHOOL street racer!” Esposito said. “There are no rules but to GO FAST! I can’t wait to be on the track at NASCAR!”

“As a longtime fan and family member of NASCAR, I am honored to be here representing AMC/AMC+ and ‘Parish’ and all my friends and family who have been at the heart of this great sport for decades!” Ulrich said.

The duo will be celebrating the premiere of “Parish,” the highly anticipated six-episode crime thriller that debuts March 31 on AMC and AMC+. Esposito, an Emmy® and SAG® Award nominee and Critics Choice® Award winner, not only stars in the new series, but also is the executive producer of the project. Esposito is well known by television audiences for his iconic portrayal of drug kingpin ‘Gustavo “Gus” Fring’ in AMC’s critically acclaimed series “Breaking Bad,” for which he won the 2012 Critics Choice® Award and earned an Emmy® nomination the same year.

Multi-Platinum Recording Artist Riley Green to perform pre-race concert at COTA – Multi-platinum country-music superstar Riley Green will get Austin rocking with a Texas-sized pre-race concert before the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas on Sunday, March 24, 2024. 

“My grandaddy was a huge fan of NASCAR and passed on his love for it to me,” said Green. ”He inspired my song ‘Numbers On The Cars’, so I’m excited to get out to COTA and play before the big race. I’ll see y’all there!”

Green is scheduled to perform a 60-minute concert, pulling from his wide range of hits like “There Was This Girl,” “I Wish Grandpas Never Died” and “Georgia Time,” in addition to his Top 20-and-climbing single, “Different ‘Round Here” (featuring Luke Combs) and other songs from his recently released second album, Ain’t My Last Rodeo.  Following the concert, the green flag will fall on the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix as NASCAR makes a high-profile stop at one of the world’s premier road courses, Circuit of The Americas.

The pre-race concert, which will take place on the frontstretch infield of the 3.41-mile road course, is free for fans with an EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix ticket. Fans can upgrade with a Track Pass for stage-front access to the concert and NASCAR Cup Series driver introductions.

Cup Series driver milestone starts to watch for – Below are a list of the upcoming milestones to watch for in the NASCAR Cup Series:

Starts

  • Bubba Wallace will be making his 225th NASCAR Cup Series career start at Circuit of The Americas.
  • Christopher Bell will be making his 150th NASCAR Cup Series career start at Circuit of The Americas.
  • Joey Logano is expected to make his 550th NASCAR Cup Series career start at Richmond Raceway. He will become the 39th different driver to reach 550 or more Cup Series starts.
  • Chris Buescher is expected to make his 300th NASCAR Cup Series career start at Richmond Raceway.

Wins

  • If Martin Truex Jr. wins a race this season, he will tie Brad Keselowski for 24th on the all-time Cup Series wins list with 35 wins.
  • If Kyle Larson wins another race this season, he will reach 25 career wins, becoming the 36th different driver all-time in the NASCAR Cup Series to reach 25 victories or more.
  • If the Wood Brothers Racing organization wins this season, it will be their 100th NASCAR Cup Series victory, they currently have 99 wins in the series.

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Getting Rowdy In Texas: Circuit of The Americas is up next

NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers had last weekend off to regroup and recharge but will now be heading to the Texas capitol for some road course fun on the Circuit of The Americas’ (COTA) 3.41-mile racetrack.

There have only been three Xfinity Series races at COTA, producing two different race winners (Kyle Busch, 2021 and A.J. Allmendinger, 2022-2023) and three different pole winners (Kyle Busch – 2021, Ty Gibbs – 2022 and A.J. Allmendinger – 2023).

Two of the three races have been won from the pole – 2021 race (Kyle Busch) and the 2023 race (A.J. Allmendinger).

They don’t call Allmendinger the ‘King of Road Courses’ for nothing. Not only is he the winningest driver in the Xfinity Series on road courses, but he also holds a few records at the track in Austin, Texas:

  • Race record: 75.263 mph
  • Qualifying record: 92.173 mph
  • Most Wins: Two
  • Most Top fives: Three
  • Most Top 10s: Three
  • Most Laps led: 58

NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers will kick off the weekend with practice on Friday, March 22 at 5:30 p.m. ET followed by Pole Qualifying at 6 p.m. ET – both will be televised on FS1.

Allmendinger is undoubtedly the best in the series on road courses

When it comes to wins on road courses in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, nobody does it better than Kaulig Racing’s A.J. Allmendinger. The stellar wheelman from California has amassed an impressive record of 11 road course Xfinity Series victories across six road course tracks.

Track
Wins
Seasons
Charlotte RC
4
2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
COTA
2
2022, 2023
Mid-Ohio
2
2013, 2021
Indianapolis RC
1
2022
Portland International
1
2022
Road America
1
2013

This weekend, the road racing expert will strut his skills around the 3.41-mile COTA road course. The track he has visited Victory Lane at the last two consecutive seasons.

There may be a new road course sheriff in town

A.J. Allmendinger might have the most road course wins in NASCAR Xfinity Series history, however, there is a young driver who made a name for himself last season on road courses in particular – JR Motorsports’ Sam Mayer – that might just give Allmendinger a run for his money.

The 20-year-old, Mayer, ran his first full time season in the Xfinity Series in 2022 but didn’t post his first win until July of 2023 when he took the checkered flag at his home track, Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

From there, Mayer became a force to be reckoned with on tracks that turn left and right. He pulled off a second win at Watkins Glen and his third on the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL.

Although he hasn’t found Victory Lane at COTA yet, he has put up some strong finishes. In his debut at the track in 2022, he finished fifth and he posted a seventh-place finish in last season’s race.

“Although we have had a rough start to the season, I am super stoked to get back to a road course, finally,” said Mayer. “We had a ton of success on road courses last year, scoring three wins. We have also run really well at COTA in the past, so I am looking forward to a good run there this weekend. Through all the struggles we have had, this No. 1 team has never given up and I could not be more thankful to have the work ethic these guys do on this team. I am thrilled to have another new partner on board this weekend with Roto-Rooter and I am hopeful that we can be in contention to steal a win this Saturday in Austin.”

Extra Seat Time: Double duty in the Lone Star State

Everyone wants to join in on the road course fun, so much so that some NASCAR Cup Series drivers will be joining the NASCAR Xfinity Series in Austin for a double duty weekend.

Kyle Larson will be getting behind the wheel of the No. 17 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet for his first Xfinity Series start of the 2024 season. This will be his first start at COTA in the series, but he’s made three starts at the track in the Cup Series with a best-finish of second in the inaugural 2021 race.

Ty Gibbs will pilot the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in this weekend’s Focused Health 250. He’s made two starts at the track in the Xfinity Series in 2022 and 2023, posting a 15th-place and third-place finish, respectively. He also won the pole in his Xfinity Series debut at the 3.41-mile road course. Ty Gibbs is no slouch when it comes to road racing in the Xfinity Series, he has scored four wins in his career – Daytona Road Course (2021 – debut in the NASCAR Xfinity Series), Watkins Glen International (2021), Road America (2022) and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course (2023).

John Hunter Nemechek will be joining Joe Gibbs Racing behind the wheel of the No. 20 Toyota this weekend. He has only made one series start at the Austin, Texas road course where he finished 27th (2023). If he pulls off a win this weekend, it’ll be his first road course win in the series.

SVG back for some road course action

NASCAR’s newest star, Shane van Gisbergen, rose to fame in the league last season when he won the inaugural Chicago Street Race in the NASCAR Cup Series. Not only did he rise to fame for winning the historical race, but he also became the seventh driver all-time in the NASCAR Cup Series history to win in his series debut and the first to do it since Johnny Rutherford accomplished the feat in 1963 at Daytona. Van Gisbergen also became the first driver not from the United States to win in his Cup Series debut.

Now, the three-time Supercars champion runs fulltime in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and will be pulling double duty this weekend at COTA for the first road course of the 2024 season.

This will be his first stint on a road course in the NASCAR Xfinity Series but his third in the Cup Series. In 2023, he ran two Cup Series races – the Chicago Street Race where he took the checkered flag and the Indianapolis Road Course where he posted a 10th-place finish.

NASCAR Xfinity Series, Etc.

The Return Of The Dash 4 Cash Is Approaching – The 2024 Dash 4 Cash is right around the corner, beginning with the March 30 qualifying race at Richmond next weekend. The four highest-finishing eligible Xfinity drivers will set the field for the first Dash 4 Cash race, which takes place April 6 at Martinsville Speedway.

The Dash 4 Cash will continue with the April 13 race at Texas Motor Speedway and the April 20 race at Talladega Superspeedway. It will end with the April 27 race at Dover Motor Speedway.

Xfinity Series Upcoming Milestones – Over the next few races three drivers will be making milestone starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

Sheldon Creed will be making his 75th career NASCAR Xfinity Series start at Circuit of The Americas.

Brandon Jones will be making his 275th career NASCAR Xfinity Series start at Richmond Raceway.

Cole Custer will be making 150th career NASCAR Xfinity Series start at Martinsville Speedway.

NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series

Road course racin’ in the great state of Texas

After another thrilling weekend of racing, the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series teams are headed to Circuit of The Americas for the XPEL 225. The first and only road course for the series will kick off a doubleheader Saturday on March 23 at 1:30 p.m. ET (FS1, MRN, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

There have been three NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series races at Circuit of The Americas, producing two different winners and three different pole winners. Of those three races, none have been won from the pole or first starting position.

The No. 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford seems to be a lucky truck at the 3.41-mile road course as Todd Gilliland drove No. 38 to Victory Lane in the inaugural COTA race in 2021 and Zane Smith accomplished the same feat in 2022 and 2023. Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Layne Riggs will have the chance to bring the No. 38 Ford back to Victory Lane this weekend. This will be the rookie’s first NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series race on a road course.

“COTA is going to be a battle for sure,” said Riggs. “I have never raced on a road course before, so it’s going to be interesting to say the least. Dylan (Cappello) and the team know what they need to bring to the track, and it won’t be far off from what Todd (Gilliland) and Zane (Smith) ran to keep the record strong. I just have to execute.”

Here’s a look at who have etched their names in the iconic track’s record books:

  • Race record: Zane Smith 77 mph (3/25/2023)
  • Qualifying record: Ross Chastain 91.877 mph (3/25/2023)
  • Most wins: Zane Smith (2)
  • Most top 10s: Ben Rhodes, Zane Smith, and Tyler Ankrum (3)
  • Most Laps led: Kyle Busch (43)

Saturday’s XPEL 225 will be broken up into three stages. The first stage will be 12 laps, the second stage will be 14 laps, and the final stage will be 16 laps for a race total of 42 laps (143.22 miles). 

NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series Practice will begin Friday, March 22 at 3:30 p.m. ET on FS1 and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio followed by Cometic Gasket Pole Qualifying at 4 p.m. ET.

Top performers on road courses in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series

The NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series has competed on road courses all throughout its history, including the inaugural season in 1995. This season, the series will take on just one road course – this weekend’s Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas.

Before the trucks take to the track this weekend, here is a look at some of the top road course performers in the series.

In total, the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series has run 32 road course races all-time (1995-Present) producing 25 different winners, led by Joe Ruttman and NASCAR Hall of Famer Ron Hornaday Jr. with three road course wins each.

Only two road course winners in the CRAFTSMAN Truck Series are active this weekend – Ben Rhodes (Daytona RC, 2021) and Corey Heim (Mid-Ohio, 2023).

Drivers from far and wide entered this weekend

It’s no secret that Circuit of The Americas is an iconic road course, which is why drivers from far and wide in motorsports want a chance to visit Victory Lane this weekend in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series race.

Jack Hawksworth: Vasser Sullivan Lexus standout and reigning IMSA GTD PRO Champion Jack Hawksworth will be joining forces with TRICON Garage to pilot the No. 1 Mobil 1 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro this weekend. The Bradford, U.K. native made a NASCAR Xfinity Series start in 2019 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for Joe Gibbs Racing, qualifying on the outside front row, earning a stage win, and finishing 15th.

Marco Andretti: The Nazareth, PA native made his NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series debut in 2023 at Mid-Ohio where he finished in 19th. This weekend, Andretti will be behind the wheel of the No. 04 Roper Racing Chevrolet. The third generation NTT IndyCar Series racer has over 250 IndyCar starts with two victories. He’s also started 18 consecutive Indianapolis 500s. Additionally, Andretti is the reigning Superstar Racing Experience (SRX) series champion, beating Ryan Newman and Bobby Labonte to the title.

Connor Zilisch: The 17-year-old will be making his NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series debut at COTA behind the wheel of the No. 7 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet. Zilisch is an accomplished karting and road racer who, most notably, was part of Era Motorsport’s LMP2 class win at the 2024 Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway – making him the second-youngest driver, ever, to win the iconic race. He is a 10-time Trans-Am TA2 class race winner and a central component of Trackhouse Racing’s driver development program. The Mooresville, N.C., native is the 2022 Mazda MX-5 championship runner-up where he also claimed rookie-of-the-year honors for Hixon Motor Sports.

Vicente Salas: A lifelong dream will become a reality for Vicente Salas this weekend. The eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series competitor will make his NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series debut piloting the No. 20 Young’s Motorsports Chevrolet. The 21-year-old will become the latest driver with eNASCAR experience to compete in a NASCAR national series event, joining drivers like Dale Earnhardt Jr., William Byron, Josh Berry, Parker Retzlaff and Kaden Honeycutt, among others.

Carter Fartuch: Skip Barber Racing School’s Director of Instructors Carter Fartuch will be making his NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series debut behind the wheel of the No. 22 Reaume Brothers Racing Ford. While this weekend is the 29-year-old’s debut, he has previously competed in GT4 America, the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge and TC America.

Ross Chastain: NASCAR Cup Series regular Ross Chastain will be piloting the No. 45 Niece Motorsports Chevrolet this weekend. Chastain had made 51 starts for Niece Motorsports since the 2018 Truck Series season. This includes 2019 when he ran full-time, won three races, and finished second in the championship standings. Chastain also won at Charlotte with Niece in 2022. Last season in his first CRAFTSMAN Truck Series race at COTA, Chastain started on the pole and went on to finish fifth.

NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series, Etc.

Chevrolet On Hot Streak – Chevrolet has won every NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series race since October 21, 2023, at Homestead-Miami Speedway – a race won by Carson Hocevar in the No. 42 Niece Motorsports Chevrolet. The last non-Chevrolet to win was the No. 31 Front Row Motorsports Ford driven by Brett Moffitt at Talladega in September 2023.

The Chevrolet drivers will look to power the manufacturer to its fifth-straight victory this season in the XPEL 225 at Circuit of The Americas this weekend.

CRAFTSMAN Truck Series Upcoming Milestones – Several drivers in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series will be making milestone starts in the upcoming races this season.

Matt Crafton is expected to make his 550th career NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series start at Martinsville Speedway. Crafton leads the Truck Series in starts, all of which are consecutive.

Tanner Gray is expected to make his 100th career NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series start at Martinsville Speedway.

Bayley Currey is expected to make his 50th career NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series start at Martinsville Speedway.

Christian Eckes is expected to make his 100th career NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series start at Darlington Raceway.

Ty Majeski is expected to make his 75th career NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series start at Darlington Raceway.

Corey Heim is expected to make his 50th career NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series start at Darlington Raceway.

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