MENCS: O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 Race Preview

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads south to Texas Motor Speedway for Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500. The 1.5-mile oval serves as the seventh stop on the series calendar in 2017. Kyle Busch, who will be piloting the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry, enters the weekend as the defending race winner.

Entry List:

A total of 40 drivers are on the weekend entry list. This means that no drivers will DNQ after qualifying late Friday afternoon at the 1.5-mile oval. Fans can watch qualifying live on FOX Sports 1 at 6:15 p.m. ET. The Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM will have the live radio broadcast.

Story Lines:

Brad Keselowski became the first repeat winner of the season last weekend at Martinsville Speedway. Keselowski led 18 laps to score the win in the STP 500 at the half-mile paperclip oval.

The 2012 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion scored his first win of the season five weekends ago at Atlanta Motor Speedway – a sister track to the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway. On that day, Keselowski led only nine laps.

Keselowski is still seeking his first win at Texas. In 17 starts there, Keselowski has four top five and six top 10 finishes. In November of 2015, the Team Penske racer dominated 312 of the 334 laps and finished second on the leaderboard.

Jimmie Johnson enters the weekend looking to add his name to the win column for the first time in 2017. Johnson, a native of California, holds six career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series wins at Texas across 27 starts there.

Johnson’s last victory there in the series came in November of 2015 after only leading six laps of the race.

Through 27 starts, the series veteran has claimed 14 top five and 20 top 10 finishes. Johnson has an average finish of 8.4 and an average start of 8.9 and has led a total of 1,023 circuits there.

Kyle Larson comes into the weekend leading the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points by four points over Chase Elliott. Martin Truex Jr., Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano round out the top five.

In seven starts previously at Texas, Larson holds one top five and two top 10 finishes. His one and only top five came in April of 2014 when he finished fifth in his No. 42 Chevrolet.

Where to Watch:

Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 will air live on FOX at 1:30 p.m. ET. The Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM will carry the live radio broadcast.

Brett Winningham

Brett has been following the sport of NASCAR since the beginning of the 2006 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Since Brett was 13, he has had a passion of chasing a job in sports that not many get the opportunity of doing. He has been in the NASCAR media since the middle of the 2010 season. Since then, he has been a part of many racing podcast shows to improve his talents. You can find him on twitter @NASCAR_Brett.