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O'REILLY AUTO PARTS 500 PREVIEW

FORT WORTH, Texas ”” The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series makes its first of two stops this season at Texas Motor Speedway with Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 (12:30 p.m. CT, TV: FOX, Radio: PRN, SiriusXM Channel 90 and 95.9 FM The Ranch locally).

Here are “5 Things You Need To Know” about the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 heading into this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.

  1. NEW-LOOK TEXAS: What will be the result of Texas Motor Speedway’s off-season repave and re-profiling project that consisted of reducing the banking from 24 to 20 degrees and expanding the racing surface from 60 to 80 feet in Turns 1 & 2. Teams and drivers will get their first look at it Friday at 11 a.m. CT when the first practice session begins. NASCAR has added an extra hour of practice Friday for teams to get used to the new configuration.
  2. NO REPEAT: Since Texas Motor Speedway began hosting two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races beginning in 2005, no driver has successfully defended the title of this race. That contradicts results in the fall’s AAA Texas 500 where Jimmie Johnson won four consecutive times from 2012-15.
  3. LOOKING FOR THREE: Jimmie Johnson holds the all-time MENCS victory mark at Texas Motor Speedway with six and Carl Edwards was second with four. Edwards has since retired and now there are only three active drivers that have two MENCS wins at TMS – Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth.
  4. POWER OUTAGE: Through the first six races of the season, two of the perennial powerhouse teams are without a victory – Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing. The drought could end here for either as the two organizations have combined to win eight of the last nine Cup races at Texas. Hendrick has won five of those, but JGR is coming off a sweep last year with Busch winning this event and Edwards winning November’s AAA Texas 500. 
  5. O, O, O, O’REILLY: This race has been re-titled the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500, which was formerly the Duck Commander 500 for the past three years. O’Reilly Auto Parts and Texas Motor Speedway signed a multi-year agreement in May of 2016 for the national automotive aftermarket retailing leader to serve as the race entitlement sponsor. The agreement is O’Reilly Auto Parts initial race sponsorship venture on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series level at Texas Motor Speedway, but the company boasts an expansive NASCAR race entitlement portfolio at this venue. Beginning with the O’Reilly 300 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race in the fall of 1999, O’Reilly Auto Parts has been the title sponsor of six truck series races (1999-2004) and 27 XFINITY Series races (2002 through ”˜16 season) at TMS. They will continue to sponsor the NASCAR XFINITY Series fall race at the track.

Click here for a complete preview of Sunday's O'Reilly Auto Parts 500. 

About the author

The Texas Motor Speedway Media Relations Department is located on the 6th floor of The Speedway Club outside of Turn 1 of the speedway. 

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