FORT WORTH, Texas (April 8, 2024) – Texas Motor Speedway returns to its popular spring date with the NASCAR Cup Series arriving this weekend for the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400.

Sunday’s Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 (2:30 p.m. CT, TV: FS1, Radio: PRN, SiriusXM, Lone Star 92.5 FM locally) will be Texas Motor Speedway’s first points race in the spring since 2019 when Denny Hamlin was victorious for Joe Gibbs Racing.

The Cup Series opens its on-track action Saturday with a pair of 20-minute, split-field practice sessions beginning at 9:35 a.m. The practice will be immediately followed by pole qualifying at 10:20 a.m. It will be a single-lap, two-round format to set the field.

 The Cup Series has completed eight of its 36 championship points races and plenty of storylines have developed in the early portion of the season.

 Here’s the “Fast Five” storylines to watch during the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400:

       1) Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing have been dominant since the outset of the season as the two organizations have combined for seven wins in the first eight races.

Hendrick Motorsports owns four of those, with defending Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 winner William Byron powering the team with a series-leading three. Byron opened the season with a win in the Daytona 500, followed with another in late March at Circuit of The Americas and secured his third Sunday at Martinsville when he led Hendrick Motorsports to a 1-2-3 finish. The other victory for the organization came at Las Vegas in early March by Kyle Larson. 

“I just feel like I trust myself a little bit more,” said Byron when asked after the Martinsville win about going on this recent tear. “I know during the week that the preparation and the things going on are going to equate to the results. When you’ve had those things happen in the past, you start getting into a rhythm of it, it just starts stacking.

“But the sport is really competitive. It’s not like football. You don’t win third quarters of the games. I watch a lot of hockey. They win a lot or tie or go to overtime. We don’t. We don’t win a lot in this sport. It’s very similar to golf. There’s a lot of elements that have to go right. I just feel like it’s trying to chip away and be mentally strong.”

Hendrick Motorsports also has all of its four drivers situated among the top 10, with Larson first in the points standings and followed by Byron (fourth), Chase Elliott (sixth) and Alex Bowman (10th).

Prior to Sunday’s win by Byron, Joe Gibbs Racing had won three of the last four races. Denny Hamlin has been the catalyst with wins at Bristol and Richmond, respectively, while Christopher Bell collected the other at Phoenix to start the run. Byron interrupted the JGR charge for a four-race sweep with his win at COTA.

Joe Gibbs Racing has its four drivers among the top 11 positions, giving the two organizations eight of those spots. Martin Truex Jr. paces JGR in second, Hamlin is third, Ty Gibbs seventh and Bell 11th

The only team to break through the two-organization stranglehold on Victory Lane has been Trackhouse Racing, which won the second race of the season at Atlanta courtesy of Daniel Suarez.

        2) RFK Racing driver Chris Buescher, who grew up in nearby Prosper, Texas, returns to his home track on a recent roll as he seeks his first top-10 finish at Texas Motor Speedway.

Buescher had his bid for a fifth consecutive top-10 finish end Sunday at Martinsville when he finished 15th. That recent tear, which includes a season-best second at Phoenix, gave him five top-10 efforts in the first eight races. That total is tied for the series lead with five other drivers.

 Buescher is still seeking his first top 10 at TMS after 14 career starts, but he made progress in his last appearance. At September’s Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400, he earned his best starting position (2nd) and finish (14th) while also leading his first laps (2) at TMS.

        3) Ryan Blaney and Joey Logano are winless at Texas Motor Speedway in their last 25 combined starts, but don’t sleep on the Team Penske duo.

Logano owns 15 of those starts and converted them into 11 top-10 finishes, including eight among the top five. During that stretch, he has a pair of runner-up finishes (2016, ’22) and has led laps in nine of those races.

Blaney has posted eight top-10 finishes in 10 starts for an 80 percent clip in that span. His best effort came in the 2018 fall race when he earned the pole and finished runner-up. While Blaney is still chasing his first win at Texas, Logano collected his first and only victory in the 2014 spring race.

        4) It’s difficult to believe that 2020 Cup Series champion Chase Elliott is winless in his last 42 starts, dating to his victory at Talladega on Oct. 2, 2022. 

He has been on a strong run of late, with consecutive top-five performances and finishing among the top eight in three of his last four. Elliott followed up a fifth at Richmond with a season-best third Sunday at Martinsville. He also has been qualifying well, starting among the top five in four of his last five races and among the top 11 in all but one on the season.

“Nice to have a couple solid weeks, to be in contention there for a win,” Elliott said post-race at Martinsville. “Haven’t been in contention to win one in a while. It was fun to kind of get to that last restart and it actually mattered. Enjoyed that aspect. Certainly hungry for more.”

         5) This will be the 44th Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway, but first points-paying spring event since 2019 when Denny Hamlin won by 2.743 seconds over Clint Bowyer. It was the third career win at Texas for the Joe Gibbs Racing driver.

The following season was affected by the COVID pandemic that forced the spring race to move to July, which was won by Austin Dillon of Richard Childress Racing.

In 2021 and ’22, the spring event was replaced by the NASCAR All-Star Race that was held in June and May, respectively. Last season, the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 served as the Round of 12 opener for the NASCAR Playoffs in late September.

Tickets are on sale now for the 2024 Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 NASCAR tripleheader weekend April 12-14. The race weekend begins April 12 with the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series 250 (7:30 p.m. CT on FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Channel 90), continues with the April 13 NASCAR Xfinity Series Andy’s Frozen Custard 300 (12:30 p.m. CT on FS1, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Channel 90) and concludes with the April 14 NASCAR Cup Series Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 (2:30 p.m. CT on FS1, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Channel 90).

Tickets are on sale now at

Texas Motor Speedway’s major event season also includes the American Sprint Car Series (April 5-6), POWRi Micro Mania (April 8-11), High Limit Sprint Car Series (April 13), Fuel Fest (April 20), the Goodguys Rod & Custom/American Flat Track/Pate Swap Meet tripleheader weekend (April 25-28), C-10 Nationals (May 10-12), LS Fest (May 18), Bandas y Trocas (May 25), Solar Car Challenge (July 11-17), Goodguys Rod & Custom (Sept. 27-29), American Sprint Car Series (Oct. 4-5), the High Limit Sprint Car Series inaugural season finale (Oct. 11-12) and the Gordy’s Hwy 30 Fest Texas (Oct. 17-20).