Over the course of a decade a racetrack is witness to countless moments and performances that are breathtaking, extraordinary, and memorable to the fans who lay down their hard-earned keep to be there. When you’re a track like Texas Motor Speedway, which was becoming a teenager in 2010 when the decade started, those memories hold an even stronger distinction of creating the history of the facility and setting a tone for the decades to come.
With the racing finished until 2020 and the track quiet, these are the best moments and performers of the decade in No Limits, Texas.
No driver owned the decade at TMS quite the way Kyle Busch did. The 2019 NASCAR Cup Series champion did it across all three NASCAR national series, winning 11 trophies in 10 years. Texas Motor Speedway’s all-time wins and laps led leader took the top spot three times in the Cup Series, five times in the Xfinity Series, and three more times in the Gander Trucks. He led 1,121 total laps in the decade. Only five other drivers have led that many in their careers at Texas.
Busch was the best across the board, but it can’t be ignored what Jimmie Johnson has done in Texas, particularly since 2012. Johnson won six Cup Series races in a span of 10 races from the fall of 2012 through the spring of 2017, giving him a track record seven Cup victories at TMS. Johnson is the only driver to win the same race in four consecutive seasons, taking the Texas 500 every fall from 2012-2015.
This decade the NTT IndyCar Series proved to be the home of parity, especially compared to the sport’s beginnings where the best always seemed to be up front. Since 2010, only two drivers repeated as Texas winners, Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon (2015, 2018) and Team Penske’s Will Power (2011, 2017). It was Power who finished the decade with a better starting average, better finishing average, and most laps led. The Aussie finished 10-of-11 races in the decade, helping his cause over Dixon’s five DNFs. He also won back-to-back-to-back pole awards from 2013-2015.
Coach Gibbs and his shop entered the decade with a single NASCAR Cup Series win and five total checkered flags at TMS, though there was some obvious foreshadowing of success. He rode a four-race win streak into 2010 in the NASCAR Xfinity Series with Kyle Busch sweeping both 2008 and 2009 in that series. 16 NASCAR wins later, and Gibbs finished the decade with double the wins of his nearest competition (Team Penske: 8). JGR won 40 percent of the races in the decade with five different drivers lifting trophies (Kyle Busch – 8, Denny Hamlin – 3, Erik Jones – 3, Carl Edwards – 1, Christopher Bell – 1).
October 25, 2020
The NASCAR Cup Series drivers put it all on the line in their quest for the Playoffs. The Texas 500 is make or break for a chance to battle for the NASCAR Cup Series Championship.