O’Reilly Auto Parts 500

O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 Advance Notebook

Making The Rounds

NASCAR XFINITY Series driver Brennan Poole will be making his first appearance on the 1.5-mile oval at Texas Motor Speedway, but he is no stranger to the facility.

Poole, a native of the Houston, Texas, suburb known as The Woodlands, is intimately familiar with Texas Motor Speedway, where he will be making his third XFINITY Series start of the season. He’s competed on the speedway’s dirt track, fifth-mile layout, road course and the quarter-mile oval on the speedway’s frontstretch.

Poole, who turns 24 Saturday, has split time with Sprint Cup regular Kyle Larson in the No. 42 XFINITY Series entry for HScott Motorsports this season. Larson has notched three top-10 finishes in his three efforts. Poole finished ninth in his XFINITY debut last month at Las Vegas and then led the first laps of his career the following weekend at Phoenix. However, a fuel miscalculation in the late stages cost him another likely top 10 and he enters the weekend 27th in the points standings.

His place in the standings should be on the way up as HScott Motorsports and Chip Ganassi recently announced an expanded schedule for him. He will be racing in both XFINITY Series races at Iowa and is now scheduled for 17 races in the No. 42 Chevrolet.

Double Duty Again

Chris Buescher, a native of nearby Prosper, Texas, is scheduled to make his third career Sprint Cup Series start for the Bob Jenkins-owned team in Saturday night’s Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. He'll be pulling double duty over the weekend as he also will be driving the Roush Fenway Racing No. 60 Ford in Friday's O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 XFINITY Series race.

Buescher is the fourth driver in six races for the No. 34 team. David Ragan began the year, but hopped in as the interim driver for the injured Kyle Busch in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota. That move set off a chain of driver swaps, putting Joe Nemechek behind the wheel at Atlanta in the season's second race.

Michael Waltrip Racing development driver Brett Moffitt competed in the next two events (Las Vegas, Phoenix) for Front Row Motorsports, but rejoined MWR in its No. 55 Toyota after Brian Vickers was ruled out indefinitely with a recurrence of blood clots. That move made Buescher an 11th-hour replacement at Auto Club Speedway and the interim driver at Martinsville Speedway. Ragan is expected to resume driver duties for the No. 34 team once Busch returns from injury.

Buescher notched his only XFINITY Series victory last August at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. He currently ranks second in the XFINITY Series standings.


Sam Hornish Jr., one of the most successful IndyCar drivers at Texas Motor Speedway, is looking to become the speedway’s first driver to win in the Verizon IndyCar Series and one of NASCAR’s three national-level series.

Hornish Jr. owns three INDYCAR wins at TMS, which are second only to former Penske INDYCAR teammate Helio Castroneves with four, and will pursue a NASCAR win in Friday night’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 driving the No. 98 Carroll Shelby Engine Co. Ford for Biagi-DenBeste Racing.

He has come up empty thus far on the NASCAR side in a combined 15 starts between the Sprint Cup and XFINITY series. His best finish came among his eight XFINITY Series starts, when he was third in the fall of 2013.

“I like TMS because it is a little bit older and little bit wore out,” he said. “You can run all the way from the white line up to the wall. Anytime you have success at a place, it makes you more confident and that gives you a good feeling to know you have run well there and can do it again.”

The only other driver that has come close to winning in both series at Texas Motor Speedway is three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart. He won Sprint Cup Series races in 2006 and ‘11 and had a top finish of fifth in an INDYCAR race at Texas Motor Speedway in 1997.

Hornish Jr. also will have a chance for that elusive NASCAR win in Saturday night’s Duck Commander 500, where he will drive the No. 9 Medallion Bank/Lyon Financial Ford for Richard Petty Motorsports.

Last Lap

There will be a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series flavor in Friday night’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway with Dale Earnhardt Jr., Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Austin Dillon and Sam Hornish Jr. all scheduled to be in the field… XFINITY Series rookie Darrell Wallace Jr. recently spoke at Texas Motor Speedway’s Media Day of what the support of Roush Fenway Racing team owner Jack Roush means to him. "He believes in me and that's the biggest thing,” Wallace Jr. said. “You have the support from Jack and he wants us to succeed, and I think it's really cool that he's in the debrief meetings with us on Monday at 2 o'clock and he want's to know why did we finish like that? What do we need to improve on? He's a racer. He gets it."…Brandon Gdovic will take the next step in his career when he competes in the No. 55 WindStax Chevy at Texas Motor Speedway for the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300. Friday's race will mark the first start in the NASCAR XFINITY Series for the 23-year-old Virginian. Gdovic began his career short-track racing throughout Virginia, winning races and championships in INEX Legend Cars, IMCA Modifieds and the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. Over the past four seasons, Gdovic has competed in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and recorded his first career series victory in 2013 at Greenville-Pickens.


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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