The semi-finals of the NASCAR Playoff kick off this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, but who are the most successful past winners in the Lone Star state?
Johnson tops Texas winners list in NASCAR
NASCAR first raced on the oval in 1997, and between 2005 and 2020, it held two races per year.
Starting in 2021, it lost the spring date as Circuit of the Americas joined the schedule.
In its place, Texas got the honour of hosting the All-Star exhibition race.
Seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson holds the all-time wins record at Texas.
The former driver of the #48 scored seven wins – although interestingly only two came in a championship year.
That was his first triumph in the fall of 2007, after electing to take four fresh tyres at the final rounds of stops, as Matt Kenseth’s two-tyre gamble didn’t work.
He’d have to wait five years before winning again in the Lone Star state.
That came in 2012, before another victory in 2013 helped him on his way to a sixth Cup crown.
In 2014, Johnson had to go through two periods of overtime to clinch a fourth triumph.
But 2015 would be his best year at Texas – becoming the third driver to sweep Texas in a season – after Carl Edwards and Denny Hamlin.
His final win was his 81st in the Cup Series in spring 2017. He would only win twice more in his career.
He won the spring race twice, and the fall one five times.
Johnson has more win in the fall event alone than any other driver has at Texas in total.
Jimmie Johnson Texas wins
- 2007 – fall
- 2012 – fall
- 2013 – fall
- 2014 – fall
- 2015 – spring
- 2015 – fall
- 2017 – spring
Two drivers equal as past winners with four wins at Texas Motor Speedway
Carl Edwards completed the first sweep of Texas back in 2008 for Roush Fenway Racing.
Driving the #99, he won the spring race in overtime, before completing the sweep in November.
That came after his first win at the oval in 2005.
Edwards could never quite get the championship he deserved (that’s a story for another time…), but added a fourth win in 2016.
Driving for Joe Gibbs, the race was shortened due to rain. That came after the 2016 fall race was delayed by over two hours for rain.
Kyle Busch always goes well at Texas.
The #18 also has four wins – with fall 2020 being his best.
Winless all season, Busch deployed a ‘Hail Mary’ fuel strategy with crew chief Adam Stevens.
It worked as he eked it out to maintain his proud record of a win in every Cup season in which he has competed full-time.
That was also the race delayed by a shade over three days because of rain.
Busch took his first win at Texas in 2013, before the win in the delayed spring 2016 event referenced above.
He also picked up the spring 2018 win.
Harvick and Hamlin tied on Texas win list
The only other two drivers to have at least three Texas wins are both currently active.
Denny Hamlin completed the second Texas sweep in 2010 for Joe Gibbs.
Hamlin, who goes into the 2021 Round of 8 Playoff semi-finals as second seed, would have to wait nearly a decade for his latest win.
It came at the 2019 spring race, as he won stage two before taking his second win of the season – after the Daytona 500.
Kevin Harvick meanwhile will not compete in the Round of 8 of the Playoffs for the first time following his elimination at the Charlotte Roval.
The #4 is still winless in 2021 – and he hasn’t gone winless in a season since 2009.
Harvick’s SHR team completed a fall hat-trick between 2017-2019.
The three wins were all enough to get him a spot in the Championship 4 race, but he could not add to his 2014 Cup title.
Other past winners at Texas Motor Speedway
TMS has provided 20 winners in its time on the calendar – excluding the ll-Star.
Of those currently racing, there are an additional four winners.
Ryan Newman’s sole win came in 2003 – the year he finished runner-up in the championship standings.
Kurt Busch took his win in 2009 during his time at Penske, as did Joey Logano in 2014.
Logano overcame a rain delay and overtime attempts to take the flag first.
The only other winner on the current field is Austin Dillon.
That came in the first 2020 race, where he aced a late restart, getting the jump on teammate Tyler Reddick.
It was the first Richard Childress Racing one-two finish since Talladega 2011.