NASCAR

NASCAR at Texas: Entry list, watch info, TV schedule, playoff standings, favorites

The Round of 12 in the NASCAR playoffs begins at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday

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The NASCAR playoffs are rolling into Texas this weekend.

After eliminating four drivers last Saturday, the Round of 12 officially begins on Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. The 12 drivers still alive for the championship will aim to win in the Lone Star State, with the first berth in the Round of 8 awarded to the victor.

Texas has been a staple on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule since 1997. It provides a unique challenge, with two different corners forcing drivers to adjust throughout each lap.

Here’s everything you need to know for the 2023 Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 at Texas:

What is the NASCAR at Texas entry list?

Thirty-six drivers will race at Texas. The 32 full-timers will all compete, plus four others.

Two of those four are veterans who race part-time – J.J. Yeley and B.J. McLeod. Additionally, Truck Series regulars Carson Hocevar and Zane Smith will both race. Smith is confirmed to be moving up to the Cup Series next year, while there’s speculation that Hocevar will do the same.

Here’s the full entry list for Texas (car numbers, driver names, team names and sponsors):

  • No. 1, Ross Chastain, Trackhouse Racing, Worldwide Express
  • No. 2, Austin Cindric, Team Penske, Discount Tire
  • No. 3, Austin Dillon, Richard Childress Racing, Bass Pro Shops
  • No. 4, Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Hunt Brothers Pizza
  • No. 5, Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports, HendrickCars.com
  • No. 6, Brad Keselowski, RFK Racing, BuildSubmarines.com
  • No. 7, Corey LaJoie, Spire Motorsports, Gainbridge
  • No. 8, Kyle Busch, Richard Childress Racing, 3CHI
  • No. 9, Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Kelley Blue Book
  • No. 10, Aric Almirola, Stewart-Haas Racing, Smithfield
  • No. 11, Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing, FedEx
  • No. 12, Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Menards
  • No. 14, Chase Briscoe, Stewart-Haas Racing, Rush Truck Centers
  • No. 15, J.J. Yeley, Rick Ware Racing, Patriot Mobile/Folds of Honor
  • No. 16, A.J. Allmendinger, Kaulig Racing, Action Industries
  • No. 17, Chris Buescher, RFK Racing, Fastenal
  • No. 19, Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, Bass Pro Shops
  • No. 20, Christopher Bell, Joe Gibbs Racing, Interstate Batteries
  • No. 21, Harrison Burton, Wood Brothers Racing, DEX Imaging
  • No. 22, Joey Logano, Team Penske, AAA Insurance
  • No. 23, Bubba Wallace, 23XI Racing, McDonald’s
  • No. 24, William Byron, Hendrick Motorsports, Liberty University
  • No. 31, Justin Haley, Kaulig Racing, LeafFilter Gutter Protection
  • No. 34, Michael McDowell, Front Row Motorsports, Love’s Travel Stops
  • No. 38, Zane Smith, Front Row Motorsports, Ambetter Health
  • No. 41, Ryan Preece, Stewart-Haas Racing, Autodesk
  • No. 42, Carson Hocevar, Legacy Motor Club, Sunseeker Resort
  • No. 43, Erik Jones, Legacy Motor Club, Dallas vs. Everybody
  • No. 45, Tyler Reddick, 23XI Racing, Jordan Brand
  • No. 47, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., JTG Daugherty Racing, Kroger/NOS Energy Drink
  • No. 48, Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Ally Financial
  • No. 51, Todd Gilliland, Rick Ware Racing, Biohaven/Jacob Co.
  • No. 54, Ty Gibbs, Joe Gibbs Racing, Interstate Batteries
  • No. 77, Ty Dillon, Spire Motorsports, Shelton Companies
  • No. 78, B.J. McLeod, Live Fast Motorsports, Gunk
  • No. 99, Daniel Suarez, Trackhouse Racing, Kubota

When is the NASCAR race this weekend at Texas?

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The Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 at Texas is set for Sunday, Sept. 24, at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Before the race, there will be practice and qualifying sessions. The 36-car field will be split into two groups, with each group practicing for 20 minutes on Friday at 12:35 p.m. ET.

Qualifying will start immediately after practice, around 1:20 p.m. ET. Each car from the two practice groups will make a lap in the first round, with the five fastest cars on single-lap speed in each group advancing to the final round. In the final round, the remaining drivers each get a lap to set the top 10 starting order, while positions 11 through 36 are set based on first round times.

NASCAR TV schedule this weekend at Texas

Saturday, Sept. 23 (USA Network and streaming online)

Sunday, Sept. 24 (USA Network, Peacock and streaming online)

NASCAR playoff standings entering Texas

The standings were officially reset for the Round of 12 after Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Michael McDowell were eliminated from the playoffs.

Now, the remaining 12 title contenders each have 3,000 points plus their playoff points earned throughout the year (based on race wins, stage wins and regular season standings). Over the next three races (Texas, Talladega, Charlotte), drivers can clinch a spot in the Round of 8 by either winning a race or earning enough points to stay out of the bottom four.

Here are the reset playoff standings entering Texas, with four drivers below the cut line already facing pressure:

1. William Byron – 3,036 points

2. Martin Truex Jr. – 3,036 points

3. Denny Hamlin – 3,032 points

4. Kyle Larson – 3,023 points

5. Chris Buescher – 3,021 points

6. Kyle Busch – 3,019 points

7. Christopher Bell – 3,016 points

8. Tyler Reddick – 3,014 points

9. Ross Chastain – 3,011 points

10. Brad Keselowski – 3,011 points

11. Ryan Blaney – 3,008 points

12. Bubba Wallace – 3,000 points

You can find a full explanation of NASCAR’s playoff format right here.

NASCAR Texas past winners, race history

Seven of the 36 drivers competing this weekend have won at Texas, but three stand above the rest. Busch (four wins), Hamlin (three wins) and Harvick (three wins) are the only active drivers with multiple victories at the track.

Four other drivers have one win at Texas: Logano (2014), Dillon (2020), Larson (2021) and Reddick (2022), the defending race winner.

NASCAR at Texas favorites, drivers to watch

Texas is an unpredictable 1.5-mile track. Last year – in the first season of the NextGen car – there were nine tire failures, including three that occurred while a driver was leading the race. With another year of data to learn from, Sunday can’t possibly be a repeat of the 2022 race, right?

If things do stay clean with the tires, except the aforementioned Hamlin to be the class of the field. He is fresh off a win at Bristol and easily could’ve swept the three Round of 16 races. Hamlin has three wins and 15 top-10s in 32 career Texas starts.

Outside of Hamlin, Larson and Reddick could be the drivers to watch. Larson, the 2021 Texas winner, finished ninth last year, while the defending race winner Reddick has a 6.8 average finish in four Texas starts. The 23XI Racing driver won the last race at a 1.5-mile track two weeks ago at Kansas, too.

The other drivers with the best average finishes at Texas include Jones (10.1 in 11 starts), Harvick (10.5 in 38 starts), Busch (11.7 in 32 starts) and Elliott (13.3 in 12 starts).

What is the weather for Fort Worth, Texas, this weekend?

NBC Dallas-Fort Worth is predicting scorching hot temperatures this weekend in Fort Worth. There’s a 10% chance of rain on Saturday and a 40% chance of scattered thunderstorms on Sunday. Temperatures could reach 97 degrees on Saturday and Sunday. Keep up to date with the latest forecast right here.

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