FORT WORTH, TX – The beginning portions of Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway was a sloppy one. We saw a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series record for six cautions in the first stage alone. Five of those yellows were for on track incidents.
The traction compound.
Yes, the added grip that was sprayed onto the 1.5-mile race track in the upper grooves which was supposed to add more grip worked in the opposite. Due to cooler day time temperatures, the grip levels wouldn’t come in until night fall. Weird, I know.
The traction was slippery. It caught several drivers out.
Chase Elliott got into the stuff in Turn 2 and got into the outside SAFER barrier as a result just eight laps into the day. Corey LaJoie got caught in it twice on Laps 42 and 71. Brad Keselowski and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. did synchronized spinning in the compound in Turn 4 and both crashed hard into one another at the turns exit on Lap 53.
Then, on Lap 80, it was Denny Hamlin’s turn.
For Keselowski, it was his third finish of 33rd or worse in his last four starts at Texas. He’s been 12th or worse in seven of his last eight Texas starts overall. It also is a rough ending to his season as he had five top five finishes in his six starts heading into the Round of 2 but now has three finishes outside the top 10 in the four races since.