It’s 95 degrees at Texas Motor Speedway and the NASCAR Cup Series drivers are about to climb into their cars for 500 miles of the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500.  Temperatures inside the cars will reach 135 to 140 degrees – hot enough to cook meat.

And for the second race in a row, there are fans in the stands.  Texas Motor Speedway has a capacity of 135,000 fans; today there are around 25,000 NASCAR fans there to cheer on their favourite drivers.

After a random draw based on car owner points, Aric Almirola will sit on the pole and bring the field down for the green flag with Ryan Blaney starting alongside on the front row.

After failing the pre-race inspection process twice, the number nine Hendrick Motorsports car driven by Chase Elliott and the number seven Tommy Baldwin Racing car driven by Reed Sorenson will have to start the race from the back of the field.

The starting lineup for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500:
Aric Almirola
Ryan Blaney
Kurt Busch
Kyle Busch
Kevin Harvick
Brad Keselowski
Denny Hamlin
Chase Elliott – moved to the back of the field after failing inspection
Joey Logano
Martin Truex Jr
Matt DiBenedetto
Alex Bowman
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Bubba Wallace
Ryan Newman
Chris Buescher
Clint Bowyer
William Byron
Cole Custer
Jimmie Johnson
Austin Dillon
Matt Kenseth
Erik Jones
Tyler Reddick
Ryan Preece
Quin Houff
Josh Bilicki
John Hunter Nemechek
Gray Gaulding
Ty Dillon
Joey Gase
Brennan Poole
Christopher Bell
Michael McDowell
JJ Yeley
Corey LaJoie
Daniel Suarez
Timmy Hill
BJ McLeod
Reed Sorenson

Kyle Busch and Timmy Hill are running all three of the races this weekend.  Busch won both the Xfinity Series and the Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series races on Saturday, but was disqualified from the Xfinity Series race after his car failed post race inspection.
Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw gave a rousing command to start the engines!

Stages one and two are 105 laps each with stage three lasting 124 laps.  NASCAR has called for a competition caution on lap 20.

Polesitter Aric Almirola is reporting some brake issues.

Aric Almirola brings the field down for the green flag start of the race from the outside lane and goes side by side with Ryan Blaney before getting out in front for the lead in turn two.  The drivers have quickly bunched up back in the field.

Lap two, the top five are Aric Almirola, Ryan Blaney, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, and Brad Keselowski.

Lap four, Aric Almirola has a half second lead on Ryan Blaney with Kurt Busch in third; Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.

The drivers cannot complete any of the stages on one fuel load, they will have to make at least one pit stop in every stage.

Lap seven, Aric Almirola has pulled out to a lead of over a second on Ryan Blaney; Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.  After starting the race from the back of the field, Chase Elliott has moved up to 27th place.

Lap eleven, Aric Almirola holds his one second lead on Ryan Blaney.

Lap 16, Aric Almirola’s lead is down to under a second on Ryan Blaney; Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.

Joey Logano is reporting some vibration issues with his car.

Lap 21, NASCAR puts out the yellow flag for the competition caution.

Many of the drivers brings their cars down pit road for service.

Jimmie Johnson’s team was charged with a safety violation – too many crew members over the pit wall.

After staying out on the track, Aric Almirola brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 26 and holds on to the lead.

William Byron gets loose and stacks up the field but the track stays green with no on track incidents.

Lap 27, Kevin Harvick challenges Aric Almirola for the lead and passes to take the top spot; Martin Truex Jr is in third.

Lap 30, Kevin Harvick has the lead with Aric Almirola in second; Martin Truex Jr, Kyle Busch, and William Byron round out the top five.

Lap 32, Aric Almirola has caught up to leader Kevin Harvick and is challenging for the lead but has not quite been able to complete the pass.

Lap 35, Chase Elliott has moved into the top 20 after having to start the race from the back of the field.

There are 35 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 37, Kevin Harvick has a third of a second lead on Aric Almirola; Martin Truex Jr, Kyle Busch, and William Byron round out the top five.

Lap 40, The current temperature inside Ty Dillon’s car is 135 degrees.

Kevin Harvick has pulled out to a lead of over half a second on Aric Almirola; Martin Truex Jr, Kyle Busch, and William Byron round out the top five.

Lap 44, Aric Almirola has closed the gap on lead Kevin Harvick to under a tenth of a second as he again challenges for the lead.

Lap 47, the top five are Kevin Harvick, Aric Almirola, Martin Truex Jr, Kyle Busch, and William Byron.

Several of the drivers are reporting that they are hitting the track hard as they go over the bumps.

Lap 50, Kevin Harvick has a tenth of a second lead on Aric Almirola; Martin Truex Jr, Kyle Busch, and William Byron round out the top five with 33 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 53, Kevin Harvick has made a slight increase in his lead over Aric Almirola to a quarter of a second.

After getting a penalty during the caution, Jimmie Johnson had to restart the race from the back of the field, he has moved up to 16th place.

Lap 56, Aric Almirola flies past Kevin Harvick to retake the
lead.

Lap 58, Aric Almirola has pulled out to a lead of over half a second on Kevin Harvick; Martin Truex Jr, Kyle Busch, and Ryan Blaney rounds out the top five.

Lap 60, Aric Almirola has a half second lead on Kevin Harvick.  Harvick is making his 700th race start, one of only 18 drivers to do so.

Lap 62, Martin Truex Jr gets around Kevin Harvick to take second place.

Lap 64, Aric Almirola and Kevin Harvick are the first drivers to make their green flag pit stops and begin the cycle of pit stops.  Martin Truex Jr is the new leader with Kyle Busch in second.

Aric Almirola has been posted for a blend line violation and will have to serve a pass through penalty.

Lap 69, Martin Truex Jr comes down pit road slowly, out of fuel.  Kyle Busch is the new leader.

Lap 70, Ryan Blaney gasses Kyle Busch for the lead.

Lap 74, Ryan Blaney has pulled out to a lead of over half a second on Kyle Busch, William Byron, Erik Jones, and Alex Bowman round out the top five.

Lap 80, Ryan Blaney has increased his lead on Kyle Busch to a second with William Bryon over six seconds back in third.

Lap 83, Ryan Blaney has a lead of over a second and a half on Kyle Busch; William Byron is in third over seven seconds back.

Lap 86, Ryan Blaney has pulled out to a lead of two seconds on Kyle Busch; William Byron, Erik Jones, and Alex Bowman round out the top five over eight seconds back.  Green flag pit stops continue.

Lap 89, Kyle Busch and Ryan Blaney make their green flag pit stops.  Erik Jones is the new leader.

Clint Bowyer and Denny Hamlin report tight conditions in their cars.

Lap 94, the top three drivers – Erik Jones, Brad Keselwoski, and Christopher Bell have yet to make their pit stops.

Erik Jones is the only driver yet to make a pit stop.

With green flag pit stops complete, Ryan Blaney is the leader of the race.

Lap 96, the top five are Ryan Blaney, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Tyler Reddick, and William Byron.

Kurt Busch report an eleven out of 10 loose condition.

Brennan Poole gets slowed on the track with a flat tire as he works to get down pit road.

Lap 100, Ryan Blaney has a half second lead on Kyle Busch; with Kevin Harvick in third over three seconds back.

Ryan Blaney wins stage one for his second stage win of the season.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Ryan Blaney
Kyle Busch
Kevin Harvick
Tyler Reddick
William Byron
Kurt Busch
Jimmie Johnson
Alex Bowman
Chris Buescher

Some of the drivers come down pit road for service.  Taking only two tires, William Byron wins the race off of pit road.  Tyler Reddick, Alex Bowman, Kurt Busch, Matt DiBenedetto, Martin Truex Jr, and Ty Dillon also took only two tires on their pit stops.

The temperature in Ty Dillon’s car is now up to 144 degrees.

Ryan Blaney brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 112 and goes side by side with Kyle Busch before Kyle Busch finally gets out in front on lap 113.  Chase Elliott and Joey Logano make contact but the track stays green.

Lap 116, Kyle Busch has a narrow lead on Ryan Blaney; Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, and Erik Jones round out the top five.

Jimmie Johnson brings out the caution flag for the first on track incident when he gets into the wall.  Johnson reports that the lap was “ugly”.

After going a lap down due to pitting outside the box, Ryan Newman is the “lucky dog” and is back on the lead lap.

NASCAR is holding Jimmie Johnson two laps for having too many crew members over the wall to repair crash damage.

Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 122 with Kyle Busch jumping out in front for the lead as drivers get three wide across the track.

Lap 123, the top five are Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano, and Chase Elliott.

Christopher Bell gets slideways on the track but saves the car and the track stays green.

Lap 124, Denny Hamlin passes Kyle Busch for the lead with Ryan Blaney taking second on lap 125; Kyle Busch is back to third.

Lap 126, Denny Hamlin has a quarter of a second lead on Ryan Blaney; Kyle Busch is in third over half a second back.

Lap 127, Ryan Blaney passes Denny Hamlin to take the lead with Kyle Busch in third.

Lap 129, Joey Logano gets around Kyle Busch to take third.

Lap 130, Ryan Blaney has a lead of over half a second on Denny Hamlin with Joey Logano in third.  There are 29 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 131, Joey Logano gets around Denny Hamlin for second; Ryan Blaney leads the race by over half a second.

Lap 140, Ryan Blaney has a lead of over a second on Joey Logano; Kenny Hamlin, Erik Jones, and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

After being penalized for a blend line violation and having braking issues, Aric Almirola is back in the top 10.

Lap 144, Ryan Blaney has a lead of nearly a second on Joey Logano; Denny Hamlin, Erik Jones, and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

Lap 147, Ryan Blaney has a lead of nearly a second on Joey Logano; Denny Hamlin is in third over three seconds back; Erik Jones, and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

Lap 151, Ryan Blaney has increased his lead to a second on Joey Logano.

Lap 156, Ryan Blaney continues to lead the race by nearly two seconds on Joey Logano; Denny Hamlin, Erik Jones, and Kyle Busch round out the top five with 29 cars on the lead lap.

When the drivers were parked during the lockdown, they took to iRacing.  At the Texas iRacing event Timmy Hill won the race.  This weekend, Texas gave Hill a cowboy hat for his win.

Lap 160, drivers begin making green flag pit stops.

Ryan Blaney makes his green flag pit stop giving the lead over to Joey Logano.

Clint Bowyer reports that his car is still very tight.

Lap 168, Joey Logano has a lead of over four and a half seconds on Erik Jones; Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, and Aric Almirola round out the top five.

Lap 189, Joey Logano makes his pit stop, giving the lead over to Erik Jones.

Lap 171, Erik Jones makes his pit stop and gives the lead over to Kevin Harvick.

Lap 175, Kevin Harvick is in the lead as drivers continue to make their green flag pit stops.

Lap 178, leader Kevin Harvick makes his green flag pit stop and gives the lead over to Aric Almirola; Martin Truex Jr, Matt Kenseth, Austin Dillon, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

Matt Kenseth’s team reports some radio issues.

Leader Aric Almirola makes his green flag pit stop on lap 181 and gives the lead over the Martin Truex Jr.

There are only eight cars on the lead lap as drivers continue to make their green flag pit stops.

Lap 188, Martin Truex Jr ahs a six second lead on Brad Keselowski; Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.  There are only seven cars on the lead lap.

Chris Buescher had to make another trip down pit road after a fueling issue.

Brad Keselowski makes his green flag pit stop.

Martin Truex Jr takes fuel only on his green flag pit stop, Ryan Blaney is the new leader with a three second lead on Joey Logano; Denny Hamlin is over six seconds back in third.

Lap 194, with all the green flag pit stops complete, there are 23 cars on the lead lap with Ryan Blaney in the lead.

Lap 200, Ryan Blaney has a three second lead on Joey Logano; Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr, and Kurt Busch round out the top five.

Martin Truex Jr’s team is telling their driver to save as much fuel as possible after he left too soon on his pit stop and did not get the car full of fuel.

Lap 205, Ryan Blaney has a near four second lead on Joey Logano; Denny Hamlin Martin Truex Jr, and Kurt Busch round out the top five.

Lap 206, Kurt Busch gets around Martin Truex Jr for fourth.

With a lead of five seconds, Ryan Blaney sweeps the stage wins for the race.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Ryan Blaney
Joey Logano
Denny Hamlin
Kurt Busch
Kevin Harvick
Martin Truex Jr
Chase Elliott
Aric Almirola
Erik Jones
Kyle Busch

Drivers bring their cars down pit road for service.  Ryan Blaney wins the race off of pit road.  Brad Keselowski gained 12 spots after taking only two tires.

Ryan Blaney brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three with Brad Keselowski alongside on the front row on lap 218 with Brad Keselowski getting out in front for the lead as drivers have to check up.

The caution flag comes out on lap 219 after several drivers have to check up; Kyle Busch got sideway and made a run through the grass after contact from Aric Almirola.  William Byron spins, Matt Kenseth, Cole Custer, Martin Truex Jr, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Chris Buescher, Ryan Preece, and Kurt Busch were all involved in the wreck.

NASCAR has red flagged the race in order to get the track cleaned up.  The drivers are not getting any air in their cars.  With the cars stopped on the front row, fans are walking up to the fence to get a close look at the cars.

Ty Dillon and Jimmie Johnson made it through the wreck fine but during the caution, Jimmie Johnson hit Ty Dillon from behind.

Leader Brad Keselowski is thankful to the art department for giving his a white car on such a hot day.

Cole Custer is out of the race.

The cars are moving once again and the drivers brings their cars down pit road for damage assessment and repairs.  Drivers involved in the crash are on the “crash clock” and have six minutes to make repairs and reach minimum speed.

Brad Keselowski brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 225 and jumps out in front for the lead with Denny Hamlin in second and Chase Elliott in third.

Lap 226, Brad Keselowski has pulled out to a quarter of a second lead on Denny Hamlin; Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott, and Joey Logano round out the top five with 20 cars on the lead lap and only two cars out of the race.

Lap 229, Brad Keselowski is in the lead with Denny Hamlin and Ryan Blaney right behind him challenging for the lead.

Lap 231, Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin battle for the lead with Ryan Blaney trying to make it a three way battle.  Denny Hamlin gets out in front but Keselowski retakes the lead as the battle continues.  Lap 233, Denny Hamlin takes the lead with Brad Keselowski in second and Ryan Blaney in third.  Several drivers back in the field have caught up to the leaders during the battle.

Lap 235, Ryan Blaney passes Brad Keselowski for second and is heading for the leader.

Lap 237, the top five are Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, and Aric Almirola.

Lap 238, Ryan Blaney and Denny Hamlin battle for the lead with Blaney taking the lead.

The caution flag comes out on lap 243 for a crash involving John Hunter Nemechek when he hits the wall with the back of his car after getting loose.

Tyler Reddick is the “lucky dog”.

Some of the drivers bring their cars down pit road for service and adjustments.

Ryan Blaney brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 248 with Denny Hamlin alongside on the front row.  Blaney and Hamlin battle for the lead back and forth with Ryan Blaney eventually getting out in front after a little push from buddy Chase Elliott.

Ty Dillon brings out the seventh caution flag of the race after making contact with William Byron and getting into the wall.

Clint Bowyer is on pit road; a crew member is using a leaf blower to help cool Bowyer off while he sits on pit road.

William Byron is out of the race.

Ryan Blaney brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 255 from the bottom lane and goes side by side with Denny Hamlin for the lead.  Ryan Blaney gets out in front for the lead.

The top five are Ryan Blaney, Denny Hamlin, Aric Almirola, Chase Elliott, and Matt DiBenedetto.

With 20 cars on the lead lap, Ryan Blaney has a near half a second lead on Denny Hamlin; Aric Almirola, Matt DiBenedetto, and Joey Logano round out the top five.

Lap 266, Ryan Blaney has a near half second lead on Denny Hamlin; Aric Almirola, Matt DiBenedetto, and Joey Logano round out the top five.

Lap 269, Ryan Blaney has pulled out to a one second lead on Denny Hamlin with Aric Almirola and Matt DiBenedetto battling for third.

With 63 laps remaining in the race, the drivers will soon have to make a pit stop for fuel.  Ryan Blaney has a commanding lead with over a second and a half on Denny Hamlin; Aric Almirola, Matt DiBenedetto, and Joey Logano round out the top five.

Lap 277, Ryan Blaney has pulled out to a two second lead on Denny Hamlin.

During the All Star race, Matt DiBenedetto and Bubba Wallace tangled on the track.  A frustrated Bubba put his front bumper in DiBenedetto’s hauler.  Matty D has put the bumper up for auction with the proceeds going to MRO – Motor Racing Outreach.

Lap 284, Ryan Blaney has a lead of over two and a half seconds on Denny Hamlin; Aric Almirola, Matt DiBenedetto, and Joey Logano round out the top five.

Lap 288, Chase Elliott is the first driver to make his green flag pit stop as the cycle of stops begins.  Leader Ryan Blaney also comes down pit road and gives the lead over the Denny Hamlin.

Leader Denny Hamlin makes his green flag pit stop and gives the lead over to Matt DiBenedetto.

Matt DiBenedetto comes down pit road and gives the lead to Joey Logano.

Denny Hamlin is reporting a loose condition.

Lap 300, Joey Logano has a half second lead on Kevin Harvick; Kyle Busch, Erik Jones, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.  There are 14 cars on the lead lap with drivers still to make their pit stops.

Quin Houff brings out the caution flag on lap 306 when he spins out and hits the wall after making contact with Christopher Bell and Matt DiBenedetto.

The lead lap drivers – 14 – bring their cars down pit road for service.  Taking fuel only Tyler Reddick wins the race off of pit road.

Tyler Reddick brings the field down for the green flag restart with Austin Dillon alongside on the front row on lap 311 with Austin Dillon getting out in front from the inside lane.

Austin Dillon leads the race with team mate Tyler Reddick in second; Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, and Kurt Busch rounding out the top five.

With 21 laps to go, Kyle Busch takes third place after making a run through the grass in the big wreck.

Twenty to go, Austin Dillon has a lead of nearly a second on team mate Tyler Reddick; Joey Logano and Kyle Busch battle for third with Kevin Harvick on their bumper.  Brad Keselowski joins the battle.

Denny Hamlin brings out the ninth caution flag of the race with sixteen laps remaining in the race.  Alex Bowman was also involved and has serious suspension damage.  Hamlin gets loose and gets into Bowman.  Denny Hamlin comes down pit road for repairs while Alex Bowman takes his car to the garage.

Joey Logano is reporting a bad vibration but feels he can make it to the end of the race.

Austin Dillon brings the field down for the green flag restart from the inside lane with just eleven laps remaining in the race.  Getting a push from behind the drivers battle for the lead going back and forth with Austin Dillon taking the lead with 10 laps to go.  Kyle Busch and Joey Logano battle for third with Busch taking the spot.

Nine to go, Austin Dillon leads the race with Tyler Reddick in second and Kyle Busch looking to take the spot.

Eight to go, Joey Logano and Kyle Busch battle for third with Logano taking the spot.

Seven to go, Austin Dillon has just a quarter second lead on Tyler Reddick.

Denny Hamlin spins out and makes a run through the grass and brings out the caution flag with just six laps remaining in the race.

Austin Dillon brings the field down for the green/white/checker finish from the inside lane.  Austin Dillon gets out in front to hold on to the lead but Tyler Rddick is battling for the lead.

Austin Dillon takes the white flag.

New papa Austin Dillon wins the race at Texas with team mate rookie Tyler Reddick in second; giving Richard Childress Racing their first one/two finish since 2008.  This is Austin’s third career win.

Dillon “burns it down” at the start/finish line to the sounds of fans cheering.

The unofficial results of the O’Reilly’s Auto Parts 500:
Austin Dillon
Tyler Reddick
Joey Logano
Kyle Busch
Kevin Harvick
Erik Jones
Ryan Blaney
Kurt Busch
Brad Keselowski
Aric Almirola
Clint Bowyer
Chase Elliott
Ryan Newman
Bubba Wallace
Michael McDowell
Corey LaJoie
Matt DiBenedetto
Matt Kenseth
Chris Buescher
Denny Hamlin
Christopher Bell
John Hunter Nemechek
Daniel Suarez
JJ Yeley
Gray Gaulding
Jimmie Johnson
Brennan Poole
Reed Sorenson
Martin Truex Jr
Alex Bowman
Josh Bilicki
Joey Gase
BJ McLeod
Quin Houff
Ty Dillon
Timmy Hill
William Byron
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Cole Custer
Ryan Preece