RACE INFO: AAA Texas 500 from Texas Motor Speedway | 3 p.m. ET on Sunday Nov. 4
BOWMAN IN THE LONE STAR STATE: Alex Bowman has six previous starts at Texas Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Cup Series. Earlier this season, the No. 88 team started 16th and finished 28th after the team suffered a bent trackbar early in the 334-lap event. Bowman’s best finish in the Cup Series at the 1.5-mile facility came back in 2016 when the No. 88 team finished 13th with Bowman filling in for an injured Dale Earnhardt Jr. The 25-year-old driver has two starts at Texas in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. He started on the pole in both events in 2013, and his first-ever laps led in the Xfinity Series came at Texas.
IVES AT TEXAS: No. 88 team crew chief Greg Ives has called the shots seven times at the 1.5-mile speedway in the NASCAR Cup Series. Ives’ drivers have accumulated three top-five finishes and four top-10s at the track. Earnhardt finished third in 2015 after starting 25th. Ives has four starts as a crew chief in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, where his drivers captured two top-five finishes and four top-10s. Chase Elliott brought home the win in 2014 after leading 38 laps while Ives called the shots from atop the pit box. From 2006-2012, Ives was a race engineer on the No. 48 team. During that time, he was part of two wins and nine top-10 finishes at Texas.
ROOKIE STANDINGS: After taking the lead in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings following the spring race at Texas Motor Speedway, William Byron will have a chance to clinch the title this weekend. The 20-year-old driver leads by 107 points in the standings over Bubba Wallace and would clinch if he finishes the race with a 121-point lead. Byron is on a roll of earning NASCAR rookie of the year titles to this point, going back-to-back-to-back with the honor in the Xfinity Series in 2017, the Camping World Truck Series in 2016 and the K&N Pro Series East in 2015.
AT TEXAS: Byron earned his first career NASCAR Cup Series top-10 finish at Texas Motor Speedway in the spring race, finishing 10th after starting at the rear of the field due to an engine change. The Charlotte, North Carolina, native also has four other national series starts at the Fort Worth, Texas, track, including a win in his first Truck Series start at the 1.5-mile oval on June 10, 2016. The win was his second of seven victories during the 2016 season and made him the youngest-ever Truck Series winner at Texas Motor Speedway. In five national series starts, Byron has never finished outside of the top 10 at Texas. He’s led laps in all three national series for a combined total of 41 laps and has an average finish of 3.5 in Truck, 8.0 in Xfinity and 10.0 in Cup. His one lap led during the Cup race in April made him the youngest driver to lead a lap at the 1.5-mile track in the Cup Series.