NASCAR comes to the Lone Star State as the Monster Energy Cup Series makes its first visit to Texas Motor Speedway for the O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 on Sunday, March 31. The big news around the racetrack has been the schedule shakeup for 2020, but NASCAR also hopes this 500-mile race can provide a little more excitement than the previous five events.
Chevrolets dominated qualifying, which was done under new rules, following the disaster that was Fontana. As a result, Jimmie Johnson is on the pole followed by William Byron, Chase Elliott, Daniel Suarez, and Austin Dillon. And of course, qualifying didn't go without a little controversy, just ask Clint Bowyer.
So if you're wondering, "What NASCAR race is on TV this today?" know this: FOX is airing the O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 from Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.
O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 Race Time/TV Channel
Time: 3 p.m. ET (Sunday) green flag drops
Track: Texas Motor Speedway (Fort Worth, Texas)
TV: FOX, coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SIRIUS XM Channel 90
Heading into Sunday's O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, the racing through the first six races of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series has been underwhelming and passing difficult at virtually every type of track. A boost in TV ratings has been balanced by mounting criticism over horsepower issues, handling issues and the continued advantage of clean air up front.
A 2020 schedule shakeup certainly drums up interest in the meantime. But switching up the tracks if the racing stays bad only puts lipstick on a pig. The main question two months into the season remains unanswered. NASCAR, for all its solutions, has put together a clunker of a 2019 package. Will they actually stop and fix it in season so the competition starts improving before the Gen-7 rollout in 2021?
If not, all the schedule sizzle and qualifying tweaks will mean little to the long-term health of the sport. You don't travel to a venue, no matter how exciting if what you’re going to see there won’t keep you entertained.
The off-track buzz is nice, for sure. But the on-track product is where NASCAR needs to focus next. It's great they’re willing to work on solutions but they're quickly learning the first throw of the dart doesn't hit the bullseye. There are years of innovation and creativity to catch up on.
Hopefully, as the season progresses, practice will make perfect. Further revisions by dedicated leadership are needed to get the sport back in mint condition.