Cracking is a major distress mechanism in asphalt pavements. Thermal cracking is especially prevalent in Northern Minnesota and other areas with cold climates. Developing asphalt mix designs that are more resistant to cracking distresses is necessary to reduce maintenance and rehabilitation expenditures. The present study involves analysis of over 32,000 asphalt mixes and approximately 12,000 field sections available from Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT). The main objective of this work is to identify the effects of asphalt binder content and binder grade on the actual field cracking performance. A comprehensive database has been developed that includes mix design information (design traffic level, mix size, binder type, wear versus non-wear course), mix volumetrics and gradation (air voids, voids in mineral aggregates, voids filled with asphalt, adjusted asphalt film thickness, percent passing on control sieves, recycled fractions), and actual field performance data from MnDOT’s pavement management system. This database has made it possible to quantify the effects of binder content and grade on the actual field performance. A series of statistical tests were conducted to determine if significant relationships exist between the binder content and grade, and the field cracking performance. The results show that both binder content and grade have a significant effect on the transverse cracking of pavements and for Minnesota the PG XX-34 grade may be better suited than the PG XX-28 binder grade.