NASCAR Picks for Texas
Length: 1.500 miles
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
After a trip to the slowest track on the schedule last Sunday at Martinsville, the speeds will pick up in a big way this weekend when the Cup Series visits Texas Motor Speedway. The 1.5-mile oval is always among the fastest on the schedule, and thanks to the track's multiple grooves, there is usually plenty of hold-your-breath moments as drivers battle side by side on the edge of spinning out.
While the high speeds make for exciting racing to watch, it doesn't always produce fantasy-friendly results. There have been more than a few memorable multi-car wrecks at Texas, especially on restarts when the field gets bunched up. Throw in the recent tire issues that have been wreaking havoc the past few weeks, and although Texas may have the layout of a cookie-cutter oval, fantasy owners shouldn't be expecting a walk in the park this weekend.
Jimmie Johnson, #48 Lowe's/Kobalt Tools, Hendrick Motorsports [Yahoo Class A]
He owns the second-best average finish in the series at Texas, and in 21 starts at the track, Johnson has 16 top-10s, including three wins and five second-place finishes. He has also been brilliant in his last four starts at the 1.5-mile oval, compiling a 2.5 average finish and picking up a pair of victories. In the spring race alone, Johnson has six straight finishes of eighth or better, including four runner-up finishes.
Matt Kenseth, #20 Husky/Dollar General, Joe Gibbs Racing [Yahoo Class A]
No driver has been more consistent at Texas than Kenseth. His 8.3 average finish at the track leads all drivers, and in 23 starts, he has 16 top-10s and 13 top-five finishes. Kenseth has been even better at the track lately, notching six top-five finishes in his last seven starts and compiling a 4.6 average finish during the stretch.
Greg Biffle, #16 3M/Bondo, Roush Fenway Racing [Yahoo Class B]
Biffle has been on a ridiculous hot streak at Texas. He has logged 11 straight top-12 finishes at the track, compiling a 6.1 average finish along the way. During the stretch, Biffle has recorded seven top-five finishes, including his second-career victory at the track.
Kyle Busch, #18 Mars Brands/Interstate Batteries, Joe Gibbs Racing [Yahoo Class A]
Busch is the defending winner of this weekend's race, and he has been on a nice little roll at Texas. He has four straight top-15 finishes at the track, and during the stretch, he has a pair of top-three finishes to go along with a 7.0 average finish. Meanwhile, Busch's 253 laps led at Texas since 2012 are the second most in the series.
Carl Edwards, #99 Fastenal/Aflac/UPS/Subway, Roush Fenway Racing [Yahoo Class B]
He has made 18 career starts at Texas, and Edwards has finished in the top three in a third of them. More importantly, he has been to victory lane three times at the track. Edwards also has four finishes of eighth or better in his last six starts at Texas, picking up three of his top-three finishes at the track during the stretch.
Brad Keselowski, #2 Miller Lite, Team Penske [Yahoo Class B]
After starting his career with eight straight finishes outside the top 10 at Texas, Keselowski has turned a corner at the track. He has a 5.7 average finish in his last three starts at the 1.5-mile oval, and he has finished worse than ninth during the stretch. Meanwhile, Keselowski ranks fourth in the series in laps led at Texas since 2012.
Kevin Harvick, #4 Budweiser/Jimmy Johns, Stewart-Haas Racing [Yahoo Class A]
While he only has four top-five finishes in 24 starts at Texas, Harvick has been a reliable option at the track. His 12.3 average finish ranks fourth in the series, and in the last 10 races at Texas, Harvick has eight finishes of 13th or better, including five straight.
Joey Logano, #22 Shell-Pennzoil, Team Penske [Yahoo Class B]
After managing just one top-15 finish in his first eight races at Texas, Logano has been dialed in at the track lately. He has three straight finishes of 11th or better, and last year, he finished fifth and third in his first two starts at the track with Team Penske. If last year was a sign of things to come, Logano could be an elite fantasy option at Texas sooner rather than later.
Denny Hamlin, #11 FedEx, Joe Gibbs Racing [Yahoo Class B]
Hamlin offers a nice blend of upside and consistency this weekend. On one hand, his 10.7 average finish at Texas ranks third in the series, and he has only finished outside the top 20 once in 16 starts at the track. Meanwhile, Hamlin is also a two-time winner at the track, and he has seven finishes of seventh or better.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., #88 National Guard/Diet Mountain Dew, Hendrick Motorsports [Yahoo Class A]
His first-ever Cup win actually came at Texas, and Junior has been inching toward a return trip to victory lane for a while now. He has five top-10s in his last six starts at the 1.5-mile oval, including a second-place finish at the track last fall.
Clint Bowyer, #15 5-Hour Energy, Michael Waltrip Racing [Yahoo Class A]
Although he only has three top-five finishes in 16 starts at Texas, Bowyer never seems to have a bad run at the track either. His 12.8 average finish ranks fifth in the series, and he only has two finishes outside the top 20. Bowyer also has six top-15s in his last seven starts at Texas, including three straight.
Tony Stewart, #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1, Stewart-Haas Racing [Yahoo Class B]
He is a two-time winner at Texas with his most-recent victory coming in the fall of 2011. He also has four top-12s in his last six starts at the track, picking up a pair of top-five finishes during the stretch. I always like "Smoke" a little better in the second half of the year, but he could do some damage this weekend.