NASCAR Picks for Texas
Kasey Kahne, #5 Farmers Insurance/Quaker State, Hendrick Motorsports [Yahoo Class A]
Kahne has run hot and cold at Texas, and as a result, he has a mediocre 18.0 average finish at the track. However, he is also a former winner in the Lone Star State, and has four finishes of 11th or better in his last five starts. If you are willing to sacrifice a bit of consistency, Kahne definitely offers top-five potential this weekend.
Jeff Gordon, #24 Drive to End Hunger/Axalta, Hendrick Motorsports [Yahoo Class A]
He certainly has some upside this weekend, but Gordon has been boom or bust at Texas lately. He has three top-15s in his last five starts at the track, but he finished 38th in both starts at the last year. Meanwhile, he has five finishes outside the top 20 (including four finishes outside the top 30) in his last eight starts at Texas.
Ryan Newman, #31 Caterpillar, Richard Childress Racing [Yahoo Class B]
Newman is a former winner at Texas, but he has been streaky at the track throughout his career. That being said, he has been enjoying one of his better stretches at the track lately. Newman has three straight top-12s at Texas, and he logged a pair of top-10s at the track last year.
Kurt Busch, #41 Haas Automation, Stewart-Haas Racing [Yahoo Class A]
He has been a little inconsistent at Texas, but Busch has had his share of strong runs at the track. He went to victory lane in the fall of 2009, and he finished in the top 15 in both races in 2012. Busch has gotten off to a slow start with Stewart-Haas Racing, but the high speeds of Texas could bring out the best in him.
Martin Truex, Jr., #78 Furniture Row, Furniture Row Racing [Yahoo Class B]
Although he is still working out some kinks with his new team, Truex has always been reliable at Texas. In 17 starts at the track, he has 13 top-15 finishes, including five straight. Truex actually finished second at Texas last April, and in the last four races at the track, he has led the third-most laps.
Brian Vickers, #55 Aaron's Dream Machine, Michael Waltrip Racing [Yahoo Class B]
Texas has never been Vickers' best track, and as a result, he has only made one start at the 1.5-mile oval in the last two seasons. However, he did finish eighth in his lone start while subbing for Denny Hamlin last spring. Meanwhile, his current Michael Waltrip Racing team has enjoyed some success at Texas, so Vickers could be a surprisingly effective play this weekend.
Paul Menard, #27 Menards, Richard Childress Racing [Yahoo Class B]
He has quietly been enjoying a decent stretch of racing at Texas. Menard has six top-20 finishes in his last seven starts at the track, and he has four top-15 finishes during the stretch. It also doesn't hurt that he looked stout en route to a top-five finish in the first trip to a 1.5-mile track this season.
Kyle Larson, #42 Target, Chip Ganassi Racing [Yahoo Class C]
The rookie actually got his feet wet at Texas last year, logging a 23rd-place finish in the fall race. Meanwhile, Larson has been living up to the hype in his first full season in the Cup Series, and the experience he gained last fall should only help his chances this weekend. The 21-year-old just oozes upside.
A.J. Allmendinger, #47 Kingsford/Clorox, JTG Daugherty Racing [Yahoo Class B]
Allmendinger didn't have a ride for either race at Texas last season, but fantasy owners won't want to forget about him this weekend. After all, he has six top-15 finishes in his last eight starts at the track, and during the stretch, he has finished outside the top 20 only once.
Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., #17 Best Buy/Valvoline/Zest, Roush Fenway Racing [Yahoo Class B]
He had two very different experiences at Texas last year. Stenhouse finished 40th in the spring event at the track, but he bounced back with a 16th-place run in the fall. Considering how well Roush Fenway Racing as a whole has performed at Texas, Stenhouse should be able to challenge for another top-20 this weekend.
Aric Almirola, #43 Smithfield Foods, Richard Petty Motorsports [Yahoo Class B]
He has been showing signs of putting it all together at Texas. Almirola has finished 22nd or better in four of his last five starts at the track, and he has a pair of top-15s in his last three starts. Almirola actually finished a career-best seventh at the track last spring, so he has some sleeper potential.
Austin Dillon, #3 Dow Chemical/Cheerios, Richard Childress Racing [Yahoo Class C]
Dillon actually made a pair of starts at Texas last year, and after finishing 33rd in his track debut in the spring, he delivered a 22nd-place finish in the fall event. Dillon should have a decent showing Sunday, but he doesn't have the upside or experience of some of the other sleeper options this weekend. At the very least, you should probably check out practice speeds before taking a chance on him.
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