Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet | 2017 Texas Motor Speedway, AAA Texas 500
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2017 Texas Motor Speedway, AAA Texas 500

Kyle Busch is the first driver to guarantee himself a shot at the championship this season after winning a hard fought race in Martinsville this past weekend. Once again, Chase Elliott had a great chance to win his first ever race in this series, but was caught up in a late race accident and denied that coveted first win and more importantly a free pass to Homestead. Now he finds himself in a position where he almost has to win one of the next two races to make the championship.

AAA TEXAS 500

This week the series heads to the Texas Motor Speedway for the running of the AAA Texas 500. This is another of the mile-and-a-half tracks that make up the majority of the playoffs. This is one of the fastest tracks on the circuit and the 500-mile race could have motor implications although we haven’t seen a lot of that this year from any of the teams. You will definitely see the intensity pick up in these next two races as seven drivers compete for the final three spots in the championship race at Homestead.

Martin Truex Jr.: I have to stick with Martin on these intermediate tracks. This team even came away with a second place finish at Martinsville last week and they are going to be tough to knock out of the final race because of their huge point lead they accumulated with all of the playoff points they won during the last thirty-three races. Martin has finished in the top ten in his last five Texas races and has to be the odds on favorite to win here once again.

Jimmie Johnson: Once again Jimmie struggled at Martinsville last weekend at a track where he has already won nine times. He spun out during qualifying and had to start at the rear of the field after changing tires after qualifying. He then made his way to the front on pit strategy, but couldn’t stay there for long and had what he would say was a terrible finish. However, Jimmie has won three of the past five races at this track which should give this team something to look back on and give them some confidence going into this race.

Chase Elliott: I will say it once again. Chase will win a race yet this season and this might be the weekend he does it. He has only run three Cup races here, but he has two top five and three top ten finishes in those races. This team has come too close too many times to not believe they are capable of winning races in this series and he has been very good on the mile-and-a-half tracks this season, especially during the playoffs.

Kyle Busch: Kyle has nothing to gain in the next two races, but that won’t keep him from trying to win them all. He has battled Truex in almost every one of the races on these tracks throughout the season and now he can even take more chances on the track and with pit strategy to see if he can beat him. Kyle is one of the best drivers in this series and will not let anything keep him from trying to win the race this weekend.

Kevin Harvick: Kevin hasn’t shown the speed this season that he has in the past, but he has been very good at Texas the past few seasons. In his last five starts he has come away with three top five finishes, with two of those being runner-up finishes and five top ten finishes. This team knows they need another good finish here and hopefully a win even with Phoenix coming up where they have dominated the past few seasons. Still they don’t want to rely on getting in on points.

Brad Keselowski: Brad thought his best chance at getting a win in this round was at Martinsville last weekend. He almost did just that as he ran towards the front of the pack most of the race. This team doesn’t think they have the speed it will take to win this week at Texas, but I wouldn’t count them out. Brad has two top five and three top ten finishes in his last five starts here and has led more laps than any other driver in those five races. That tells me they might know something they don’t want the competition to know.

Ryan Blaney: This team has been impressive all year and definitely on the intermediate tracks. Ryan led 148 laps here in the spring race before coming away with a twelfth place finish in that race. This team knows they have the speed to get the job done here and just has to make sure to keep up with the changing track conditions and not make any mistakes on pit road to put themselves in position to come away with another win this season.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.: We haven’t talked about Dale much this season as he never really lived up to expectations. However, he has been running much better since the playoffs started and this is one of the tracks he has been very good on lately. He has finished in the top six in each of his last five starts at this track including a fifth place finish this spring. He could surprise a lot of people who have written him off as he finishes up his full-time career in the next three races.

Joey Logano: Joey is another driver most people have written off this season. He might be someone you might want to take a look at if you are trying to come from behind in your league and are ready to take drivers no one at the top of your league is looking at. Joey has finished in the top four here in four of his last five races. I don’t care how bad a driver has looked, when he has stats like this you have to consider having him on your team, especially if you are behind in your league.

Matt Kenseth: Matt is another driver who hasn’t won a race yet this season and is not on a lot of peoples radar right now. Matt has always run well on the mile-and-a-half tracks and should have a decent car once again. If caution flags fall right for this team they could be another dark horse this week for those of you wanting to take some chances at this stage of the season.

YAHOO! FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

Yahoo Driver Group A

  • Martin Truex Jr.
  • Jimmie Johnson

Yahoo Driver Group B

  • Chase Elliott
  • Ryan Blaney
  • Jamie McMurray
  • Kasey Kahne

Yahoo Driver Group C

  • Erik Jones
  • Ty Dillon

MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

  1. Martin Truex Jr.
  2. Chase Elliott
  3. Jimmie Johnson
  4. Kyle Busch
  5. Kevin Harvick

Dark Horse: Joey Logano

Stay Away From: Clint Bowyer

Big 18: Erik Jones

TAGS >

  • MATTFAN20

    Jeff, I have the 18, 48, and 78 left for Group A in my league. The 18 looks the best of the three for Phoenix but I was thinking of using the 78 for Texas and the 48 for Homestead due to the 78’s poor average finish record at Homestead. What are your thoughts on that strategy? Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      No Harvick pick left? I would use him at Phoenix if you have him left. Truex at Texas and Busch at Homestead sound good to me. If you don’t have a Harvick pick left I would probably go with either Johnson or Keselowski at Phoenix.

      Reply
  • MATTFAN20

    I wished I had a 4 or 2 left instead of the 48 but we only get 4 starts per driver in my league. One more question…. The B Group I have left are the 1, 19, 31, 42, and 88. I was thinking about the 1 at Texas, the 19 at Phoenix, and the 42 at Homestead.

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      I might seriously take a look at Jr. this weekend. He has run pretty good lately and has been good at Texas the past few seasons, including the spring race here.

      Reply
  • MATTFAN20

    Will do! Thanks for your advise and good luck to you in your league.

    Reply
  • FreddySmokeFan

    Group C issue. I have no more picks for the 77, 1 left for the 19, and at least 2 each for the 13 & 95. Is it worth using the 19 in Texas or should I save him and use either the 13 or 95 here? FWIW, I intend on using the 95 at Phoenix and the 13 at Homestead if I use the 19 here.

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      The 19 hasn’t really done much as far as qualifying points this year, so I would have him on my roster and see where he qualifies and practices the best and use him at that track while using the other 2 at the other tracks.

      Reply
  • Josh

    Would you use Chase Elliott with your last start at Texas, or hold him for homestead to pair him up with Larson?

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      I would have him on my roster each week and then make a decision as far as qualifying and practice sessions go. It is kind of a gut feeling you have to go with when deciding when to use him.

      Reply
  • Denny

    Jeff. Who out of the top 12 would you use? Thinking either the 22 or the 77. I am in a Pick 3 league and can pick one from 1-6, 0ne from 7-12, and one of the rest. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      I would go with Truex, Elliott, and Earnhardt.

      Reply
  • Mike Pratt

    Jeff. I have Harvick. Dale Jr. Keselowski. McMurray. Left to use this season.
    Im thinking
    Texas – Dale Jr or McMurray
    Phoenix- Harvick
    Homestead- Keselowski
    What do u think please?

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      I like it and I just have this gut feeling about Jr. this week.

      Reply
  • Fat Cat Racing 2

    I saved 3 Larson allocations for my 6 final “B” Yahoo slots and am now concerned that he has thrown in the towel on the season. Is he going to somehow get competitive again after finishing 39th and 37th in the last 2 races?

    Totally value your expertise!

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      I don’t believe any of these teams really throw in the towel for the season unless it is someone who won’t be back with then next year and that isn’t Larson. They might be doing some engine testing though. He is probably still one of your better choices in the B group.

      Reply
  • justin

    Should I start Blaney or Larson this week?

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      I like Blaney this week.

      Reply
  • Justin

    I will start truex jr, blanket Kurt Busch and McDowell. Don’t like Chase in the back of the pack.

    Reply
  • Duane Robert Jones

    Have harvick and truex, Truex car smoking in last practice i heard? Then plan to use kurt and blaney savin Larsons final start for when he qualifies better. Truex or Harvick in my situation? Just under 100 points out in 3rd place in my league

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      I would go with Truex and Dillon.

      Reply
  • Duane Robert Jones

    Forgot to add, Dillon or Ragan in C?

    Reply
  • Paul K.

    Hi Jeff, I was just wondering who would you start for this weeks race?

    Truex Jr. (4 starts left)
    Johnson (6)

    Blaney (3)
    Kahne (7)
    Elliott (1)
    McMurray (1)

    Erik Jones (1)
    Ty Dillon (3)

    Thank you,
    Paul K.

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      I like Truex, Blaney, Kahne, and Jones.

      Reply
      • Paul K.

        Thank you Jeff, I appreciate your help.
        Paul K.

        Reply
  • Kenneth S

    Last minute second guessing; I planned all along to use KuBu this week but didnt expect a pole position. Should I stick with him or use 42(last start) or 5? 21 is my other B starter.

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      I would stick with Kurt. He will more than likely lead some laps starting on the pole and that is another 10 bonus points.

      Reply
  • Terry

    Truex or Earnhart Jr?

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      Truex

      Reply

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