Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet | 2017 Texas Motor Speedway, O’Reilly Auto Parts 500
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2017 Texas Motor Speedway, O’Reilly Auto Parts 500

Congratulations to Brad Keselowski who picked up his first career win at Martinsville and second win of the season last weekend. I thought there were some pretty good races for position going on all around the track most of the day and that makes it worth it to watch the Martinsville race now. I used to think this was one of the more boring tracks to watch a race at on the entire circuit, but this weekend they put on a pretty good show.

O’REILLY AUTO PARTS 500

This week the series heads to the Texas Motor Speedway before taking a week off for the Easter holiday. Texas is another of the mile and a half intermediate tracks on the schedule and is very similar to Atlanta and I believe you will see the drivers talking about their setup at Atlanta and the one they are using this weekend being very similar. Those who didn’t run well at Atlanta have had a few weeks to figure out what they needed to do to make their car faster this weekend and you will see many of them improve on their Atlanta performance.

Kevin Harvick: I am going to stick with a Ford driver to win this weekend’s race once again. The Ford’s have been fast all season so far and Kevin has run very well here lately. He has finished in the top ten in his last five starts here and is looking for his first win at this track. I think he gets it this weekend. He had the dominant car at Atlanta this year when he led 292 of the possible 325 laps in that race before getting caught speeding on pit road during a late race caution. That doesn’t happen this week!

Brad Keselowski: Brad is the hottest driver on the circuit right now with two wins and five straight top five finishes. He has yet to win a race at Texas in his career, but he did win the race in Atlanta this year. He has also finished in the top ten in six of his last nine starts at Texas and will look to keep his momentum going this week. This team always seems to know what changes to make to their car so it is in contention at the end of a race.

Martin Truex Jr.: Martin has four straight top ten finishes at this track and led almost half of the laps run here last spring. This team has been very good the past few seasons, especially on the intermediate tracks. I look for this team to come to Texas with another fast car and run up towards the front the whole race and maybe pull out another win.

Jimmie Johnson: Jimmie leads all active drivers with six wins at this track. However they haven’t shown me that they are on top of their game at these tracks yet this year. Jimmie finished nineteenth at Atlanta this year, one lap down to the leaders and I haven’t seen the speed that has been associated with Hendrick Motorsports. We know the speed is in the organization by the way Chase Elliott has run and I think Jimmie and Chad will get it figured out and have a shot at winning another championship yet this season.

Kyle Busch: Kyle said he was frustrated last week after the Martinsville race because he didn’t think they made the right changes to his car to keep him in front of Brad so he could pick up the win. If you are frustrated with finishing second in a Cup race, that’s a good thing, because it means you are close and you know you can do better. Kyle is so competitive that if he doesn’t win when he thinks he should he gets very upset and that just shows he is passionate when it comes to racing. You can’t ask for more than that from any driver.

Chase Elliott: Chase is going to win a race very soon and this might be his week. He has only run two Cup races here in his career and he finished in the top five in both of those races. He finished fifth in the race at Atlanta in March and has been so close so many times in his short career that one of these week’s everything is going to come together for him.

Joey Logano: Joey has one win at this track and a most impressive six top five finishes in his last eight starts here. Another Ford in the field with a very fast car this week. I really like his odds at having a shot to win this week’s race himself and am leaning on putting him on my roster ahead of Jimmie, Brad, Kyle, and Martin. I think this team likes to run here and can drive in any lane they choose when it comes to this track which will help you find the speed you need to move to the front.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Dale has struggled a little bit this year and most of it is due to bad luck, as in being in the wrong spot on the track at the wrong time. This is one of the tracks he has run very well on over the past five years or so where he has finished in the top ten in nine of his last eleven starts. I think this team is actually ahead of Jimmie’s team in the handling of their car at the beginning of a race and once they can stay out of the danger spots their finishing position will improve too.

Kyle Larson: This years points leader hasn’t run particularly well at this track during his short career with two top ten finishes in seven starts, but the way they have been running every week this year I think you can throw his past at this track out the door. This is his type of track where you can run either low or high to find the speed your car has in it. I look for him to qualify well and run in the top ten for most of the day once again.

Kasey Kahne: Kasey has looked better this year so far than he has over the past several years. He is another driver that likes to run the high line and this track is made for that kind of racing. Look for Kasey to have another decent run this weekend even if I don’t think they are quite to the point of being able to compete for wins. If they can keep improving on their recent performances they will be able to get back to victory lane in the near future.

YAHOO! FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

Yahoo Driver Group A

  • Kevin Harvick
  • Joey Logano

Yahoo Driver Group B

  • Chase Elliott
  • Kyle Larson
  • Kasey Kahne
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Yahoo Driver Group C

  • Erik Jones
  • Ty Dillon

MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

  1. Kevin Harvick
  2. Joey Logano
  3. Kyle Busch
  4. Brad Keselowski
  5. Chase Elliott

Dark Horse: Jamie McMurray

Stay Away From: Clint Bowyer

Big 18: Chase Elliott

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  • shaquan

    do you think the track will change because of the repave? I don’t think the tire they are bringing there will fall off at all.

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      The track will definitely have less grip than it had last year and I don’t know how the tires will hold up with the sliding of the cars on the track. The tires could go either way. I’m not sure Good Year even knows for sure how the tire they bring is going to hold up.

      Reply
  • Josh

    Austin Dillon doesnt have a great average at Texas but his speed seems to be coming back here of late and this kind of track seems to suit him, what do you think are his chances at another top 5?

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      I think he will be good, but top 5 might be pushing it a little. I think this team needs to get a little better with their communication for the adjustments they need to make during the race to compete with the big boys on a consistent basis.

      Reply
  • Chris

    I like newman if he’s can qualify well . He did very well in Atlanta til his battery problems and the tracks are similar

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      Newman can be a tough call most week’s. I really like him better on the shorter tracks myself.

      Reply
  • Scotty B

    Hopefully Chase Elliot can help the Big 18, so far your picks have finished 17, 19, 16, 6, 36, 38.

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      That is why fantasy racing is so hard to predict. Anything can happen mechanically, accidents not of a drivers own making, or a driver can make a mistake late in a race that costs them a lot of positions either in the pits or on the track. Now with Chase not passing inspection before qualifying he will be starting towards the back of the pack this week, so he is already in a hole so to speak.

      Reply
  • Doug

    Is NASCAR doing something different with inspections this year? I don’t remember this many cars missing qualifying inthd oasg the way they are this year.

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      As far as I know they are still using the templates for inspections. It could be that teams are trying even harder to push the envelope to see what advantages they can get by with.

      Reply
  • Doug

    What would you say is a bigger advantage pushing the envelope and getting away with it or not qualifying and starting in the back?

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      That all depends on what the teams think they need to do to compete at this level. Everyone in the garage area knows that everyone else is trying to do something that is going to give them an advantage over the other drivers. For me personally, I would try to push the envelope and take the chance of starting in the back, especially at a longer track. If you can get that win in this series you have done something that is very hard to do and it can make you a lot of money.

      Reply
  • justin

    Kahne or Austin Dillon, who finishes better?

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      Tough call. Kahne didn’t pass inspection so he didn’t get to qualify and will start in the back. Then he wrecked his car in the second practice session and is going to a backup car now. He will still start in the back. Without as much practice time I will have to go with Dillon to finish better this weekend.

      Reply
  • Doug

    Who do you like better 18 or 48?

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      I like the 48 better. They are both starting in the back, and I like the poise and patience of Johnson better.

      Reply
  • James Martinez

    I have 88, 3, 31, 78, 5 ,77 I need one for Texas I was trying to hold the 78 for last race who would you go with out of who I got left…thank you

    Reply

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