Thursday, April 9, 2015

NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Duck Commander 500 at Texas


Track Classification: Intermediate
Similar Tracks: Atlanta Motor Speedway • Charlotte Motor Speedway • Chicagoland Speedway  Darlington Raceway • Homestead-Miami Speedway • Kansas Speedway • Kentucky Speedway 
Las Vegas Motor Speedway • New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Distance: 1.5 Miles

Drivers with Most Top 10s (Last 5 Years):
By Race
Greg Biffle - 5
Jimmie Johnson - 4
All with 3 - Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards, Martin Truex Jr. and Dale Earnhardt Jr. 

By Track
All with 6 - Greg Biffle, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Both with 5 - Carl Edwards and Clint Bowyer 
All with 4 - Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick

Recent Pole Winners:  
2014 Tony Stewart
2013 Kyle Busch

2013 Flashback
My "racers who can drive squirrelly cars" theory is holding up pretty well except for Jimmie Johnson's performance this year. The theory is simple:The current car specs under the new "rules package" favor drivers who preferred the 2013 cars, which were a bit more "wild" than the 2014 ones. So for 2015, it's best to access 2013 statistics when picking your fantasy drivers. In addition, since this year's Sprint Cup car is more similar to the Xfinity Series car in horse power, etc. I find myself watching who does double-duty running both races. It is important to note that current Champ Kevin Harvick is the outlier to all theories. He and his team are in a league of their own.

Top 15 Finishers at Texas Motor Speedway on April 13, 2013
1. Kyle Busch
2. Martin Truex Jr.
3. Carl Edwards
4. Greg Biffle
5. Joey Logano
6. Jimmie Johnson
7. Aric Almirola
8. Brian Vickers
9. Brad Keselowski
10. Ryan Newman
11. Kasey Kahne
12. Matt Kenseth
13. Kevin Harvick
14. Mark Martin

The Likely Suspects: There is usually a comfortable, predictable group of drivers who routinely perform well at Texas. Trust your instincts this week and then make room for some newcomers to the Texas elite. Focus on these drivers this week: Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson,  Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards and Martin Truex Jr.  And I would add Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano to those who may be breaking up the routine at Texas.

My 2 Cents: My no-brainer this week is Martin Truex Jr., closely followed by Matt Kenseth. The real question is do I go with Jimmie Johnson -- who should run well, but hasn't this year -- or Kevin Harvick or Dale Earnhardt Jr.? Okay, Harvick it is!  I will round out my team with Carl Edwards, Kyle Larson, Kurt Busch, David Ragan and Danica Patrick. 

My final four: Matt Kenseth, Martin Truex Jr., Kurt Busch and David Ragan.

Some points to ponder when picking:

  • Seven drivers have multiple wins at Texas Motor Speedway:  Jimmie Johnson (four); Carl Edwards (three); Greg Biffle, Jeff Burton, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth and Tony Stewart each have two.
  • Roush Fenway Racing leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in wins at Texas Motor Speedway with nine, followed by Hendrick Motorsports with six and Joe Gibbs Racing with four. 
  • More than three-quarters (22 of the 28) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Texas Motor Speedway have been won from a top-10 starting position.
  • The third-place starting position is the most proficient starting spot in the field at Texas Motor Speedway, producing more wins than any other starting position (six.) The most recent was Jimmie Johnson in the fall of 2014.

Enjoy the race! Post your comments here or email me at ssfantasyracing@skirtsandscuffs.com

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