Thursday, April 5, 2018

NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway

By Carol D'Agostino

Drivers with Most Top 10s (Last 5 Years):
By Race
Joey Logano - 5
Both with 4 - Jimmie Johnson and Martin Truex Jr.
All with 3 - Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick  

By Track
Both with 8- Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano
All with 7 - Jimmie Johnson, Martin Truex Jr. and Brad Keselowski
Kyle Busch - 6

Recent Pole Winners:  
2017 Kevin Harvick
2016 Carl Edwards

Last Year's Race Winner: Jimmie Johnson

The Likely Suspects: Texas is one of my favorite fantasy pick tracks. Aside from some relative newcomers, like Chase Elliott, there are some key drivers that always run well here. Among my favorites are: Joey Logano, Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski.

My 2 Cents: My no-brainer this week is Kevin Harvick. He not only performs well here, but he is on a tear this season. My next picks are Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, Erik Jones, Aric Almirola and Kurt Busch. I will complete my team with Chris Buescher and Landon Cassill.

My Final Four: Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, Kurt Busch and Chris Buescher 

Second-Look Driver:  This week's second-look driver is Kasey Kahne. Kahne has one win, five top 5s , nine top 10s and one pole at Texas Motor Speedway. He has the 13th best average finish among active drivers in the field with 18.538. Martinsville's second-look driver Aric Almirola finished in 14th place after starting in the 10th position.

Points to Ponder:
  • Roush Fenway Racing and Hendrick Motorsports lead the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in wins at Texas Motor Speedway with nine each; followed by Joe Gibbs Racing with six. 
  • Four different manufacturers have won a MENCS race at Texas, led by Chevrolet and Ford (13 wins each); followed by Toyota (five) and Dodge (three). 
  • The third starting position is the most proficient starting spot in the field at Texas Motor Speedway, producing more wins than any other starting position with seven – most recently: Kevin Harvick’s win in last season’s Playoff race. 
  • 24 drivers have won Busch Pole Awards at Texas Motor Speedway. Among active drivers pole winners at Texas are Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman and Martin Truex Jr. with two each. 
  • Eight drivers have multiple wins at Texas Motor Speedway. Among active drivers are: Jimmie Johnson (seven), Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch each have two. 
  • Jimmie Johnson leads the series in wins at Texas with seven victories (2007, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 sweep and 2017) in 29 starts – a winning percentage of 24.1%. 
  • Jimmie Johnson leads the series in runner-up finishes at Texas Motor Speedway with five as well as top 5s with 15 and top 10s with 21. Kyle Busch trails Johnson in top 5s with 11. Kevin Harvick trails Johnson in top 10s with 18. 
  • Chase Elliott (four starts) leads the series in average finish at Texas with a 6.5. 
  • Three active drivers with more than one start at Texas have a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series average finish inside the top 10: Chase Elliott (6.5), Jimmie Johnson (8.8) and Kevin Harvick (11.4).
Remember, if you're playing Driver Group Game, make your picks by 2:59 a.m. EST on Saturday, April 6, and pick your starters by 2 p.m. EST on race day, Sunday, April 8.

Enjoy the race! Post your comments here or follow me on Twitter at @purplecatpr. 

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