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

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

By Track
Kevin Harvick - 9
Joey Logano - 8
Both with 7 - Martin Truex Jr., and Kurt Busch
Kyle Busch - 6

Recent Pole Winners:  
2017 Kurt Busch
2017 Kevin Harvick

Last Year's Race Winner: Kyle Busch

The Likely Suspects: It's been fun watching drivers like Chase Elliott join the more experienced key drivers that run well here. Here are my favorite Texas go-tos:  Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr., and hopefully I can keep Jimmie Johnson on my elite Texas drivers list.

My 2 Cents: There's consistency at Texas Motor Speedway that makes it one of my favorite fantasy pick tracks. With luck, the new rules package won't  crimp my style. My no-brainer this week is a tie between Joey Logano and Kyle Busch. My next picks are Kurt Busch, Erik Jones, Paul Menard and Ryan Blaney. I will complete my team with Chris Buescher and Ryan Preece.

My Final Four: Kyle Busch, Erik Jones, Kurt Busch and Chris Buescher 

Second-Look Driver:  This week's second-look driver is Chase Elliott. Chase is not only off to a great start, but also runs well at Texas Motor Speedway. He has the fourth-best driver rating (95.6) – behind Jimmie Johnson (102.9), Kyle Busch (101.3) and Kevin Harvick (96.3), and has five top-10 finishes in his six Texas Cup starts. His 7.2 average finish here is the best in the series, and he also holds the high mark statistically for top average running position (9.6). And as if that weren't enough,
the track holds a lot of sentimental value for him. In 2014, the then 18-year-old high school senior scored his first NASCAR national series win in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race.

Martinsville's second-look driver Kurt Busch had an okay day. He started the race in 19th place and finished in 12th. The driver of the #1 GEARWRENCH/Monster Energy Camaro had this to say about his day, "We can smile with a 12th-place, but we know we have to work harder and go back to the drawing board and find more things that will help our car maneuver in traffic better and race our way into the top-five to have a shot.”

Points to Ponder:
  • The third starting position is the most prolific starting position in the field at Texas Motor Speedway, producing more wins (eight) than any other starting position – most recently: Kevin Harvick’s win in last season’s Playoff race.
  • Kurt Busch leads the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in Busch Pole Awards at Texas Motor Speedway with three.
  • Jimmie Johnson leads the series in wins at Texas with seven victories (2007, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 sweep and 2017) in 31 starts – a winning percentage of 22.5%. 
  • Eight drivers have multiple wins at Texas Motor Speedway; four of them are active this weekend: Jimmie Johnson (seven), Kyle Busch (three), Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin each have two.
  • 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 seven. 
  • Jimmie Johnson leads the series in runner-up finishes at Texas Motor Speedway with five second-place finishes and in laps led with 1,052.
  • Most laps led by a driver in a single race at Texas is 312 by Brad Keselowski (11/8/2015); he finished second.
Remember, if you're playing Driver Group Game, make your picks by Friday March 29th at 8 a.m. ET and pick your starters by 3 p.m. ET on race day, Sunday March 31st.

Enjoy the race!


Carol D’Agostino wields fantasy-racing superpowers. Each week, Carol researches statistics and combs through her personal racing notes to provide fans with fantasy racing advice at NASCAR Fantasy Fusion, a column she has written for Skirts & Scuffs since October 2011. Carol also does race coverage for Skirts & Scuffs at Richmond Raceway, and occasionally at her home track, Dover International Speedway. This year she joins the NASCAR Expert Picks panel at
Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet When she isn’t crunching numbers, you’ll find Carol in business meetings or hammering out a news release or creating a marketing strategy at a small niche public relations firm she founded called Purple Cat.

NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway Reviewed by Carol D'Agostino on Thursday, March 28, 2019 Rating: 5