NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Round of 8 opener at Texas



As the Cup Series Playoffs continues to the Round of 8, the stellar racing may have just been trumped by the Elliott - Harvick feud. Despite that distraction, Kyle Larson earned his seventh win of the season and his second of the Playoffs last weekend at the Charlotte Roval, becoming the first driver Cup Series history to win three road course races in the same season. (Of course, for quite a few years, there were only two road course races per season, but it's still a noteworthy achievement.)
In Kyle's rearview mirror, nipping at his heels, is Denny Hamlin, who is unquestionably having the best season of his career with two wins, 17 Top 5s and 23 Top 10s. Also, Denny beats Kyle statistically at Texas Motor Speedway. We'll have to see whether Denny's ninth-best average finish to Kyle's 19th-best makes the difference on Sunday. Stay tuned.  
This Week's Pick Strategy: I'm hedging my bets this week by picking some Fords, at least one Busch -- maybe two, since Kyle is starting third, the most prolific starting position -- and someone from the Roush Fenway stable.
Active Drivers with Most Top 10s (Last 5 Years):
By Race
Both with 5 - Joey Logano and Martin Truex Jr.
All with 4 - Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch,  and Ryan Blaney
All with 3 - Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Erik Jones, and Kyle Busch

By Track 
All with 9 - Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, and Kurt Busch
Both with 7 - Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr.
All with 6 - Erik Jones and Ryan Blaney
Chase Elliott - 5                        

Last Year's Race Winner: Kyle Busch

My Final Four: Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, Chris Buescher, and Daniel Suarez.
Points to Ponder: 
  • Nine drivers have multiple wins at Texas Motor Speedway; three of them are active this weekend – Kyle Busch with four wins, and Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick with three wins each.
  • The third starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field at Texas Motor Speedway, producing more wins (eight) than any other – most recently Kyle Busch’s win in the 2018 Playoff race.  
  • Four different manufacturers have won a NASCAR Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway, led by Ford with 15 wins, followed by Chevrolet with 14.
  • Roush Fenway Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, and Joe Gibbs Racing lead the NASCAR Cup Series in wins at Texas Motor Speedway with nine victories each. 
  • Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. lead all active drivers in runner-up finishes at Texas with three each. 
  • Kyle Busch leads all active series drivers in Top 5 finishes at Texas with 14.  
  • Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch lead the series in Top 10 finishes at Texas Motor Speedway with 23 Top 10s each. 
  • Tyler Reddick (two starts) leads the NASCAR Cup Series in average finishing position at Texas Motor Speedway with an 8.5.
  • Kyle Busch (30 starts) leads all active series drivers in laps led at Texas with 1,049. 
Remember, if you're playing Driver Group Game, make your picks by 2 p.m. ET on race day Sunday, October 17th.

Enjoy the race!

Carol D'Agostino has been playing Fantasy NASCAR for 15 years. She launched  NASCAR Fantasy Fusion for Skirts & Scuffs in October 2011. Each week, Carol pores through statistics and combs through her personal notebooks to arm fans with analysis and picking strategies that will leave their friends wondering how they got so smart. Carol also does race coverage for Skirts & Scuffs at Richmond Raceway and occasionally at her home track, Dover International Speedway. She is also part of the distinguished NASCAR Expert Picks panel at formerly called Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet.
When she isn’t wielding her fantasy-racing superpowers, you’ll find Carol hammering out a news release or creating a marketing strategy at a small niche public relations firm she founded called Purple Cat or executing downtown revitalization projects for a small town on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Round of 8 opener at Texas NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Round of 8 opener at Texas Reviewed by Carol D'Agostino on Saturday, October 16, 2021 Rating: 5