NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 at Texas

Denny Hamlin certainly has a knack for at least two things: making his way around Bristol Motor Speedway and of course, stirring up the fans. He demonstrated both skills last week as he brought his No. 11 across the finish line at Bristol's Playoff elimination race, earning his way into the Round of 12. The boos from the fans literally disrupted Kyle Larson's runner up interview on Pit Road.

The win was Denny's 51st career victory, his third Bass Pro Shops Night Race trophy, and if you count the Bristol night race as a NASCAR Crown Jewel race it was his ninth coveted win joining his three Daytona 500s, two Southern 500s and one Coca-Cola 600.
This Week's Pick Strategy: This week I'm focusing heavy on Chevys and Fords, but throwing in a couple of non-Playoff dark horses who always seem to do well here.

Active Drivers with Most Top 10s (Last 5 Years):
By Race
Ryan Blaney - 5
Joey Logano - 4
All with 3 - Kyle Larson, Kevin Harvick, Erik Jones, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch,  and Martin Truex Jr. 

By Track (Last 8 points paying races)
Ryan Blaney - 7
All with 6 - Kevin Harvick, Erik Jones, Joey Logano, and Kyle Busch
All with 4 - William Byron, Aric Almirola, and Brad Keselowski                    

Last Year's Pole Winner: Brad Keselowski
Last Year's Race Winner: Tyler Reddick
The Likely Suspects: My Texas elite drivers include Tyler Reddick, Brad Keselowski, Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano, William Byron, Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Erik Jones, and Kyle Larson.
My 2 Cents: My no-brainer pick this week is Tyler Reddick. My next picks are William Byron, Ryan Blaney, Brad Keselowski, Erik Jones, and Justin Haley. I will round out my roster with AJ Allmendinger and Harrison Burton.

My Final Four: Ryan Blaney, Tyler Reddick, Brad Keselowski, and Harrison Burton.

Points to Ponder: 
  • Brad Keselowski (2015, 2022), Kevin Harvick (2017, 2019) and Martin Truex Jr. (2007, 2012) lead all active drivers in NASCAR Cup Series poles at Texas Motor Speedway.
  •  Seven of the 22 NASCAR Cup Series Texas winners are active this weekend: Kyle Busch with four wins; Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick with three wins each; and Tyler Reddick, Kyle Larson, Austin Dillon, and Joey Logano with one win each. 
  • The third starting position is the most prolific starting position in the field at Texas Motor Speedway, producing more wins (eight) than any other (19.05%) – 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 Chevrolet with 16 wins, followed by Ford with 15.
  • Hendrick Motorsports leads the NASCAR Cup Series in wins at Texas Motor Speedway with 10, followed by Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing who are tied with nine wins each.
  • Kyle Busch leads all active drivers with four Texas Playoff wins (2020, '18, '16, '13).
  • Kevin Harvick (2017, 2019) and Martin Truex Jr. (2007, 2012) lead all active drivers in NASCAR Cup Series poles at Texas Motor Speedway as well as 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 leads the series in Top-10 finishes at Texas Motor Speedway with 24.
  • Tyler Reddick (four starts) leads the NASCAR Cup Series in average finishing position at Texas Motor Speedway with a 6.750.
  • Kyle Busch (32 starts) leads all active series drivers in laps led at Texas with 1,069. 
Remember, if you're playing Driver Group Game, make your initial picks by 12:50 p.m. ET on Saturday, September 23rd, and your final picks by 3:30 p.m. ET on race day Sunday, September 24th.

Enjoy the race!
Carol D'Agostino has been playing Fantasy NASCAR for 16 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: Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 at Texas NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 at Texas Reviewed by Carol D'Agostino on Saturday, September 23, 2023 Rating: 5