The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series gallops into Texas Motor Speedway for the seventh race of the season, the Duck Commander 500. Brian Brown took a look at past performances, season trends, and spoke with NASCAR contacts to predict how the field should finish on Saturday.
When: Saturday, April 11; 7:46 p.m./et.
Weather: Chance of thunderstorms with a high around 82 degrees; wind out of the South at 16 mph. There is an 80 percent chance of precipitation.
The Track: Texas MotorSpeedway
Texas Motor Speedway is a 1.5 quad-oval. It has intermediate 24 degree banking on the turns and surface at Texas has great grip allowing cars can run wide-open the entire way around. This is the third stop at a 1.5 mile track this season. Kevin Harvick has dominated 1.5 mile tracks so far this year. He once again will be the man to beat.
Key to Race: ARACE FOR THE BIG BOYS
As we mentioned above Kevin Harvick will be tough to beat. Jimmie Johnson has four career wins at Texas and has led 446 laps at the track the past two races and is, as always, an option to compete with Harvick.
46 cars will attempt to qualify for 43 spots.
Fantasy Cheat Sheet:
No. 4 Kevin Harvick: Harvick has been great in 13 of the last 19 races in the Lone Star State. He is our top pick once again.
No. 48 Jimmie Johnson: Johnson has led 446 laps at Texas the past two years including a win last fall. He will be tough to beat.
No. 2 Brad Keselowski: Keselowski has had six great races and five average races at Texas during his career. He has been great on 1.5 mile tracks in his career and should be inside the top five this week when the checkers fly.
No. 22 Joey Logano: Logano won at Texas last spring and should bring a similar setup this weekend. We like him in all leagues.
No. 20 Matt Kenseth: Kenseth brought one of the fastest cars to Texas the past eight races including a win during the spring race in 2011. He is one of our top picks to return to victory lane Saturday.
6 to 10
No. 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Junior looks to bounce-back from his ugly run at Martinsville. He should have the No. 88 inside the top 10 when the checkers fly.
No. 41 Kurt Busch: Busch has averaged a 17th place finish at Texas during his career, but he has driven awesome since returning from his suspension. He should be active in most leagues.
No. 78 Martin Truex Jr.: Truex Jr. has had past success at Texas and we love how he is driving so far this year. He is worth using in most leagues.
No. 5 Kasey Kahne: Kahne has found past success at TMS and is worth rolling the dice on this weekend.
No. 42 Kyle Larson: Larson is back behind the wheel of the No. 42 car after his fainting-spell at Martinsville. He notched top seven finishes in both Texas races last year and will be solid again this weekend.
11 to 20
No. 19 Carl Edwards: Edwards is starting to look more comfortable behind the wheel of the No. 19 ride. He should have it just outside the top 10 this weekend.
No. 24 Jeff Gordon: Gordon has averaged just a 27th place finish the past four races at Texas. He will be better this visit to the Lone Star State.
No. 11 Denny Hamlin: Hamlin has averaged an 11th place finish at Texas during his career. He will finish right around his average this weekend.
No. 31 Ryan Newman: Newman has averaged just an 18th place finish the past 10 years at Texas. However, he has been terrific in three of the last four races this season. We like him as a second driver in all leagues.
No. 16 Greg Biffle: Biffle won the 2012 spring race at Texas and he has been fast in most of the past 11 races at the track. He is worth using in all leagues this weekend.
No. 14 Tony Stewart: Smoke has been great at Texas during his career. He is worth having active on fantasy rosters this weekend.
No. 15 Clint Bowyer: Texas isn't one of Bowyer's favorite tracks, but he has found some recent success at the track. He will finish just outside the top 10.
No. 18 David Ragan: Ragan has notched five consecutive top 20 finishes this season. He is worth using in all leagues as a fifth driver.
No. 1 Jamie McMurray: Jamie Mac has seven top 10 finishes in 20 career starts at TMS. This is a good weekend to get him active on your roster.
No. 43 Aric Almirola: Almirola has four top 20 finishes so far this season. He is a great guy to sneak onto your roster.
21 to 30
No. 10 Danica Patrick: Danica drove terrific at Martinsville last race. She is staring to become a fantasy option.
No. 3 Austin Dillon: Dillon was very average his first four visits to Texas. Unfortunately until he proves otherwise he isn’t much of an option.
No. 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: Stenhouse has had past success at TMS, but will finish just outside the top 20 this visit.
No. 13 Casey Mears: Mears continues to be one of the surprises of the 2015 campaign. Keep riding him while he is hot.
No. 47 A.J. Allmendinger: A.J. started the season on fire, but has struggled the past two races. He still has potential to crack the top 15 any weekend.
No. 6 Trevor Bayne: Bayne has averaged a 23rd place finish at Texas during his career. He isn’t a bad fifth choice.
No. 27 Paul Menard: Menard has been a little faster than average at Texas the past nine races. He is a fine option.
No. 55 Brett Moffitt: Moffitt is back behind the wheel of the No. 55 car this weekend. He should finish in the mid-20s.
No. 9 Sam Hornish Jr.: Hornish has been disappointing so far this season. He isn’t much of an option.
No. 21 Ryan Blaney: Blaney is behind the No. 21 car for the third time this season. He cracked the top 20 last year at Vegas.
No. 38 David Gilliland
No. 35 Cole Whitt
No. 51 Justin Allgaier
No. 95 Michael McDowell
No. 33 Brian Scott
No. 40 Landon Cassill
No. 7 Alex Bowman
No. 46 Michael Annett
No. 34 Chris Buescher
No. 23 J.J. Yeley
No. 98 Josh Wise
No. 62 Brendan Gaughan
No. 26 Jeb Burton
No. 32 Mike Bliss
No. 39 Travis Kvapil
No. 83 Matt Dibendetto
My Yahoo! Fantasy NASCAR Team for this Week:
B. Greg Biffle
C. David Ragan