Draft Kings: NASCAR Texas
Draft Kings: NASCAR Texas

This article is part of our DraftKings NASCAR series.

O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 

Location: Fort Worth, Texas 
Course: Texas Motor Speedway 
Format: 1.5-mile quad-oval 
Laps: 334 

Race Preview 

Brad Keselowski dominated last weekend's race at Martinsville, leading more than 400 of the 500 scheduled laps. Teammate Joey Logano started from pole, but he fell from the top spot early in the first stage, which is right where Keselowski picked up. The No. 2 team never put a foot wrong and seemed to come out on top of every trip to pit road along the way to their second win of the season. Keselowski now stands just behind Kyle Busch in the season standings, both resting comfortably knowing they will be part of the playoff picture. Kyle Busch clicked off another top-five finish last week, but didn't have the edge to battle Keselowski shoulder to shoulder. Busch is the defending race winner at Texas, though. He led 116 of the 334 laps here last spring. Winless Kevin Harvick is still working to discover the missing ingredient that will push him from the top five into the winner's spot.  He is the last Texas winner, leading 177 laps after starting third at the track last fall. In fact, Harvick has won two of the last three trips to this track. He hasn't found the magic formula to hoist himself into Victory Lane this year yet, though. 

Key Stats at Texas Motor Speedway 

• Number of previous races: 36 
• Winners from pole: 3 
• Winners from top-5 starters: 22 
• Winners from top-10 starters: 28 
• Winners from 21st or lower starters: 5 
• Fastest race: 160.577 mph 

Last 10 Texas Winners 

2018 fall - Kevin Harvick
2018 spring - Kyle Busch
2017 fall - Kevin Harvick
2017 spring - Jimmie Johnson
2016 fall - Carl Edwards 
2016 spring - Kyle Busch
2015 fall - Jimmie Johnson
2015 spring - Jimmie Johnson
2014 fall - Jimmie Johnson
2014 spring - Joey Logano

While Texas is one of three 1.5-mile quad-oval tracks on the NASCAR schedule the speedway has taken steps to differentiate itself. The track was once well worn and rough on tires but was repaved and reprofiled ahead of the 2017 season. That change resulted in the banking in turns 1 and 2 reduced by four degrees with the surface widened 20 feet in that section. An important factor, like many 1.5-mile ovals, is track position. Harvick survived to chase Busch to the finish line last season despite pit road trouble that saw him lose the advantage of having the fastest car in clean air. Getting out front and choosing how to deal with traffic allows the leader to dictate much of the race at these circuits and Sunday is likely to be no different despite the rule changes that were meant to bring racing closer throughout the field. Tire wear and handling have still proven to be significant determinants of success and failure with this new package and fantasy owners should expect the same to play out this weekend, too. Ford has continued to flex its muscle, but Kyle Busch and Toyota have been in close step. Still closing the gap have been the Chevrolet machines of Kurt Busch and Chase Elliott, while Jimmie Johnson was consistently quick throughout Friday's on-track activity. 

DRAFTKINGS VALUE PICKS (Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap) 

DraftKings Tier 1 Values  

Kyle Busch - $12,200 
Joey Logano - $11,600 
Kevin Harvick - $10,700 
Ryan Blaney - $10,200 

DraftKings Tier 2 Values  

Denny Hamlin - $9,800 
Chase Elliott - $8,600 
Aric Almirola - $8,400 
Erik Jones - $8,200 

DraftKings Tier 3 Values 

Austin Dillon - $7,800 
Daniel Suarez - $7,500 
William Byron - $7,300 
Alex Bowman - $7,100 

DraftKings Longshot Values 

Paul Menard - $6,600 
Chris Buescher - $6,400 
Matt DiBenedetto - $6,300 
Ty Dillon - $5,800 

MY PICKS THIS WEEK

Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap) 

Joey Logano - $11,600 
Kevin Harvick - $10,700 
Erik Jones - $8,200 
Paul Menard - $6,600 
Alex Bowman - $7,100 
Ty Dillon - $5,800 

Joey Logano has been exceptional at Texas. He may only have one track victory, but he also has only finished outside of the top 10 in two of his visits since the 2013 season. Penske Racing has been strong this season and that could mean Logano is poised for another win on Sunday. Kevin Harvick hasn't quite gotten things right so far this year. Texas could be the venue he fixes that, though. He won the fall Texas race and has led most of his 495 laps led at the circuit the past two seasons. Erik Jones is another driver looking to get things correct this season. He has just one top-10 finish so far this year but finished fourth in both Texas stops in 2018. Menard sits 20th in points currently and picked up his third top-15 of the season last week at Martinsville. He finished 13th at Texas in the fall and momentum may now be starting to grow. Similarly, Alex Bowman sits just one point out of the playoffs. In his last three Texas visits he has two tpo-15s and would tally his fifth of the season if he did it again this week. He was quick early on Friday, but had to go to a back-up car after contact in qualifying. That should net some finish differential points for those who choose him. Ty Dillon is also one for fantasy owners to watch this week. He had top-15s at Phoenix and Martinsville but has found the going more difficult at the faster speedways. His pace on Friday indicated he could turn that trend around this week, though.  

Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap) 

Kyle Busch - $12,200 
Ryan Blaney - $10,200 
Aric Almirola - $8,400 
Daniel Hemric - $6,800 
Chris Buescher - $6,400 
Ross Chastain - $5,600 

Fantasy players looking to ride Kyle Busch's momentum will pay a premium this week. That isn't a bad move since he is the defending race winner and has three track victories, though. It could be smart to pair him with Ryan Blaney, too. Blaney has been on the edge of victory this season and needs a bit of luck to join his two teammates with a win. Blaney finished second in the fall Texas race last season and hasn't finished worse than 12th at the track since 2016. Aric Almirola has also been on an upswing in confidence. He has two Texas top-10s, but his past results should be heavily discounted. He is seventh in the standings and currently on a run of five consecutive top-10 finishes. If Daniel Hemric's finishes can start matching his starts he will make a good fantasy option most weeks. He finished in the top 10 three out of four times at this track in the Xfinity series and was 11th fastest in the opening practice. Chris Buescher could also be a good selection as he finished ninth in Atlanta earlier this year. He finished 15th in this race last season and this could be an up week for him. Finally, Ross Chastain continues to impress when he gets behind the wheel. This could be a great week to choose him if his performance looks like it did last season with a start of 31st and a finish of 18th. 

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. C.J. Radune plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: cjradune, RaceDayScore: cjradune.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
C.J. Radune
Radune covers NASCAR, Formula 1 and soccer for RotoWire. He was named the Racing Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association in 2012 and 2015.
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