The races at Texas Motor Speedway are typically not decided until the very end. You should expect to see plenty of green flag racing on Sunday–which means drivers will need to have a good long run car–but don’t be surprised if there’s a late caution that really decides the race (where a short run car will be better off). The drivers that have cars with good speed both on the short and long run will be the ones that will be in the best position to win this year’s AAA Texas 500.
Austin Dillon won the pole for this weekend’s race and the full starting lineup can be found here. There were also two practices on Saturday, and those results can be found here: Practice #2 — Happy Hour. Don’t forget to check out our in-depth notes for each as well: Practice #2 — Happy Hour.
Final Top 25 Ranking For Texas 2
1. Kevin Harvick – Starts 3rd – DraftKings Price: $10,900 – Yahoo! A Group
**Risk Factor: Medium Risk**
A lot of people think that Kevin Harvick is banking on his dominance at Phoenix to lock himself into the Homestead Championship race, but it’s very possible that he punches his ticket at Texas this weekend. Yes, Harvick has never won a Sprint Cup race in the Lone Star State, but he has finished 2nd or 3rd in three of the last four races here, and the #4 Chevrolet looks to have a bunch of speed this weekend. After qualifying 3rd, Harvick showed good long run speed during Practice #2 on Saturday morning, and then during Happy Hour he had the 13th-best ten-lap average. My only concern with picking “Happy” this weekend is this #4 team’s seemingly up-and-down Chase thus far, as they have four finishes of 20th or worse in the first seven races of the playoffs. Also, this #4 Chevrolet isn’t very good on the short run, so if there’s a late caution, that could be troublesome. With that being said, I think Harvick will be well in contention for the AAA Texas 500 win on Sunday, and might have a chance to lead the most laps, too.
2. Brad Keselowski – Starts 4th – DraftKings Price: $9,600 – Yahoo! A Group
**Risk Factor: Low Risk**
It’s only a matter of time before Brad Keselowski finds victory lane at Texas Motor Speedway, and it could be this weekend. Throughout his career, Kez has led 585 total laps at this race track, which is 7th-most among all active drivers. Over the last five races here, Keselowski has led a series-high 446 laps, although most of those (312) came in this race last season. Still, Brad is knocking on the door of a win here, especially with his three top 5s in the last four races in the Lone Star State. This weekend, the Blue Deuce qualified 4th and had pretty good speed during both practice sessions on Saturday. In the first practice, Keselowski was 8th on the ten-lap average chart, and then during Happy Hour he was 3rd on that chart. This #2 team has posted eight single-digit finishes in the last ten Sprint Cup races overall and has one thing and one thing only on their mind from here on out since being eliminated from the Chase: win races. And if Keselowski is able to get to victory lane here on Sunday, it’ll probably help his teammate–unless, of course, Logano is in 2nd.
3. Joey Logano – Starts 2nd – DraftKings Price: $9,400 – Yahoo! A Group
**Risk Factor: Low Risk**
A lot of people were pointing at the #22 Ford as the car to beat on Saturday, but I’m not going to jump the gun too quickly. With that being said, there are quite a few things to like about Joey Logano this weekend. First of all, this team has been getting better as the Chase has went on, and has now led in each of the last four races. They also only have one result worse than 11th since NASCAR’s playoffs started. As far as Texas Motor Speedway goes, Logano got his first career win here back in 2014, and overall he has five top 5 finishes in the last seven races at this track. The bad news? The two finishes outside of that mark have came in the last two November races here (40th last year and 12th in 2014). The #22 Ford was 9th-fastest in Practice #2 on Saturday morning and then wound up 4th on both the Happy Hour speed chart and the ten-lap average chart. I think Logano will end up with a good finish at Texas on Sunday, but as far as dominating this race, it’s hard to put him ahead of Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski (who start 3rd and 4th, respectively) in that category. He still has a chance, though.