Kevin Harvick Fantasy NASCAR

Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images

There’s more questions than answers heading into the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 race day and that typically means it’s going to be a tough day in the Fantasy NASCAR world. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend, which is usually a cut-and-dry race. However, they repaved this track over the off-season and it has been a monster for these drivers to handle this weekend. Getting out of the groove even an inch sends your car spinning, and while track conditions should improve by and during the race on Sunday, drivers will still be hesitant. Add in the fact that nine teams missed out on qualifying on Friday and we have a recipe brewing for a wreck-fest this weekend. Drivers have said it’s going to be nearly impossible to pass on Sunday but we have 500 miles to race and a tire that has no falloff whatsoever, meaning strategy is going to come into play big time.

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Final Top 25 Ranking For The Texas O’Reilly Auto Parts 500

1. Kevin Harvick – Starts 1st – DraftKings Price: $10,000 – Yahoo! A Group
**Risk Factor: Low Risk**

Kevin Harvick will be looking for some Atlanta redemption this weekend, as he hasn’t led a single lap since dominating that race but letting it slip away during that final pit stop. And honestly, this is the first time since Atlanta that the #4 Ford has looked competitive enough to win. Harvick won all three rounds of qualifying on Friday and will have the best track position of all drivers to start the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 with. As far as race speed goes, the #4 Ford didn’t look terrible on Saturday; during Practice #2, Harvick had just the 19th-fastest lap, but he said he was very happy with the car, and in Happy Hour, he wound up 12th on the overall speed chart with similar remarks. This “new” Texas Motor Speedway is getting a lot of comparisons to Kentucky Speedway last season, and if you remember back to that race, Harvick had the best average running position (3rd) and led the most laps (128). “Happy” is also running the Xfinity race on Saturday, which should help him learn about the changes the track will go through on Saturday. Will Harvick go out and dominate this weekend’s race like he did at Atlanta? Probably not. But will he have a shot to win? Most definitely.

2. Brad Keselowski – Starts 5th – DraftKings Price: $10,500 – Yahoo! A Group
**Risk Factor: Low Risk**

There’s no reason to not consider Brad Keselowski in every Fantasy NASCAR format this weekend. First off is the fact that this “new” Texas is getting comparisons to Kentucky Speedway. Brad won at Kentucky last year and has won half of the Cup races that have been ran there. Check. Momentum? He’s coming off of his second win of the season and is currently on the best streak of his career: five straight top 5 finishes. Check. Fast car? The #2 Ford was fastest in Practice #2 on Saturday and was 9th-fastest in Happy Hour. Check. History here at Texas Motor Speedway (even though it doesn’t matter that much)? Keselowski has ended up 6th or better in five of his last nine starts here. Check. Last but not least, when you look at the Las Vegas race earlier this year–which is also a 1.5-mile track and has a similar surface to this “new” Texas–Kez started on the pole and wound up 5th after leading 89 laps. This weekend? Probably the opposite: he starts 5th and should be well within contention to wind up 1st. The number of laps led is still to be determined.

3. Joey Logano – Starts 4th – DraftKings Price: $9,800 – Yahoo! A Group
**Risk Factor: Low Risk**

Joey Logano kind of gets this final ranking by default. The #22 Ford hasn’t shown the most speed this weekend, but at the same time, you know it’s going to be there in the end. Logano qualified 4th on Friday and should be a solid top 5 threat all day long on Sunday. He has been very hit or miss here at Texas Motor Speedway throughout his career, although lately it’s been a lot more hits than misses; coming into this weekend, Joey has six top 5 finishes in the last eight Texas races, and that includes a win in this event three years ago. Also, don’t forget that he led 178 of the 293 laps here at Texas last November–for what that’s worth. Speed-wise, Logano was 6th-fastest in Practice #2 and wound up 25th-fastest in the final session on Saturday. He started 6th and finished 4th in the Las Vegas race last month and I’m honestly expecting a very similar day out of Joey here in the Lone Star State on Sunday. This #22 team has really only had one bad race this year, and that was at Phoenix. In every other 2017 Cup event, Logano has finished 6th or better. There’s really no reason to go against him this weekend. He’s probably not going to go out and dominate the race on Sunday but he will be a contender for sure.

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