1) Kevin Harvick (Starting – 2nd)
Texas Fantasy Spin – Kevin Harvick is a driver who you can pick with confidence at Texas. He won here last fall, and this year he’s been dominant at the two 1.5 mile tracks visited. When you combine those two variables it’s clear he’ll be the favorite. Last year at Texas nobody was better than Harvick. He’s the only driver who swept the top five and in both races he earned the best driver rating. Las Vegas was the most similar track visited and earlier this year Harvick was the class of the field. He raced his way to victory lane, won every stage, earned a perfect driver rating and led 214 laps. I think what happened at Las Vegas will have a lot of correlation to Texas. On Sunday look for Harvick to finish in the top five and be a serious threat to win.
Texas Track History – Kevin Harvick had a stellar 2018 at Texas. Last fall he raced his way to victory lane after making a late pass on Truex Jr. for the lead. In addition to winning he earned the best driver rating, had a 3rd place average running position, led 38 laps, won Stage #1 and finished 2nd in Stage #2. Last spring he was also fast. In that race he earned the best driver rating, had a 3rd place average running position, finished 4th and led 77 laps.
2) Martin Truex Jr. (Starting – 6th)
Texas Fantasy Spin – Martin Truex Jr. will be tough to beat at Texas. Last year in the “Lone Star State” he had a great season and there’s no reason to think he won’t perform well again. He’s a super-elite performer at intermediate tracks and he recently won at Auto Club Speedway in impressive fashion. At 1.5 mile tracks he’s arguably the best in the business. At these venues he currently has 8 straight top 5’s and thirteen straight top 8 finishes. This year at the two 1.5 mile tracks visited he’s been strong and has results of 4th and 5th. One attribute you have to like about Truex is his momentum. Over the last five races he has a 3.8 average finish and has had a result in the top five every race. On Sunday look for Truex Jr. to finish in the top five and compete for the win.
Texas Track History – Last year at Texas on the new surface Truex Jr. ranked as one of the best. Between the combined events he had the 2nd best driver rating, a 5th place average running position, and led the most laps (156). Last fall Truex Jr. had a strong showing and nearly raced his way to victory lane but Kevin Harvick passed him late. When the checkered flag waved he finished 2nd, earned the 2nd best driver rating, had a 4th place average running position and led a race high 107 laps. Additionally he finished 2nd in Stage #1 and 4th in Stage #2. Last spring he also ran well and came home with an 8th place finish. Additionally he earned the 3rd best driver rating, had a 6th place average running position and led 49 laps.
Further Recommended: Practice Notes/ Practice Speeds Center, DraftKings Playability Value Chart, Likely Finish Ranges, Speed Cheat Sheet, DraftKings Start Page, Fantasy NASCAR Start Page, Texas Starting Lineup
3) Kyle Busch (Starting – 8th)
Texas Fantasy Spin – Kyle Busch will be a factor at Texas. He’s been knocking on the door victory lane and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he finds it at Texas. Over the last four races entering the weekend he’s finished in the top 3 every race, has the best average finish (2.3), best average running position (3.8) and has the best driver rating. This year at 1.5 mile tracks which correlate to a successful showing at Texas he’s been strong. He finished 7th at Atlanta and at Las Vegas which is the more similar of the two he finished 2nd. Last year at Texas, Busch didn’t run well in either race so he’ll likely have some out of sync potential. On Sunday look for Busch to compete for a top five.
Texas Track History – In 2017 at Texas Kyle Busch didn’t run well in either race. Last fall no fantasy lessons could be learned from his afternoon. When the race went green he had contact with Keselowski which led to him making an unexpected pit stop on lap #2 which dropped him two laps down. When the checkered flag waved he finished 19th. Last spring Joe Gibbs Racing was in a performance lull and he was just OK. He finished 15th, had a 14th place average running position and earned the 14th best driver rating.