DraftKings NASCAR: AAA Texas 500
DraftKings NASCAR: AAA Texas 500

This article is part of our DraftKings NASCAR series.

AAA Texas 500

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

Race Preview

Joey Logano topped Martin Truex Jr. in a final-lap duel to walk away from Martinsville Speedway with the first of four championship playoff spots secured. The win wasn't without its share of controversy, though. Truex was vocal that he would stop Logano from winning the championship after taking a dim view of Logano's contact with him to make the pass. In short, Martinsville, in the final round of the playoffs, produced everything NASCAR expected and fans wanted. The circus rolls on to Texas Motor Speedway, with this week offering the seven other championship contenders not named Logano one of two remaining chances to guarantee themselves a shot at the title in Miami. Kyle Busch took victory there in April in his first of seven wins so far this season. Brother Kurt Busch started from pole that day, but it was the Kyle and Kevin Harvick show after that. The pair of championship rivals led 203 of 334 laps that day, setting up the championship tussle we're witnessing now. However, despite being the favorites for much of the season, neither has their spot at Homestead confirmed just yet. Two races remain to get that job done, and the pressure continues to increase with each round.

Key Stats at Texas Motor Speedway

Number of previous races: 35
Winners from pole: 3
Winners from top-5 starters: 21
Winners from top-10 starters: 27
Winners from 21st or lower starters: 5
Fastest race: 160.577 mph

Last 10 Texas Winners

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
2013 fall - Jimmie Johnson

Sunday's race will be the third Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series race at the venue since the track was resurfaced and reconfigured. The pavement is still relatively new, and for that reason Goodyear is bringing the same right-side tire compound used at Michigan in an effort to create more natural tire wear. The wider surface and grippy pavement meant higher speeds in the last three visits despite shaving two degrees of banking off of turns 1 and 2. Harvick had to overcome a slow stop and a loose wheel to come from a lap down to challenge Busch for the win in the final stage, but Busch was able to keep the lead to earn his first win of the season and third at the circuit. All three manufacturers have visited Victory Lane here in the last three races, and Truex is the only one of the three title favorites to have not won at the circuit. Restarts and track position will be critical to success on Sunday, as they often are at most 1.5-mile ovals. Drivers will search for the best line for the way their car is handling throughout a fuel run, and mistakes on pit road will be punished with the quick lap times. Kyle Busch executed his strategy to perfection last time here, but Harvick may have walked away with it were it not for his early mistakes.

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

DraftKings Tier 1 Values

Kyle Busch - $12,200
Kevin Harvick - $11,700
Martin Truex Jr. - $11,100
Joey Logano - $10,500

DraftKings Tier 2 Values

Chase Elliott - $9,700
Clint Bowyer - $9,300
Kurt Busch - $8,900
Ryan Blaney - $8,700

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Austin Dillon - $7,700
Alex Bowman - $7,600
Ryan Newman - $7,500
A.J. Allmendinger - $6,900

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Trevor Bayne - $6,600
Bubba Wallace - $6,000
William Byron - $5,800
Ross Chastain - $4,800

MY PICKS THIS WEEK

Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Kevin Harvick - $11,700
Martin Truex Jr. - $11,100
Aric Almirola - $8,100
Ryan Newman - $7,500
Bubba Wallace - $6,000
Ty Dillon - $5,600

A lower-risk lineup option for Texas includes both Truex and Harvick. Harvick nearly won at the track earlier this season, and Truex was on a run of six consecutive top-10 Texas finishes before crashing out in the spring race. Harvick's teammate Almirola qualified 12th for the last visit to Texas, but also crashed out. He felt confident about his chances this week after his teammates showed so much speed there earlier, too. Newman added his ninth top-10 finish of the season last week at Martinsville and has scored three top-15 finishes in the last five races. He is on an upward swing in momentum, and should be capable of another top-15 this week. Wallace had a week to forget in Martinsville, but he scored a top-10 at Texas in the spring. That result should give him and fantasy owners confidence of a quick return to form at Texas. Like Wallace, Dillon also outperformed expectations at the spring Texas race. He finished 13th in that outing and has picked up two top-15s in the last three races. He, like Newman, is on an upward trajectory, which can be a good thing for fantasy rosters.

Higher-Risk Lineup
($50K Salary Cap)

Kyle Busch - $12,200
Brad Keselowski - $9,500
Clint Bowyer - $9,300
Erik Jones - $8,300
William Byron - $5,800
Ross Chastain - $4,800

Kyle Busch is the priciest driver this week at Texas. He held off Harvick for his third win at the track earlier this year. The pressure is on to win a spot at Homestead for the championship battle, and he'll be pulling out all the stops to get another victory this week. Keselowski has started to emulate teammate Logano with consistent top-10 finishes. He finished fifth and sixth in the last two races at Texas as well as the two most recent races heading into this weekend. Bowyer has been taking advantage of Stewart-Haas Racing's performance this season. He was ninth at Texas earlier this season, and is looking to add his name to the championship contenders at Homestead, too. The current season has been up and down for Jones, and his fourth-place finish at Texas was one of those up moments. He was already eliminated from the title fight, but with three top-10s in the last four races he could be one to watch this weekend. Similarly, Byron had a very impressive race to start 33rd and finish 10th at Texas in the spring. That was one of just three top-10 finishes for him this season. Chastain is still making his name in the series, and his drive from 31st to 18th at Texas earlier this season was a great selling point. He has shown pace each time he has been in the series this season, and this week should be no different.

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.
RotoWire Community
Join Our Subscriber-Only NASCAR Chat
Chat with our writers and other RotoWire NASCAR fans for all the pre-game info and in-game banter.
Join The Discussion
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
C.J. Radune
Radune covers NASCAR, Formula 1 and soccer for RotoWire. He was named the 2015 Racing Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.
NASCAR Barometer: Logano Pulls Off Upset; Wins First Championship
NASCAR Barometer: Logano Pulls Off Upset; Wins First Championship
DraftKings NASCAR: Ford EcoBoost 400
DraftKings NASCAR: Ford EcoBoost 400
Ford EcoBoost 400 Preview: Four Drivers, One Champion
Ford EcoBoost 400 Preview: Four Drivers, One Champion
NASCAR Barometer: Busch Wins Phoenix, Momentum to Homestead
NASCAR Barometer: Busch Wins Phoenix, Momentum to Homestead
DraftKings NASCAR: Can-AM 500
DraftKings NASCAR: Can-AM 500
Can-Am 500 Preview: Prelude to the Championship
Can-Am 500 Preview: Prelude to the Championship