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

Martin Truex Jr. became the first driver to lock up a spot in the championship final at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver dominated the First Data 500 at Martinsville Speedway, sweeping the stage victories and taking his seventh race win of the season. Two races remain for the other seven remaining contenders to earn their spot in the championship battle and next up is Texas Motor Speedway where Truex's teammate Denny Hamlin took his second victory of the season back in March. Ford and Toyota have kept Chevrolet out of Victory Lane at the track the past two years, but Jimmie Johnson and William Byron finished in the top six earlier this season. The circuit hosts the second race of the final round of eliminations that will decide the four championship contenders in Miami. After Martinsville Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney, and Kevin Harvick are behind the cutline and will need to gather points or win to climb into the top four. Gibbs drivers hold the top three positions while Joey Logano's gap back to Harvick is 14 points. Anything can happen in the next two races as the championship decider continues to take shape.  

Key Stats at Texas Motor Speedway

  • Number of previous races: 37
  • Winners from pole: 3
  • Winners from top-5 starters: 22
  • Winners from top-10 starters: 29
  • Winners from 21st or lower starters: 5
  • Fastest race: 160.577 mph

Previous 10 Texas Winners

2019 spring - Denny Hamlin

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

Texas Motor Speedway is a high-speed 1.5-mile oval that has featured some very entertaining racing in recent seasons. The configuration of the circuit is a bit different than the other 1.5-mile quad-ovals on the schedule since a reprofile of the first two turns changed the banking and characteristics of the cars on that portion of the track. That has not significantly changed the fact that the circuit requires significant power and exceptional handling through a fuel run for a driver to remain competitive. As is typical, drivers and teams will look to maximize power off of the turns and down the long straights while the multiple grooves offer options for drivers to adjust their lines to find speed. Track position and restarts have proven to be decisive factors in race outcomes and that could enable teams to take gambles on pit strategy. Fantasy owners will want to make sure they follow practice and qualifying timesheets since drivers that start quickly at this circuit tend to carry that pace well into the race. Qualifying up front should help drivers earn stage points but as the distance wears on you can expect handling and strategy to jumble the order amongst those front runners.

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

DraftKings Tier 1 Values  

Martin Truex Jr. - $11,500

Kyle Busch - $11,200

Denny Hamlin - $10,800

Chase Elliott - $10,100

DraftKings Tier 2 Values  

Joey Logano - $9,800

Ryan Blaney - $9,400

Kyle Larson - $9,200

Kurt Busch - $9,000

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Clint Bowyer - $8,800

Jimmie Johnson - $8,600

Erik jones - $8,400

Ryan Newman - $7,800

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Aric Almirola - $7,500

Daniel Suarez - $7,200

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $6,800

Ty Dillon - $6,500

MY PICKS THIS WEEK

Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Denny Hamlin - $10,800

Ryan Blaney - $9,400

William Byron - $8,000

Ryan Newman - $7,800

Daniel Suarez - $7,200

Ty Dillon - $6,500

Despite an encounter with Joey Logano at Martinsville, Denny Hamlin still managed to finish in the top five, which was also his fourth consecutive. He is the Texas winner from earlier this season and has two other track wins as well. Ryan Blaney waited until late in the season to add his name to the list of winners but is full of confidence after a strong fifth-place run at Martinsville. He led 45 laps at Texas earlier this year before overheating issues pushed him out of the race. He started on pole and finished second in this race last season. William Byron also should be smiling after his runner-up finish last week. That was his second top-five in a row and gives him momentum heading to Texas where he has two top-10 finishes from three tries. After recent struggles Ryan Newman is hitting the top 10 again. He was second at Talladega and 10th at Martinsville. He has a 2003 Texas victory on his resume and finished 11th there in March. Daniel Suarez may seem like a risky choice this week. He has four finishes of 30th or lower from the last five races but was a top-five car throughout the race weekend at Texas already this year. He led nine laps in that race and has an average finish of 18.6 from five track starts. Ty Dillon fits a similar mold. He finished outside of the top 20 in three of the last five races but has a 19.5 average Texas finish from six career starts.

Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Martin Truex Jr. - $11,500

Clint Bowyer - $8,800

Erik Jones - $8,400

Aric Almirola - $7,500

Austin Dillon - $7,000

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $6,800

Martin Truex Jr. might be the hottest driver in the series at the moment. He is the first driver to book a spot among the final four and won the first two races when the playoffs got underway. He finished 12th at Texas in March but led 10 laps in that race. He also had a string of six consecutive top-10s at the track prior to the 2018 season. Clint Bowyer finished second last time out at this track despite starting 25th. That was his third finish of 11th or better at Texas in the five most recent races. Erik Jones adds some Joe Gibbs Racing dominance to this lineup. Jones is on a run of three consecutive fourth-place Texas finishes and has just one finish worse than 12th at the circuit in his six-race career there. Aric Almirola has back-to-back top-10 Texas finishes in the last two races there. Prior to 2018 he had just one top-10 at the track, which shows he has found what it takes to be successful at the venue since joining Stewart-Haas Racing. Austin Dillon and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. should also be expected to outperform normal expectations at this track. Both are outside of the top 20 in points but both were also top-20 cars last time out at Texas. Dillon led five laps here in the spring, too.

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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