This article is part of our NASCAR DFS series.
O'Reilly Auto Parts 500
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Course: Texas Motor Speedway
Format: 1.5-mile quad-oval
Chase Elliott interrupted Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin's party by winning the mid-week All-Star Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. It was Elliott's first trip to Victory Lane since since Charlotte in May. Cole Custer also got in on the fun by winning in his rookie season with a last-lap pass at Kentucky where Harvick finished fourth. His win jumbled the playoff picture, putting Jimmie Johnson on the bubble with a 24-point cushion to Austin Dillon in 17th position. Nine races remain the regular season and drivers without a win yet this season are feeling the pressure build each week.
This week the series visits Texas Motor Speedway where Harvick and Hamlin took the two victories last season. The track is another 1.5-mile quad-oval similar to Charlotte and Atlanta where Kevin Harvick, Chase Elliott, and Brad Keselowski have all scored wins this season. Aric Almirola and Ryan Blaney will share the front row for Sunday's race with brothers Kyle and Kurt Busch making up the second row after the random draw for starting position.
Key Stats at Texas Motor Speedway
- Number of races: 38
- Winners from pole: 4
- Winners from top-5 starters: 23
- Winners from top-10 starters: 30
- Winners from 21st or lower starters: 5
- Fastest race: 160.577 mph
Previous 10 Texas Winners
2019 fall - Kevin Harvick
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
Texas is a horsepower track, and the team with the most power so far this season has seemed to be Hendrick Motorsports. The Ford teams have been in with a shout, though. That could mean that the Toyota teams might be worried about this weekend's race at Texas if their early-season gap in power hasn't been closed yet. While the configuration at Texas may resemble Atlanta and Charlotte, turns 1 and 2 and its newer pavement are the biggest differences. As part of a repaving project in 2017 turns 1 and 2 also had their banking reduced. Those two features make Texas stand out from Atlanta with its rough surface and Charlotte with its similar banking at opposite ends. The differences mean tire wear won't be as large of a factor as it was in Atlanta, and the lines drivers take won't be as uniform as they were in Charlotte. The race date moving to the summer from the spring could also make grip hard to come by on a hot greasy surface this weekend. For all of those factors, fantasy players will also want to put a greater emphasis on drivers starting inside the top 10 as track position and clean air is likely to be a factor.
DRAFTKINGS VALUE PICKS (Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)
DraftKings Tier 1 Values
DraftKings Tier 2 Values
DraftKings Tier 3 Values
DraftKings Long-Shot Values
MY PICKS THIS WEEK
Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)
Team Ryan makes up the lower-risk lineup this week at Texas with Ryan Blaney (DK $8,900, FD $11,200), Ryan Newman (DK $6,300, FD $7,500), and Ryan Preece (DK $5,700, FD $4,500) anchoring the selections. Chase Elliott (DK $10,000, FD $12,000), fresh off of his All-Star win, will look to add another win on a track similar to where he got his first win of 2020. In eight Texas starts Elliott has two top-fives and five top-10s. Like Elliott, Brad Keselowski (DK $9,700, FD $10,800) also won at Charlotte this season. He has never won at Texas but does have a pair of runner-up finishes along with five top-fives and eight top-10s. Kyle Busch (DK $9,300, FD $12,400) may still be on the hunt for a 2020 win, but it still seems like just a matter of time before it happens for him. He won three times at Texas, and a fourth this week wouldn't be a shock. Ryan Blaney will start eighth on Sunday and led 95 laps in his last three Texas races. Newman won at Texas in 2003 and delivered two top-15 finishes in the two races there last season, while Preece will be aiming for his first Texas top-20 finish. Fantasy players should expect a mid-20s performance from him this week with the optimistic possibility of a finish in the teens. Chris Buescher could also be a good choice in this position.
Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)
Kevin Harvick (DK $11,300, FD $14,500) is a safe play this week, but his price makes the rest of the lineup a bit of a gamble. Harvick has been extremely consistent in recent weeks, and he has also been one of the best at Texas, too. Three wins 11 top-fives, and 22 top-10s from 34 career starts is an excellent record there. Jimmie Johnson (DK $9,000, FD $8,800) needs to get over his bad luck and put the speed he has shown this season into Victory Lane. This could be a good track to gamble on him doing that. With seven career wins at the track, he is one of the best to have raced there. Aric Almirola (DK $8,100, FD $10,600) has been in the best form of his career and leads the points among non-winners. He is optimistic about his chances this weekend and will start from pole. Another driver with Chevrolet horsepower to consider is Kurt Busch (DK $7,900, FD $10,500). The Chip Ganassi Racing driver won at Texas in 2009 and only finished outside of the top 10 once in the last nine races there. While Clint Bowyer (DK $7,700, FD $9,700) may still be seeking consistent finishes, his results have been trending in a better direction as summer as progressed. He has an average Texas finish of 15.5 from his 28 career starts and was the runner up in this race last season. Fantasy managers can then use Chris Buescher (DK $5,800, FD $6,500) to slot into the final spot. He has three top-20s in his last four Texas races.