DraftKings NASCAR: O'Reilly Auto Parts 500

DraftKings NASCAR: O'Reilly Auto Parts 500

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
Laps: 334

Race Preview

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series gets back to action in Texas after taking a quick breather last weekend. Clint Bowyer made his return to Victory Lane just before the break in a snow-delayed race at Martinsville Speedway. It was a top-shelf display that added another win to Stewart-Haas Racing's tally for 2018. Series leader Kevin Harvick is the latest winner at this week's track,however. He led 38 of the 334 laps on hand last fall to edge out Martin Truex Jr., who led a race high 107 laps. This will be the second time this season the cars have raced on a similarly configured 1.5-mile oval. Harvick won that February race in Atlanta, too. He led 181 laps that time out, which was the first of his three-race win streak before he crash out in Fontana. Teams chasing the Ford-powered machines have had a week to regroup, and fantasy players will get a glimpse of just how much progress they've made this weekend when the O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 gets underway.

Key Stats at Texas Motor Speedway

Number of previous races: 34
Winners from pole: 3
Winners from top-5 starters: 20
Winners from top-10 starters: 26
Winners from 21st or lower starters: 5
Fastest race: 160.577 mph

Last 10 Texas Motor Speedway Winners

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
2013 spring - Kyle Busch

Like Atlanta and Charlotte, Texas Motor Speedway is a fast 1.5-mile quad-oval. While configured similarly, the tracks are noticeably different. The biggest difference is that Texas has shallower banking (20-degrees) in turns 1 and 2 versus turns 3 and 4 (24-degrees). The different banking at each end of the track makes it a bigger challenge for teams to find the optimal setup. Some cars quick at one end of the track may lose ground in the next set of corners, which makes for seesaw battles throughout a fuel run. The track was repaved prior to last season's races when the banking was also reduced in turns 1 and 2. Last year's contests saw single-lane racing, but there should be a wider groove with an extra year of wear and a new left-side tire compound from Goodyear. Track position is a major factor here, and teams will work hard throughout the afternoon to make sure their drivers stay as close to the front as possible. Restarts should play an important role in determining who comes out on top. For example, fantasy players might remember that while Jimmie Johnson won this race last season, it was Ryan Blaney who won both of the opening stages only to fade after contact and issues in the pits. Handling, smooth stops and mastering restarts are likely to be factors in who is running up front on Sunday.

(Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)

DraftKings Tier 1 Values

Kevin Harvick - $11,500
Martin Truex Jr. - $10,600
Kyle Busch - $10,400
Brad Keselowski - $10,200

DraftKings Tier 2 Values

Chase Elliott - $9,900
Kyle Larson - $9,700
Joey Logano - $9,100
Ryan Blaney - $8,900

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Clint Bowyer - $8,100
Erik Jones - $7,900
Alex Bowman - $7,600
Paul Menard - $7,300

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $6,900
Ty Dillon - $6,400
A.J. Allmendinger - $6,300
Chris Buescher - $5,900


Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Kyle Busch - $10,400
Joey Logano - $9,100
Ryan Blaney - $8,900
Aric Almirola - $8,300
Daniel Suarez - $7,200
Chris Buescher - $5,900

After another strong finish at Martinsville two weeks ago, Kyle Busch is the prime contender for a race win. He has run consistently inside the top five all season and gets hungrier to score that elusive 2018 win with every passing day. Backing him up is Penske Racing's Logano. Texas Motor Speedway is one of Logano's better tracks. His lowest finish in the last four races here was seventh last fall when he started 36th. He won this race in 2014, too. Another Penske driver on the cusp of coming out on top is Blaney. He led 148 laps in this race last season before troubles relegated him to a 12th-place finish. He was third in Martinsville, and fantasy players should be expecting another top-five finish from him this week. Almirola carries the Stewart-Haas Racing banner in the lower-risk lineup for Texas. He's taking the No. 10 car to new heights in the series since taking over as pilot by not finishing outside of the top 15 yet this season. While Suarez has been relatively quiet compared to his teammates, he's a good play this deep in a roster. His bargain price represents a somewhat inconsistent start to the year, but he finished in the top 10 at Phoenix and was 15th in Atlanta. Not many fifth-selection drivers offer similar opportunity. Finally, Buescher has started to get ahold of the new Chevrolet. He's running better as the season progresses, and his 15t-place finish at Las Vegas is indicative of what he could do on fantasy rosters this week.

Higher-Risk Lineup
($50K Salary Cap)

Kevin Harvick - $11,500
Denny Hamlin - $9,400
Kurt Busch - $8,500
Paul Menard - $7,300
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $6,900
Ty Dillon - $6,400

The higher-risk lineup for the O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 is headed by none other than the dominant driver of the season to date. Kevin Harvick is already an early favorite to win this week and is also the most recent victor at the circuit. Denny Hamlin has been quick each week as well, and an off week will have given the team a chance to improve upon their already strong start to the campaign. Hamlin has two Texas wins and led 65 laps before finishing third here last fall to Harvick. Since the track was repaved last season Kurt Busch has seen an upward turn in his Texas results. He finished in the top 10 both visits since and started from pole in last fall's race. Paul Menard's is more inconsistent than Almirola so far in 2018, but he possesses the potential to score a top-15 this week considering his 17th-place February finish in Atlanta. Roush Fenway Racing hasn't matched the promise they showed last season in their climb back to the upper echelons of the sport, but they have been improving. Texas has been pretty good for Stenhouse, too. He has four top-20 finishes from his last five Texas visits. Dillon rounds off the selections as another driver entirely capable of finishing inside the top 20 if he and the team can avoid making mistakes.

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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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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