This article is part of our NASCAR DFS series.
AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 500
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Course: Texas Motor Speedway
Format: 1.5-mile quad-oval
NASCAR AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 500 Preview
The championship field has been trimmed to the final 12 contenders, and the next round of eliminations kicks off this week at Texas Motor Speedway. Chris Buescher's win a week ago at Bristol completed the three-race sweep of wins for non-playoff contenders. It was the first time a playoff driver has failed to win a race in the first elimination round since the current playoff format was introduced. His win also means that there have been 19 different winners so far this season, which ties the record originally set in 2001. With big names like Ryan Blaney and Martin Truex Jr. still winless this season, that mark could easily fall by the time the field lines up at Phoenix to end the season. Blaney will be hoping he can be the one to make that record fall this week as he works to replicate what he did in the All Star Race in May by pulling into Victory Lane again at Texas. He'll have to overcome Kyle Larson, who is the defending winner of this race, however. The playoff points have been reset for the next three-race stretch and Austin Cindric, Daniel Suarez, Alex Bowman, and Chase Briscoe all start off below the cutline. Chase Elliott returns to the top of the standings with a 27-cushion to Blaney in the eighth and final transfer position.
Key Stats at Texas Motor Speedway
- Number of races: 41
- Winners from pole: 5
- Winners from top-5 starters: 24
- Winners from top-10 starters: 32
- Winners from 21st or lower starters: 6
- Fastest race: 160.577 mph
Previous 10 Texas Winners
2021 - Kyle Larson
2020 fall - Kyle Busch
2020 spring - Austin Dillon
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
Raw speed and track position are the two things every team will be chasing this week at Texas Motor Speedway. The 1.5-mile oval is similarly configured to Charlotte and Atlanta, but all three tracks are unique. The defining feature of Texas is the different banking steepness through each set of corners. Turns 1 and 2 feature shallower banking than turns 3 and 4. That shallower banking hasn't changed the track's overall high speeds, though. Texas enables fast cars to separate themselves from the field early, and long green flag periods can cause slower cars to fall significantly behind. Cautions and restarts can become critical for that reason. Having the chance to make adjustments early can save a race, while track position gained on pit road can also turn around an otherwise difficult day. Pit strategy can be a factor at this track and unexpected cautions can upset an otherwise predictable race.
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DraftKings Value Picks for the AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 500 (Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)
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DraftKings Tier 3 Values
DraftKings Long-Shot Values
NASCAR DFS Picks for the AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 500
Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)
Chase Elliott (DK $10,500, FD $13,000) is back atop the playoff standings after the points were reset for the round of 12. He didn't have the first round he was hoping for, but survival is the goal and he accomplished that. Elliott has six top-10 finishes from 11 Texas starts and still one of the favorites to win this season's championship. Another survivor is Ryan Blaney (DK $9,600, FD $11,500). Through heroic team efforts the team is still in the playoff hunt. This round could be a better one for him, too. He won the All Star Race at this track in May and finished eighth or better in seven of his last eight starts at the track. His bad luck won't last forever and fantasy players should hold him in high regard this week. William Byron (DK $9,100, FD $11,000) has a habit of advancing deep into the playoffs. He enters the round of 12 in the fifth position and was the runner-up in this race last season. He led 55 laps in that race. One of the drivers eliminated last week at Bristol was Austin Dillon (DK $7,300, FD $7,000), who was caught in up a crash. Dillon is a former winner at both Texas and Charlotte, though. Richard Childress Racing have had fast cars this season and that will be a boost for Dillon this week. Brad Keselowski (DK $6,800, FD $6,000) has also had speed this season. His teammate finally won last week, and now Keselowski will be expecting his win. He has never won at Texas, but he was fourth in last year's race and boasts 11 top-10 finishes from 26 starts, including the last three. Fantasy players should also think about giving Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (DK $6,600, FD $5,800) a nod at Texas. He has been a consistent top-15 finisher at the track and is aiming to end his current slump of four finishes outside of the top 20.
Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)
One of the big names still looking for a 2022 win is Martin Truex Jr. (DK $9,800, FD $10,000). He suffered another early race exit last week at Bristol but is still working to finish the season atop the non-playoff standings. Fantasy players should still be expecting Truex to find that win before the season ends, and he was the runner-up in this race last season. Tyler Reddick (DK $9,400, FD $8,800) was bounced out of the playoffs last week, but he should still be proud of his season. He has two top-10s from three Texas starts, including a runner-up finish in the spring of 2020. Team Penske had a successful test at Homestead this past week, and Joey Logano (DK $8,900, FD $9,000) was second fastest in it. That should boost his confidence on this week's 1.5-mile oval. Bristol did not turn out the way he hoped, but he remains in the championship hunt and brings 11 top-five Texas finishes and a win into this week's start to the round of 12. Alex Bowman (DK $8,400, FD $8,000) should be a fantasy consideration this week, too. He finished fifth in this race last season leading 43 laps. He also had a tough Bristol race but stayed alive in the championship battle. He has two top-10 finishes since the playoffs began three races ago. Many didn't expect Austin Cindric (DK $7,700, FD $7,800) to still be in the playoffs at this point, but he did enough last round to advance. He was quickest in the Homestead test this past week and was third at Texas in the All Star Race earlier this year. With four top-20 finishes from the last five races it could be time to pay some attention to Justin Haley (DK $5,700, FD $4,500). He's scored a number of top-15 finishes this season, and his consistency has improved over the past few weeks, a good sign for fantasy players. He had a dismal race at Texas last season with an early crash but could be a top-15 contender this time around.