This week, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads back to Texas Motor Speedway for the AAA Texas 500.
Texas is one of the fastest race tracks on the schedule. Last April, Kyle Busch broke the track record with a qualifying speed of 196.299 mph. The tight corners at the race track put a premium on handling. Usually, this means the crew chiefs are just as important as the drivers at Texas. Chad Knaus and the No. 48 team may be the team to beat this week.
The last race at Texas was dominated by Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. The two drivers combined to lead 313 of the 343 laps in the race. Busch started on the pole and won the race, while Truex started fifth and finished second. Both drivers would make excellent choices for your fantasy team this week.
Since the NASCAR Sprint Cup season is coming to an end, it is becoming more difficult to find drivers for your fantasy NASCAR team. For those who play the Yahoo! Fantasy Auto Racing game, selecting your teams is more about allocations than it is about who will win the race.
Since most fantasy NASCAR teams are running low on the number of starts on the good drivers, I am ranking the drivers in Group A, Group B and Group C in Yahoo! Fantasy Auto Racing to help you determine who would be the best driver for your team.
Here are my selections for the race Sunday at Texas….
Jimmie Johnson is the clear-cut favorite in Group A, but there are other drivers from this group who can compete for the win.
Matt Kenseth is a two-time winner at Texas, and he has five victories on the 1.5-mile race tracks this season.
Kevin Harvick has completed half of the races he has started at Texas in the top 10. He will finish in the top 10 again this week.
Brad Keselowski is a good sleeper pick this week. Historically, he is not very good at Texas, but he finished second in this race last year and ninth in the April race.
Below are my rankings for Group A. It will be hard to go wrong with any of these drivers this week.
- Jimmie Johnson
- Matt Kenseth
- Kevin Harvick
- Brad Keselowski
- Jeff Gordon
- Clint Bowyer
- Kasey Kahne
- Denny Hamlin
Group B will offer fantasy players some top talent this week.
If Jimmie Johnson is the favorite to win the race, Kyle Busch should be the co-favorite. Busch dominated the last race at Texas and finished third in this race last year. If you have any starts left with him, this is the week to use it.
Martin Truex Jr. is historically good at the 1.5-mile race tracks. He had a great car in the spring race and should have the same setup this week. This would be a good time to use Truex and save a start with a top driver from this group.
My sleeper pick in Group B is Aric Almirola. He started third and finished seventh in the April race at Texas. He could be a surprise top-10 finisher this week.
Below are my rankings for Group B. The top 10 drivers on this list are all good choices this week.
- Kyle Busch
- Martin Truex Jr.
- Carl Edwards
- Greg Biffle
- Joey Logano
- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
- Kurt Busch
- Ryan Newman
- Aric Almirola
- Jamie McMurray
- Juan Pablo Montoya
- Jeff Burton
- Paul Menard
- Mark Martin
- Marcos Ambrose
- Bobby Labonte
Fantasy NASCAR players always try to save their best drivers in Group C so they will have them at the end of the season. There is no need to save drivers from this group. Drivers who are auditioning for open spots next season always appear in Group C in the final races. That is the case this week.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is still the best choice from this group, but most fantasy teams already used their nine starts with Stenhouse. If you have any starts left with Stenhouse, it would be wise to use him this week.
Elliott Sadler will continue to drive the No. 55 car for Brian Vickers. Last week, Sadler qualified in the back, but was able to finish in the top 25.
Austin Dillon will be back in the No. 33 car. He has competed in 10 races this season in the Sprint Cup Series. His average finishing position is 23rd. Most fantasy teams would take a 23rd place finish from their Group C driver.
Trevor Bayne will drive the No. 21 car for the Wood Brothers this week. Bayne also competed in 10 races this season with an average finishing position of 25th.
Below are my rankings for Group C. The top five drivers on this list are all good choices this week.
- Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
- Elliott Sadler
- Austin Dillon
- Trevor Bayne
- Kyle Larson
- David Ragan
- Casey Mears
- Danica Patrick
- Cole Whitt
- David Reutimann
Yahoo! Fantasy Auto Racing Picks
Group A: Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon
Group B: Martin Truex, Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle, Ryan Newman
Group C: Elliott Sadler, Austin Dillon
*My team is out of starts with Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.; otherwise, I would have them in my lineup.
Fantasy Live Picks
Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, Joey Logano, Kyle Larson
If you need any further advice with your team, look for me on Twitter @MrFantasyNASCAR
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