The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series competes at Texas Motor Speedway this week. This is the second race in the Round of 8. The race can be seen Sunday at 2pm ET on NBC Sports Network.
My Yahoo Fantasy Auto Racing picks for Martinsville were not too bad. I scored 322 points and moved up to the top 96% (9,307 points). My streak of six consecutive seasons in the top 99% is in serious jeopardy. I will do my best to score as many points as possible to make it to the top.
Here are my picks for Texas…
Yahoo Group A Picks
Martin Truex Jr. (2) has to be the favorite to win this week. The No. 78 car has won 6 of the 11 races on the 1.5-mile tracks, including all of the races in the playoffs (Chicago, Charlotte and Kansas). Truex has also led a NASCAR record 1,023 laps in these races. I only have two allocations left with Truex and I am burning one of the Sunday. I would almost be shocked if he did not win this week.
Kevin Harvick (5) is my pick for qualifying points this week. Harvick qualified 4th at Chicago, 3rd at Charlotte and 2nd at Kansas. He also won the pole for the last race at Texas. The No. 4 team has found a lot of speed since the playoffs began. I expect Harvick to qualify on the front row and finish in the top 3 Sunday.
* I am out of allocations with Kyle Busch. I still like Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick over Busch this week.
Group A Driver Rankings: 1) Martin Truex Jr., 2) Kevin Harvick, 3) Kyle Busch, 4) Jimmie Johnson, 5) Brad Keselowski, 6) Matt Kenseth, 7) Dale Earnhardt Jr., 8) Joey Logano, 9) Denny Hamlin
Here are my allocations left with the drivers in Group A: Kyle Busch (0), Martin Truex Jr. (2), Brad Keselowski (2), Kevin Harvick (5), Joey Logano (6), Denny Hamlin (7), Jimmie Johnson (8), Matt Kenseth (9), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (9)
Yahoo Group B Picks
Kyle Larson (1) is on my team for qualifying points this week. I want to save my last allocation with Larson for Homestead but it he dominates the practice sessions and qualifies in the top four I may consider using him in the race. If the No. 42 car does not look fast, I will be confident in using Chase Elliott with either Clint Bowyer or Kasey Kahne.
Chase Elliott (2) has come so close to winning his first race. Could this be the week he finally gets the job done? The No. 24 car is no stranger to Victory Lane at Texas and they have had the speed to get the job done. Elliott has been one of the most consistent drivers on the 1.5-mile tracks in the playoffs. He finished 2nd at Chicago and Charlotte and he finished 4th at Kansas. I am using him in the race so I will just need one of my other three drivers to step it up this week.
Clint Bowyer (2) was one of the drivers who stood out when I watched the tape of the last race at Texas. It seemed as though the No. 14 car was always up front. He qualified 3rd and his average running position was 6th. He lost a lot of spots in the pits with 35 laps to go and finished 11th. Bowyer is still looking for his first win with his new team and I doubt it will happen Sunday. I do expect him to run in the top 10 again at Texas. Bowyer is most likely going to be in my starting lineup Sunday.
Kasey Kahne (5) is a reach but he is the best I have available. Texas ranks as the third-best track for Kahne. He has finished 3 of his last 5 races at the track in 8th place. Hendrick Motorsports picks up their speed since the playoffs began. Kahne has finished his last five races in the top 16. I will gladly take a top-15 finish from Kahne at Texas.
* I am out of allocations with Ryan Blaney, Jamie McMurray and Kurt Busch. I would use all of these drivers over Clint Bowyer or Kasey Kahne if I could.
Group B Driver Rankings: 1) Chase Elliott, 2) Kyle Larson, 3) Ryan Blaney 4) Jamie McMurray, 5) Kurt Busch, 6) Clint Bowyer, 7) Kasey Kahne, 8) Austin Dillon, 9) Ryan Newman, 10) Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Here are the allocations I have left in Group B: Ryan Blaney (0), Kurt Busch (0), Jamie McMurray (0), Kyle Larson (1), Chase Elliott (2), Clint Bowyer (2), Austin Dillon (4), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (5), Ryan Newman (4), AJ Allmendinger (4), Kasey Kahne (8) and all the rest 9.
Yahoo Group C Picks
Erik Jones (1) actually has more experience at Texas then he does at the other 1.5-mile tracks. He drove the No. 20 car for Matt Kenseth in this race in 2015. He started 6th and finished 12th in that race. The No. 77 has been pretty consistent on the 1.-5mile tracks this season. How can you fail when you are sharing notes with Martin Truex Jr. Jones should qualify inside the top 10 and run inside the top 10 Sunday. I plan to use my last allocation with Jones at Texas.
Ty Dillon (1) will be the driver I pair with Erik Jones this week. Dillon has been pretty good at Texas in his short career. He finished 20th in his first race and 17th at Texas in April. Dillon has been qualifying in the top 25 and finishing in the top 20. I expect the same results from Dillon this week. If for some reason Jones has problems I will feel confident using Dillon in my starting lineup.
* I am out of allocations with Daniel Suarez but I still like Erik Jones more for the race at Texas.
Group C Driver Rankings: 1) Erik Jones, 2) Daniel Suarez, 3) Ty Dillon, 4) Michael McDowell, 5) David Ragan
Here are the allocations I have left in Group C: Daniel Suarez (0), Erik Jones (1), Ty Dillon (1), Michael McDowell (2), David Ragan (8) and the rest with 9 allocations.
Yahoo Fantasy Auto Racing Team
Group A: Martin Truex Jr. (2), Kevin Harvick (5)
Group B: Kyle Larson (1), Chase Elliott (2), Clint Bowyer (2), Kasey Kahne (8)
Group C: Erik Jones (1), Ty Dillon (1)
I will post my final picks for Yahoo Fantasy Auto Racing after final practice Sunday.
If you need any further advice with your team, look for me on Twitter @MrFantasyNASCAR
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