The MENCS competes at Texas Motor Speedway this week in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500. Allocations are very important in the Driver Group Game but this is not the week to save your top drivers. The cream usually rises to the top at the 1.5-mile tracks so use your studs this week. There will be plenty of time to save your top drivers at the short tracks and Superspeedways that are next on the schedule.
Here are my picks for Texas…
Kevin Harvick (6): The No. 4 car has been the King of the 1.5-mile tracks since the last race at Texas. Harvick starts on the front row and should have a great chance to take the early lead and dominate this race Sunday. He has led 395 laps in the two races on 1.5-mile tracks this season. I expect a lot more at Texas.
Group A Rankings: 1) Kevin Harvick 2) Martin Truex Jr. 3) Kyle Busch 4) Brad Keselowski 5) Joey Logano 6) Denny Hamlin 7) Kyle Larson 8) Jimmie Johnson
Ryan Blaney (7): Blaney dominated this race last year. He lead a series-high 148 laps and finished 12th. He came back in the fall and finished 6th. I expect another top-10 from Blaney this week and do not be surprised if he leads a lot of laps. Blaney tested at Texas in January, ran the Xfinity Series race Saturday so he will have more track time then any driver in the field. His No. 12 Ford is fast this week.
Kurt Busch (7): Busch once again won the pole for the race Sunday. He also won the pole for the race at Texas in November. He finished 9th in that race. His No. 41 Ford has more speed this season so I expect Busch to finish closer to the top 5 Sunday.
Group B Rankings: 1) Ryan Blaney 2) Chase Elliott 3) Kurt Busch 4) Erik Jones 5) Daniel Suarez 6) Aric Almirola 7) Clint Bowyer 8) Austin Dillon
Alex Bowman (6): I really wanted to save my allocations with Bowman but he is the best option in Group C this week. He finished 20th at Atlanta and 16th at Las Vegas. I expect him to finish somewhere in that range again this week.
Group C Rankings: 1) Alex Bowman 2) William Byron 3) Chris Buescher 3) Darrell Wallace Jr. 4) David Ragan 5) Michael McDowell
Good luck this week!
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