The monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will compete at Texas Motor Speedway Sunday. Fantasy Live has been my best game this season. I plan to make my way into the top 99.9% and I am almost there. My picks are beating 99.8% of the entries so a good race Sunday could put me in the top 100 overall.
The AAA Texas 500 is not your normal race on a 1.5-mile track. There are 334 laps instead of the normal 267. These extra 67 laps are important because they mean an extra 67 bonus points are available for leading laps and fastest laps in the race.
Many teams will select the drivers who start in the back in order to score position differential points. My strategy is to take two dominators (drivers who can lead the most laps) and three drivers who can move forward in the race. You cannot overlook the dominator points this week and I do not think Matt Kenseth or Joey Logano can lead any laps from the back so I am fading them.
My two dominators this week will be Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Havick. The No. 78 car has led 1,023 laps and won 6 races on the 1.5-mile tracks this season. Harvick has led 245 laps in the 3 races on the 1.5-mile tracks in the playoffs (Chicago, Charlotte and Kansas). These two drivers should score a lot of points Sunday.
Chase Elliott is a must start this week. His car has top-five speed and he starts 34th. He is the only driver who starts in the back that I think could lead some laps Sunday. Elliott finished 2nd at Chicago and Charlotte and 4th at Kansas. If he finished in the top 5 this week he will be one of the top 5 picks in the game.
Kasey Kahne is on my team because of his price. Kahne has been running in the top 15 in the races on the 1.5-mile tracks in the playoffs. He starts 19th and should move up 3-5 positions. That would give him top 15 points at only $12.75. That is great value!
Corey Lajoie starts 39th so there is nowhere to go but up. His average finishing position on the 1.5-mile tracks in 2017 is 32nd so he will have a good chance to move up Sunday. LaJoie was 34th fastest in practice Saturday.
Here are my picks for the Texas…
Martin Truex Jr. $28.25 (Starts 7th)
Kevin Harvick $27.00 (Starts 3rd)
Chase Elliott $26.75 (Starts 34th)
Kasey Kahne $13.00 (Starts 19th)
Corey LaJoie $5.25 (Starts 39th)
PICK TO WIN: Martin Truex Jr.
* If you are short on salary, use Gray Gaulding over Corey Lajoie.
** I hedged my bet with the Pick to Win and Manufacturer. I want a piece of Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick in my bonus selections and this provides that.
Good luck this week!
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