The MENCS competes at Texas Motor Speedway this week. My picks in this game have been running red hot and I plan to continue to work my way up the overall leaderboard. Allocations are important in this game but if you plan out which tracks are best for each driver, you can still build a great lineup and have enough allocations for the rest of the season. The best drivers usually run the best on the 1.5-mile tracks so this is not the week to save your drivers. Use the studs this week.
Points for leading laps and position differential will no longer be awarded. Fantasy teams will score points for finishing the Stage in the top 10 and where they finish the race. Because of this; it is no longer important to select drivers starting in the back. Just pick the best team you can.
* There is also a garage driver this year. Fantasy players can put this driver into their lineup at any time before the end of Stage 2. You will lose the Stage points from the driver you take out of your lineup though. I only plan to make a change if one of my driver crashes and that is likely to happen this week. If I make a change I will post a message on my Twitter account: @MrFantasyNASCAR
Kevin Harvick (7): I have 7 allocations left with Harvick and I am not afraid to burn another one this week. The No. 4 car has been the fastest on the 1.5-mile tracks since the last race at Texas. Harvick starts on the front row and he has a good chance to dominate this race and win the Stages. There is no need to leave Harvick off your team this week.
Martin Truex Jr. (8): I still have 8 allocations left with Truex Jr. so I have plenty left with the No. 78 car to use one this week. Truex has won 5 of the last 8 races on the 1.5-mile tracks (Kevin Harvick has won the rest). This race should be a battle between the No. 4 and No. 78 cars. I will have both in my lineup and have fun Sunday adding up my Stage points.
Joey Logano (7): I was thinking about using Kyle Busch as my 3rd driver. He has been great this year on the 1.5-mile tracks but I am down to 6 allocations with Busch and I know he will be in my lineup next week at Bristol. Instead I will use Logano. Texas ranks as the best track for Logano. He has an average finishing position of 3rd in the last 4 races at the track.
Ryan Blaney (8) is quickly becoming the best driver of the “Young Guns”. He dominated this race last year by leading 148 laps. I would not be surprised if Blaney led a bunch of laps again Sunday. Texas Motor Speedway is similar in shape and size to Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Blaney had the 4th-best average running position and finished 5th at Las Vegas. The No. 12 car starts 4th and should be able to remain in the top 5 in the race.
Kurt Busch (7) won the pole for the race Sunday so I think you need to give him a chance. If he does fall back in the race you can always replace him with your Garage Driver, but I do not think you will need to. Busch won the pole for the last race at Texas and he finished 9th. The Stewart-Haas Racing cars have a lot more speed than they did last year so Busch should be able to finish closer to the top 5 Sunday.
Garage Driver: My Garage Driver this week will be Brad Keselowski (8). The Blue Deuce has been money on the 1.5-mile tracks. He finished 2nd at Atlanta and 6th at Las Vegas this season. He also finished 5th in the race at Texas last Novemeber. I am starting him in the garage because he starts outside the top 10 and I would like to save him for another track. If one of the drivers listed above have problems, I will not hesitate to put Keselowski into the race.
* Trust me on the allocations. I have each driver mapped out for the season so we use them at their best tracks. We will have plenty of allocations to get us through the season.
Here are my picks for the Texas…
Driver 1: Kevin Harvick
Driver 2: Martin Truex Jr.
Driver 3: Joey Logano
Driver 4: Ryan Blaney
Driver 5: Kurt Busch
Garage Driver: Brad Keselowski
STAGE 1 WINNER: Kevin Harvick
STAGE 2 WINNER: Kevin Harvick
PICK TO WIN: Kevin Harvick
Good luck this week!
Follow me on Twitter @MrFantasyNASCAR