Fantasy NASCAR Preview for Texas


The craziest first round of the Cup Series playoffs is complete. So how wild have the 2022 playoffs been? For the first time ever, no playoff driver won a race in the Round of 16. Last week at Bristol has even more chaos. 12 of the 16 playoff drivers had mechanical issues. There are only 30 full-time, one driver teams in the Cup Series and 19 of them have been to Victory Lane (two-thirds). The Round of 12 is usually the most unpredictable round with the Charlotte Roval and Talladega on the schedule. It all starts Saturday in “No Limits” Texas.



“Everything is bigger in Texas.” That includes the length of the races. The Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 not only has one of the longest names of the season; it is also scheduled for 500 miles. There is no reason for one of the most boring tracks on the Cup Series schedule to be 500 laps, but NASCAR cares more about those TV Commercial dollars, than they do about the fans. The extra 67 laps mean there is more time for pit road mistakes and more time mechanical issues in the “no so reliable” Gen-7 car. It will likely be another crazy race in the Lone Star State.

The Cup Series competed at Texas in May at the All-Star Race. I used the data for that race for the driver rankings this week. I also used the data from the race at Kansas two weeks ago and the driver ratings on the intermediate tracks this year. I am not using too much of the track history at Texas for the rankings because that hasn’t mattered much in 2022 for the races in the Gen-7 car.

Here are the Driver Rankings for the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 …

1. Denny Hamlin
2. Christopher Bell
3. William Byron
4. Kyle Larson
5. Martin Truex Jr.
6. Kyle Busch
7. Ryan Blaney
8. Chase Elliott
9. Alex Bowman
10. Bubba Wallace
11. Ross Chastain
12. Tyler Reddick
13. Daniel Suarez
14. Kevin Harvick
15. Joey Logano
16. Chris Buescher
17. Austin Cindric
18. Chase Briscoe
19. Ty Gibbs
20. Austin Dillon
21. Brad Keselowski
22. Noah Gragson
23. Erik Jones
24. Michael McDowell
25. Aric Almirola
26. Cole Custer
27. Ty Dillon
28. Justin Haley
29. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
30. Todd Gilliland
31. Corey LaJoie
32. Harrison Burton
33. Landon Cassill
34. Cody Ware
35. Garrett Smithley
36. B.J. McLeod

* These rankings will be updated Saturday after qualifying

Good Luck Sunday!


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