The Cup Series had its regular schedule this week. The teams had 20 minutes of practice to dial in their cars and then they qualified for the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. The cars are impounded after qualifying, so the speed the cars had in practice is the speed they will start the race with Sunday. The race is longer than what they have in most of the other 1.5-mile races, so there will be plenty of pit stops to work on the car during the race.
Here is my starting lineup for the race at Texas…
GROUP A DRIVER
DENNY HAMLIN (8): Hamlin was my pick to win early in the week and it looks like the No. 11 team will be fast Sunday. Hamlin posted the 14th-fastest speed in practice and qualified 8th for the race. It will also help that Hamlin will have the pit crew from Kyle Busch’s team Sunday. The No. 18 pit crew ranked No. 1 over the season. Joe Gibbs Racing is putting a lot of effort into the No. 11 car since Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. are not racing for a championship. Hamlin should have a good chance to win Sunday.
GROUP B DRIVERS
WILLIAM BYRON (3): Byron got off to a hot start in the 2022 playoffs. Byron finished 8th at Darlington, 6th at Kansas and 3rd last week at Bristol. He had the fourth-best car at Texas in the All-Star Race. The No. 24 car qualified 3rd and ran most of the race up front. Byron finished 2nd in this race last year. The No. 24 car has the speed to finish in the top-five again Sunday.
ALEX BOWMAN (5): Can Bowman continue his hot run in the 2022 playoffs at Texas? Bowman finished 10th at Darlington and then he dominated the race at Kansas by leading 107 laps and finishing 4th. The No. 48 car posted the 3rd-fastest speed in practice. Bowman should have the speed to finish in the top-10 with the upside to win the race at Texas.
GROUP C DRIVER
DANIEL SUAREZ (2): Suarez advanced to Round of 12 but he is going to need to improve if he wants to advance to the Round of 8. A trip to Texas could be just what the No. 99 team needs to move up in the Playoff Standings. Suarez posted the 17th– fastest speed in practice and qualified 10th for the race. I will use one of my last allocations with Suarez Sunday.
Good Luck Sunday!
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