Last weekend Martinsville saw Martin Truex Jr. dominate the race leading well over 400 laps in route to a win that punches his ticket to the championship in Miami, and we also saw a post-race dust-up between Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano. Overall it was a tough week for my picks as outside of Newman, Hamlin and Buescher, I had some tough breaks with Bowyer, Almirola and Johnson all having on-track incidents bump them from the top 10 and of course I didn’t have Truex who recorded well over 300 DraftKings points. On to Texas.
When I think of Texas, three names immediately jump to my head and they are all playoff drivers. First up is Kevin Harvick, who will also be the favorite next weekend at ISM Raceway, Harvick has turned it on of late in the Lone Star State with two wins in his last five races and 5 straight top 10’s including an impressive average finish of 3.20. Harvick has benefited more than any other driver since the repave and reconfiguration of Texas Motor Speedway. Any build this weekend has to start with Harvick.
I’m also all-in on Denny Hamlin this weekend too. He’s my favorite to win the title and his win earlier this Spring was his third career in Texas. Kyle Busch had three career wins at Texas as well and 12 top 5’s in 27 career starts.
Of late Joey Logano has had a top 10 in four of his last 5 Texas starts without a win while Kurt Busch has 5 straight top 10’s at Texas. Jimmie Johnson led 60 laps earlier this season at Texas and finished 5th, one of his best runs of the season and the driver of the No. 48 has 7 career Texas wins and an average finish of 9.66 with 22 top 10’s in 32 starts. If they have good speed again this weekend, the 48 is worth a good long look.
-Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr. 5/1
-Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano 7/1
-Ryan Blaney, Brad Keselowski 12/1
-Kurt Busch, William Byron, Erik Jones 25/1
-Alex Bowman 30/1
-Jimmie Johnson 40/1
-Clint Bowyer 60/1
-Aric Almirola 80/1
Texas DraftKings Picks:
Kevin Harvick ($10,400): Harvick has won the last two Fall races at Texas and has mastered this place since the repave. All the SHR cars are bad fast, and Harvick is the best of all. 2nd in consecutive lap average and starts from the pole position.
I’m picking Kevin Harvick to win and lock himself in to the Championship race in Miami. Give me all of the 4 car this weekend!
Denny Hamlin ($10,800): Hamlin won the Spring race at Texas and has all the speed to contend for another win in the lone star state. I told you I liked Hamlin this weekend and he backed it up with top 5 speed and starting spot, I’ll be pairing the 4 & 11 together in almost every build.
Kurt Busch ($9,000): Kurt is a sneaky good pick this week, especially at this price and with a lot of value in the middle tier. Believe it or not he’s got five straight top 10 finishes at Texas, all since the repave and that car is also top 5 in speed.
Clint Bowyer ($8,800): I bought stock in the 14 car last week and it cost me, but looks like I’m going to that well again. He’s been right there with his teammate in speed over the long and short-run and just missed it in qualifying during that one lap. Big place differential opportunity here as he starts 24th and has top 5 speed across the board.
Jimmie Johnson ($8,600): Johnson starts 23rd and should be able to get up inside the top 15 early. Johnson has loved Texas in his career and finished top 5 after starting on the pole earlier this year despite his recent struggles.
Daniel Hemric ($6,300): Hemric qualified a little ahead of where I would’ve been comfortable with, but you can’t deny the speed the 8 car has shown. He was top 10 in both sessions in lap average, starts 16th and had back-to-back top 10’s at Texas last year in the Xfinity series.
Paul Menard ($7,300): Menard starts 31st and the equipment he rides in with that starting spot offers enough potential to warrant a selection. He’s got back-to-back top 20 finishes at Texas, which is exactly what you’re looking for here.
Chris Buescher ($6,700): If you’ve been following me all season, you know Buescher has been a top pick of mine as he often returns big time value. This week is no different as he was top 10 in lap average for opening practice and starts 20th. I smell another top 15.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr ($6,800): Well if you feel like rolling the dice, the 17 car offers that potential on Sunday. Stenhouse was top 10 both sessions in speed and lap average, but also starts 9th. Ricky will likely be very aggressive trying to get to the lead with that speed, and could cost you big time if he wrecks, as he often does. The top 5 potential is there, but this is a high risk play.