The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cowboys-up to Texas Motor Speedway for the seventh race of the 2013 season the NRA 500. Brian Brown took a look at past performances, season trends, and spoke with NASCAR contacts to predict how the field should finish on Saturday.
When: Saturday, April 13, 2012; 7:46 p.m./et.
Weather: Partly cloudy with temperature around 76; wind out of the E at 7 mph. There is a ZERO chance of precipitation.
The Track: Texas MotorSpeedway
Texas Motor Speedway is a 1.5 quad-oval. It has intermediate 24 degree banking on the turns. Roush-Fenway cars dominate 1.5 mile tracks and they will be tough to beat on Saturday.
Key to Race: ARACE FOR THE BIG BOYS
Anytime the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series visits a 1.5 mile track Roush-Fenway Racing is expected to be fast. The lack of success the Roush Boys have on short-tracks is the exact opposite of the continued success they show on the 1.5 mile tracks. The surface atTexashas great grip and thus cars can run wide-open the entire way around. The multi-car teams like Roush-Fenway and Hendrick Motorsports have a huge advantage in the funding of their engine programs. If a Roush-Fenway car doesn't find victory lane a Hendrick car likely will.
45 cars will attempt to qualify for 43 spots.
Fantasy Cheat Sheet:
No. 48 Jimmie Johnson: Johnson led 324 laps at Texas last year and in 16 career starts at the track he has 14 top 10 finishes. He is a great pick on Saturday.
No. 16 Greg Biffle: Biffle won last year’s spring race at Texas and he has been great in the past eight races at the track. He is worth using in all leagues this weekend.
No. 20 Matt Kenseth: Kenseth brought one of the fastest cars to Texas the past four races. He won the spring race in 2011. He is one of our top picks to return to victory lane Saturday.
No. 24 Jeff Gordon: Gordon dominated Texas by leading the most laps during the 2010 and 2011 April races. He again will be fast in the Lone Star State.
No. 14 Tony Stewart: Smoke dominated the fall race at Texas in 2011. He is a solid pick this weekend.
6 to 10
No. 29 Kevin Harvick: Harvick has been great in 11 of the last 15 races in the Lone Star State. He won’t struggle to crack the top 10.
No. 5 Kasey Kahne: Kahne has finished inside the top seven in two of the past three races. He is worth rolling the dice on this weekend.
No. 18 Kyle Busch: Rowdy has finished inside the top six in five of the last 11 races at Texas. He is a fine pick.
No. 99 Carl Edwards: Edwards proved his love for 1.5 mile ovals by sweeping both races at Texas in 2008. He should notch another top 10 this weekend.
No. 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Junior has led laps in seven of the last 12 races at Texas, but we doubt he will get his second win at the track this weekend. A top 10 finish is expected.
11 to 20
No. 2 Brad Keselowski: Keselowski has had two solid races and five average races at Texas. He should be much better this weekend’s visit to the track.
No. 15 Clint Bowyer: Texas isn't one of Bowyer's favorite tracks to race at, but he has found some recent success at the track. He should finish just outside the top 10.
No. 31 Jeff Burton: Burton has finished in the top nine in six of the past 13 races at Texas Motor Speedway. He is a solid pick.
No. 11 Brian Vickers: Vickers takes the wheel of the No. 11 ride. Use him as a sleeper pick in all leagues.
No. 56 Martin Truex Jr.: Truex Jr. has finished in the top 15 in 10 of his last 15 starts at Texas. Use the No. 56 driver in all leagues.
No. 55 Mark Martin: Martin has a win and nine top six finishes atTMS in his career. He will cruise around in the top 20 and could sneak into the top 15 by the time the race is over.
No. 43 Aric Almirola: Almirola has driven fantastic lately. Texas isn’t one of his better tracks, but we still recommend him.
No. 39 Ryan Newman: Newman has averaged just a 19th place finish the past 15 races at Texas. He is just an okay pick.
No. 1 Jamie McMurray: Jamie Mac has six top 10 finishes in 17 career starts at TMS. This is a good weekend to get him active on your roster.
No. 22 Joey Logano: "Sliced Bread” has been mostly terrible at Texas during his career. Like my doctor says we also recommend passing on the bread.
21 to 30
No. 78 Kurt Busch: Busch has 12 top 10 finishes in 20 career starts at Texas during his career. He is a decent choice if he can avoid going up in flames.
No. 27 Paul Menard: Menard was good at Texas the past five races. He is a fine option.
No. 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: Stenhouse has had past success at TMS and is worth using as a fourth or fifth driver.
No. 51 Austin Dillon: Dillon takes over the No. 51 ride this week. He is worth gambling on in most leagues.
No. 9 Marcos Ambrose: Ambrose has averaged a top 20 finish at TMS during his career. He is a decent third driver this weekend.
No. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya: Montoya has been hit-or-miss atTMSduring his career. We expect he will miss the top 20 this weekend.
No. 34 David Ragan: Ragan has been fast at Texas in his career. He could crack the top 25 this weekend with a little luck.
No. 47 Bobby Labonte: Texas native, Labonte looks forward to this race at all season. He could surprise some people with where he finishes on Saturday.
No. 13 Casey Mears: Mears drove decent at Texas last year. There are worse choices.
No. 10 Danica Patrick: She isn’t much of an option.
No. 21 Trevor Bayne
No. 83 David Reutimann
No. 93 Travis Kvapil
No. 30 David Stremme
No. 7 Dave Blaney
No. 87 Joe Nemechek
No. 33 Landon Cassill
No. 19 Mike Bliss
No. 38 David Gilliland
No. 36 J.J. Yeley
No. 95 Scott Speed
No. 32 Timmy Hill
No. 98 Michael McDowell
No. 35 Josh Wise
No. 44 Scott Riggs
My Yahoo! Fantasy NASCAR Team for this Week:
A. Jimmie Johnson
B. Kyle Busch
B. Brian Vickers
C. Austin Dillon