The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series gallops into Texas Motor Speedway for the seventh race of the 2014 season, the Duck Commander 500. Brian Brown took a look at past performances, season trends, and spoke with NASCAR contacts to predict how the field should finish on Sunday.
When: Sunday, April 6, 2014; 3:16 p.m./et.
Weather: Thunder showers with a high around 67 degrees; wind out of the SSW at 11 mph. There is a 40% 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. This is the second stop at a 1.5 mile track this season. Although Las Vegas is a different configuration don’t be afraid to look at the results from last month’s race at Vegas to give an idea how this weekend should shake-out.
Key to Race: ARACE FOR THE BIG BOYS
The surface at Texas has great grip and thus cars can run wide-open the entire way around. The multi-car teams like Roush-Fenway, Gibbs Racing, and Hendrick Motorsports have a huge advantage in the funding of their engine programs.
46 cars will attempt to qualify for 43 spots.
Fantasy Cheat Sheet:
No. 48 Jimmie Johnson: Johnson led 579 laps at Texas the past two years and in 21 career starts at the track he has 16 top 10 finishes. He is our pick to get his first win of 2014 on Sunday.
No. 18 Kyle Busch: Rowdy dominated at Texas last spring and has finished inside the top six in six of the last 13 races at the track.
No. 20 Matt Kenseth: Kenseth brought one of the fastest cars to Texas the past six races including a win during the spring race in 2011. He is one of our top picks to return to victory lane Sunday.
No. 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Junior finished second at the track last fall and will be fast again this visit.
No. 16 Greg Biffle: Biffle won the 2012 spring race at Texas and he has been great in the past 10 races at the track. He is worth using in all leagues this weekend.
6 to 10
No. 4 Kevin Harvick: Harvick has been great in 12 of the last 17 races in the Lone Star State. He will crack the top 10 with ease.
No. 24 Jeff Gordon: Gordon dominated at Texas during the 2010 and 2011 campaigns. He will bring the speed once again in the Lone Star State.
No. 56 Martin Truex Jr.: Truex Jr. was great at Texas last spring. He has finished in the top 15 in 12 of his last 17 starts at the track.
No. 5 Kasey Kahne: Kahne has found past success at TMS and is worth rolling the dice on this weekend.
No. 99 Carl Edwards: Edwards drove a smart race last spring at Texas and notched a third place finish. He should have the No. 99 ride just inside the top 10 this weekend.
11 to 20
No. 14 Tony Stewart: Smoke has been great at Texas during his career. He should be active on most fantasy rosters this weekend.
No. 2 Brad Keselowski: Keselowski has had four solid races and five average races at Texas during his career. He should just miss the top 10 during this weekend’s visit to the track.
No. 22 Joey Logano: Logano finally figured out how to get around Texas during last year’s races. With the way he is driving this season we like him in all leagues.
No. 11 Denny Hamlin: Hamlin has averaged an 11th place finish at Texas during his career. He will finish right around his average this weekend.
No. 41 Kurt Busch: Busch finally returned to victory lane last weekend. We think he can ride a little of the momentum into a strong finish this weekend.
No. 15 Clint Bowyer: Texas isn't one of Bowyer's favorite tracks, but he has found some recent success at the track. He will finish just outside the top 10.
No. 31 Ryan Newman: Newman has averaged just an 18th place finish the past 17 races at Texas. He is decent pick.
No. 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: Stenhouse has had past success at TMS and is worth using in all leagues.
No. 3 Austin Dillon: Dillon was very average his first two visits to Texas. He will be better this trip.
No. 43 Aric Almirola: Almirola cranked a seventh place finish at Texas last spring. He is a fine sleeper choice.
21 to 30
No. 42 Kyle Larson: Larson surprised with a 23rd place finish at Texas last fall while piloting the No. 51 car. He should be even better this weekend.
No. 1 Jamie McMurray: Jamie Mac has six top 10 finishes in 19 career starts at TMS. This is a good weekend to get him active on your roster.
No. 27 Paul Menard: Menard has been fast at Texas the past seven races. He is a fine option.
No. 9 Marcos Ambrose: Ambrose has averaged a top 20 finish at TMS during his career. He is a decent fourth driver this weekend.
No. 47 A.J. Allmendinger: A.J. has actually averaged a 22nd place finish at Texas during his career. We like as a fifth driver.
No. 55 Brian Vickers: Vickers has turned some fast laps at Texas during his career. Look for him to crack the top 30 once again.
No. 34 David Ragan: Ragan has been fast at Texas in his career. He could crack the top 30 this weekend with a little luck.
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. 30 Parker Kligerman: P.K. finished 18th at Texas last fall. He is a great sleeper pick.
No. 51 Justin Allgaier
No. 21 Trevor Bayne
No. 40 Landon Cassill
No. 38 David Gilliland
No. 36 Reed Sorenson
No. 7 Michael Annett
No. 23 Alex Bowman
No. 26 Cole Whitt
No. 33 Timmy Hill
No. 32 Travis Kvapil
No. 83 Ryan Truex
No. 98 Josh Wise
No. 35 David Reutimann
No. 66 Joe Nemechek
No. 77 Dave Blaney
No. 95 Michael McDowell
My Yahoo! Fantasy NASCAR Team for this Week:
A. Jimmie Johnson
B. Tony Stewart
B. Greg Biffle
C. Parker Kligerman