O'Reilly Auto Parts 500
Yahoo: Top 30 Drivers
Yahoo / Fox / NASCAR: Quick Picks
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is in the middle of a short track-heavy portion of the schedule, but splitting up last weekend's race at Martinsville and upcoming trips to Bristol and Richmond is a stop at Texas Motor Speedway.
The fast, 1.5-mile oval will host Sunday's O'Reilly Auto Parts 500, and for fantasy owners, the race will mark a return to a familiar strategy. Sunday's event is just the seventh of the 2017 season, but it is already the third race at a 1.5-mile oval. Horsepower and aerodynamics tend to rule at intermediate ovals like Texas, and that means the big names from the big teams should once again reign supreme.
Last weekend at Martinsville, A.J. Allmendinger, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Chris Buescher all finished 11th or better, and Cole Whitt finished 21st. You probably won't see that many surprise performances Sunday at Texas, which is why I'm leaning on the top drivers in each tier when assembling my lineups.
Not only do the top drivers tend to dominate races at 1.5-mile tracks, but these tracks tend to be more predictable in general. You will have multiple opportunities to utilize sleepers in the coming weeks with Bristol, Richmond and Talladega all on tap. Stick to the big names this weekend at Texas.
1. KYLE BUSCH, #18 M&M'S, JOE GIBBS RACING [YAHOO CLASS A]
Busch has been knocking on the door of a win the last few weeks, and he should be right back in the mix for a victory this weekend at Texas. He is the defending winner of Sunday's race, and he has five straight Top 5 finishes at the track and seven in his last eight. Over the last 10 races, Busch's 5.0 average finish is tops in the series.
2. JOEY LOGANO, #22 SHELL-PENNZOIL, TEAM PENSKE [YAHOO CLASS A]
His numbers at Texas since joining Team Penske are phenomenal. Logano has finished 12th or better in seven of his eight starts at the track, picking up six Top 5 finishes. He finished third and second in two starts here last year, leading a race-high 178 laps in the fall event.
3. BRAD KESELOWSKI, #2 MILLER LITE, TEAM PENSKE [YAHOO CLASS A]
He has one of the fastest cars on the track week in and week out, and I don't expect that to change this weekend. Over the last three years, he has five Top 15s in six starts at Texas. He has three Top 5s during the same span, and his 446 laps led are the most of any driver.
4. MARTIN TRUEX, JR., #78 FURNITURE ROW, FURNITURE ROW RACING [YAHOO CLASS A]
Truex has always been solid at Texas, and over the last 10 races here, his 9.8 average finish ranks third. He has really been strong recently, reeling off four straight Top 10s. Last year, he finished sixth and third in two starts at the track, leading a combined 207 laps. Truex should be in the mix for your A-List spot this weekend.
5. KEVIN HARVICK, #4 JIMMY JOHNS, STEWART-HAAS RACING [YAHOO CLASS A]
His eight Top 10s in the last 10 races at Texas are tied for the most in the series, and Harvick will try for his sixth straight Top 10 here this weekend. Since joining Stewart-Haas Racing, he has finished sixth or better four times in six starts, finishing as high as second on two occasions.