NASCAR Daily Fantasy Helper: AAA Texas 500
Martin Truex Jr. absolutely dominated at Martinsville last weekend, which means the magic number in the garage is three. There are now only three spots left in the championship race at Homestead, and only three weeks remaining in the regular season. That third-to-last week of the season will be staged at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend. This track, dubbed a "Wild Asphalt Circus" named for the carnival outside Turn 2, has certainly been wild. Since the repave in 2018, racing has been remarkably fast, and traveling anywhere outside of the racing groove has meant a hard crash.
This race is tough to project at first glance. In April, the first race with both the current track configuration and aerodynamic package, six drivers led at least 30 laps, and no one led more than 66, which was the mark set by Kyle Busch. However, nine of the 15 drivers inside the top 15 started 15th or worse. Those two things in combination lend a hypothesis that passing is inevitable Sunday, which should make for a tremendous race.
Here at numberFire, we've always got you covered for everything NASCAR DFS. Our track preview gives you more information about the history of the track, our driver preview helps bring you up to speed on recent driver history, and our Heat Check Podcast with Jim Sannes gives you insight to how he is approaching this weekend's slate.
Kevin Harvick ($14,000): Happy Harvick owns impressive marks at plenty of race tracks, but Texas might take the cake on his own personal resume. He has 10 straight top-10 finishes at the track, including winning the last two fall races. It is important to note the recent trend with the new aero package as Harvick did not lead here this April, but he has led at several 1.5-mile tracks this season and appears to have rectified those woes. He posted top-five times in both practice sessions on Friday, and in qualifying, he won the provisional pole pending inspection. Even if he fails, then he becomes an incredible high-floor option from the rear. Between track history and speed, Harvick is the place to start building your DFS lineup Sunday.
Martin Truex Jr. ($15,000): I would not recommend straying too far away from Harvick, especially in cash, but tournaments mean looking to get exposure in different spots. Truex Jr. is a solid pivot to turn to on 1.5-mile race tracks. With 10 wins at them since 2017, he has double any other driver on the circuit at this type of track. Amazingly enough, none of those wins have come at Texas Motor Speedway, but a trend might be in Truex's favor. In his two 1.5-mile track wins this season, Truex started 14th and 24th, leading a total of 148 laps. He starts a deep 17th again, but that may mean Truex has the requisite downforce -- not raw qualifying speed -- to be a contender for a win.
Clint Bowyer ($10,500): Some drivers are just not great qualifiers, and unfortunately Clint Bowyer owns that label. He posted a pedestrian 24th in qualifying, but practice speeds would indicate Bowyer is capable of more Sunday. He recorded top-five times in both practices, which lends itself to positive results. Bowyer started in an incredibly similar position in April, when he qualified 25th and finished second in the race. Look for Bowyer to try to do the exact same thing today.
Erik Jones ($9,500): Erik Jones has three top-five showings at Texas in his young career -- his second best track in that department besides Pocono. He led 30 laps in the spring here before running out of gas late, and Joe Gibbs Racing has dominated on 1.5-mile tracks this season. Teammates Martin Truex Jr. and Denny Hamlin have won the last two races at this 1.5-mile configuration of race track, and from a starting spot of second, Jones would like to upset Kevin Harvick on the grid to join them.
Jimmie Johnson ($8,000): As always, in this section at impound races, any qualifying failures would become immediate values, but Johnson is a great play assuming the starting lineup holds. Jimmie returns to the site of one of his best runs in an otherwise disappointing 2019, as he led 60 laps and finished fifth from the pole in the spring race at April. It will be a different story for Johnson on Sunday as he will start 23rd in deep traffic, but if he can retain some of that speed, Johnson immediately vaults to a top value at only $8,000.
Paul Menard ($5,500): Texas is far from Paul Menard's best race track, but sometimes DFS presents interesting opportunities when qualifying rolls out, and that is definitely the case with Menard here. He was top-20 in both practice sessions, but he was one of the first cars on track in qualifying and perhaps that led to stumbling to a 31st place qualifying run. Menard and the number-21 team also have two straight top-20 finishes at Texas, as well, so if the trend continues, Menard would be the top value below $6,000 and a cheap option to help you play multiple high-priced drivers in tournaments.
Austin Swaim is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Austin Swaim also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username ASwaim3. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.