Texas Motor Speedway is the site of this weekend’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race, the second of Round 3 of the Playoffs. Joey Logano pushed (literally and figuratively) his way into the Homestead Championship Race at the expense of Martin Truex, Jr. last week at Martinsville, so now there’s three more spots up for grabs. Currently, The Big Three of Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, and Martin Truex, Jr. are good on points, but any misstep could put one (or more) of those guys at jeopardy. I guess it’s a good thing that Busch and Harvick have won the last two Texas races, and Truex, well, he’s just damn good at 1.5-mile race tracks. One thing to note for Sunday’s AAA Texas 500: it’s a 500-mile race, which means more dominator points, and more opportunities for “surprise” drivers to get out front and lead. The Fords dominated qualifying on Friday and should do much of the same on Sunday, although there are a couple drivers with the other manufacturers that may have something to say about that…
PLEASE NOTE: The following drivers will have to start from the rear on Sunday due to unapproved adjustments. I don’t view this as a huge deal, although they will still be scored from their original starting spot in DraftKings, which is in parenthesis: Martin Truex, Jr. (13th), Daniel Suarez (19th), Chris Buescher (21st), and Matt DiBenedetto (31st).
Talkin’ DraftKings Strategy for Texas 2
GPP Drivers I Love For The AAA Texas 500
Chase Elliott ($9,700) – I love Chase Elliott as a GPP play for Texas 2. With most DraftKings players trying to fit Kyle Busch ($12,200) and/or Kevin Harvick ($11,700) into their lineups, plus Martin Truex, Jr. ($11,100) and Kyle Larson ($10,000) both looking to be great candidates for place differential points, I think that opens the door for Chase Elliott to go significantly under-owned on Sunday. The #9 Chevrolet will start from 16th when the AAA Texas 500 goes green, but there’s no reason to think that Chase will finish that far back. He’s made five career starts here at Texas Motor Speedway and has never finished worse than 11th, and let’s not forget that Elliott is the most recent winner on 1.5-mile tracks. At worst, Chase should have a top 10 car on Sunday.
Erik Jones ($8,300) – From a consistency standpoint, Erik Jones has been one of the best on the 1.5-mile tracks this season. Through those nine races, Jones has an average finish of 11.8, which is 7th-best in the series, behind the six drivers that I’d consider “elite” on this track type. In addition to consistency, Jones is actually really good here at Texas, kind of like Chase Elliott; in four career starts here, Erik has finished 12th or better in three of them, including a career-best 4th here back in April. Jones qualified 12th for Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 but should be able to challenge for a top 5 finish. His overall average speed ranked 2nd-best in Happy Hour, even faster than Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch. Erik was 5th-best when it came to ten-lap average in that session.
Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. ($7,000) – Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. qualified a little higher than I’d like this weekend (17th) but from a GPP perspective, I love being overweight on him. Ricky hasn’t blown anyone away on the 1.5-mile tracks this season, but he did come home 10th at Charlotte, 11th at Kansas, and 14th at Las Vegas, so that has to be worth something. As far as Texas goes, this has actually been one of Stenhouse’s best tracks over the last couple years, as he has finished between 12th and 16th in five of his last seven starts here. The #17 Ford ranked top 3 in both practice sessions here on Saturday when it came to overall average speed, and although a big part of that is the fact that Ricky ran a limited amount of laps, that still tells me that there’s speed in the car.
A.J. Allmendinger ($6,900) – I like both Stenhouse and Allmendinger in this price range, maybe even in the same lineup if the math works out. Overall, the JTG Daugherty cars are running better than expected right now, and with his 14th-place finish at Martinsville last week, A.J. has now ended up 14th or better in four of the last seven Cup Series races overall. As far as 1.5-mile tracks go, Allmendinger is averaging a finish of 23.4 on them this season, but he recently came home 14th at Las Vegas, so you have to like that. As far as Texas goes, A.J. has ended up between 14th and 17th in each of the last four fall races here. If he can do that again this weekend despite starting 25th, you’re looking at some great value out of a $6,900 driver (nice).
DraftKings Driver Point Projections for Texas 2
The following chart takes into account the very basics: the starting position and the projected finish of each driver. The projected finishes are averaged from five different ranking systems, using both mathematical equations as well as personal rankings. This chart also includes the average projected base + laps led + fastest laps DraftKings FPTS as well as the dollar per FPT. You can click the headers below to sort the chart by that attribute. By default it is sorted by average projected FPTS.
|Driver||DraftKings Salary||Avg Proj FPTS||Starting Position||Avg. Projected Finish||Proj Laps Led||Proj Fastest Laps||Dollar Per FPT|
|Martin Truex Jr||$11,100||69.8||13||03.6||28||26||$159|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr||$7,000||32.3||17||15.6||0||5||$217|