Fantasy NASCAR Race Preview: AAA Texas 500

by Eric McClung on October 30, 2013 @ 17:25:21 PDT


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Texas Motor Speedway is one of three 1.5-mile cookie-cutter tracks on the NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule. The two others, Atlanta Motor Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway, share the same length and corner banking. The wear of the racing surface on each track is unique, which causes the speeds to vary somewhat. Still, the similar configurations at these sites make for great comparisons when assembling your lineup for each of the five races in total these venues will host.

Practice sessions: Friday, Nov. 1, at 12:30 p.m. EDT; Saturday, Nov. 2, at 11 a.m. ET, 2 p.m. EDT
Qualifying: Friday, Nov. 1, at 4:40 p.m. EDT
Race: Sunday, Nov. 3, at 3 p.m. EDT
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Shape: Quad-oval
Length: 1.5 mile
Laps: 334
Turns 1-4: 24 degrees
Quad-oval: 18 degrees
Frontstretch: 5 degrees
Backstretch: 5 degrees

Drivers to keep an eye on

Matt Kenseth | No. 20 Home Depot "Let's Do This" Toyota | Joe Gibbs Racing

NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Junior's Texas record misleading

A 12th-place finish earlier this season at Texas snapped a streak of five consecutive top-fives for Kenseth at the site. However, he still put down an impressive average running position of seventh and spent 96.7 percent of the race running in the top 15, compared to just 55.5 percent during last year's Chase even despite placing fourth.

Kenseth is coming off a runner-up performance at Martinsville Speedway, his fourth podium finish of the Chase. That includes a third-place finish at the similarly configured track at Charlotte after qualifying in 20th.

Jimmie Johnson | No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet | Hendrick Motorsports

Since 2010 Johnson has recorded an average running position of 13th or better in all seven Texas events while finishing outside the top 10 just once. Last year he was outright dominant in both competitions, with a runner-up performance in the spring after leading 156 laps. He would then win from the pole in the fall setting the pace for another 168 circuits.

Johnson recently finished fourth at Charlotte and fifth last week at Martinsville.

Jeff Gordon | No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet | Hendrick Motorsports

Gordon's average running position at Texas has been 10th or better in four straight even though he wasn't able to secure the finish to match in the last two.

Gordon has made the most of being awarded a spot in the Chase by NASCAR officials and has now recorded 10 consecutive top-15s, with three top-fives in the last five. He's up to third in the championship standings thanks to a victory at Martinsville. With only three races to go, Gordon will need disaster to strike both Kenseth and his teammate Johnson, but expect the No. 24 to stay in position to take advantage of any missteps.

McClung serves up several more good choices, plus a couple to avoid.

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About Eric McClung

Eric McClung has been profiled by the FSWA for covering the fantasy sports spectrum and is a three-time award finalist. Over the years, he's made several appearances in print and on radio. McClung began contributing to KFFL in 2008 and currently serves as one of KFFL's featured fantasy NASCAR experts. He's also captured the fantasy football championship in the KFFL staff league twice.

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