NASCAR at Texas DraftKings Picks: DFS Strategy & Analysis for Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500

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Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images. Pictured: Aric Almirola, driver of the #10 Smithfield Ford

Jul 16, 2020, 03:11 PM EDT

After the midweek All-Star Race at Bristol, the NASCAR Cup Series heads to Texas Motor Speedway for 500 miles of high speed action.

Last weekend’s race at Kentucky Speedway allowed us to look back at the previous 1.5-mile races, and now we can add the race at Kentucky to the list as well. With a large portfolio of races at 1.5-mile tracks, we should have a good idea of who will be a contender for today’s race.

NASCAR at Texas DraftKings Dominator DFS Picks

Aric Almirola drew the pole for today’s starting lineup, but the real question is will he lead the early laps? At Kentucky Almirola started fourth, but ended up leading the early going.

Texas and Kentucky have some similarities in that they were both repaved and reconfigured a year apart, and the banking is different in turns 1 and 2 compared to turns 3 and 4.

However, Ryan Blaney starts second and should also be in contention for dominator points. According to ifantasyrace.com, Blaney has been the fastest driver in 2020 at low-to-medium tire wear tracks. Texas fits that bill so Blaney could also dominate.

These are the two drivers you want to smash into your lineup for early dominator points, but I’ll add two more driver to this list. Joey Logano and Chase Elliott are two of the three drivers to run inside the top 10 in average green flag speed, along with Blaney.

Logano boasts an average finish of 6.7 since the repave, with five finishes inside the top seven in six races. Elliott will probably be lower owned than Logano thanks to a slightly higher price tag and a starting position one spot closer to the front.

I like being overweight on Elliott coming off a subpar race when several other top-tier drivers will be higher owned.

Other drivers who can dominate (in order of preference): Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch and Alex Bowman.

NASCAR at Texas DraftKings DFS Picks

Erik Jones ($8600) – Jones has finished either 10th or fourth in each of the last five races at Texas. Even if we take a 10th-place finish as his result, that still gives him a minimum of 47 DraftKings points, with plenty of upside for more.

Jones will be a chalky play, but after burning so many people multiple times this year, one does wonder if he’ll be as chalky as he should be.

Clint Bowyer ($7700) – I haven’t recommended Bowyer much this year, but he has a few things in his favor this weekend. First, his price tag is reduced at $7700 despite being in top-tier equipment.

Second, Texas has been a good track for him. He has four finishes of 11th or better in six races since the reconfiguration.

Third, he’s coming off his best average green flag speed of the season at 1.5-mile tracks, with an 11th-place speed rank at Kentucky which is possibly most similar to Texas.

An 11th-place finish will net him a minimum of 39 DraftKings points, which should put him on the threshold of the winning lineup. There’s upside for even more.

Austin Dillon ($6900) – After a 13th-place result at Kentucky, I’m sticking with the older Dillon brother. Dillon has finished inside the top 14 at every 1.5-mile quad- or tri-oval track in 2020. In addition, his average green flag speed at the low-to-medium tire wear 1.5-mile tracks has always been inside the top 14.

A 21st-place starting position will give him plenty of place differential potential. Use him if others prefer to use his teammate Tyler Reddick, who starts 24th but hasn’t run quite as well at these tracks this year.

Corey LaJoie ($6100) – There is a 100% chance LaJoie will be faster than at least six cars starting in front of him. LaJoie has been faster in every 1.5-mile race than JJ Yeley, Brennan Poole, Joey Gase, Gray Gaulding, Josh Bilicki and Quin Houff. However, he starts behind all six of these drivers.

That means, barring any problems, LaJoie is guaranteed at least six place differential points. In addition, LaJoie’s worst finish at a 1.5-mile tri- or quad-oval track this year is 28th. He even has two top-20 finishes at these tracks, which would be a huge day at his price tag while starting in 36th.

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