We’re in the Lone Star State at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend for race #7 of the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season. The O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 is set to start around 2 pm ET on Sunday, and with the way qualifying and practice played out this weekend, it’s hard to confidently say what to expect during the race. Almost all of the drivers that were the favorites heading into the race weekend qualified outside of the top 10 on Friday, and then the first of the two post-qualifying practices on Saturday was cancelled due to weather. This gives us one ‘real’ practice data set to work with. The good news is that Texas is a 1.5-mile track and we have a ton of data on venues of this length, as it is the most common on the NASCAR schedule. So far this year we’ve been to two tracks of this length, Atlanta and Las Vegas, with Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano the victors in those two races. As far as Texas goes specifically, this track was repaved in 2017, so really the four races that have been ran here since then are the only track-specific viable data (in my opinion).
Here are some helpful links to the qualifying results practice speeds from this weekend:
DraftKings Strategy Tactics for Texas
After first glancing at the starting lineup once qualifying was over with on Friday, one thing immediately came to mind: this is just like a restrictor plate race. And it may be even more so on Sunday, as we saw quite a few wrecks during the Truck and Xfinity Series races this weekend–not to mention the drafting the drivers are going to be doing during the race with this new package.
However, try not to over-complicate things here. This is a 500-mile race, and the fast cars are going to get to the front no matter where they start at. So think of it as the best of both worlds as your construct your DraftKings lineups: not only are the top drivers great options for place differential points on Sunday, but they’re still just as likely to grab those dominator points as well. It’s just going to take them a little bit longer than usual, which begs the question of whether or not it’s worth it to pick the guys that qualified up front (but probably won’t stay there). More on that later.
Speaking of dominator points, though, here’s a quick chart on the dominators here at Texas over the last four races at this track, sorted by percentage of dominator point share.
|Driver||Dom. Pts. |
|% of |
|Fastest Laps |
|Laps Led |
|Martin Truex Jr||23.88||11.12%||28.25||39.00|
Here is the exact same chart, but just for the 1.5-mile tracks that we’ve already ran at this season (Atlanta and Las Vegas).
|Driver||Dom. Pts. |
|% of |
|Fastest Laps |
|Laps Led |
|Martin Truex Jr||15.75||7.34%||30.5||2.0|
GPP Drivers I Love for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500
Joey Logano ($11,600) – Nobody is going to be surprised if Joey Logano ends up in victory lane on Sunday. However, if I were a betting man, I’d put my money on less than 20% of DraftKings players having him in their lineup this week. And why is that? Just look at the drivers priced around them and where they start. Logano is the highest qualifier among the six highest-priced drivers in DraftKings this weekend, with fantasy studs like Kevin Harvick ($10,700) not only starting mid-pack and a great place differential option, but also almost $1,000 cheaper. However, the top lineup this weekend probably isn’t going to be built on place differential alone, and while Harvick and Kyle Larson ($9,200) have cumulatively accounted for 33.4% of the dominator points on 1.5-mile tracks this season–Harvick is at 18.2% and Larson’s at 15.2%–Logano is sitting there in 3rd with a total share of 12.8% of the dominator points on this track type this season. Looking at Texas specifically, Logano has had 38+ laps led in two of the four races on this “new” surface, and posted 17 fastest laps in the fall race last year. Strategy-wise I definitely like being overweight on Logano this weekend. And even though his practice speeds weren’t overly impressive on Saturday, his teammates were both in the top 5 in ten-lap average during that final session. The #22 Ford will be just fine on Sunday.
Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. ($7,600) – There’s so much value in the $9,000 and low $10,000 range this weekend that I don’t mind allocating $7,600 to Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. in quite a few of my lineups. And with that somewhat-high price tag and his 17th-place starting spot, it’s not going to be very difficult to be overweight on Ricky in DraftKings this weekend. But honestly, Stenhouse should have been on everyone’s radar before this weekend even started. Texas Motor Speedway has been a very good track for him over the last couple of years–three finishes of 14th or better in the four races on the “new” surface–and so far, this #17 team has gotten off to a great start for the 2019 season. Just looking at the two races at 1.5-mile tracks (Atlanta and Las Vegas), Stenhouse has an average finish of 12th and an average running position of 12.5–both 12th-best in the series. Don’t forget: Ricky came home with a 6th-place finish at Las Vegas a few weeks ago. He’ll be well worth that $7,600 price tag if he does the same thing at Texas this weekend.
GPP Fade Options for Texas
I’m not convinced whatsoever that Hendrick Motorsports has its issues suddenly figured out, so as far as our weekend pole sitter, Jimmie Johnson ($8,000), goes, I don’t like having much exposure there. Yeah, he won the first race here at Texas after it was repaved in 2017, but he has an average running position of 19th on the 1.5-mile tracks this year, and an average finish of 21.5. It’s going to take a significant amount of dominator points for Johnson to end up in the top DraftKings lineup this weekend, and I just don’t see that happening. Personally I’m limiting myself to 10% maximum exposure of Jimmie on Sunday. And his teammate, William Byron ($7,300), who starts 2nd? Zero. Full fade. I like Chase Elliott ($8,600) as an outside dominator but even then I’ll be limiting myself to 10-15% of him, if that. It is worth noting that Chase has posted double-digit fastest laps in each of the last two spring races here at Texas, but it’s going to take more than 15 fastest laps for that gamble to pay off.
Other drivers that I will have limited to no exposure of on Sunday are: Austin Dillon ($7,800), Daniel Suarez ($7,500), Daniel Hemric ($6,800), Ty Dillon ($5,800), Michael McDowell ($5,700), and Bubba Wallace ($5,500).
Texas O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 DraftKings Projections
You can click the headers below to sort the chart by that attribute. By default it is sorted by average projected FPTS.
|Driver||Starting Position||DraftKings Salary||Avg Proj FPTS||Avg. Projected Finish||Proj Laps Led||Proj Fastest Laps||Dollar Per FPT|
|Martin Truex Jr||20||$11,300||65.8||05.0||11||18||$172|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr||17||$7,600||38.2||12.4||0||4||$199|