Congratulations to Joey Logano, who is the first driver to punch his ticket for the championship race with his win at Martinsville this past weekend. Martin Truex Jr. was not happy after the race as he passed Logano with one lap to go and Logano gave him a bump entering turn three on the final lap and made the pass for the win. I will disagree with Martin as I believe this is short track racing and every driver in the field would have done the same thing to get the win.
Now on the other side of the coin, Joey will have to really watch his rear view mirror at Homestead because if Martin can get to him, he will pay him back like Matt Kenseth did a few years ago. Martin really has nothing to lose as he doesn’t have a ride for next season at this point. He needs to do everything he can to win another championship to show other owners that he is worth hiring, which should really be a no-brainer.
AAA TEXAS 500
This week the series heads to the Texas Motor Speedway for the running of the AAA Texas 500. This is the last mile and a half track before the final race of the season, so it is the last chance for teams to see what they have for the final race of the year. With Logano winning we now know that some drivers might still need to win one of the next two races to make it into the championship. Right now the Big Three hold those final three positions, but a lot can happen in the next two races.
Kyle Busch: I think Kyle gets back to victory lane this week at Texas. He won the race here in the spring. He has two wins and six top five finishes in his last eight starts at this track and his pit crew seems to be working well together. Right now he holds a pretty good lead in the points race, but he would still like to get the job done now and show that he might be the person to beat at Homestead.
Kevin Harvick: It has been a while since he has visited victory lane even though he has been close and dominated some races he didn’t win. This team has shown speed all year long and he showed that he wasn’t too worried last week at Martinsville as he seemed to be content just staying out of trouble and finishing in a good points position. He knows how good he is at Phoenix and thinks he can point his way in if need be.
Martin Truex Jr.: Martin has shown that he can compete with the best on all types of tracks, but the intermediate tracks are where he is at his best. He finished second in this race last season and had a string of six straight top ten finishes here in the spring when he was involved in an early race accident that took him out of the race. He wants to make sure he has another good finish this week to take some pressure off going to Phoenix.
Joey Logano: Last week’s winner has been very good at Texas over the past six seasons. He has finished seventh or better in nine of his last eleven starts at this track and has a lot of confidence and no worries right now. This team might use this race to do some testing for Homestead as they know they are already in the championship field.
Chase Elliott: Chase might have to win one of the next two races to make the championship race and he has shown that he can get the job done lately. His worst finish at Texas in his five starts there was eleventh. All of his other races he finished in the top ten. He is going to have to score some points in both of the stages and come away with at least another top ten finish this week to give him a shot to get in on points.
Kurt Busch: Kurt in another driver who might need to win to get in. He sat on the pole for the last two Texas races and has finished in the top ten in five of his last six starts here. Once again stage points will be imperative for all of the playoff drivers in the next two races because we don’t know who is going to win those races. All of these drivers know how hard it is to win a race and that points are going to be at a premium.
Erik Jones: Erik has only run four races at this track and has finished in the top ten in his last two starts. This is the type of track where he has shown some promise in his early career and he is worth having on your roster this week. He led 64-laps here in April, so that shows he can lead this race and if you can lead it, you can win it.
Ryan Blaney: Ryan has shown speed all year and this is the type of track where he is more consistent. he has finished fifth and sixth in his last two starts here and led 148 laps in the race before that. He might be out of the playoffs, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t going to try and win races the rest of the year.
Brad Keselowski: Brad has finished in the top six in five of his last eight starts at Texas. He won a few races just before and at the beginning of the playoffs and all of the Penske teams have shown speed all year and even more lately. Brad is another driver who isn’t in the playoffs any longer, but we saw him racing his teammate, Joey Logano, last week at Martinsville, so we know he isn’t giving up.
Aric Almirola: Aric currently sits fifty points out of the top four in points and this is probably his best shot at winning one of the next two races and getting himself in the final race of the year. He hasn’t been very good here in his career with only one top ten finish in his fifteen starts at Texas, but he is on a new team this year and everything can change for him this weekend.
DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
Driver Group Game Group A
- Kyle Busch
- Joey Logano
Driver Group Game Group B
- Chase Elliott
- Kurt Busch
- Ryan Blaney
- Erik Jones
Driver Group Game Group C
- William Byron
- Chris Buescher
MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
- Kyle Busch
- Joey Logano
- Kevin Harvick
- Martin Truex Jr.
- Chase Elliott
Dark Horse: Aric Almirola
Stay Away From: Kyle Larson
Big 18: Erik Jones