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Infographics

Texas Motor Speedway Infographic – Living Large

Texas Motor Speedway, with permanent seating of 128,655 and an estimated overall capacity of 181,655, is one of the world’s largest sports facilities located in Fort Worth, Texas. So how expansive is the enormous infield that is encircled by the high-banked, 1.5-mile oval that plays host to NASCAR and INDYCAR racing annually?

At just over 84 acres, the speedway’s infield can fit the venues of ALL of Texas’ major professional sports franchises – the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans; MLB’s Texas Rangers and Houston Astros; the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets; and the NHL’s Dallas Stars – in its massive infield as well as the state’s largest NCAA football stadium (Texas A&M’s Kyle Field) for good measure.

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Fantasy NASCAR NASCAR Fantasy Live

NASCAR FANTASY LIVE PICKS, 2015 TEXAS, AAA TEXAS 500

Matching the headlines for the last three weeks in the Chase will be difficult.

I am stuck somewhere between thinking Kenseth was justified to wreck Logano and upset because Logano was in every one of my fantasy lineups last week. We will see what else can happen this week in Texas, and Homestead will be interesting between the #22 and #20 if Logano fails to advance to the final round.

With only three races remaining in the NASCAR season, there is little opportunity to gain in your standings. Texas, Phoenix, and Homestead are all races that favor the frontrunners. Your best hope, if you are behind in the standings, is to select drivers who are under-the-radar and hope that you get lucky. My suggestion in Texas, like most weeks, is to front-load your lineup with the top-3 drivers and fill out your roster with two budget options. The next few weeks will be tense for Fantasy owners who are close in the standings, and choosing wisely will be critical as the season comes to a close.

For the top-3 spots, I am leaning towards drivers who are still in Chase contention. There are non-Chase drivers who can certainly find success, but I like to pick drivers who are racing for a Championship. Even with the events from last week, keeping Joey Logano out of your lineup is risky. Not only is he on a hot streak, but he also finds success in Texas. Over the last five Texas races, Logano for four top-5 finishes and maintains a 5th place average. He has only led 129 laps in this stretch, so he has seen consistent efforts that are not dominating. Early this year, Logano finished in 4th while staying in the top-15 for all of his laps. For large oval tracks, Logano has a 5th place average finish and has led the most laps in the series. Logano’s 7th place average finish position in 2015 is best in the series.

The combination of track success, season success, and track type success provides Logano with a high probability of success this week. The only risk with Logano this week’s is that the Martinsville drama carries over into Texas, and his performance is somehow affected. I do not anticipate this will be the case and am comfortable with Logano in my lineup.

For the second roster spot, I am going to lean on the driver who has helped my roster this entire season. Kevin Harvick does not have consistent success at Texas, but he did finish 2nd earlier in 2015. Over the last five Texas races, Harvick has two top-5 finishes and a 13th place average finish position. These numbers are not enough to convince you to roster him, but enough to show that Harvick is competitive in Texas. On large oval tracks this season, Harvick has led the most laps of any driver. Even though Logano now has a better average finish position now in 2015, Harvick has still led the most laps of any driver in 2015. Harvick is on the bubble to advance in the chase right now. Harvick is dominant on next week’s race in Phoenix, and I would expect a more conservative approach towards this week.

Jimmie Johnson was strongly considered for my 3rd roster recommendation due to his victory earlier this season. Down the stretch, the #48 team has finished worse than their average on a consistent basis so I am staying away from the team unless I see something in qualifying to change my mind. Of the Chase eligible driver, the one who finds the most consistency in Texas is Kyle Busch. Over the last five Texas races, Kyle Busch finish has three top-5 finishes and has a 5th place average finish. Busch missed the race earlier this season due to a broken leg. His numbers at large oval tracks and 2015 are not enough to warrant a start. Due to these number, Busch carries more risk than the other drivers suggested, but I feel he is the best option of the Chase eligible drivers. This is his best chance for an automatic qualifier and expect Kyle Busch to be aggressive this week.

Selecting three Chase eligible drivers uses the majority of my salary cap. As a result, the final two roster spots will be the best available budget options. David Ragan has not seen consistent success in Texas, with a 29th place average finish position over the last five races. With Kyle Busch’s team, Ragan finished 13th earlier in 2015. He is hovering around a 25th average finish position in 2015, and should provide enough value for his salary cap figure. There is not another budget driver I love, but will tentatively suggest Matt DiBenedetto until at least qualifying. DiBenedetto finished in 34th place earlier in 2015. This finish will only be value if he qualifies in the back of the field. I will keep an eye on qualifying and may start the 43rd driver in an effort to find value in start-to-finish differential.

FANTASY NASCAR LIVE SALARY CAP

Fantasy Live on nascar.com uses a scoring system that combines fast laps, laps led, finish position, and start-to-finish differential. In order to prevent us from starting the best drivers each week, Fantasy Live uses a salary cap format to manage the talent on our rosters. Our formula calculates the average number of Fantasy Live points earned by each driver over the last five Texas races. Next, we divide the average points earned by the salary cap figure to determine which drivers provide the best value in Texas. Jimmie Johnson narrowly missed my roster because I am keeping non-Chase eligible drivers off my roster. As a consolation prize, I will use Johnson’s impressive Texas numbers to further illustrate the formula.

JIMMIE JOHNSON AT TEXAS

  • Average finish position last five Texas races: 6.8 equals 37.2 points per race
  • Start-to-finish differential: Zero equals zero points per race
  • Laps led: 574 equals 57.4 points per race
  • Fast laps: 254 equals 25.4 points per race
  • Total Fantasy Live points per race: 120
  • Fantasy Live salary cap figure: $24.50
  • Fantasy Live points divided by salary cap figure: 120 divided by $24.50 equals 4.9 points

Below you see the Fantasy Live rankings for each driver over the last five races at Texas. If you are wanting to take risks, you can take a driver with the 5th or 6th best numbers in hope that the unexpected happens. We are talking Fantasy racing, so there is always the possibility of getting lucky.

GROUP A ($25.00 or higher)

  • Jimmie Johnson 4.90
  • Kyle Busch 3.01
  • Brad Keselowski 2.33
  • Joey Logano 2.24
  • Kevin Harvick 1.69
  • Denny Hamlin 1.55
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1.23
  • Jeff Gordon 1.16
  • Kurt Busch 0.64

GROUP B ($20.00 – $24.99)

  • Martin Truex Jr. 2.11
  • Clint Bowyer 1.86
  • Kasey Kahne 1.84
  • Kyle Larson 1.64
  • Ryan Newman 1.51
  • Jamie McMurray 1.45
  • Aric Almirola 1.29
  • Carl Edwards 1.12
  • Paul Menard 0.81

GROUP C ($15.00 – $19.99)

  • Greg Biffle 2.33
  • Sam Hornish Jr. 1.38
  • Austin Dillon 1.20

GROUP D ($10.00 – $14.99)

  • AJ Allmendinger 2.68
  • Tony Stewart 2.35
  • Cole Whitt 1.84
  • Danica Patrick 1.69
  • Justin Allgaier 1.39
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 1.30
  • Trevor Bayne 1.17
  • Casey Mears 1.16
  • Ryan Blaney (-1.83)

GROUP E ($9.99 or lower)

  • Reed Sorenson 2.65
  • Michael Annett 2.64
  • Joey Gase 2.57
  • Matt DiBenedetto 2.32
  • David Gilliland 2.24
  • JJ Yeley 2.20
  • Brett Moffitt 1.93
  • David Ragan 1.93
  • Landon Cassill 1.61
  • Michael McDowell 0.98
  • Alex Bowman 0.83
Categories
Fantasy NASCAR NASCAR Fantasy Live

NASCAR Fantasy Live Picks, 2014 Texas, AAA Texas 500

There are only three weeks remaining in the NASCAR season. With Dale Earnhardt Jr’s surprise win at Martinsville, this leaves one more open spot for consistent drivers like Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth for the championship. They may attempt a conservative approach in order to secure their ticket. Other drivers, like Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski, need to take risks to advance to the final rounds. Your lineup should reflect your status in your league: conservative or risky. There are plenty of options this week because we do not see completely dominant drivers. I would suggest choosing your three favorite drivers and fill the final two spots with the best budget options available.

The first pick for my roster is the most consistent driver at Texas. Matt Kenseth has 12 Top-5 finishes in his last 19 starts and has not finished outside the Top 20 in the last ten years. With 79% of his laps in the Top 15 and an average running position of 9.4 since 2005, Kenseth is the best in the series in lap-to-lap performance. Matt Kenseth has been solid all this season and he should be a productive choice for your roster.

I am suspicious of my second roster choice because he has burned me multiple times throughout the 2014 season. Kyle Busch has been running more consistently lately with the exception of being caught up in an early wreck at Talladega. With 7 Top-5 finishes in his last 18 Texas races, Kyle Busch has shown upside in Fort Worth. He is third best in the series in lap-to-lap consistency, and I expect a solid finish this week.

Greg Biffle was tempting for my third pick, but I had enough cap room to upgrade to Jeff Gordon. While Biffle has better track data, Gordon is decent in Texas and is a more consistent driver in 2014. He is also the best driver in the championship standings after a second place finish at Martinsville. I am expecting a conservative approach that will appeal to those on top of the standings.

With the top drivers taking up most of my budget, I am left to fill the remaining two spots with budget drivers. David Ragan is often a decent value based on his low salary cap number. He has middle-of-the-road lap-to-lap numbers in Texas. If he finishes in the middle, then he will be a valuable choice. Landon Cassill, with a 17th place average over the last month, is slowly raising his salary cap number. He should still be worth the value.

FANTASY NASCAR LIVE SALARY CAP

Fantasy Live on NASCAR.com has a scoring system that combines fast laps, laps led, finish position, and start-to-finish differential. In order to prevent us from starting the five best drivers every week, Fantasy Live uses a salary cap format. Our formula calculates the average number of Fantasy Live points earned over the past five Texas races for each driver and divides that number by the salary cap figure. The end result is a number that indicates how many points to expect from each fantasy dollar. Greg Biffle is on my yahoo roster, but I left him off of my Fantasy Live roster in favor of Jeff Gordon. As a consolation prize, we will use his Texas numbers to demonstrate our formula.

GREG BIFFLE AT TEXAS

  • Total Laps Led Last Five Texas Races: 91 laps equals 9.1 points per race
  • Fast Laps: Cannot be calculated
  • Average Finish Position: 6th place average equals 38 points per race
  • Start to Finish Differential: Plus 6 equals 6 points per race
  • Total Points Per Race: 53.1
  • Fantasy Live Salary Cap Figure: $23.00
  • Fantasy Points Per Dollar: 53.1 divided by 23 equals 2.31 points per dollar

See this week’s fantasy live points per dollar numbers below with highlighted picks in bold. Good luck with your picks for Texas.

GROUP A ($25.00 or higher)

  • Jimmie Johnson 3.55
  • Kyle Busch 2.69
  • Joey Logano 1.89
  • Matt Kenseth 1.78
  • Brad Keselowski 1.60
  • Clint Bowyer 1.57
  • Ryan Newman 1.44
  • Kevin Harvick 1.05
  • Carl Edwards 1.01
  • Jeff Gordon 0.95
  • Dale Earnhardt 0.79

GROUP B ($20.00 – $24.99)

  • Martin Truex Jr. 2.53
  • Brian Vickers 2.32
  • Greg Biffle 2.31
  • Kyle Larson 1.80
  • Tony Stewart 1.61
  • Denny Hamlin 1.60
  • Kasey Kahne 1.53
  • Aric Almirola 1.27
  • Paul Menard 1.07
  • Marcus Ambrose 1.04
  • Jamie McMurray 0.94
  • Kurt Busch 0.72
  • Austin Dillon 0.57
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 0.45

GROUP C ($15.00 – $19.99)

  • Danica Patrick 1.38
  • Justin Allgaier 1.18
  • Casey Mears 0.64

GROUP D ($10.00 – $14.99)

  • Trevor Bayne 1.48
  • David Gilliland 1.05
  • David Ragan 0.81
  • Cole Whitt 0.17

GROUP E ($9.99 or lower)

  • Landon Cassill 2.30
  • Michael Annett 1.44
  • Reed Sorenson 1.26
  • Josh Wise 1.14
  • Alex Bowman 0.97
  • Michael McDowell 0.01
Categories
Fantasy NASCAR

2014 Texas Motor Speedway, AAA Texas 500

The first race of the Eliminator Round is in the books, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. picks up the win. This means that because Dale has already been eliminated from the Chase, at least two drivers will make it to the championship race via points. A couple of the Chase drivers had very poor finishes and now find themselves in a position where they will probably have to win one of the next two races to make it to the championship race.

This week the series heads back to Texas Motor Speedway, the mile and a half track that is very similar to the rest of the intermediate tracks on the circuit. Once again a 500-mile race will take its toll on some engines and tires have been a concern most of the year for various drivers. The drivers who struggle on the short tracks really need to run well this weekend before the final race of this round is run at Phoenix.

AAA TEXAS 500

Jimmie Johnson: I am picking Jimmie to break out of his recent slump and get back to victory lane this week at Texas. Jimmie has won two of the last four races and both of them were during the Chase. Even though Jimmie was eliminated from the Chase, this team is going to fight for another win this season.

Matt Kenseth: Matt has yet to win a race this season and this is one of the tracks that he can get that first win at. Matt has won two races at Texas during his career. He has also finished in the top ten in seventeen of his twenty-four starts here and has the best average finish of any driver at Texas over their careers.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Even though this team has been eliminated from the Chase they are still running hard and running well as we come to the last few races of the season. Dale has run well at all types of tracks this season and I think he will have a fast car once again the weekend in Texas. He won the very first race ever run at this track, but that was a long time ago.

Denny Hamlin: Denny swept the races here back in 2010 and was very disappointed with his finish last week at Martinsville. He felt that he had a car capable of winning last week and that would have given him the free pass into the championship race at Homestead. Now they need to run well over the next two races and they have two tracks they are very capable of winning at.

Joey Logano: This team has been fast all season. Now we will see how they perform under extreme pressure on a track that they should be favored to finish in the top five at. Joey won the spring race here and has finished in the top five in his last three starts at this track. They will be looking for the sweep this weekend and they could very well get it.

Brad Keselowski: After winning the race at Talladega to move to the Eliminator round of the Chase, Brad had mechanical trouble at Martinsville and finds himself once again in a must win situation somewhere during the next two races. This team has been just as fast as their teammate, Joey Logano, every week and they lead the series in wins.

Kevin Harvick: Kevin took the biggest hit of all the Chase drivers at Martinsville when he and Matt Kenseth got tangled up on the track and Kevin had to go to the garage to get his car back on the track and try to salvage as many spots as he could. Now they almost have to win one of the next two races, but the good news is that they have a good chance of winning one of the next two races because they run very well at both of these tracks.

Carl Edwards: Carl didn’t have the best race at Martinsville and has some work to do to get back in contention. However, Carl has won three races at Texas and runs well at Phoenix, so he has a good chance of making it to the championship race. They can ill afford another poor finish though, or they will be in the same position as the other drivers who need to win to have a shot.

Jeff Gordon: Jeff leads the point standings at the moment, by virtue of his second place finish at Martinsville. It’s nice to be in the lead, but Jeff would have rather won the race. Now they need to run well over the next two weeks to move into the championship race. Jeff finished second in the race here in April of this year and has shown that he can get the job done on any track he runs on this season.


Ryan Newman:
Ryan had a great run once again at Martinsville, where he picked up a third place finish. Even though they are another team that hasn’t won a race yet this season, they have put themselves in position to move on to the next round if they can come away with two more top five finishes. I think Texas will be their toughest test between the next two races.

YAHOO! FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

Yahoo Driver Group A

  • Jimmie Johnson
  • Kevin Harvick

Yahoo Driver Group B

  • Brad Keselowski
  • Joey Logano
  • Denny Hamlin
  • Carl Edwards

Yahoo Driver Group C

  • Kyle Larson
  • Danica Patrick

MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

  1. Jimmie Johnson
  2. Joey Logano
  3. Kevin Harvick
  4. Matt Kenseth
  5. Jeff Gordon

Dark Horse: Brian Vickers

Stay Away From: Kurt Busch

Categories
Fantasy NASCAR

2014 Texas Motor Speedway, Duck Commander 500

Another race with tire issues, but this time I won’t blame it on tires or NASCAR. I think it was due to the temperatures being so cool in Martinsville this past weekend. One thing for sure, it was an exciting race even it none of my fantasy drivers finished in the top ten. So congratulations to Kurt Busch, who broke a long winless streak and out dueled Jimmie Johnson to be the sixth driver to win a race in six chances this season.

This week the series heads to Texas Motor Speedway for the running of the Duck Commander 500. Texas is a fast mile and a half D-shaped oval with plenty of banking in the corners. Hopefully tires won’t be an issue this weekend, but even if they aren’t and I don’t think they will be, the speed and the distance is going to be hard on engines.

DUCK COMMANDER 500

Matt Kenseth: Matt is my pick to win this week’s race and to be the seventh different driver to win in seven races this year. Matt has two career wins at Texas and has finished in the top five in six of his last seven races here. I believe that Toyota has taken care of their engine issues they experienced last season and their engines will hold up during this grueling race.

Jimmie Johnson: Jimmie will once again give Matt a run for his money. He has won two of the last three races at this track and finished runner-up in another of those races. In the three aforementioned races he has lead 579 laps. That is more than half of all the laps run in those three races also. Hard to bet against a team like that.

Greg Biffle: Greg won this race two years ago for his second victory at Texas. He has also finished in the top ten in ten of his last eleven starts there. This team looks like they are on the edge of breaking out and winning some races soon. He has brought cars to the front of the field the last few weeks and just needs to make the right adjustments late in the race to keep up with changing track conditions.

Kyle Busch: Kyle won this race last year and has lead laps in each of his last three starts here. This team has qualified well the past couple of weeks, but hasn’t found the formula for long runs. Their car seems to be unbeatable on short runs, but after a few laps they fade. If they can figure out how to set up this car for long runs they are going to win more races this year.

Joey Logano: Joey has yet to win a race at Texas, but both of the Penske teams have qualified and run well each and every week this season barring wrecks or mechanical failures. They have the speed you need to win on a fast track and a driver who likes to go fast. Sometimes I think that if Joey would be a little more patient early in the race they would be in the mix more ofter than they are now late in the race.

Kevin Harvick: Kevin always seems to run very well at this track and yet he is still seeking his first win here. The major thing for this team right now is to avoid the mechanical troubles that have been plaguing them for the past month. They always seem to have one of the better cars each week and then something mechanical happens to them. Last week it was a broken chain in the rear of the car, but they rebounded nicely from that failure.

Brad Keselowski: Brad is the other Penske driver that has had a fast car all season and already has a win to prove that he knows how to get the job done. This team is going to contend for the championship this season as they try to win their second for the young driver. Brad has finished in the top ten in his last three starts at Texas and should qualify well here once again.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Dale has looked better this year than any other year he has driven at this high level. He has a contending car each and every week and this week should be no different. He has finished in the top ten in five of this last six starts at this track including a second place finish last fall. However, he hasn’t won a race here since 2000.

Carl Edwards: Carl has won three times here during his career and always seems to have a good car when he unloads it from the hauler. Last November he sat on the pole for the race here and lead a bunch of laps before losing an engine half-way through the race. He has finished in the top three in three of his last six races here also.

YAHOO! FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

Yahoo Driver Group A

  • Matt Kenseth
  • Jimmie Johnson

Yahoo Driver Group B

  • Greg Biffle
  • Carl Edwards
  • Brad Keselowski
  • Joey Logano

Yahoo Driver Group C

  • Austin Dillon
  • Trevor Bayne

MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

  1. Matt Kenseth
  2. Jimmie Johnson
  3. Greg Biffle
  4. Kyle Busch
  5. Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Dark Horse: Aric Almirola

Stay Away From: Tony Stewart