Texas Motor Speedway is the host of today’s 400-mile NASCAR Cup Series race.
A classic 1.5-mile track, Texas will compare to other 1.5-mile tracks, especially Charlotte Motor Speedway as its sister track that is also closest to it in the tire-wear department.
We can also use practice data, which will be important as there is a new right-side tire being used this weekend, so it’s our only data on this tire to date.
Before we jump into my picks, don’t forget all my NASCAR projections can be found in the NASCAR Models on FantasyLabs, complete with floor, ceiling, median, and ownership projections.
Let’s not skip the best part — my Perfect% metric — a metric that tells you how often certain racers appear in the optimal lineup when running 10,000 race simulations.
Here are my NASCAR DFS picks for Sunday’s Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Texas DraftKings DFS Cash Game Picks
Kyle Larson ($11,200): Larson topped nearly all the major long-run metrics in practice, but he only qualified in the 11th position, giving him a potential 10 places of place differential to go with any dominator points he may accrue.
That makes Larson the safest play on the board, as he’s the driver most likely to grab dominator points who isn’t starting near the front.
If you like Larson’s potential to move up, his PrizePicks projection for cars passed is set at 7.5. Be sure to check out all the pick’ems PrizePicks has to offer with PrizePicks promo code LABS for a $100 deposit match.
Chase Elliott ($9200): At a bit of a discount, Elliott should find your way into cash-game lineups thanks to his 29th-place starting spot. With so much place differential on the board, we have to back the Hendrick Motorsports (HMS) driver who just put up a top-five showing at the most recent 1.5-mile track the series visited at Kansas just a couple weeks back.
Add in Elliott’s top-12 times over the long run in practice, and he’s an easy pick for these types of contests.
Tyler Reddick ($8300): Tyler Reddick ran 61 laps in practice, by far the most of any driver. What does that mean, you ask?
Well, typically if a driver wasn’t happy with the car, they’d come in and make adjustments, because why would you keep practicing with a junk car in such a short practice session?
Reddick is great at steeply banked tracks and should be in contention for the win today at a relatively cheap price tag of $8300.
That’s cash-game material.
Zane Smith ($5400): The part-time rookie starts farthest back of the non-Rick Ware and Live Fast cars, and he should only gain experience throughout the race, making his practice times a bit irrelevant, especially starting back in 33rd.
Earlier this year, Smith placed 10th at Charlotte driving this car, so there’s potential here if the team can hit on a setup and make some good adjustments. At worst, he’s a cheap pick starting at the back who won’t tank your cash game lineups.
Texas DraftKings DFS Tournament Picks
Brad Keselowski ($9800): Keselowski didn’t pop on the practice sheets, but he said he was really happy with his car after practice. He said the first few laps weren’t great, but they came in and made adjustments and his car was really good after that.
That means there’s no long-run data other than a five-lap average that won’t be representative of the car the owner-driver has, which may help suppress his usage just a bit, especially in cheaper and larger tournament formats where people may be just looking at practice times.
Denny Hamlin ($11,000): If you’re not riding with Larson as your dominator, you’ll likely want to ride with Hamlin. He was just a tick slower than Larson over the five- to 20-lap averages, but thanks to lower tire wear, Hamlin had the best 25-lap average.
If this race plays out to a long green-flag run at the end, the No. 11 car may just be the one to beat, if he hasn’t beat himself on pit road.
Alex Bowman ($7700): People seem to have a hard time trusting Bowman, but his team has started to pick up solid finishes like they were at the start of the year.
Especially representative is Kansas, where they were a mid-teens car but brought it home 10th. Bowman ran 22 laps in practice, the same as polesitter Bubba Wallace, and he had a faster overall practice time than Wallace. He also ran one more lap than teammate William Byron, who is among the race favorites. Bowman placed fifth in overall practice time while Byron was fourth.
Take the price and usage discount with Bowman.