NASCAR DFS: O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 Playbook
Matt Selz pores over all of the stats, speeds, and qualifying spots to find the best DFS NASCAR plays for the O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.
It’s been a wild ride so far this season but now comes a track that goes by “No Limits” Texas and is known to be one of the fastest 1.5-mile tracks on the schedule. Texas Motor Speedway opened in 1996 as a Quad-Oval layout, meaning the front stretch has two turns in it, and it had banking of 24 degrees in all four turns. However, in 2017 the track was repaved and reconfigured so that now Turns 1 & 2 have 20 degrees of banking while Turns 3 & 4 are still tilted at 24 degrees.
Because of the repave just four races ago, the second racing groove hasn’t really come in yet which may make passing a bit more challenging than in race prior to the repave. That being said, the aero package that’s in place this week is the same one that was used at Las Vegas meaning drafting should be possible and based on the final minutes of final practice on Saturday morning, that’s exactly what we’ll get in the race on Sunday. The track has also been using Tire Dragons to lay down more rubber on the track and get it to age faster than a typical repave does.
Qualifying was wonky on Friday night, you can listen to my rant about it on this week’s podcast, and so finding value might be tough but it will be a necessary thing to do as the high-priced drivers will be heavy chalk plays given their starting spots. The general strategy here this week is to do what we’ve done at previous 1.5-mile tracks which is to find the driver that will lead the most laps and then fill out the roster with position differential guys. With 334 laps in the race there will be a decent amount of bonus points available for fastest laps and laps led on DraftKings and laps completed and laps led on FanDuel so scoring will be moderately high.
Prop Bet Challenge Picks
- Does Ryan Blaney extend his 2019 top-five streak to four races? I’m going to say No for this one and assume this streak ends today. Now he did finish Top 5 in last year’s Texas races, but I think he’ll regress a bit today. He qualified 13th which gives him room to move up and he’s had a great car in practices. So if you want to say the streak continues, I wouldn’t fault you. But I’m going to take the field with this prop.
- O/U 2.5 Toyotas finish in the Top 10 at Texas Motor Speedway? I’m actually going with the UNDER here. Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. seem like locks to get in the Top 10, but Denny Hamlin was the fade last week so Erik Jones would also have to crack the Top 10 or Matt DiBenedetto. It’s risky, but I’m taking the under.
- Kurt Busch has four straight Top 10’s at Texas, but his best finish was seventh. Does he finish better than seventh on Sunday? I’m going to say NO because he has to really move up in the field to get there because he’s starting 30th. And to be fair to him he has looked really good lately and could get into the Top 5 even, but I’ll go conservative and say he finished lower than seventh.
- Does the same driver win Stage 1 and Stage 2 on Sunday? I’m going to say No. I remember the last time I said no to this prop I got burned, but hey it cant happen twice, right? The odds of it happening are still minimal so I’ll go with the chalky answer and say no.
- O/U 1.5 drivers lead more than 85 laps in Sunday’s race? There are 334 laps in this race so it’s possible for two drivers to lead 85 laps each. However, after speaking with Matt we talked about how there could be a lot of lead changes on Sunday. Sure there will be one guy to lead over 85 laps, but I’m going to take the UNDER.
- Which driver finishes better at Texas on Sunday? Matt DiBenedetto or Ty Dillon? I’m going with Ty Dillon because he qualified 9th while DiBenedetto qualified 26th. On top of that Matt D has just one Top 20 finish, while Dillon has three Top 20’s and has never finished worse than 24th at Texas.
- Does a team other than Joe Gibbs Racing or Team Penske go to victory lane Sunday? So to recap, JGR is Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., and Erik Jones. Team Penske is Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, and Paul Menard. If you say yes you’re picking against these drivers. So I’m going to say NO because I think one of those elite names will come away with a win on Sunday.
- O/U 16.5 lead changes for Sunday’s race? I think last week there were fewer than ten lead changes so I don’t think that happens again this week. With a lot of big names qualifying poorly they will work their way to the front and go back and forth with a lot of lead changes. I’m going to take the OVER for this prop.
- Joey Logano has an average finish of 4.0 the last six races at Texas Motor Speedway. Will he finish in the Top 5 on Sunday? Logano’s starting eighth on Sunday and he always does well at Texas especially in the Spring and his car looked great in the final practice. He could get another win at Texas, but a Top 5 finish is definitely in play so I will say YES.
- The average starting position for the race winner the past six races at Texas Motor Speedway is 10.3. Will Sunday’s race winner start inside the Top 10? So pending any changes the Top 10 drivers are Jimmie Johnson, William Byron, Chase Elliott, Daniel Suarez, Austin Dillon, Denny Hamlin, Daniel Hemric, Joey Logano, Ty Dillon, and Bubba Wallace. Johnson hasn’t looked great the past few races, but the he’s on the pole so he’s got that going for him. Realistically I only think Elliott and Logano have a solid chance at winning. But I’m still going to take the field and say NO the driver will start outside the Top 10.