8th race of the 2017 Monster Energy Cup Series playoffs; 2nd race of the round of 8 (Martin Truex Jr, Kyle Busch, Brad Keslowski, Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott)
Playoff format – top 16 will be eligible to win the Monster Energy Cup “Chase for the Championship”. All of the points are made even amongst drivers 11-16. The winner (Martin Truex Jr) gets 15 additional points, 2nd place gets an additional 10, 3rd gets 9, 4th gets 8 etc.. going down to 1 point for the 10thplace driver (Chase Elliott). This is the last race before the field drops down to 12, after the next 3 it goes down to 8, after the next three it goes down to 4 with the final race being the Ford EcoBoost 400.
What: AAA Texas 500
When: November 5th
Where: Texas Motor Speedway
2016 Winner: Carl Edwards
Track: Texas Motor Speedway. Located in Fort Worth, Texas, this 1.5 mile quad-oval asphalt track was built and opened in 1996. It features this race as well as one playoff race and has different banked turns on 1 and 2 (20 degrees) vs. 3 and 4 (24 degrees). Jimmie Johnson holds the most wins here (6).
Kevin Harvick. Logic dictates Jimmie Johnson here, he has 7 wins including the O’Reilly Auto Parts race earlier this year; however, Kevin always looms just out of reach of wins here. 2015 – 3rd and 2nd; 2016 – 10th and 6th; 2017 – 4th & ??? Well I think it’s 1st place. That’s right, I’m picking the first 2017 NASCAR Playoff win not involving Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch and Brad Keslowski is Kevin Harvick winning this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.
Chase Elliot. He finished 9th here earlier this year, last year he was 5th and 4th here, quite simply Chase is very comfortable at Texas. In addition to his strong hold here, he needs something to overcome to finished above 15thin his last 3 races.
Kyle Larson. 39th and 37th on back to back wrecks and Kyle finds himself at Texas where he finished 2nd earlier this year and he finished 14th and 15th here last year. He is so talented he will bounce back with an amazing race (top 5 finish) at some point in the Playoffs and I think that’s Sunday.
Daniel Suarez. C-League is tough this week. Daniel was 19th here earlier this year which I guess is better than Ragan at 28, Cassill at 29, and Dibendetto at 35? It gets ugly quick so I’ll hope for the best out of Daniel.
Clint Bowyer. If you are out of starts from Chase Elliot and Kyle Larson than go with Clint. He was 3rd here earlier this year and he finished 3rd last week at Martinsville.
Ty Dillon. I’m out of Dillon starts but he finished 17thearlier this year and he should bounce back from his 30thplace finish at Martinsville. The last 2 times this season he had a 30+ finish he rebounded to finish 16th and 13thin the next race.
Year to date stats:
A Drivers: Avg Finish 12th (32nd percentile)
B Drivers: Avg Finish 15th (41st percentile)
C Drivers: Avg Finish 18th (48th percentile)
Dark Horse Drivers: Avg Finish 18th (49th percentile)