I guess the only way to make Texas exciting is to have it in one of the final playoff races to decide the Championship 4 here. Every wreck, malfunction, and pitstop will be scrutinized even if there is one car that is leading from lap 1 to the end.

This is the first time we’ve been to Texas proper because the All-Star race was such a departure from what the rules package is and how the cars are going to race. This is technically our first trip to the track this year, and I guess we can deal with it once a year if there are good storylines to follow.

Favorite: Kyle Larson

I think Larson opening this round with a win is highly likely, just simply because he has seemed to be the guy to beat at these tracks all year. His team has rebounded from two bad races to win in Charlotte last week, so I think they’re going to reclaim a lot of their momentum.

This will be Larson’s first time at Texas at HMS. His stats from CGR aren’t anything to write home about, but I think at this point it’s clear that his stats prior to this season mean nothing. 

Dark Horse: Tyler Reddick

Reddick got a lot of crap last week for getting into the back of William Byron, but at the end of the day, this is a guy that is so close to his first win he can taste it. I don’t blame him for going after the win, even if it’s at the expense of playoff guys.

Last season we saw him get the closest he’s ever gotten to winning here at Texas before his teammate Austin Dillon was able to hold him off for the win. While this was largely due to fuel strategy, Reddick scored a second-place stage one finish in that same race, so he has the speed to get around Texas.

Fantasy:

High-End Picks:

  1. Kyle Larson: $10,500
  2. Denny Hamlin: $9,900
  3. Ryan Blaney: $9,500
  4. Joey Logano: $9,100
  5. Chase Elliott: $10,100

Mid-Tier Picks:

  1. Brad Keselowski: $8,500
  2. Tyler Reddick: $7,700
  3. Kurt Busch: $8,700
  4. Christopher Bell: $8,300
  5. Matt DiBenedetto: $7,400

Low-End Picks:

  1. Erik Jones: $6,600
  2. Chris Buescher: $6,500
  3. Bubba Wallace: $6,400
  4. Daniel Suarez: $6,900
  5. Michael McDowell: $5,800

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