NASCAR at Texas: Odds, prediction, sleepers, drivers to watch for O'Reilly Auto Parts 500
- Kevin Harvick has two wins at Texas Motor Speedway since the repave and could be in line for his first win of the 2019 season.
NASCAR gets back to intermediate racing this weekend as the Cup Series heads to Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth for the O'Reilly Auto Parts 500.
There's a few things to keep track of coming into this weekend. For one, Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski are tied for the most wins this season with two and both will be looking to add to that total on Sunday at a track where they've had success before. But second, the past really doesn't mean that much when handicapping this race.
Texas Motor Speedway underwent a repave before the 2017 season, so much of the former success of drivers has gone out the window. So, while Busch has three career wins at the 1.44-mile track, it's hard to say that helps him out much because two came before 2017 and three of his last four races there have resulted in finishes outside the top 10.
But Busch has been fantastic of late as has Keselowski, and while those two drivers have to be the first two drivers to watch, Kevin Harvick could be in line to get his first win of the year.
Harvick has quietly finished in the top four in three of his last four races and has won two of the four at Texas since the repave. He is our pick to win this weekend, but Busch could easily keep him from that, as could the rest of our drivers on down the page.
The O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 can be seen Sunday at 3 p.m. ET on FOX.
What are the betting odds for the O'Reilly Auto Parts 500?
|Kyle Busch 5/2|
|Brad Keselowski 7/2|
|Joey Logano 5/1|
|Kevin Harvick 5/1|
|Martin Truex Jr. 7/1|
|Ryan Blaney 10/1|
|Kyle Larson 18/1|
|Denny Hamlin 25/1|
|Aric Almirola 30/1|
|Kurt Busch 30/1|
|Clint Bowyer 30/1|
|Erik Jones 30/1|
|Chase Elliott 30/1|
|Jimmie Johnson 60/1|
|Austin Dillon 60/1|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 80/1|
|Daniel Suarez 100/1|
|Alex Bowman 100/1|
|William Byron 200/1|
|Chris Buescher 300/1|
|Paul Menard 300/1|
|Matt DiBenedetto 300/1|
|Ryan Newman 300/1|
|Daniel Hemric 300/1|
|Ryan Preece 500/1|
|Michael McDowell 2000/1|
|Ty Dillon 2000/1|
|Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr. 2000/1|
|David Ragan 5000/1|
|Field (all others) 1000/1|
Which NASCAR drivers should you watch at the O'Reilly Auto Parts 500?
The young guns: We had to put all three of these guys together because it's hard to distinguish them this weekend. Ryan Blaney (10/1), Erik Jones (30/1) and Chase Elliott (30/1) have all had a lot of success since the 2017 repave, combining for nine top 10s in the last four races. Blaney is the hottest driver of the three at the moment with three top 5s in a row this season, but Jones has the best finish on a 1.5-mile track with a seventh at Atlanta this year.
Martin Truex Jr. is the king of the intermediate track as he has eight wins on them over the last two-plus years and has earned top-5 finishes in 20 of his last 24 races on 1.5-mile runs. He has three top-10 finishes at Texas Motor Speedway since the repave.
Kurt Busch hasn't seen a dropoff in his production in Fort Worth since 2017 as he has four top-10 finishes in four races. He also has a third and fifth place at 1.5-mile tracks already in 2019.
One sleeper for the O'Reilly Auto Parts 500
This is about as much of a flyer as you can get, but William Byron (200/1) finished 10th at last year's spring race at Texas Motor Speedway, followed that up with a respectable 16th in the fall and has a win in the Truck Series on the track to go with a seventh place in the Xfinity Series. It's tough to say he's guaranteed to perform well this weekend, but it wouldn't be the biggest surprise if he did.Published 28 Mar 2019, 02:16 IST