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Duck Commander 500 at Texas

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Usually this race is held under the lights on Saturday night. But this year the race has been moved to Sunday afternoon so they don’t have to compete with the Final Four. However this race will likely end under the lights thanks to more rain. There have been two major trends early on in this NASCAR season. One is obviously that we have seen six races with six different winners. The other is weather interrupting race day. Unfortunately we know that the latter will continue, but will we see a seventh different driver win this week? I say yes.

Stay Away From

Joey Logano 8-1

Texas has not been kind to Joey Logs early in his career. He has only posted 3 top 10’s in his 11 career starts and has an average finish of 20th. He hasn’t seemed to found much speed this week either. In the first practice he had the 30th fastest car and in the second he had just the 17th fastest car. Things don’t appear to be turning around for Joey in Texas and anyone that bets him at just 8-1 is flat out insane.

Kurt Busch 20-1

What a turnaround for the #41 team last week. After claiming he was probably done after repeated contact with Brad Keselowski, he managed to chase down Jimmie Johnson and all but lock up a spot in the Chase. However this week, despite being fastest in the second practice, he wrecked out of the first practice. Also, I don’t think we have seen the end of Brad vs Kurt. While they might not go after each other this week, it still looms overhead and with Kurt having won last week for the first time since October 2nd of 2011, it just doesn’t seem likely he will go back to back.

Austin Dillon 100-1

If you are a fan of the #3 and just want to see it back in victory lane, take this week off from making a value play here because Austin Dillon is really feeling under the weather. His brother had to replace him in happy hour yesterday, so I can’t imagine this rookie is going to go to victory lane this week.

Best Bets

Jimmie Johnson 5-1

It sure feels like he is due at this point. Jimmie holds the second best average finish at this track (8.71) and is one of just two guys that has an average finish in the top 10. Also, he is one of two guys with three wins here, which is tops all time. Sure, it’s short odds, but he is the favorite for a reason. He topped the charts in the first practice and was 7th fastest in the second. There is a rather good chance that Johnson will continue his hot streak at Texas that has seen him win two of the last three races in Texas and finishes inside the top 6 in the previous four. There’s no doubt he is the man to beat this week.

Matt Kenseth 7-1

Matt is the only guy that can say he has a better average finish at Texas than the #48 team. He hasn’t been particularly fast this week but he knows his way around this track and he wants to join Johnson at the top by earning his third win at Texas Motor Speedway.

Carl Edwards 20-1

Carl was the first man to three wins in Texas, but he hasn’t drove to this victory lane since 2008. However that’s not to say he hasn’t been fast here since then. In the past six races here Carl has posted three top 5’s and four top 10’s. This week he has found some speed as well posting the second fastest speed in the second practice. You know Carl would love to grab his second win of the season and separate himself from Johnson with his fourth win in Texas.

Best Value Bets

Clint Bowyer 20-1

While Bowyer has never won here, and doesn’t really have a rich history of winning races, he is consistent. He has the 5th best average finish at Texas so at 20-1 he is a great value play.

Greg Biffle 30-1

The Biff has found some speed in recent weeks and being another one of those drivers with two previous victories here, both in the spring race, he makes for a great value play at 30-1.

My Pick

Tony Stewart 25-1

The only way Tony Stewart could be happier with his SHR team this year is if he can become the third driver on his team to earn a victory. Harvick and Busch have basically already punched their tickets to the Chase now owner Tony Stewart looks to join them. Smoke is among the list of drivers that have two victories here although he doesn’t own a pair of those cowboy boots given to the winner of the spring race. We know Smoke typically heats up as the weather does, but he wants that first win since that brutal leg injury now. He owns the 6th best average finish among active drivers here with a 13.09. He has had a fast car this week in practice and should compete for the win.


Saturday, April 5, 2014

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