2008 NASCAR Fantasy Preview: Texas Motor Speedway

Samsung 500

Congrats & Sway Bar Gate

Congratulations to Denny Hamlin on winning at Martinsville this past weekend. Jeff Burton moves into the lead in the standings following a strong 3rd place finish and Jamie McMurray and Regan Smith displace Sam Hornish Jr. and David Reutimann in the top 35 in the owner’s standings heading to Texas this week.

My comment for the week is on what was termed “Sway bar Gate” on the show NASCAR Raceday on the Speed channel. I think that Jack Roush has a legitimate gripe about one of his parts in the possession of Michael Waltrip Racing but whose fault is it? No one is saying how the part mysteriously got where it was found so where does the blame lie? I think that Jack will have to do something about security himself and should be happy it was only a sway bar, or was it just the sway bar? When all is said and done it seems to me to be as serious as the Patriots taping the Jets on the sidelines in the NFL and if something can be proven some serious repercussions should be handed down by NASCAR. This has compromised the integrity of the sport in my opinion.

My Pick To Win

On to Texas Motor Speedway this weekend for the running of the Samsung 500. This race should be very similar to the race run at Atlanta earlier this season with it being the same size track and another 500-mile race. I am going to go with Carl Edwards to win this weekend even though he lost an engine at Atlanta. I haven’t seen that many engine problems from any of the teams this year yet and I’m not sure if it is better engines or has something to do with the slightly slower speeds of the COT.

Texas Frontrunners

Kyle Busch won at Atlanta this year and started out like a house on fire. Recently he has been having a string of bad luck but that can change back just as quickly for him. Kyle only has 2 top 10 finishes at Texas in the 6 races he has run there but his record at Atlanta wasn’t much better before he got the win there a few weeks ago.

Jimmie Johnson has 7 top 10 finishes in his 9 races at Texas and won here during the Chase last fall. This year Jimmie is struggling a little bit with the handling of the car. This will come as the year progresses but he is not quite there yet. I think I’m going to save his starts until later this season.

Jeff Gordon needed a few more laps last weekend at Martinsville to get another clock. This team is so close to dominating like Kyle Busch did earlier this year and when he does look out. This is one of the few tracks Jeff has not won at yet and I don’t think he is quite on top of his game right now to get that first win this weekend. Maybe this fall though.

Denny Hamlin has 4 top 10 finishes in 5 races at Texas and is coming off an impressive win at Martinsville. Denny is always good on the flatter tracks but is getting better every time at the intermediate fats tracks like Atlanta and Texas. Denny finished 15th at Atlanta this year and needs a little more experience on these tracks.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. wasn’t the best of the Hendrick drivers this past weekend but he still came away with another top 10 finish and is solidifying his spot in the top 10 in the standings where he currently is 4th only 69 points out of the lead. Dale finished 3rd at Atlanta this year and loves these types of tracks.

Martin Truex Jr. fell out of the top 12 this week but really excels at tracks like Texas. Martin has 3 top 10 finishes in 5 races at Texas and his worst finish there is 15th. This is outstanding and he should continue that streak this weekend.

Matt Kenseth has struggled a bit this year with his new crew chief but has battled back in almost every race he has been in this season. Once this team stops digging themselves a hole with engine changes, poor starting positions or mistakes early on in races they are going to be back in top form.

Tony Stewart finished 2nd at Atlanta this year and has won at Texas before. No one has ever won more than once at Texas since its inception back in 1998. That’s 12 different winners. Although I think Carl Edwards is going to be the first repeat winner, Tony will give him a run for his money this weekend. This team really comes on towards the end of races.

Yahoo! Fantasy Picks

Group A

  • Carl Edwards (starter)
  • Jimmie Johnson

Group B

  • Dale Earnhardt Jr (starter)
  • Kyle Busch (starter)
  • Greg Biffle
  • Kasey Kahne

Group C

  • Brian Vickers (starter)
  • Scott Riggs