Kyle Busch clinched his spot in the championship round as he won a wild race at Martinsville, and now the Monster Energy Cup Series heads to Texas for the second time this season. The first race was won by Jimmie Johnson, while Carl Edwards won this race in 2016, but he retired and obviously won’t be back to defend his title. Let’s take a closer look at what to expect at the AAA Texas 500 this weekend.
Event: AAA Texas 500
Category: NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series
Date: Sunday, November 5th, 2:00 PM ET
Location: Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, Texas
Busch won his fifth race of the season ahead of Martin Truex Jr., Clint Bowyer, Brad Keselowski (who led 108 laps) and Kevin Harvick. However, Chase Elliott was leading when he was moved up the track by Denny Hamlin, who finished seventh, and Elliott led a race-high 123 laps before finishing 27th. Elliott then spun out Hamlin on the cool-down lap and they had words when they got to pit road.
Past Five Winners
2016: Carl Edwards
2015: Jimmie Johnson
2014: Jimmie Johnson
2013: Jimmie Johnson
2012: Jimmie Johnson
Martin Truex Jr. is the favorite this week, which is not surprising. He has done fairly well at this track of late, collecting Top 10’s in each of his last five starts. Kevin Harvick is a bit lower down the odds but will be a popular bet this week. He has eight Top 10’s on 1.5-mile tracks this season and has placed in the Top 10 in each of his last six Texas starts.
Although Kyle Busch is second in line in terms of the odds, he does have a couple of wins in his last 10 starts at Texas, placing in the Top 15 every time. He’s probably someone that’s a better bet to finish in the Top 10 than to win outright, though. Keep an eye on Chase Elliott as well as he has seven Top 10’s in nine races on the 1.5-mile tracks this year. That includes four straight Top 5’s.
What To Know About The Track
Texas Motor Speedway opened in 1996 and it is a 1.5-mile track that has 20 degrees of banking in Turns 1 and 2, and 24 degrees of banking in Turns 3 and 4. Even though it seems like your typical 1.5-mile track, this is one of the most exciting places to go in NASCAR as there can be lots of passing and you don’t necessarily need a good starting position to win here. Three of the last seven winners (counting the spring and fall races together) have started 10th or worse.
A Good Matchup To Bet: Jimmie Johnson over Ryan Blaney
Johnson is the slight favorite in this matchup against Blaney, who is -105 to -125 for Johnson, who is only three points ahead of the standings, and Blaney has finished better in each of the last two races. Johnson has been fantastic in 28 starts at Texas with an average finish of 8.2, and that includes seven wins; four of those have come in the fall race. He also won the spring race despite starting in the 24th spot, and the pressure is on now, so Johnson knows he needs to have a good performance. Blaney finished 12th here in the spring, but he led a race-high 148 laps. Still, go with the veteran, who continues to hang around the top of the standings.
Top-Five Pick: Chase Elliott
Regardless of who wins the championship this season (and he still has a shot), Elliott has been the most impressive driver of the playoffs. He has four top-fives (three runner-up finishes and a fourth) and he might have won at Martinsville if he wasn’t punted by Hamlin. Elliott started 33rd at Texas in the spring and finished ninth, and three starts here, he has an average finish of 6.0, including a pair of top-fives. He just keeps getting better and better each week.
Odds To 2017 Win AAA Texas 500
Martin Truex Jr +250
Kyle Busch +400
Kyle Larson +600
Kevin Harvick +700
Chase Elliott +800
Brad Keselowski +1000
Denny Hamlin +1200
Jimmie Johnson +1500
Matt Kenseth +2000
Ryan Blaney +2000
Erik Jones +3000
Joey Logano +4000
Clint Bowyer +4000
Kurt Busch +5000
Jamie McMurray +7500
Daniel Suarez +7500
Dale Earnhardt Jr +10000
Ryan Newman +12500
Kasey Kahne +12500
Austin Dillon +15000
Ricky Stenhouse Jr +15000
Click here to get all of the latest NASCAR betting lines at BetDSI including head-to-head matchups, props and odds to win each NASCAR and NASCAR Xfinity playoffs!
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