Drivers to watch for in Texas

By Brian DeGruchy

April 6, 2018

FORT WORTH—The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers are back in Texas where everything is bigger including the hunger for a victory after a week off to celebrate Easter.

Clint Bowyer got his win a couple of weeks ago to end his longest win drought of his career and is a virtual lock for the playoffs.

After the drivers were looking for eggs during last weekend, none want an egg at Texas unless it is between two pieces of Texas toast.

Some drivers are due for a good run at Texas, and some will be in the shadows of a lot of people.

Here are the drivers to watch out for to compete for the checkers at Texas.

AJ Allmendinger
Allmendinger has not had a top-ten run since the Daytona 500, but the JTG-Daugherty Racing driver has a decent track record at Texas.

Allmendinger is one of my two long shots as he has an average finish of 18.8 in the last four races at Texas.

For a driver to look at for fantasy, if your usage is going up on a driver and want to look at a fill-in, Allmendinger is a solid pick. In the last three out of four races at TMS, he has finished on the lead lap.

Brad Keselowski
Keselowski has finished in the top ten in two of the last four races at Texas, including one top five.

The one time he did not finish in the top ten he was involved in an incident. Not only Keselowski, but all of Team Penske has a chance to make a big impact in Sunday’s race.

Martin Truex Jr.
Probably the favorite of mine heading into Sunday is Martin Truex Jr. Truex has four top tens including two top fives at Texas. Truex has an average finish of 4.8 in Texas.  

The 2017 champion has also been on fire in the beginning of the season as the NASCAR circuit goes west of the Mississippi River where Truex is exceptional at leaving the competition behind him.

Jamie McMurray
Like Allmendinger, McMurray is a great pick as a secondary driver for Sunday’s race.

McMurray has one top ten in the last four races, but he has not been able to finish on the lead lap in two of those four races. To me, McMurray will either finish in the top ten, or have an incident.

Kevin Harvick
The next favorite besides Truex is Kevin Harvick. Harvick’s track record speaks for itself as he has a 5.2 average finish in the last four races.

In the last four races, “Happy Harvick” has a victory, two top fives and four top tens.

Harvick, along with Truex, has been red hot during the start of the season, and like Truex, Harvick shows his muscle when the circuit is west of the Mississippi River.

Jimmie Johnson
If there is an elite driver that needs to show that they are still a championship contender, it is the seven-time champion and Texas is the best track for Johnson to show that.

Johnson has been off to a rough start in the 2018 season.

Yet, the Hendrick Motorsports driver has two top fives and a win in the last four Texas races.

This weekend will show what Johnson is made of during the rest of the season and I believe that will be championship form.

Joey Logano
The last driver on the list will be Joey Logano. Logano has recorded three top fives at Texas and a top in the last four races.

The Team Penske driver enters the race with an average finish of 3.8, which is the highest among all drivers on the circuit in the last four races.

Logano is definitely a favorite to take the checkers at Texas and get his first win of the season to clinch a spot in the Playoffs.

DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

Jeremy Thompson/TRE

Brian DeGruchy/TRE Chris Madrid/TRE