The High Line – Cup Series – AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 400 – Texas Motor Speedway – April 14, 2024


Texas Motor Speedway is the sight for Sunday in the NASCAR Cup Series as we go back to a 1.5-mile intermediate track. As we head into the second quarter of the season, we are starting to see some drivers sort themselves out ahead of the rest as far as points standings go. The intermediate track features different characteristics in pretty much every corner. Turns one and two feature 20 degrees of banking while three and four have 24 degrees of banking. There have been 11 races since this track was reconfigured and it have shown to produce seven different winners in each of the last seven races. In two of the last three races here the pole sitter has led at least 111 laps (Bubba Wallace with 111 last year and Kyle Larson with 256 in 2021).

Kyle Larson ($11,000) Starting on the Pole

Larson wins 2nd NASCAR All-Star race, this one in Texas

Larson did not have a good trip here last season as he was only able to complete 248 of the 266 laps despite leading 91 of those laps. Larson started that race from the 11 position. In the race here prior to that Larson started and finished ninth. As mentioned above, the driver of the 5 car started on the pole and led 256 laps and when all was said and done he was residing in victory. On Sunday Larson will once again start on the pole and should be a good bet to lead a majority of the first stage.

Chase Elliott ($9,300), Starting 24th

Of late Elliott looks like he has turned a corner as far as performance goes finishing in the top-10 in three of his last four races including leading 61 laps last week en route to a third-place finish. Despite Chase not qualifying well I still have hope for him to finish well. With his starting position he’ll have plenty of PD points available just as he did here last season when he started 29th and finish 11th. Despite never winning here at Texas, Elliott has two top-five finishes and an average finish position of 13th.

Kyle Busch ($9,000), Starting 35th

Busch should be a chalky PD play and he’ll be a guy I’ll have plenty of exposure to. KB won the truck race on Friday night, his 20th win at the track across the three major series’. Despite having horrible luck with car issues his last two trips to this track, Busch has four Cup wins here and even with back to back bad finished (36th and 34th) has an average finish of 12th.

William Byron ($10,800), Starting 6th

No one has figured out this next-gen car like William Byron has winning at virtually every type of track the series has to offer. Byron comes into this event with momentum after last weeks win, a race in which he started 18th and managed to lead 88 laps. Coincidentally Byron started the race here last season 18th and despite only leading six laps, found himself in victory lane by the end. The win was his first at Texas and his fourth top-10. Don’t put it past Byron to wheel that thing to the front.

Brad Keselowski ($8,200), Starting 22nd

Keselowski’s year has been up and down for sure but he’s been strong in his career here at Texas, especially over his five trips here as he’s finished in the top-10 each time. All in all Keselowski has logged six top-fives and 13 top-10’s at Texas in his career. He’s a good mid-range place differential candidate.

Joey Logano ($8,800), Starting 20th

Logano just simply didn’t have a good car here last season. He ran around pretty much where he started and that’s where he finished, 21st. Prior to that race, Logano had logged top-10’s in four of his five races (the one that was not a top-10 was due to a blown engine). The driver of the 22 has one win here which came way back in 2014 but outside of that Logano has 12 top-five’s and 15 top-10’s in 28 races here. 20th is a good spot for him starting to offer some PD upside.

Also Consider:

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ($6,100), Starting 31st

Christopher Bell ($9,500), Starting 3rd

Josh Berry ($6,800), Starting 25th

Ryan Blaney ($10,200), Starting 7th

Jimmie Johnson ($6,700), Starting 37th