AAA Texas 500 Betting News and Notes

AAA Texas 500 Betting News and Notes

Texas Motor Speedway Data

Season Race #: 34 of 36 (11-03-13)
Chase Race #: 7
Track Size: 1.5-mile
Banking/Turn 1 & 2: 24 degrees
Banking/Turn 3 & 4: 24 degrees
Banking/Frontstretch: 5 degrees
Banking/Backstretch: 5 degrees
Frontstretch Length: 2,250 feet
Backstretch Length: 1,330 feet
Race Length: 334 laps / 500 miles

Top 13 Driver Rating at Texas

Matt Kenseth 106.5
Jimmie Johnson 103.8
Greg Biffle 102.7
Kyle Busch 101.5
Tony Stewart 99.1
Carl Edwards 98.1
Denny Hamlin 93.3
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 92.6
Jeff Gordon 92.3
Clint Bowyer 92.0
Martin Truex Jr.89.0
Kurt Busch 89.0
Mark Martin 87.8

Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2013 races (17 total) among active drivers at Texas Motor Speedway.

Qualifying/Race Data

2012 pole winner: Kyle Busch, Toyota 196.299 mph, 27.509 secs. 04-13-13

2012 race winner: Kyle Busch, Toyota 144.751 mph, (03:27:40), 04-13-13

Track qualifying record: Kyle Busch, Toyota 196.299 mph, 27.509 secs. 04-13-13

Track race record: Greg Biffle, Ford 160.577 mph, (3:07:12), 11-14-12

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Re: AAA Texas 500 Betting News and Notes

Texas Driver Tale of the Tape


1 - Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Home Depot “Let’s Do This” Toyota)

· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 111.0

2013 Rundown
· Seven wins, 10 top fives, 18 top 10s; two poles
· Average finish of 12.3
· Led 24 races for 1,636 laps

Texas Motor Speedway Outlook:
· Two wins, 12 top fives, 15 top 10s
· Average finish of 8.5 in 22 races
· Series-best Average Running Position of 9.3
· Series-best Driver Rating of 106.5
· 312 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most
· 1,246 Green Flag Passes, fifth-most
· Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 173.225 mph
· Series-high 4,497 Laps in the Top 15 (79.0%)

2 - Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet)

· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 108.8

2013 Rundown
· Five wins, 14 top fives, 21 top 10s; two poles
· Average finish of 11.3
· Led 21 races for 1,729 laps

Texas Motor Speedway Outlook:
· Two wins, nine top fives, 15 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 9.1 in 20 races
· Average Running Position of 10.9, third-best
· Driver Rating of 103.8, second-best
· 389 Fastest Laps Run, second-most
· 4,329 Laps in the Top 15 (76.1%), second-most
· 660 Quality Passes, fifth-most

3 - Jeff Gordon (No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet)

· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 92.6

2013 Rundown
· One win, eight top fives, 17 top 10s; two poles
· Average finish of 13.8
· Led 16 races for 385 laps

Texas Motor Speedway Outlook:
· One win, eight top fives, 11 top 10s; two poles
· Average finish of 17.0 in 25 races
· Average Running Position of 13.3, 10th-best
· Driver Rating of 92.3, ninth-best
· 301 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 172.801 mph, ninth-fastest
· 3,666 Laps in the Top 15 (64.4%), eighth-most
· 615 Quality Passes, eighth-most

4 - Kevin Harvick (No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet)

· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 93.5

2013 Rundown
· Three wins, eight top fives, 18 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 11.6
· Led 10 races for 191 laps

Texas Motor Speedway Outlook:
· Three top fives, 10 top 10s
· Average finish of 12.5 in 21 races
· Average Running Position of 15.2, 15th-best
· Driver Rating of 84.7, 14th-best
· Series-high 1,360 Green Flag Passes
· 3,353 Laps in the Top 15 (58.9%), 12th-most
· 630 Quality Passes, seventh-most

5 - Kyle Busch (No. 18 Snickers Toyota)

· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 101.8

2013 Rundown
· Four wins, 16 top fives, 20 top 10s; three poles
· Average finish of 13.0
· Led 19 races for 1,225 laps

Texas Motor Speedway Outlook:
· One win, six top fives, seven top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 14.1 in 16 races
· Average Running Position of 11.2, fourth-best
· Driver Rating of 101.5, fourth-best
· 308 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 173.196 mph, third-fastest
· 3,863 Laps in the Top 15 (72.1%), seventh-most
· 568 Quality Passes, 12th-most

6 - Clint Bowyer (No. 15 Sour Apple Extra Strength 5-hour ENERGY Toyota)

· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 93.8

2013 Rundown
· Nine top fives, 17 top 10s
· Average finish of 12.0
· Led 11 races for 354 laps

Texas Motor Speedway Outlook:
· Three top fives, eight top 10s
· Average finish of 12.9 in 15 races
· Average Running Position of 12.8, ninth-best
· Driver Rating of 92.0, 10th-best
· Average Green Flag Speed of 172.855 mph, eighth-fastest

7 - Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 AMP Energy Gold / 7-Eleven Chevrolet)

· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 97.0

2013 Rundown
· Seven top fives, 19 top 10s; two poles
· Average finish of 13.5
· Led 13 races for 312 laps

Texas Motor Speedway Outlook:
· One win, three top fives, 12 top 10s; two poles
· Average finish of 14.3 in 22 races
· Average Running Position of 11.9, sixth-best
· Driver Rating of 92.6, eighth-best
· 204 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-most
· 1,264 Green Flag Passes, third-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 172.863 mph, seventh-fastest
· 4,290 Laps in the Top 15 (75.4%), third-most
· Series-high 707 Quality Passes

8 - Greg Biffle (No. 16 3M Hire Our Heroes Ford)

· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 83.2

2013 Rundown
· One win, four top fives, 13 top 10s
· Average finish of 14.2
· Led 5 races for 122 laps

Texas Motor Speedway Outlook:
· Two wins, eight top fives, 12 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 15.3 in 19 races
· Average Running Position of 12.3, seventh-best
· Driver Rating of 102.7, third-best
· Series-high 458 Fastest Laps Run
· 1,103 Green Flag Passes, 13th-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 173.216 mph, second-fastest
· 4,186 Laps in the Top 15 (73.6%), fifth-most
· 700 Quality Passes, second-most

9 - Kurt Busch (No. 78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet)

· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 93.9

2013 Rundown
· 10 top fives, 15 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 14.7
· Led 14 races for 444 laps

Texas Motor Speedway Outlook:
· One win, three top fives, 12 top 10s
· Average finish of 15.2 in 21 races
· Average Running Position of 14.7, 14th-best
· Driver Rating of 89.0, 12th-best
· 190 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-most
· 1,258 Green Flag Passes, fourth-most
· 3,382 Laps in the Top 15 (59.4%), ninth-most
· 572 Quality Passes, 11th-most

10 - Carl Edwards (No. 99 Aflac Ford)

· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 92.8

2013 Rundown
· Two wins, nine top fives, 16 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 12.7
· Led 14 races for 450 laps

Texas Motor Speedway Outlook:
· Three wins, six top fives, eight top 10s
· Average finish of 14.4 in 17 races
· Average Running Position of 11.9, fifth-best
· Driver Rating of 98.1, sixth-best
· 346 Fastest Laps Run, third-most
· 1,105 Green Flag Passes, 12th-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 173.095 mph, fourth-fastest
· 4,243 Laps in the Top 15 (74.6%), fourth-most
· 679 Quality Passes, third-most

11 - Joey Logano (No. 22 AAA Ford)

· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 90.8

2013 Rundown
· One win, 10 top fives, 16 top 10s; two poles
· Average finish of 14.8
· Led 13 races for 289 laps

Texas Motor Speedway Outlook:
· Two top fives, two top 10s
· Average finish of 21.7 in 10 races
· Average Running Position of 22.2, 28th-best
· Driver Rating of 67.4, 27th-best

12 - Ryan Newman (No. 39 Outback Steakhouse Chevrolet)

· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 81.4

2013 Rundown
· One win, six top fives, 16 top 10s; two poles
· Average finish of 16.4
· Led 14 races for 95 laps

Texas Motor Speedway Outlook:
· One win, three top fives, four top 10s; two poles
· Average finish of 19.8 in 20 races
· Average Running Position of 20.8, 22nd-best
· Driver Rating of 71.4, 21st-best
· 1,243 Green Flag Passes, sixth-most

13 - Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Time Warner Cable Chevrolet)

· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 95.7

2013 Rundown
· Two wins, nine top fives, 12 top 10s
· Average finish of 17.0
· Led 9 races for 636 laps

Texas Motor Speedway Outlook:
· One win, four top fives, five top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 18.7 in 18 races
· Average Running Position of 15.4, 16th-best
· Driver Rating of 83.8, 15th-best
· 1,220 Green Flag Passes, eighth-most

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Re: AAA Texas 500 Betting News and Notes

AAA Texas 500 Preview
By Micah Roberts
VegasInsider.com

And we thought Talladega was supposed to be the wild card in the Sprint Cup Chase. Last week at Martinsville Speedway, Matt Kenseth shocked the NASCAR world by finishing better than Jimmie Johnson with the result being that they’re all tied up in points with three races to go.

Martinsville was a place that Johnson had won eight times in 23 starts compared to Kenseth never winning and having only three top-5 finishes in 27 starts. This was supposed to be a place where Johnson expanded upon his four-point lead in the Chase standings and would gain a huge enough lead that would make his 1/3 odds (Bet $300 to win $100) last week to win the Championship look cheap.

But not only did Kenseth come up with a career best second-place finish, but he also led the most laps to gain a bonus point. With Johnson finishing fifth, there’s the four-point difference from the race and now were all square with three to go.

The LVH SuperBook now has Johnson as the 5/7 (Bet $140 to win $100) favorite to win it all, while Kenseth can be bought at plus-110 (Bet $100 to win $110). The problem with a wager on Johnson at such a high price, considering they’re both tied right now, is that two of the next three races are on 1.5-mile tracks, beginning with Sunday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway.

Like Kenseth last week heading into Martinsville, Johnson is kind of the outsider looking in to others being dominant on a type of track. Kenseth has four wins on the nine 1.5-mile tracks this season, Johnson doesn’t have any. Johnson does have two top-5 finishes in his last three attempts on them, but only three overall in nine starts.

Can the momentum of the Chase keep Johnson rolling, or does Kenseth’s excellence on the entire season on these types continue?

The new Gen-6 car has more to do with Johnson and Kenseth’s results this year on the 1.5-mile tracks, and it’s apparent that Kenseth and his Joe Gibbs Racing team have the edge. If we look at past Texas history, the two drivers have been the best. Over the last 20 Texas races, Kenseth has a 6.8 average finish and Johnson has a 9.1 average, and each have two wins apiece.

Johnson won this race last season and also won during the 2007 Chase. Kenseth has top-5 finishes in seven of his last nine starts there, including a 2011 win. But the overall edge goes to Kenseth on the basis of winning at other 1.5-mile tracks this season like Las Vegas, Kansas, Kentucky and Chicago.       

If we look beyond Texas to Phoenix and the season finale at Homestead, Johnson has an advantage at Phoenix, while Kenseth should have the edge at Homestead.

The one thing Johnson does have going for him is consistency. His worst finish in the seven Chase races has been 12th and he’s finished sixth or better in the other six races. Kenseth’s only slip up in the Chase was a 20th-place finish at Talladega.

While Kenseth and Johnson battle each other for position, there will a couple of other drivers to consider for the win. Kenseth’s teammate Kyle Busch is the first one that comes to mind because he won in the first Texas race in April, as well its sister track at Atlanta in September. Busch has been a close second to Kenseth as the best on these types of tracks all season.

Kevin Harvick won at a similar track at Charlotte in May and also at Kansas earlier in the month, both tracks that should serve him well for setting up his car this week at Texas. Harvick is currently fourth in the Chase, 28-points behind the leaders, and while his chances remain slim to beat Kenseth or Johnson for the title, one wreck by either of those drivers in the next three weeks could change everything. 

Kurt Busch has been stellar all season on the 1.5-mile tracks and should be competing for a win this week as well, which would be the second Texas win of his career.   

And then we have 2009 Texas winner Jeff Gordon fresh off his Martinsville win and almost in the same boat as Harvick waiting for something to happen to the others. He’s only 27-points behind in an attempt to win his fifth NASCAR Championship. Both Gordon and Harvick are 12/1 to win the Sprint Cup.

Top-5 Texas Finish Predictions

1) #18 Kyle Busch (6/1)
2) #29 Kevin Harvick (12/1)
3) #20 Matt Kenseth (5/1)
4) #48 Jimmie Johnson (5/1)
5) #2 Bead Keselowski (12/1)

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Re: AAA Texas 500 Betting News and Notes

Texas Storylines: 2013 AAA Texas 500
Nascar.com

Everything’s said to be bigger in Texas and very little looms larger than this year’s edition of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup™ arriving Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.

Championship heavyweights Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson enter the AAA Texas 500 (3 p.m. ET, ESPN, Performance Racing Network, SiriusXM Satellite Radio) in a dead heat. Each has scored 2,294 points, the deadlock unprecedented in Chase history with three races remaining.

Kenseth technically is the standings leader, a tie broken by his seven season victories to Johnson’s five. The 2003 champion, like Johnson, has won twice at the 1.5-mile speedway.

The Texas Chase race has been pivotal in all five of Johnson’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships. Finishes of second and first in 2006-07 gave Johnson the points lead. He retained his No. 1 position in 2008-10.

Kenseth and Johnson continue to distance themselves from all but one pursuer. Four-time champion Jeff Gordon, who entered the postseason as the Chase’s final seed, closed to 27 points with his 88th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory on Sunday at Martinsville Speedway.

Following a two-weekend break, the NASCAR Nationwide Series teams return for the final three races of the 2013 season beginning with Saturday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2). Austin Dillon holds a slim, eight-point championship advantage over Sam Hornish Jr. A tight owners’ title struggle pitting Joe Gibbs Racing against Penske Racing continues as well.

Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Jeb Burton goes for a Texas Motor Speedway season sweep in Friday’s WinStar World Casino 350k (8:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1). Burton, however, trails Ryan Blaney and last weekend’s Martinsville winner Darrell Wallace Jr. in the rookie standings.

Most Wins May Determine 2013 Championship

Advantage – Matt Kenseth? Kenseth has scored the same number of points, 2,294, as rival Jimmie Johnson. The Wisconsin driver, however, currently holds the tie-breaker by virtue of his seven season victories to Johnson’s five. The Chase era’s previous closest contest with three races remaining came a year ago when Johnson led ultimate champion Brad Keselowski by two points.

Texas Solidified Four of Johnson’s Five Title Runs

Jimmie Johnson entered Texas Motor Speedway’s Chase race with the points lead in four previous seasons and closed the deal in three – 2008 through 2010. The Fort Worth track also was pivotal in Johnson’s other two championship campaigns. He took the points lead from Matt Kenseth in 2006 and Jeff Gordon in 2007 with finishes of second and first, respectively.

Gordon Closing But Does He Have Enough Time?

Twenty-seven points down with three races to go, Martinsville winner Jeff Gordon likely needs help from Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson to claim a fifth NASCAR Sprint Cup championship. Gordon has one victory at Texas Motor Speedway (2009) as well as two poles. Six DNFs, however, have pushed up his average finish to 17.0. Gordon fell out of April’s race with suspension damage and finished 38th.

Harvick’s Title Hopes May Hinge On Elusive Texas Victory

Kevin Harvick’s sixth-place finish at Martinsville Speedway was good – but not good enough. Harvick lost ground to Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson as well as a share of third place in the standings. Harvick needs to rebound with a victory and that would be a first at Texas Motor Speedway for the driver of the No. 29 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet. Childress has one NASCAR Sprint Cup race win at the 1.5-mile track, with Jeff Burton in 2007.

Kyle Busch Dominated Season’s Spring Lone Star Race

Kyle Busch’s championship hopes didn’t end in Martinsville but a 15th-place finish didn’t improve Busch’s chances. Texas offers redemption for the driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, who won from the pole and led 171 of 334 laps when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series visited in April. Busch finished third in last year’s Fort Worth Chase race.

RFR Pair Retain Texas Favorites’ Role As Title Hopes Dim

With this year’s Chase winding down, the hungriest drivers may be those whose postseason hasn’t gone exactly to plan. Greg Biffle (eighth) and Carl Edwards (10th) effectively are out of the championship hunt. Both, however, are favorites to win the AAA Texas 500. Edwards has won three times in Texas; Biffle twice. Roush Fenway Racing counts nine victories at the track.

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Re: AAA Texas 500 Betting News and Notes

Driver Handicaps: Texas
By: Jeff Wackerlin
Racingone.com

To assist in making your fantasy racing picks, MRN.com's Jeff Wackerlin breaks down all the stats and information to help steer you toward Sunday's AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Who's HOT at Texas
• Kyle Busch has posted a 2.0 average finish in his last two starts, including a win in the spring after leading 171 laps.
• Two-time winner Greg Biffle is the only driver to have finished in the top 10 in the last 10 races.
• Matt Kenseth, who finished 12th in his first track start with Joe Gibbs Racing in the spring, has the second-best average finish (5.2) in the last five races.
• Three-time winner Carl Edwards has finished eighth or better in four of his last five starts.
• Jimmie Johnson has finished in the top 10 in six of the last seven races, including a win in this event last season.
• Martin Truex Jr. led 142 laps in the spring en route to a second-place finish - his third top 10 in the last four races.
• Dale Earnhardt Jr. has finished in the top 10 in four of the last five races.

Who to Keep an Eye On at Texas

• Joe Gibbs Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, Michael Waltrip Racing, Roush Fenway Racing and Richard Childress Racing tested at Texas last week.
• Penske Racing drivers Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano bounced back to each score top-10 finishes in the spring after NASCAR confiscated parts from the rear-end housing of each car prior to the race. Keselowski, who won the last race at a 1.5-mile track (Charlotte), will be driving the same car he led 31 laps with at Atlanta Motor Speedway before engine problems struck.
• Kevin Harvick (7.1) and Kasey Kahne (10.3) each rank in the top five in average finish among all drivers that have competed in nine races with the Gen-6 car at 1.5-mile tracks.
• Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will be racing the same car he started fifth and finished eighth with at Chicagoland Speedway.
• Clint Bowyer has posted a 12.7 average finish at Texas in three starts with Michael Waltrip Racing, including a sixth-place finish in this event last year.
• Jeff Gordon and Kurt Busch have posted respective average finishes of 5.3 and 6.7 in the three races at 1.5-mile tracks in the Chase.

Note: Sprint Cup teams will be running the same combination of left- and right-side tires they ran in the spring at Texas. The left side (also run at Chicagoland, Darlington and Homestead-Miami) has been the same since 2011, but the right side is unique to Texas and was introduced this season.

MRN.com Staff Picks

Jeff Wackerlin: Kyle Busch
Pete Pistone: Matt Kenseth
Dustin Long: Jimmie Johnson
John Singler: Greg Biffle

Top 20 Driver Notes - Ordered by current standings


(All stats/notes are in regards to Texas unless noted)

Matt Kenseth: Finished 12th in the spring in first track start with Joe Gibbs Racing; Finished in the top 10 in 11 of his previous 12 starts with Roush Fenway Racing; Last of two wins came in the 2011 spring race; Second-best average finish (5.2) in the last five races; Tested last week at Texas; Leads all drivers in average finish (6.3) and laps led (466) in the nine races at 1.5-mile tracks this season.

Jimmie Johnson: Defending race winner; Win was second in this event; Finished sixth in the spring for third consecutive top 10; Third-best average finish (6.2) in the last five races; Tested last week at Texas; Third-best average finish (9.9) and second in laps led (433) among all drivers in the nine races at 1.5-mile tracks this season; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 797) that he last led 130 laps with en route to a fourth-place finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway; This is also the same car he won with at Dover International Speedway after leading 243 laps.

Jeff Gordon: Winner of the 2009 spring race; Finished 38th this spring after posting an 8.0 average finish in his previous three starts; Tested last week at Texas.

Kevin Harvick: 10.0 average finish in last three starts; Tested last week at Texas; Second-best average finish (7.1) among all drivers in the nine races at 1.5-mile tracks this season; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 431) that he scored the win with at Kansas Speedway; He last finished sixth in this car at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Kyle Busch: Led 171 laps in the spring en route to his first win in 16 starts; Win was second consecutive top five; Fifth-best average finish (7.8) in the last five races; Tested last week at Texas; 10th-best average finish (14.2) and fourth in laps led (371) among all drivers in the nine races at 1.5-mile tracks this season.

Clint Bowyer: 12.7 average finish in three starts with Michael Waltrip Racing; Finished sixth in this event last year; Tested last week at Texas; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 777) that he last finished 11th with at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Dale Earnhardt Jr: Finished seventh in this event last year for fifth top 10 in 11 starts with Hendrick Motorsports; Finished 29th in the spring, snapping a streak of four consecutive top 10s; Tested last week at Texas; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 716) that he last finished 36th with at Michigan International Speedway in August.

Greg Biffle: Coming off 10th consecutive top 10 with a fourth-place finish; Last of two wins came in the 2012 spring race; Leads all drivers with a 4.8 average finish in the last five races; Tested last week at Texas; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 817) that he won with at Michigan International Speedway in June.

Kurt Busch: Finished eighth in this event last year in first track start with Furniture Row Racing; Won this race in 2009 with Penske Racing; Seventh-best average finish (11.7) among all drivers in the nine races at 1.5-mile tracks this season.

Carl Edwards: Three-time winner; Swept both races in 2008; Finished third in the spring for fourth top 10 in last five starts; Fourth-best average finish (6.4) in the last five races; Sixth-best average finish (11.2) among all drivers in the nine races at 1.5-mile tracks this season; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 831) that he tested at Texas earlier this month.

Joey Logano: Finished fifth in the spring in first track start with Penske Racing; Best finish - and only other top 10 - came in this event in 2010 with Joe Gibbs Racing, fourth place; Ninth-best average finish (14.0) among all drivers in the nine races at 1.5-mile tracks this season; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 853) that he finished 22nd with at Richmond International Raceway in September.

Ryan Newman: 14.6 average finish in nine starts with Stewart-Haas Racing; Coming off fourth top 10 in 20 overall starts; Won the 2003 spring race with Penske Racing; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 727) that he last finished eighth with at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Kasey Kahne: 14.3 average finish in three starts with Hendrick Motorsports; Won the 2006 spring race with Evernham Motorsports; Tested last week at Texas; Fifth-best average finish (10.3) and third in laps led (413) among all drivers in the nine races at 1.5-mile tracks this season; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 809) that he last finished 12th with at Chicagoland Speedway.

Jamie McMurray: Has yet to finish in the top 10 in seven starts with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing; Last of six top 10s (third) came in this event in 2008 with Roush Fenway Racing; Eighth-best average finish (13.6) among all drivers in the nine races at 1.5-mile tracks this season.

Brad Keselowski: Finished ninth in the spring for second consecutive top 10; Second-place finish in this event last year is best in 10 starts; Will return in the same car that he led 31 laps with at Atlanta Motor Speedway before engine issues relegated him to a 35th-place finish.

Martin Truex Jr.: Led 142 laps and finished second in the spring race; Finish was fourth top 10 in seven starts with Michael Waltrip Racing; Tested last week at Texas; Fourth-best average finish (10.2) and fifth in laps led (188) among all drivers in the nine races at 1.5-mile tracks this season.

Paul Menard: Fifth-place finish is only top 10 in five starts with Richard Childress Racing; 21.0 average finish in 14 overall starts; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 427) that he tested last week at Texas.

Aric Almirola: Coming off first top 10 (seventh) in five starts; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 843) that he raced at Texas in the spring.

Jeff Burton: Last of two wins came in the 2007 spring race; Last of nine top 10s (ninth) in 25 overall starts came in this event in 2009; Tested last week at Texas; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 372) that he last finished 34th with at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: Finished 40th in the spring in first start; Tested last week at Texas; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 860) that he finished eighth with at Chicagoland Speedway.

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Re: AAA Texas 500 Betting News and Notes

NASCAR heads to Texas
By Sportsbook.ag

AAA Texas 500 Preview

With just three races left in the season, the NASCAR field heads to Fort Worth for Sunday's AAA Texas 500 race at Texas Motor Speedway. This 1.5-mile intermediate track was built in 1996 as a quad-oval with 24-degree banking on the turns. The straights are just five degrees of banking and measure at 2,250 feet (or 0.43 miles) and 1,330 feet (0.25 miles).

This track has had a different winner in each of the past six races and nine of the past 10 starts in Fort Worth. Denny Hamlin is the only two-time winner during this stretch. Kyle Busch is the defending champion of this race, as he won from the pole at this track on April 13.

Drivers to Watch

Matt Kenseth (4/1) -
When it comes to 1.5-mile tracks, look no further than Kenseth, who has won four times at this distance this season, taking home wins at Las Vegas, Kansas, Kentucky and Chicago to open the Chase for the Cup in which he's currently leading. Kenseth has performed well in Texas too with finishes of 4th, 5th and 4th before a disappointing 12th-place showing in the spring. The odds are pretty short, but that's because Kenseth is the one driver to wager on as the most likely to take home the checkered flag for Sunday's race.

Greg Biffle (20/1) - After going off at 7-to-1 in the spring race in Texas, Biffle's odds have nearly tripled for this race. Not only did Biffle win at this track in the spring of 2012, but he's ripped off 10 straight top-10's at this track, seven of those which were top-5's. This run included 4th-place showing in the April race at Fort Worth. Biffle is usually strong on 1.5-mile venues too, as he's 12th in driver points over the past four races on such tracks. At 20-to-1, Biffle clearly represents the best value on the board for Sunday.

Kevin Harvick (12/1) - Another 1.5-mile track wizard, Harvick has been huge at this distance over the past four races with an average finish of 4.8. After placing 9th in Atlanta, he came in 3rd place at Chicago before winning at Kansas and placing 6th at Charlotte. His career in Fort Worth hasn't been too shabby either with 10 top-10's, including six of his past 10 starts in Texas. With five top-6 showings in his past seven starts this season, Harvick is worthy of a sizable wager for Sunday.

Joey Logano (20/1) - If you're looking for a darkhorse, take a flier on Logano. He placed 11th in last fall's race at this track, and then finished 5th in the spring. Just as important is his recent success at 1.5-mile tracks, placing 2nd in Atlanta in September and 4th at Kansas in October. Logano's odds are long enough here to warrant dropping a one-unit wager on in.

Marcos Ambrose (100/1) - The token longshot pick of the week goes to Ambrose who has at least made some noise in the past four starts on 1.5-mile tracks with an average finish of 13.5, including a 9th-place showing in Kansas. He's also logged a respectable 15.6 average finish in the past five races in Texas that he was able to complete. With six top-10's on the season, Ambrose provides the best triple-digit odds for the weekend.


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Re: AAA Texas 500 Betting News and Notes

AAA Texas 500 Post-Practice Betting Notes
By: Micah Roberts
Sportingnews.com

Co-Chase leader Matt Kenseth had the best 10-consecutive lap average during happy hour at Texas Motor Speedway Saturday, but it was last year's Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski that laid down the fastest single lap (189.434 mph) of the session. Jimmie Johnson, who is tied with Kenseth in points, was only able to get the 16th-fastest lap, but he was showing very fast average speeds between both sessions on the day.

Keselowski was right behind Kenseth with the second best 10-consecutive lap average in the final practice, which was actually only 50 minutes and not an hour. The thing to really like about Keselowski in Sunday's AAA Texas 500, beyond being just fast in practice, is that he won on the last 1.5-mile high-banked track at Charlotte on Oct. 12.

The other race that gets high consideration for being applicable to Texas this week is Atlanta Motor Speedway, where Kyle Busch won on Sept. 1. Busch is rated as the top driver this week. He was consistently great in every practice, including Friday's session and qualifying, where he'll start fifth. He also won for the first time ever at Texas in the spring, leading 171 of the 334 laps.

Another driver that fared well in the spring race was fourth-place finisher Greg Biffle, a two-time Texas winner. Biffle was fifth in Saturday's early session and ninth in happy hour. This week he's using his winning Michigan chassis, which is his only win of the season.

Kenseth should be able to finish better than Johnson, but it looks to be a battle between Kyle Busch and Keselowski for the win, with maybe Martin Truex Jr. chasing them down. Although Johnson was very good in practices, there still should be some skepticism in this spot just because he hasn't won on a 1.5-or 2-mile track this season. That has never happened to Johnson in a season -- ever -- and the season is just about done.

The best longshot to look at is Elliot Sadler (No. 55), who is listed in the 'Field' at 500-to-1 odds at the LVH Super Book. Sadler won at Texas in 2004 while part of the Robert Yates team. He wasn't all that special in any of the practices, posting 25th in happy hour, but it's his MWR teammates speeds from the sessions that make Sadler attractive Sunday; Truex and Clint Bowyer were both outstanding. All three MWR cars finished in the top 15 in the spring.

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