AAA Texas 500 Free Picks

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The eighth race in the Sprint Cup Championship Chase takes place at Texas Motor Speedway this Sunday for the AAA Texas 500.

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After last week’s race, just 38 points separate the top three, which makes it the closest margin among the top-three drivers with three races to go since NASCAR began its playoff format for its top-tier series in 2004. All three title contenders do well at Texas Motor Speedway, so we could easily see the points standing tighten up even more after Sunday.

Texas Motor Speedway is very similar to Talladega, with its high banking and high speeds. But what sets it apart is with no restrictor plates, cars can actually pass here and we shouldn't see a 43-car freight train going around in circles. Look for all three contenders to be up front and in contention this week, since none of the three can afford a bad finish over these last three races.

Denny Hamlin 6/1
When Denny Hamlin was on a tear earlier this year, he won here back in April just two weeks after knee surgery. That’s an amazing feat considering how demanding this track is. Hamlin's 7.4 average finish in the COT is second best next to Mark Martin's 7.2. He also has three top fives in five starts and going back even further, Hamlin has always ran well here with seven top 10s in 10 starts. Look for Hamlin to have another strong race and come away with the points lead heading to Phoenix.

Live Longshot

Matt Kenseth 20/1
Matt Kenseth has quietly had a solid year but with no wins this year to show for it. We think that could change this week. Texas Motor Speedway has always been one of his best tracks, with 10 top-10s in sixteen starts and an average finish of 9.9 (second only to Denny Hamlin's 9.6). Of the three races left, this is Kenseth's best track and we look for him to have another strong run and possibly grab his first win of the year.

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