NASCAR O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 preview and picks

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July 17th, 2020

Texas Motor Speedway is the site for Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 (3:00 p.m., NBCSN). Kevin Harvick was installed as the +350 favorite to win, with Denny Hamlin sitting as the +500 second-choice. But in the aftermath of Cole Custer’s dramatic upset win at Kentucky on Sunday, those odds hardly seem appealing.

Nascar Cup Series - O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 2020 - Winner

Sun, July 19 2020, 7:20 PM

Kevin Harvick


Denny Hamlin


Kyle Busch


Martin Truex Jr


Ryan Blaney


Chase Elliott


Joey Logano


Brad Keselowski


Aric Almirola


Jimmie Johnson


Let’s go looking for a trio of value plays in this Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series event from Fort Worth, TX.

Kyle Busch (+600)

Texas might be the track that ends Kyle Busch’s long losing streak.

The defending Cup Series champ has yet to win in 2020 but is still putting together a season good enough for an "at large" bid for the postseason – he’s currently 11th in the points standings. Busch has not had a winless season in NASCAR since he started driving full-time in the Cup Series in 2005. 

Busch has seven Top 5s this year, tied for third while trailing only Harvick (10) and Hamlin (nine). Additionally, "Rowdy" has three career victories at Texas with 948 laps led, second only to Jimmie Johnson in that department among active drivers (1,152). Finally, it may not count for anything in the standings, but Busch built a little momentum for himself with a runner-up result in Wednesday night’s All-Star race at Bristol.

By virtue of random draw, Busch will start fourth.

Martin Truex Jr. (+700)

Martin Truex Jr. has never won a Cup Series race at Texas (0-for-29), but that could change on Sunday in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500.

Truex has eight Top 10s over his last 10 races at Texas, including a runner-up result on this oval in November of 2017 behind Harvick. He’s led 374 laps at "The Great American Speedway" in that span. Truex was a solid second at Kentucky last Sunday despite having to make up over 30 spots due to a failed inspection. He’ll start this race in 10th.

Chase Elliott (+950)

Wednesday night’s All-Star race winner Chase Elliott is sitting at fair odds to tally his second regular-season victory of the year.

Elliott has an average finishing position of 11th in eight career races at Texas, placing him fifth among active drivers. The No. 9 Chevy driver is currently fourth in points standings and fourth in laps led in 2020 (451).

Elliott will roll off the grid in eighth place.

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