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NASCAR heads to Texas for Sunday's race
By: Brian Graham - StatFox
Published: 4/6/2014  at  4:31:00 AM
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NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Duck Commander 500

Sunday, April 6 3:00 p.m. EDT
Texas Motor Speedway - Fort Worth, TX

The NASCAR field heads to Fort Worth for Sunday's Duck Commander 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 nine of the past 11 starts in Fort Worth. Denny Hamlin and defending track champion Jimmie Johnson are the only two-time winners during this stretch. Kyle Busch is the defending champion of this spring race, as he won from the pole at this track last April, while Johnson won the November race in Texas.

Odds to Win Race

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Jimmie Johnson5-to-1
Kyle Busch7-to-1
Matt Kenseth7-to-1
Brad Keselowski7-to-1
Joey Logano8-to-1
Kevin Harvick8-to-1
Kasey Kahne12-to-1
Dale Earnhardt Jr.12-to-1
Jeff Gordon12-to-1
Denny Hamlin15-to-1
Clint Bowyer20-to-1
Carl Edwards20-to-1
Kurt Busch20-to-1
Tony Stewart25-to-1
Brian Vickers30-to-1
Greg Biffle30-to-1
Ryan Newman40-to-1
Kyle Larson40-to-1
Martin Truex Jr.60-to-1
Jamie McMurray60-to-1
Paul Menard75-to-1
Austin Dillon100-to-1
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.100-to-1
FIELD (Any other driver)100-to-1
Marcos Ambrose200-to-1
Trevor Bayne200-to-1
A.J. Allmendinger200-to-1
Casey Mears200-to-1
Danica Patrick200-to-1
Aric Almirola200-to-1

Drivers to Watch

Carl Edwards (20/1) - Edwards has some outstanding odds for Sunday considering he has six top-3 finishes in his career in Fort Worth, including three victories (2005 and twice in 2008). Not including his four DNFs at this track, his average finish in the 14 career Texas races he actually finished is an impressive 9.7. Edwards has also been rolling all season with four top-10's in his six starts, including a win in Bristol, to put him third in the current point standings. At 20-to-1 odds, the No. 99 car should get your largest wager of the weekend, as he is our pick to take home the checkered flag.

Denny Hamlin (15/1) - Hamlin has great value for Sunday's race, as his average career finish at Texas is 12.3, which ranks third among active drivers. This includes his back-to-back wins in 2010, plus three other top-5 showings, and last fall he finished 7th at this track. Hamlin has also given himself great starting positions all season with a 9.2 average, including three top-4 starts, which is important because 77 percent of Fort Worth race winners have started among the top-10. Go ahead and place a small wager on this quasi-darkhorse for Sunday.

Matt Kenseth (7/1) - The reason why Kenseth's odds are so low is due to his dominance at this track. In 23 career Texas starts, he has 13 top-5 finishes including a pair of wins (2002, 2011). His 8.3 average finish in Fort Worth leads all active drivers, and he's led at least one lap of a Texas race 16 times in his career. Kenseth loves the distance of this track with 19 career wins on 1-to-2 mile speedways such as Texas. The No. 20 car is also off to a fast start to the 2014 season, ranking second in the points standings with top-6 showings in three of his six starts. Of the six drivers with single-digit odds for this race, Kenseth is the safest wager.

Greg Biffle (30/1) - The darkhorse pick of the weekend has to go to Biffle at 30-to-1, which is quite a drop from his 7-to-1 price at this race last spring. Not only does Biffle hold the Texas Motor Speedway record with his 160.577 mph average during his 2012 victory, but he has not placed worse than 12th in 11 straight starts at Fort Worth. His average finish during this stretch has been an impressive 6.1, and he has led multiple laps in seven of these 11 races. Of his 19 career wins, 63% (12) have come on speedways measuring between one and two miles, and his 18 laps led in Martinsville last week shows that he's starting to bust out of his slump to start the 2014 season (18th in points standings, 19.5 average finish).

Austin Dillon (100/1) - The best longshot on the board for Sunday's race is Dillon, who has been consistently strong this season, with only one finish outside the top-15. He's been able to greatly out-race his starting position in three straight starts, with an average starting position of 27th place and an average finish of 12th place. He's made only two career starts in Fort Worth, but showed great improvement with a 22nd-place showing last November after a weak 33rd-place finish last spring. With triple-digit odds for Sunday, the 25-year-old is certainly worthy of a one-unit wager.

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