The round of 12 kicks off this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway for the Echopark Automotive 500. Texas is a polarizing track on the schedule and isn't exactly the most liked by the fans as it is extremely difficult to pass here. Qualifying will play a big role in determining the results as the past two races here have had the winners start from the top ten. It will also be interesting to see how these cars hold up considering the amount of mechanical failures over the last two races. Here are some drivers to watch out for come Sunday.
Ryan Blaney (+550 to win) (+250 Top-3) (+125 Top-5) : The round of 16 was quite the rollercoaster for the man who snuck into the playoffs, he finished 13th at Darlington, 9th at Kansas and his worst finish of 30th at Bristol. Because of the large attrition at Bristol, Blaney and the #12 team was able to advance to the round of 12. Luckily for him, he is the last driver to win here at Texas in the All-Star Race. He's also got the results to back it up as well, in the last four races he's scored 3 top ten finishes and one top five including his victory in the non points paying event in the All-star Race.
Christopher Bell (+700 to win) (+200 Top-3) (-110 Top 5): No one has been more of a surprising force throughout these playoffs than Christopher Bell. He's easily been the most consistent driver of anyone in the playoffs as he's scored 31 stage points throughout the round of 16. With this season being as crazy as it has and all the different winners, this means everything. This is the driver I am picking to win this weekend. Bell has the highest average finish at this track among all active drivers at Texas with a 9.7. In the last two points paying events, Bell has finished third in each of the last two races here and will be a serious threat to win come Sunday.
Kyle Larson (+600 To Win) (+170 Top-3) (-125 Top-5): It's hard to bet against one of NASCAR's most talented drivers. Larson is a threat every single week to win and Texas will be no different. The defending champion had a clean round of 16 and was right behind Bell as the most consistent driver among the other 14. He fought back from issues in Darlington to finish 12th, then scored back to back top tens at Kansas and Bristol. Larson would be a great pick to win as he won this race last season.
Daniel Suarez (+4000 To Win) (+900 Top-3) (+400 Top-5): My Longshot pick of the week is Daniel Suarez. It's been a career year for the Monterey Mexico native. After winning his first race at Sonoma this year, the season has been up and down for him but he's moved on to the next round so he's still alive. Him and his teammate Ross Chastain have been the biggest surprise of the season as their Trackhouse racing team have shown a lot of speed this season. Overall, there might need to be some things happen for him to win but I believe that he can easily contend for a top-5. He did finish third at the All-Star Race. There is a lot of value here.