Saturday, November 2, 2013

AAA Texas 500 Practice Notes: Kyle Busch tops Final Driver Ratings

Kyle Busch should be battling with Brad Keselowski for win
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.

Read More Here.....Final Driver Ratings

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