The NASCAR season is coming to a close with just a couple races left for the year. On Sunday, November 8th, Jimmie Johnson earned a big win over Brad Keselowski at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, despite the fact that Keselowski led the vast majority of the race. This was Johnson’s sixth career win here, and although he’s out of the Chase for the Sprint Cup for this season, it was a big confidence booster for Johnson as he starts thinking about 2016.
It was with four laps to go that Johnson finally passed him on the turn. It took about 10 laps of putting pressure on Keselowski on each turn before he could get past him. Every time he swung out to pass, Keselowski covered him. Finally, he proved to be just too much. Once he took the lead, the race was basically over. Johnson finished at the front, with Keselowski wondering what he could have done differently to prevent it. In reality, he probably couldn’t have done much. Johnson’s car was just faster on the turns the entire race and it was impossible to hold him back anymore.
The Chase is coming to a close, and Kyle Busch is currently the man to beat. Keselowski is 23 points back, and it will be almost impossible for him to clinch a spot ahead of him over the next two weekends. He would need to beat Busch by more than 20 positions over the two races to secure a victory, and that would require not only a couple huge races by Keselowski, but a couple pretty poor races by Busch on each of those days. That’s not exactly likely, especially with so much riding on him doing well. This is something that daily fantasy NASCAR fans should take into account when drafting their rosters over the next couple races. Not only has he been performing well every week, he has a ton at stake. Some athletes crack under this pressure. Others thrive on it. Busch is experienced enough that he will most likely fall under the second category.
Jeff Gordon has already secured the win for the Chase, and Busch is sitting in second place. Keselowski, as stated above, is 23 points behind Busch in sixth place. Between the two of them sit Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex, Jr., and Carl Edwards. Harvick finished this race in third place overall, having led for 11 laps. There are two races left in Round 3 and the last will take place at the Homestead-Miami Speedway at the end of the month. Harvick is the defending champion here. Before that, though, is the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500. That takes place November 15th, and Harvick is the defending champion here, too. However, Keselowski has momentum on his side over Harvick, even though Harvick’s ahead of him in the standings.
Rounding out the top five at Texas were Kyle Busch in 4th, and Carl Edwards in 5th. If this is any indication of what the last two races have in store, Keselowski will have a very tough time cracking his way into the top five places in the standings. Carl Edwards, the 5th overall in the standings, has 13 more points than him. Just to surpass him when he’s finishing this close to the top each week will be tough. It looks like Keselowski’s best shot will be to pass Truex. Truex did finish in 8th this weekend, so he’s not exactly a weak link, but he is the weakest one at the moment. As for the Chase winner Jeff Gordon, it’s hard to say how he will finish. He’s already secured a victory for the championship, but a few good finishes will pad out his winnings for the year. It seems a bit too risky to use him for fantasy purposes, but you never know.