Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet | 2017 New Hampshire Motor Speedway, ISM Connect 300
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2017 New Hampshire Motor Speedway, ISM Connect 300

The playoffs are underway and Martin Truex Jr. has picked up right where he left off in the regular season and won the race at Chicagoland Speedway this past weekend to propel him into the second round of the Chase with another 5 playoff points to add to his already impressive total. He has now won four of the seven mile-and-a-half races run this year with more to come, which gives him an advantage on the rest of the field. Chase Elliott finished second which will give this team a lot of confidence as the playoffs progress.

ISM CONNECT 300

For the second race of the playoffs the series heads back to the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. This is a slightly longer than one-mile oval track with very little banking in the corners or on the straightaways. Denny Hamlin won the race here in July and has been pretty good on the flatter tracks once again this season. There are nine drivers who are currently running in the Cup series that have multiple wins at this track and that should give us some good options for our teams this week.

Denny Hamlin: I will go with Denny to win the race this week and sweep the season here. Denny has been really good on the flatter tracks all season and will have a great setup under his car when they unload it from the truck this week. I look for him to practice well, qualify well and run well. The only concern I have for him this week is speeding penalties on pit road. He has gotten more speeding penalties this year than any other driver in the series and those penalties could spell doom at this track where it is tough to pass. Track position will be very important this weekend.

Jimmie Johnson: After a disappointing race at Chicagoland for this team they will look forward to being a contender this week at New Hampshire. Jimmie has three wins, ten top five and twenty-one top ten finishes in his thirty-one career starts at this track. I look for this team to rebound this week and have a shot at winning this race and moving into the second round of the playoffs.

Matt Kenseth: Matt is another driver with three wins at this track to go along with eleven top five and twenty top ten finishes in his thirty-five starts here. This team has been consistent lately and just needs to get a little better to actually contend for a win at the end of a race. I think they will have a shot to do just that this weekend just because of how consistent Matt has been here throughout his career. He could pick up his first win of the season here which would be huge for him.

Brad Keselowski: Brad knows that their cars aren’t as fast as those of the drivers who are beating them every week. He knows he is going to have to do something different if he wants to have a chance to win another race this year and this team is very good at doing just that. Brad has won here before and has finished in the top five six times and the top ten ten times in his sixteen starts. This is the type of track where speed isn’t necessarily what you need to win. With it being so flat, handling is much more important than speed. It is all about how you roll through the corners and get off them that matters in this race.

Kyle Larson: Kyle has only run seven races here and is still looking for his first win here. However, he has finished in the top five three times in those seven races and has been very consistent all season. They have run well on all types of tracks this year and should be able to do so again this weekend. They have a nice cushion in the point standings and really need to just stay out of trouble to move to the second round, but Kyle isn’t one to lay back. He will do everything he can to win every race he is in.

Kevin Harvick: Kevin has two wins, ten top five and eighteen top ten finishes in his thirty-three starts at New Hampshire. He looked good last week at Chicago and showed a lot of speed once again. This is something I was watching for in the playoffs due to the fact that this team wasn’t performing as well as most of us were expecting them to in the second half of the regular season. We know now good Kevin has been at Phoenix and this track is kind of the same.

Kyle Busch: Kyle has two wins, nine top five and thirteen top ten finishes in his twenty-five starts at this track. Once again last weekend he had a fast car and was dominating the race early when they had trouble on a pit stop when they didn’t get all of the lugs tight and had a loose wheel forcing Kyle to pit again. On that stop he got caught speeding and just never recovered. If they can eliminate the mistakes on pit road this team is a threat every weekend no matter what type of track they run on.

Kurt Busch: After having some issues with a vibration last weekend, this team finds themselves down towards the cut-off line to move to the second round. The good news is that Kurt has won three races at Loudon and has been running very well on this type of track lately. I look for him to rebound this week and come away with another top ten finish and maybe be in contention for the win late in this race.

Martin Truex Jr.: Martin is looking for his first win at this track. He has never really been great here, he has really only been average. He finished in the top twenty in his last fourteen starts at this track. Now for the good news. Martin has run really well here in his last three starts, leading over one-hundred laps in each of those races. It will be interesting to see how this team approaches this race. Will they use pit strategy to win some stages or will they just continue to try and dominate the whole race and pick up yet another win?

Clint Bowyer: Clint has won two races here and finished seventh in his first race here with Stewart-Haas Racing back in July. I think they will have another good run once again this weekend and will have an even better handling car that they did back in July. Clint is my dark horse this week as I think he has a great chance to come away with at least a top ten finish if not even better. He might surprise a lot of people and win this race.

YAHOO! FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR NEW HAMPSHIRE MOTOR SPEEDWAY

Yahoo Driver Group A

  • Denny Hamlin
  • Martin Truex Jr.

Yahoo Driver Group B

  • Kyle Larson
  • Clint Bowyer
  • Kurt Busch
  • Ryan Newman

Yahoo Driver Group C

  • Daniel Suarez
  • Ty Dillon

MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT NEW HAMPSHIRE MOTOR SPEEDWAY

  1. Denny Hamlin
  2. Martin Truex Jr.
  3. Jimmie Johnson
  4. Kevin Harvick
  5. Matt Kenseth

Dark Horse: Clint Bowyer

Stay Away From: Trevor Bayne

Big 18: Ryan Newman

TAGS >

  • Darren

    What do you think about picking the 77 over 13, just for qualifying points? 77 started 6th at the first NH race.

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      It all depends on how many starts you have left with all of your drivers. Dillon finished 13th here in July, so you might want to take a shot with him.

      Reply
  • Levi

    Darren the 77 will probably quality good but I would start the 19 car

    Reply
    • Darren

      Thanks Levi, I’m going with:
      Start – 11, 14, 31, 19
      Bench – 78, 24, 42, 77 (for qual points)

      Good luck! I got a cool 361 points last week 🙂

      Reply
  • Robert

    Suarez and Jones are all used up! Have 5 Ty Dillon’s left. Who’s my go to now? Wallace?

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      Looks like Dillon and probably McDowell.

      Reply
    • Darren

      Use 13 at:
      Phoenix, New Hampshire, Texas, Kansas (or martinsville), and Dover

      Use 38 or 95 at Talladega….the rest is a crapshoot lol

      Reply
  • Jay

    Is there any news that Elliott Sadler might run another race this year?

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      If he does it will probably be at Talladega.

      Reply
  • Andrew

    I need an alternative pick for group C. I’ll have Suarez but any recommendations other than Ty Dillion or Jones. i’m leading my fantasy pool and I only have 6 starts with those 3 guys with 9 races to go. Just looking for a recommendation for a longshot that might be fast and get me a lucky finish without using those top 3 guys.

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      I think McDowell is the only other driver that shows any promise. He usually runs well at Talladega so there is one of your starts for him.

      Reply
  • Kenneth Stephens

    Jeff, is like your opinion (like everyone else lol). I have one start left each on Yahoo for 42, 24, 77 and 18. What tracks would you suggest using them on? I do have 5 Truex and 4 Harvick starts left.

    Looks like the B list will be most challenging these final 9 weeks.

    Also open to suggestions from any others reading. Thanks!!!

    Reply
  • Jeff Gutowski

    I would save them all until homestead. They are all very good there, other than Jones who hasn’t run there yet, but I would save him to use for qualifying points too. You get qualifying points for any driver that has starts left. Once they are used up you can’t use them for those points anymore.

    Reply
    • Kenneth Stephens

      That’s what I was thinking, thanks for agreeing haha. 77 could sneak some qual points in there.

      Reply
  • Paul

    Hi Jeff, I am 153 points out of first place and the first place person has Hamlin, Harvick/Kahne, Bowyer, Ku. Busch, Newman/Suarez, Dillion as options.

    I have Hamlin, Johnson/Bowyer, Ku. Busch, Larson, Newman/Suarez, Dillion.

    Should I take the risk and start Johnson even after he was sent to a backup car? What is your opinion on how I could differentiate myself from the leader to try to gain ground?

    Remaining starts left:
    Hamlin 7
    Johnson 8
    Ku. Busch 4
    Larson 3
    Bowyer 2
    Newman 6
    Suarez 4
    Jones 2

    Thank you in advance,
    Paul

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      There are still nine races left, so don’t get to wound up in making a move just yet. I think you have to start Hamlin this week. You have Larson starting second. He will most likely lead some laps during the race and could potentially win. He would give you a good amount of extra points this week. I also start Suarez on the short track and hope your opponent has most of those starts used up. He might start Dillon and you could pick up a lot on him just this weekend.

      Reply
      • Paul

        That all makes sense. Are you sure that I should start Hamlin over Johnson? Johnson had the 8th Best consecutive 10-lap average in final practice and Hamlin had the 14th Best consecutive 10-lap average in final practice.

        Reply
  • Jeff Gutowski

    You can never be absolutely positive, but I like the fact that Hamlin’s 10 lap consecutive run was done later in the practice session than earlier. Looks like they might have found something at the end there. Also, I picked Hamlin to win in my article and I like to go with my first gut instinct.

    Reply
  • Paul

    Thank you Jeff!

    Paul

    Reply
  • Joe

    Busch vs, Larson?

    Reply
    • Joe

      I am looking to add one of them to the nascar.com fantasy

      Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      Kyle Busch over Larson, Larson over Kurt Busch. Not sure which Busch you were asking about.

      Reply

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