The big three just keep on winning without much of a scare from any of the other teams. Larson, Blaney, and Keselowski were the only drivers that had any type of chance of beating Martin Truex Jr. but they kept fading away as the runs got longer. So, we still only have four drivers who have won on a non-restrictor plate track in sixteen tries. There are only seven races left until the playoffs start, so a lot of these drivers will be fighting to get in on points. At the same time, the big three are racking up playoff points and are going to be hard to knock out of any rounds leading up to the championship race.
FOXWOODS RESORT CASINO 301
This week the drivers head to Loudon and a bit of a different track than they have run on lately. New Hampshire Motor Speedway is a slightly longer than one-mile oval speedway that is fairly flat. This is going to be a bit different for the drivers as they haven’t run on a similar track since they ran at Richmond back in April.
The big question is whether one of these other drivers can make something happen this weekend and pick up a win and some playoff points and guarantee themselves a spot in the playoffs. Can someone like Daniel Suarez or Ryan Newman win this race and propel themselves from being out of the playoffs to a guaranteed spot? Or, are the big three going to continue to dominate the series. They all finished in the top five once again last week.
Martin Truex Jr.: In the last four races run here, Martin has led the most laps of all drivers, but is still looking for his first win in twenty-four starts. I think this might be the weekend he knocks New Hampshire off his list, keeps the big three rolling, and picks up enough playoff points to put him ahead of the other two drivers in the playoff standings.
Kyle Busch: Kyle is second in laps led over the last four races here and won the fall race last year. He has three total wins and three second place finishes at this track in his twenty-six starts. Once again the big three have shown that they have been the best at this track over the last two years with their consistency and that will continue this weekend with these three battling for the win.
Kevin Harvick: In thirty-four starts at Loudon, Kevin has racked up two wins, ten top five finishes, eighteen top ten finishes and has led over seven-hundred laps while racing in the Cup Series. His second win came in the fall race two years ago. He has also finished in the top five in five of his last seven starts here. This tells me Kevin has a pretty good feel for racing here and will give the two drivers mentioned above a run for their money this weekend.
Brad Keselowski: Brad has half the starts that Harvick has with seventeen in the books for him. He looked pretty strong last weekend at Kentucky and I think this team is starting to get a better handle on what they need to do to catch the big three. In those seventeen starts he has won one race, had seven top five finishes and eleven top ten finishes. He hasn’t finished worse than fifteenth here in his last thirteen starts which is another amazing stat. He might be worth having on your roster and taking a chance on this weekend.
Denny Hamlin: Denny hasn’t been very consistent this year and you never know if he is going to have a good run or not from week to week. However, he won this race last year, one of his three wins at New Hampshire. He has also finished second here four times and has started in the top ten in nine of he last ten races at this track. He is another option for those of you trying to save some starts for other drivers this weekend.
Kyle Larson: Kyle is one of the drivers who is ever so close to competing with the top three drivers on a weekly basis. He always seems to have some problem that puts him back in the field one or more times every week that takes him right out of contention. This week might be different. In his eight starts here, Kyle has second three times including both of the races last year. He has a great handle on this track and it might be his week to break into the win column this year.
Jimmie Johnson: I thought this team was making headway, but they disappointed me again this past weekend. Jimmie never showed the speed and handling he needed to move up in the field and be a contender yet. He has been good at Loudon with three wins here, but his last win here came way back in the 2010 season and he has only led 323-laps in his thirty-two starts. I still don’t think he is worth taking a chance on for your fantasy teams.
Ryan Newman: Ryan is another driver with three win here and his last one came back in the 2011 season. Another thing is that he has sat on the pole here seven times in his thirty-two starts, but never with Richard Childress Racing. Ryan is another driver who can be good or bad each week and we don’t know which one of those drivers is going to show up or whether or not he has a car that can run in the top ten.
Clint Bowyer: Clint is going to be a driver to watch this weekend. He finished seventh in both races here last year in his first season with Stewart-Haas Racing and is running even better this year for them. He has won twice here at this track and in both of those races he dominated the whole thing. If his car comes off the truck fast this weekend and they can get it dialed in during the practice sessions, Clint will be a contender to win his third race of the season and move closer to the top three in the playoff standings.
Daniel Suarez: Daniel is my dark horse this weekend. He finished in the top ten in both of his starts at this track which both came last season. Daniel had a great car last weekend early in the race and his pit crew did an outstanding job gaining a lot of positions for him on pit road, but the handling went away on him and he faded through the pack. I think this is the type of track where Daniel is at his best and he will have another good run this weekend.
DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR NEW HAMPSHIRE MOTOR SPEEDWAY
Driver Group Game Group A
- Martin Truex Jr.
- Kyle Busch
Driver Group Game Group B
- Clint Bowyer
- Daniel Suarez
- Ryan Newman
- Kurt Busch
Driver Group Game Group C
- William Byron
- Darrell Wallace Jr.
MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT NEW HAMPSHIRE MOTOR SPEEDWAY
- Martin Truex Jr.
- Kyle Busch
- Kevin Harvick
- Clint Bowyer
- Brad Keselowski
Dark Horse: Daniel Suarez
Stay Away From: Paul Menard
Big 18: Clint Bowyer