The MENCS competes at New Hampshire Motor Speedway Sunday in the Foxwoods 301. The racing on the short-flat tracks are usually pretty good. NASCAR took away the second race from the Magic Mile and I can understand why, but I would love to see more short tracks added to the schedule instead of having them taken away. The race this week can be seen at 2 pm ET on NBC Sports Network.
Martin Truex Jr. (6): Truex is my pick to win this week. He has more momentum than any driver in the sport. Truex has finished 1st, 2nd, 4th, 18th, 1st, 2nd and 2nd in his last seven races. He might be better now than he was in 2017. Truex took the lead at New Hampshire from Kyle Busch last year and he was on his way to winning the race before he was collected in an accident. Truex finished both races at the Monster Mile in the top five last year and led 249 laps. The No. 78 car has led at least 112 laps in every race at New Hampshire since 2015. I still have 6 allocations with Truex and he posted the fastest laps in final practice. I will use Truex this week and save Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick for other tracks.
Group A Rankings: 1) Martin Truex Jr. 2) Kyle Busch 3) Kevin Harvick 4) Denny Hamlin 5) Brad Keselowski 6) Joey Logano 7) Kyle Larson 8) Jimmie Johnson
Erik Jones (6): Jones is on a hot streak right now and I am going to play him until he cools off. Jones has finished his last four races in the top seven. He ran well in his last race at the Magic Mile. Jones qualified 8th, had a 6th-place average running position and finished 6th. He is running better now than he was last year so I would not be surprised to see Jones finish in the top 5 Sunday afternoon. Jones was 6th-fastest in final practice.
Daniel Suarez (9): Toyota (mainly Joe Gibbs Racing and Furniture Row Racing) has made the Magic Mile their personal playground. Joe Gibbs Racing has won five of the last six races at the track and the Toyota drivers have led 1,168 laps in the last four races at the Magic Mile. Suarez might be the weakest link on the Toyota team, but that does not mean he is not a good pick for your team. Suarez finished 6th and 8th in his two races at New Hampshire last year. He qualified 9th and most of his laps in the top 10 in the two practice sessions Saturday. This pick is all about saving allocations. This is a good week to get a start out of Suarez.
Group B Rankings: 1) Kurt Busch 2) Ryan Blaney 3) Erik Jones 4) Daniel Suarez 5) Chase Elliott 6) Clint Bowyer 7) Aric Almirola 8) Paul Menard
William Byron (4): Byron will be my 2nd pick for Group C this week. I like what I have seen from Byron at the flat tracks this season. He finished 12th at Phoenix, 20th at Martinsville (a tough track for a rookie) and 12th at Richmond. Byron has never competed in a MENCS race at New Hampshire but he has a 3rd-place finish in the Xfinity Series and a win in the Camping World Truck Series on his resume. Byron qualified 11th and he looked good in practice. I feel very comfortable using an allocation with Byron this week.
Group C Rankings: 1) Alex Bowman 2) William Byron 3) Chris Buescher 3) Darrell Wallace 4) David Ragan 5) Michael McDowell
Good luck this week!
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