The NASCAR Cup Series and Xfinity Series will travel to New Hampshire Motor Speedway this weekend. There are only seven races left in the regular season for the Cup Series, which includes two road course races (Indy Road Course and Watkins Glen), a trip to the Tricky Triangle (Pocono) and a Superspeedway (Daytona). The race this week should be one of the easier races to predict, from the seven left on the regular season schedule.
Here is the schedule for the weekend…
The race last year at New Hampshire was dominated by the Toyota’s. Martin Truex Jr. won the pole, led 172 of the 301 laps, won both Stages and finished fourth. Christopher Bell led 42 laps and went to Victory Lane. Bubba Wallace finished third in his Toyota and Denny Hamlin finished sixth. The only Toyota that had a rough race was the No. 18 of Kyle Busch. He spun out twice (not his fault) and finished 12th.
The Toyota’s have not been as strong on the short, flat track this year as they were in 2022. William Byron won the race at Phoenix, Kyle Larson won the races at Richmond and Martinsville and Kyle Busch won at Gateway. That is a clean sweep so far this season the Chevy’s. It will be fun to see it the Toyota’s can find the speed they had last year in New Hampshire or will it be another Chevy in Victory Lane Sunday.
You can watch the highlight of the last year’s race at New Hampshire in the Race Rewind for the Amber 301
STATS FOR SHORT, FLAT TRACKS
There have been four races on short, flat tracks this year (Phoenix, Richmond, Martinsville and Gateway). Martinsville is a unique track. I do not think the date from that race will translate into speed at New Hampshire. Most people in the Garage say that “The Magic Mile” (New Hampshire Motor Speedway) is a combination of Phoenix and Gateway. Others believe Richmond is the most similar track to New Hampshire.
I will use the data from the races at Phoenix, Richmond and Gateway to help handicap Sunday’s race. I will also use some of the data from the race last year at New Hampshire in the Gen-7 car. This should give us a good idea of which teams will unload with some speed this weekend.
Here are the driver rankings for the last three races on the short, flat tracks this year (Phoenix, Richmond and Gateway) and the race at New Hampshire last year…
Just like most of you, I am running low with allocations with some of my top drivers. I am not too worried about my allocations in Groups A or Group C in the Driver Group Game, because there are plenty of talented drivers in those groups to get me through the season. Group B is where it gets tough. Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick have a history of finishing up front at the Magic Mile. It is going to be tough to fade them this week.
There are seven races left in the Fantasy Live regular season. I can save some allocations with my top drivers at the Indy Road Course, Watkins Glen, Pocono and Daytona. That means I have three races where I will have to use my top drivers (New Hampshire, Richmond and Michigan). I plan to play the best lineup possible this week in Fantasy Live and try to save allocations on the non-oval tracks and at Daytona.
The strategy for DFS contests is to pay up for the dominators. Martin Truex Jr. led 172 laps in this race last year and scored 64.6 dominator points. Kyle Larson led 201 laps at Phoenix, William Byron led 117 laps at Richmond and Kyle Busch led 121 laps at Gateway this year. There is a good chance one driver will lead over 150 laps and another driver will lead roughly 70 laps. My strategy in DFS contest will be to pay up for the top-two dominators Sunday.
EARLY WEEK PICKS FOR NEW HAMPSHIRE
ONE & DONE PICK: CHRISTOPHER BELL
DRIVER GROUP GAME PICKS: KYLE LARSON, CHRISTOPHER BELL, MARTIN TRUEX JR., KYLE BUSCH, KEVIN HARVICK, BRAD KESELOWSKI, TY GIBBS, RYAN PREECE
FANTASY LIVE PICKS: KYLE LARSON, CHASE ELLIOTT, MARTIN TRUEX JR., CHRISTOPHER BELL, KEVIN HARVICK (GARAGE) DENNY HAMLIN
* I will be watching KYLE BUSCH, WILLIAM BYRON, ROSS CHASTAIN, RYAN BLANEY and JOEY LOGANO in qualifying. They could end up in the Fantasy Live lineup this week.
Good luck this weekend!
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