The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will compete this week at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The 1-mile flat (12 degrees of banking) track always provides some of the best racing of the year.
Track position is always king at the Magic Mile but NASCAR is doing everything they can to change that. The preferred way around the track is usually the middle lane. NASCAR added VHT (grip strip) and used the Tire Dragon to the bottom two lanes to improve the racing and make it easier to past. This will affect the Fox Fantasy Auto Racing game this week.
The scoring format for Fox Fantasy Auto Racing rewards drivers who improve their position in the race a lot more than the drivers who lead the most laps. If the VHT and added rubber do help this week, it will make the drivers who start outside the top 10 more valuable. I am not so sure it will work. Many of the drivers have been complaining that there still is not a lot of grip. 300 laps on the track should help.
Kyle Larson will start last (again) after having his qualifying time disallowed for failing post qualifying inspection. Last week he passed 91 cars in the race and he should do the same this week. Larson MUST be on all teams this week.
Kyle Busch is still looking for his first win of the season and he will have a good chance to get to Victory Lane Sunday. Busch is one of the best drivers on short, flat tracks. Last year he finished 8th and 3rd at the Magic Mile and led 136 laps. Busch starts 7th and should quickly move into the top 5.
Brad Keselowski is no doubt in a slump but it has a lot more to do with bad luck then it has to do with his skills behind the wheel. If Keselowski is going to turn things around it should come at New Hampshire. Keselowski has 6 finishes in the top 5 in his last seven races. That is good value for a driver priced under $10K. Keselowski starts 10th and history suggests he should finish in the top 5.
Chase Elliott is my 4th driver this week. I considered Joey Logano for this position because of his track history but the No. 22 car is lacking speed once again. Elliott has plenty of speed for Sunday. The No. 24 car 4th fastest in the morning practice, 5th fastest in final practice and had the 3rd best 10-lap average speed. The Magic Mile has seen a lot of drivers win their first race at the track. I would not be surprised to see Elliott win this week.
Danica Patrick is usually a risky pick but not when she starts 30th and she has nearly the minimum price. Last year she started 29th and finished 14th in the summer race and started 24th and finished 18th in the fall race at New Hampshire. She should be able to move up 8-10 spots this week.
Here are my picks for the Overton’s 301….
Driver 1: Kyle Larson $13,000 (Starts 39th)
Driver 2: Kyle Busch $11,400 (Starts 7th)
Driver 3: Brad Keselowski $9,400 (Starts 10th)
Driver 4: Chase Elliott $10,200 (Starts 11th)
Driver 5: Danica Patrick $6,000 (Starts 30th)
Good luck this week!
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