Brian Brown

NASCAR Fantasy Cheat Sheet

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The LENOX Tools 301

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series moves to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the 19th race of the 2010 season, the Lenox Industrial Tools 301. NASCAR expert Brian Brown took a look at past performances, season trends, and spoke to NASCAR contacts to provide you the most accurate fantasy preview of Sunday's race.


When: Sunday, July 17, 2011; 1:16 p.m./et.


Weather: Mostly sunny with high around 86; wind out of the WSW at 3 mph. Chance of precipitation is 10%.


The Track: New Hampshire Motor Speedway

NHMS is a 1.058 mile flat-oval. It has 12 degree banking on the corners with 2 degree banking on the straight-aways. Ryan Newman has been great at NHMS during his career. He earned his first career Nextel Cup victory at the track and passed Tony Stewart late in the 2006 September race for another win at NHMS. Jimmie Johnson, Mark Martin, Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, and Clint Bowyer have won the past five races at the track.


Key to Race: THAT IS ONE BIG PAPERCLIP

NHMS is basically a big version of Martinsville. It is a mile long paperclip configuration with two long straight-aways with tight corners at the ends. This race is always hard on brakes and tires. The team that can figure out a setup that allows them to keep the brakes and tires fresh will have a big advantage. Look for Tony Stewart, Clint Bowyer, Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch to have strong runs in Sunday's race.


Qualifying Procedures:

46 cars will attempt to qualify for 43 spots. Cars not in the top 35 in the 2011 owner point standings will have to qualify based on speed. Starting positions 1-43 will be determined by qualifying runs on Friday, July 15 at 3:10 pm/et.


Fantasy Cheat Sheet:


Top 5

No. 18 Kyle Busch: Rowdy dominated the July 2006 race at NHMS and has cracked the top 10 four times in the past nine races at the track. He will be back in the top five this trip up Route 106 as he looks to notch his 100th career NASCAR series victory.
No. 11 Denny Hamlin: Hamlin won the July 2007 race at NHMS and has finished in the top 10 in seven of his last 10 Cup races at the track. He is an excellent pick on Sunday.
No. 22 Kurt Busch: Busch has three career wins at NHMS including the July 2008 rain-shortened race. With his past success at the track and how well he has driven lately we like his chances.
No. 48 Jimmie Johnson: Johnson has finished in the top 15 in all but two of his 18 career Cup starts at NHMS. He won at the track last June and is a great pick on Sunday.
No. 24 Jeff Gordon: Between 1997 and 2001 Gordon was easily the top driver at NHMS, but then the Rainbow Warrior went into a serious slump at the track. He has worked hard at his race setups at the Magic Mile and is once again a great option to take the checkers.


6 to 10

No. 29 Kevin Harvick: Harvick has 11 top 10 finishes in 20 career starts at NHMS. He won the September 2006 race at track and should crack the top 10 on Sunday.
No. 99 Carl Edwards: Carl has had one of the better cars at NHMS the past few years, but it hasn't translated to a win. He will flirt with another top 10 finish this weekend.
No. 33 Clint Bowyer: Bowyer has dominated two of the last six races at NHMS. If he can bring a similar setup to the track this weekend he will be tough to beat.
No. 14 Tony Stewart: Stewart has 12 top five finishes, including two wins, in 24 career starts at NHMS. He has brought one of the best cars in the field the last few races in the Granite State and is a terrific option.
No. 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Junior has finished in the top 10 in nine of the last 16 races at NHMS. He will finish in the top 10 again this weekend.


11 to 20

No. 39 Ryan Newman: In 17 Cup starts at the Magic Mile, Newman has 11 top 10 finishes, including two wins. He is a solid pick as a third driver in most fantasy leagues.
No. 20 Joey Logano: Logano won his first career Cup race at NHMS. This is his home track and he has a lot of speed at the Magic Mile.
No. 16 Greg Biffle: Biffle was fast in three of the past five NHMS races. He should be fast again this weekend.
No. 17 Matt Kenseth: Kenseth was terrible last September at NHMS, but he has finished inside the top 10 in nine of the last 17 NHMS races. He should finish around 15th on Sunday.
No. 5 Mark Martin: Martin has had plenty of past success in the Granite State, including a win in the 2009 September race. He should have no problem cracking the top 15 on Sunday.
No. 31 Jeff Burton: Burton has an impressive history at NHMS. In 30 starts at the track he has won four races. He is a safe pick to finish inside the top 15 on Sunday.
No. 56 Martin Truex Jr.: Truex has four top seven finishes in the last eight races at NHMS. This is the weekend to use the No. 56 driver.
No. 00 David Reutimann: Reutimann cracked the top 20 in the last six races at NHMS. He will finish in the top 20 again this weekend.
No. 2 Brad Keselowski: Keselowski finished 18th, sixth and 26th in his three career starts at the Magic Mile. He is a good shoe to gamble on this weekend.
No. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya: Montoya seems to get better with every trip he makes to New Hampshire. He is a fine choice this weekend.


21 to 30

No. 1 Jamie McMurray: McMurray appeared to finally figure out NHMS's tricky configuration last September. He should just miss the top 20.
No. 6 David Ragan: Ragan has been very inconsistent at NHMS. He should miss making the top 20 again this weekend.
No. 4 Kasey Kahne: Kahne has been slow in eight of the last nine races at NHMS. He is normally a solid pick, but we think he will struggle this weekend.
No. 83 Brian Vickers: Vickers has averaged a 20th place finish the past four years at NHMS. He will finish right around his average.
No. 9 Marcos Ambrose: Ambrose averages a 21st place finish at NHMS. Based on how he has run this season, he should cross the finish line a little slower this visit.
No. 43 A.J. Allmendinger: A.J.'s average finish at NHMS is 28th. He should finish a little better than his average on Sunday.
No. 7 Robby Gordon: Gordon, a past winner at NHMS, has cracked the top 30 in nine of his last 10 starts at NHMS. He is worth taking a chance on in deep, deep leagues.
No. 27 Paul Menard: NHMS has never been kind to Menard. He isn't a fantasy option this weekend.
No. 78 Regan Smith: Smith should have the No. 78 inside the top 30 once again.
No. 13 Casey Mears: Mears has had a little success at NHMS in the past. He still isn't an option.


Field Fillers

No. 34 David Gilliland
No. 47 Bobby Labonte
No. 51 Landon Cassill
No. 36 Dave Blaney
No. 32 Mike Bliss
No. 55 Jeff Green
No. 38 J.J. Yeley
No. 60 Mike Skinner
No. 81 Scott Riggs
No. 87 Joe Nemechek
No. 37 Tony Raines
No. 77 Scott Wimmer
No. 66 Michael McDowell
No. 46 Teddy Christopher
No. 71 Andy Lally
No. 50 T.J. Bell


Brownie's Picks

Top Four:

1. Kyle Busch
2. Denny Hamlin
3. Kurt Busch
4. Jimmie Johnson

Sleepers:

1. Robby Gordon
2. Jeff Burton

Bust of the Week:

Kasey Kahne



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