The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series moves to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the 28th race of the 2010 season, the Sylvania 300. 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, September 25, 2011; 2:16 p.m./et.
Weather: Mostly sunny with high around 77; wind out of the WNW at 3 mph. Chance of precipitation is 10%.
The Track: New Hampshire MotorSpeedway
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 has won two additional races at NHMS. Newman, Jimmie Johnson, Mark Martin, Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, and Clint Bowyer have won the past six races at the track.
Key to Race: THAT ISONE BIG PAPERCLIP
NHMS is basically a big version ofMartinsville. 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 Ryan Newman, Tony Stewart, Clint Bowyer, Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch to have strong runs in Sunday's race.
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, September 23 at 3:10 pm/et.
Fantasy Cheat Sheet:
No. 14 Tony Stewart: Stewart has 13 top five finishes, including two wins, in 25 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. 48 Jimmie Johnson: Johnson has finished in the top 15 in all but two of his 19 career Cup starts at NHMS. He won at the track last June and is a great pick on Sunday.
No. 39 Ryan Newman: In 18 Cup starts at the Magic Mile, Newman has 12 top 10 finishes, including three wins. He is a solid pick in most fantasy leagues.
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. 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. 11 Denny Hamlin: Hamlin won the July 2007 race at NHMS and has finished in the top 10 in eight of his last 11 Cup races at the track. He is an excellent pick on Sunday.
No. 18 Kyle Busch: Rowdy has cracked the top 10 four times in the past 10 races at NHMS. He will be back in the top five this trip up Route 106.
No. 29 Kevin Harvick: Harvick has 11 top 10 finishes in 21 career starts at NHMS. He won the September 2006 race at track and should crack the top 10 again 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 seven races at NHMS. If he can bring a similar setup to the track this weekend he will be tough to beat.
11 to 20
No. 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Junior has finished in the top 10 in nine of the last 17 races at NHMS. He will finish just outside the top 10 this weekend.
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 six NHMS races. He should be fast again this weekend.
No. 17 Matt Kenseth: Kenseth has been terrible the past three races at NHMS. He should finish just barely inside the top 15 on Sunday.
No. 2 Brad Keselowski: Keselowski has finished 35th, 18th, sixth and 26th in his four career starts at the Magic Mile. He is a good shoe to gamble on this weekend to notch another top 20 finish.
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 JeffBurton: Burtonhas an impressive history at NHMS. In 31 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 five top eight finishes in the last nine 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 seven races at NHMS. He will finish inside the top 20 again this weekend.
No. 6 David Ragan: Ragan has been very inconsistent at NHMS. He should just make the top 20 again this weekend.
21 to 30
No. 9 Marcos Ambrose: Ambrose averages a 19th place finish at NHMS. Based on how he has run this season, he should cross the finish line just a little slower this visit.
No. 43 A.J. Allmendinger: A.J.’s average finish at NHMS is 26th. He will finish a little better than his average on Sunday.
No. 4 Kasey Kahne: Kahne has been slow in eight of the last 10 races at NHMS. He is normally a solid pick, but we think he will struggle this weekend.
No. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya: Montoya has averaged a 21st place finish at NHMS during his career. He will finish right around his track-average on Sunday.
No. 27 Paul Menard: NHMS has never been kind to Menard. He isn't a fantasy option this weekend.
No. 1 Jamie McMurray: McMurray appeared to finally figure out NHMS’s tricky configuration last September, but he should just miss the top 20.
No. 47 Bobby Labonte: Labonte cruised to a seventh place finish at NHMS in June. He is a great sleeper pick.
No. 83 Brian Vickers: Vickers has averaged a 22nd place finish the past four years at NHMS. He will finish just a little slower than his average.
No. 78 Regan Smith: Smith should have the No. 78 inside the top 30 once again.
No. 13 Casey Mears: Mears has had very little success at NHMS in the past. He still isn’t an option.
No. 71 Andy Lally
No. 34 David Gilliland
No. 51 Landon Cassill
No. 36 Dave Blaney
No. 35 Steve Park
No. 7 Robby Gordon
No. 32 Mike Bliss
No. 30 David Stremme
No. 60 Mike Skinner
No. 87 Joe Nemechek
No. 66 Michael McDowell
No. 46 Scott Speed
No. 55 Travis Kvapil
No. 38 J.J. Yeley
No. 37 Josh Wise
No. 50 T.J. Bell
1. Tony Stewart
2. Jimmie Johnson
3. Ryan Newman
4. Kurt Busch
1. Joey Logano
2. Bobby Labonte
Bust of the Week: