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Statistically Speaking

5-Hour Energy 301 Stats

by Dan Beaver
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

This week’s race: 5-Hour Energy 301
Traditional Name: New Hampshire 301 (switched from fall)
Other Notable Names: Camping World RV Sales 301; Lenox Industrial Tools 301; New England 300; Siemens 300; thatlook.com 300; Jiffy Lube 300; Slick 50 300

The 5-Hour Energy 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway kicks off a three-race period of flat track races, with a pair of events on 2.5-mile minimally-banked courses on its heels. While Pocono Raceway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway are much larger than the track in Loudon, NH, drivers have to back up the corners on each to get maximum speed at the end of the next straightaway.

This will be a great warm-up for the Chase because this track type—along with similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks—dominate the final 10 events. New Hampshire makes a reappearance, followed by a short track race at Martinsville Speedway and the other one-miler of Phoenix International Raceway.

There are certain drivers who excel on these tracks and here are the ones specific to New Hampshire.

10 best drivers at New Hampshire

Over the past six races, these drivers have the best average finish on this track.

1. Kyle Larson
Last six races average finish at New Hampshire: 2.50 (2 starts)
Career avg. finish: 2.5 in 2 attempts

There is something about New Hampshire that fits Larson’s driving style and it is a little counterintuitive that he would run well on this flat one-miler. There is no banking on which to lean and reproduce the cushion to which he is accustomed, but the slick corners require a lot of car control and that is in his wheelhouse.

2. Brad Keselowski
Last six races average finish at New Hampshire: 5.67
Career avg. finish: 11.0 in 11 attempts

Keselowski needs a top-five finish this week to reestablish himself among the favorites in the Chase. This track hosts the second playoff race and the confidence gained by running well in the 5-Hour Energy 301 transfers to the fall. Keselowski has finished seventh or better in six of his last seven attempts there with a worst of 11th.

3. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Last six races average finish at New Hampshire: 9.33
Career avg. finish: 11.5 in 12 attempts

Junior makes the list based on consistency. In his last six New Hampshire attempts he has only one top-five and another sixth, but he has not failed to crack the top 15. That makes him a great pick this week if a fantasy player has a lot of money left over after setting the majority of their roster.

4. Clint Bowyer
Last six races average finish at New Hampshire: 9.50
Career avg. finish: 14.5 in 18 attempts

There may very well be a reason why former dirt track racers excel at New Hampshire because Bowyer joins Larson among the top five this week. He also ascends to the top of the chart because of consistency, but unlike Earnhardt he has two top-fives countered by one 17th-place result.

5. Kyle Busch
Last six races average finish at New Hampshire: 9.67
Career avg. finish: 15.5 in 21 attempts

New Hampshire has not always been Busch’s favorite track, but that has changed recently. In his last six races there he won two poles and scored three runner-up finishes. If he can improve by a spot and dominate like he did last week at Kentucky, his ascendancy to the top 30 in points will be much easier.

6. Matt Kenseth
Last six races average finish at New Hampshire: 10.33
Career avg. finish: 13.3 in 30 attempts

One thing seems to be certain about Kenseth: he will finish better than he starts this week. He has improved over his qualification effort in nine of the last 10 races and in more than 75 percent of his career attempts. One of is best recent improvements came in the 2012 Lenox Industrial Tools 301 when he finished 13th from 27th.

7. Jimmie Johnson
Last six races average finish at New Hampshire: 11.00
Career avg. finish: 10.3 in 26 attempts

Johnson would be much higher on the list if he had not been eliminated from last year’s Camping World RV Sales 301 in a lap-11 accident. That 42nd-place finish is his only result outside the top-10 in the past six races and without it his average would be second-best at 4.8.

8. Austin Dillon
Last six races average finish at New Hampshire: 12.50 (2 starts)
Career avg. finish: 12.5 in 2 attempts

Along with Larson, both primary 2014 rookies were stout at New Hampshire last year. Dillon failed to crack the top 10, but both of his efforts netted top-15s and he needs just a little more seat time to climb higher up this chart.

9. Greg Biffle
Last six races average finish at New Hampshire: 12.67
Career avg. finish: 15.7 in 25 attempts

Biffle has not earned back-to-back top-10s at New Hampshire during the past six years, but he does come with a recommendation. In all likelihood he will finish on the lead lap because he has gone the distance in the past 15 consecutive races. To finish first, a driver must first finish.

10. Martin Truex Jr.
Last six races average finish at New Hampshire: 13.00
Career avg. finish: 15.3 in 19 attempts

Truex’s old records did not mean a lot while he was on such a roll at the start of the season, but now that he is beginning to fall off they might become germane. Truex has finished on the lead lap and in the top 20 in his last 10 consecutive races on this track. Unfortunately only two of those ended in top-10s and none were top-fives.

Others of Note

11. Kevin Harvick
Last six races average finish at New Hampshire: 13.17
Career avg. finish: 13.9 in 28 attempts

The biggest obstacle to Harvick landing among the top 10 this week was a 30th-place finish last spring and that came when he ran out of gas on the final restart. His gamble came on the heels of a 20th-place finish the previous fall and makes him a slightly risky proposition.

13. Jamie McMurray
Last six races average finish at New Hampshire: 13.83
Career avg. finish: 20.5 in 24 attempts

NASCAR visits New Hampshire twice a year and the two races are extremely close on the calendar. There should not be much of a difference in track conditions, but McMurray has been better in the fall race than the 5-Hour Energy 301. In this race he has a 12th and 16th in the past two years with a pair of top-fives in the second event.

15. Jeff Gordon
Last six races average finish at New Hampshire: 14.33
Career avg. finish: 11.4 in 40 attempts

Gordon entered the 2013 Sylvania 300 with a four-race top-10 streak, but he seemed to lose the handle immediately. He finished 15th in that event and was 26th in both races last year. Both of those results were artificially low, however, because he gambled on fuel in the spring and cut a tire in the fall.

22. Joey Logano
Last six races average finish at New Hampshire: 19.50
Career avg. finish: 17.9 in 13 attempts

Logano might have swept Victory Lane last year if he had not been wrecked by a car he was lapping in the Camping World RV Sales 301. He also sustained crash damage in the 2013 edition of this race, so he must be holding his breath until Sunday afternoon.

24. Kurt Busch
Last six races average finish at New Hampshire: 24.33
Career avg. finish: 16.1 in 28 attempts

This week will be a good test of Busch’s momentum because he has not earned a top-10 at New Hampshire in seven races. In fact, he has only one top-15 and two top-20s in that span, which has to give fantasy owners a momentary pause. 

 

Rank

Driver

3 Yr. Avg. Fin

Attempts

1.

Kyle Larson

2.50

2

2.

Brad Keselowski

5.67

6

3.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

9.33

6

4.

Clint Bowyer

9.50

6

5.

Kyle Busch

9.67

6

6.

Matt Kenseth

10.33

6

7.

Jimmie Johnson

11.00

6

8.

Austin Dillon

12.50

2

9.

Greg Biffle

12.67

6

10.

Martin Truex Jr.

13.00

6

 

11.

Kevin Harvick

13.17

6

12.

Denny Hamlin

13.50

6

13.

Jamie McMurray

13.83

6

14.

Carl Edwards

14.00

6

15.

Jeff Gordon

14.33

6

16.

Kasey Kahne

14.67

6

17.

Ryan Newman

16.33

6

18.

Tony Stewart

16.40

5

19.

Paul Menard

17.00

6

20.

Aric Almirola

17.67

6

20.

AJ Allmendinger

17.67

3

22.

Joey Logano

19.50

6

23.

Sam Hornish Jr.

21.50

2

24.

Kurt Busch

24.33

6

25.

Danica Patrick

26.25

4

26.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

26.50

4

27.

Bobby Labonte

27.50

4

28.

David Gilliland

27.83

6

29.

Justin Allgaier

28.50

2

30.

Alex Bowman

29.50

2

31.

David Ragan

29.67

6

32.

Landon Cassill

30.17

6

33.

Michael Annett

30.50

2

34.

Travis Kvapil

31.80

5

35.

Casey Mears

32.17

6

36.

Cole Whitt

33.00

2

37.

Josh Wise

35.50

6

38.

JJ Yeley

36.50

4

39.

Michael McDowell

37.25

4

40.

Mike Bliss

43.33

3

 

Exercise Caution

Most caution flags: 17, 1994 Slick 50 300
Fewest caution flags: 2, 1997 Jiffy Lube 300
Average number of caution flags per race: 8.1

Final Caution, last five races:
September 2014: Lap 299 of 303 (green-white-checker): 2-car accident (Tony Stewart and David Gilliland)
July 2014: Lap 299 of 305 (green-white-checker): 1-car accident in turn four (Justin Allgaier)
September 2013: Lap 254 of 300: 1-car accident of frontstretch (Kasey Kahne)
July 2013: Lap 298 of 302 (green-white-checker): debris
September 2012: Lap 274 of 300: debris

Most caution laps: 78, 1994 Slick 50 300
Fewest caution laps: 10, 1997 Jiffy Lube 300
Average number of caution laps per race: 41.5

Leading the way

Most leaders: 15 (2 times), 2011 Sylvania 300, 1996 Jiffy Lube 300
Fewest leaders: 1, 2000 Dura Lube 300
Average number of leaders: 9.2

Most lead changes: 23 (2 times) 2002 New England 300 by Stacker 2, 1996 Jiffy Lube 300
Fewest lead changes: 0, 2000 Dura Lube 300
Average number of lead changes: 14.9

Victory Lane

Last five winners at New Hampshire (starting position):
September 2014: Joey Logano (7)
July 2014: Brad Keselowski (7)
September 2013: Matt Kenseth (9)
July 2013: Brian Vickers (13)
September 2012: Denny Hamlin (32)
July 2012: Kasey Kahne (2)

Worst starting position for race winner: 38th, Jeff Burton 1999 Jiffy Lube 300

A race at New Hampshire has been won by the pole sitter 5 times and from the front row 8 times in 40 races.

Recent Races won from the pole:
July 2011: Ryan Newman, Lenox Industrial Tools 301
September 2007: Clint Bowyer, Sylvania 300
September 2006: Kevin Harvick, Sylvania 300
September 2002: Ryan Newman, New Hampshire 300
August 1998: Jeff Gordon, Farm Aid on CMT 300

Active winners at New Hampshire:
Kurt Busch: 3
Jeff Gordon: 3
Jimmie Johnson: 3
Ryan Newman: 3
Tony Stewart: 3
Clint Bowyer: 2
Denny Hamlin: 2
Joey Logano: 2
Greg Biffle: 1
Kyle Busch: 1
Kevin Harvick: 1
Kasey Kahne: 1
Matt Kenseth: 1
Brad Keselowski: 1

Top-10 all-time wins at New Hampshire:
Jeff Burton: 4
Kurt Busch: 3
Jeff Gordon: 3
Jimmie Johnson: 3
Ryan Newman: 3
Tony Stewart: 3
Clint Bowyer: 2
Denny Hamlin: 2
Joey Logano: 2
Greg Biffle, Ward Burton, Kyle Busch, Robby Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Ernie Irvan, Dale Jarrett, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Mark Martin, Joe Nemechek, Ricky Rudd, Brian Vickers, and Rusty Wallace: 1

Top-10 winners on short, flat tracks (New Hampshire, Phoenix, Richmond, and Martinsville):
Jimmie Johnson: 18
Jeff Gordon: 15
Richard Petty: 15
Rusty Wallace: 15
Kevin Harvick: 12
Darrell Waltrip: 11
Denny Hamlin: 10
Tony Stewart: 10
Dale Earnhardt: 9
Jeff Burton: 8
Kurt Busch: 8

First time winners at New Hampshire:
2009: Joey Logano, Lenox Industrial Tools 301
2007: Clint Bowyer, Sylvania 300
2002: Ryan Newman, New Hampshire 300
2001: Robby Gordon, New Hampshire 300
1999: Joe Nemechek, Dura Lube / Kmart 300

Running at the End

The following active drivers have been running at the end of every New Hampshire race they started:
Kevin Harvick (28)
Carl Edwards (21)
Kyle Busch (20)
Clint Bowyer (18)
Denny Hamlin (18)
Paul Menard (16)
Brad Keselowski (11)
Aric Almirola (9)
Michael Annett (2)
Alex Bowman (2)
Austin Dillon (2)
Kyle Larson (2)
Cole Whitt (2)
Eddie MacDonald (1)

Kurt Busch failed to finish his first race in 2001, but has been running at the end of the last 27.
Danica Patrick failed to finish her first race in 2013, but has been running at the end of the last 3.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. had been running at the end of three consecutive races until he crashed last fall.

Great Starts

Active drivers with top-10s in their first start on this track:
Kyle Larson: 3 (2014)
Kyle Busch: 4 (2005)
Ryan Newman: 5 (2002)
Jeff Gordon: 7 (1993)
Brad Keselowski: 6 (2009)
Denny Hamlin: 6 (2006)
Kasey Kahne: 8 (2004)
Kevin Harvick: 8 (2001)
Tony Stewart: 10 (1999)

Current Streaks

At New Hampshire
Kyle Busch, four top-10s
Dale Earnhardt Jr., three top-10s
Kyle Larson, two top-fives
Brad Keselowski, two top-10s

On short, flat tracks
Joey Logano, seven top-10s
Jeff Gordon, five top-10s
Kevin Harvick, four top-10s
Jamie McMurray, three top-10s
Martin Truex Jr., three top-10s
Matt Kenseth two top-10s

In 2015
Kurt Busch, five top-10s
Kevin Harvick, three top-10s
Jimmie Johnson, three top-10s
Denny Hamlin, two top-fives
Jeff Gordon, two top-10s

 

Dan Beaver
Dan Beaver has been covering fantasy NASCAR for more than 12 years with a little help from his >500,000 record database. He can be found on Twitter @FantasyRace.