The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will head to the New Hampshire for the Camping World RV Sales 301.
New Hampshire is a one-mile oval racetrack. It is much like Martinsville but twice the size. Teams must come prepared for New Hampshire, because it is very difficult for to make adjustments during the race. Teams that show up with a fast car usually dominate.
Denny Hamlin guaranteed victory at New Hampshire last year and backed up his words by leading 193 of the 300 laps on his way to Victory Lane. Any driver with that much confidence at a racetrack must be considered for all fantasy teams this week.
Here is my top 30 and stats from the NASCAR Media Center based on the driver’s career statistics at New Hampshire….
Racing for the Win
1. Jimmie Johnson is proving why he just may be the best driver in NASCAR history. Coming off his fourth victory of the season, Johnson has to be considered the favorite to win at New Hampshire. He has finished 17 of his 22 starts at the racetrack in the top 11. Even if you are low on starts with Johnson, he is still worth using this week.
2. Denny Hamlin has finished in the top three in four of the last five races at New Hampshire. This is Hamlin’s best racetrack, and this week is a great time to use him on your fantasy team. He has had bad luck this season, but it has to change at some time…doesn’t it?
3. Clint Bowyer has been one of the best drivers on flat racetracks. He has the sixth-best average running position of 11.9 and the fifth-best driver rating of 97.2. Bowyer has a streak of four consecutive top-10 finishes going. He will add a top-five finish to his stats on Sunday.
4. Tony Stewart is starting to turn his season around. Last week, Smoke scored his fifth top-10 finish in the last seven races. Stewart has a series-best driver rating of 111.7, the second-best average running position of 9.1 and nine top-three finishes at New Hampshire. Stewart is a great choice this week.
Who will win this week at New Hampshire?
5. Jeff Gordon said last week that he was more concerned with finishing in the top 10 then he was winning races. He needs the points to stay in the hunt for a spot in the Chase. I like a driver who tries to win the race, but Gordon could end up winning Sunday even if he is not trying. Gordon won the pole for the last race at New Hampshire and finished third.
6. Kasey Kahne won the summer race at New Hampshire last year and will have a good chance to repeat on Sunday. Kahne is very good on flat racetracks. In the last two seasons, he has the fourth-best driver rating on flat racetracks (New Hampshire, Phoenix, Pocono and Indianapolis). Kahne is my pick to win the pole this week.
7. Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished fourth in this race last season. He seems to be very good or very bad at New Hampshire. As well as Earnhardt has run this season, I think it will be a top-10 finish for him on Sunday.
8. Kevin Harvick is not a lame duck. Although he is leaving for Stewart-Haas Racing at the end of the year, Harvick is having one of his best seasons. His success will continue this week at New Hampshire.
9. Ryan Newman has been horrible lately, but if he is going to have success at any racetrack, New Hampshire is the place. Newman has the seventh-best driver rating of 94.9 and the seventh-best average running position of 12.5. He has a good chance to finish in the top 10 this week.
10. Kyle Busch is much better at qualifying at New Hampshire than he is at racing. Busch has the fourth-best average starting position of 7.5 and 18th-best average finishing position of 16.7. Busch has run well this year, and that is the reason why he made my top 10 this week.
11. Matt Kenseth is horrible at New Hampshire. He has only one top-10 finish in his last 10 races at the racetrack. Kenseth has run well this season at many of the racetracks that he struggled at while he was at Roush Fenway Racing. Sit Kenseth in the Yahoo! Fantasy Auto Racing game and consider him for all other formats.
12. Kurt Busch is the most improved driver this year. His recent stats at each racetrack can be thrown away. Busch has had success at New Hampshire in the past, with three wins and 11 top-10 finishes. He will run up front for most of the race but fade at the end. Expect a top-15 finish from Busch this week.
13. Carl Edwards won the first race on a flat racetrack at Phoenix in March. The two racetracks are very different because of the variable banking at Phoenix. Edwards will be in the mix for another top-10 finish this week at New Hampshire.
14. Greg Biffle does not have great stats at New Hampshire, but he has improved in his last three races. Biffle has finished two of the last three races in the top 10. He will finish in the top 15 on Sunday.
15. Brian Vickers will be back in the No. 55 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota this week. Vickers started fourth and finished ninth in the last race at New Hampshire. He finished both races in the top 15 last year and will do it again on Sunday.
16. Martin Truex Jr. is from the Northeast, so that must mean he is good at New Hampshire? Not so much…Truex has five top-10 finishes in his 14 career races at the racetrack. He will just miss out on a top-15 finish this week.
17. Brad Keselowski is still suffering from his championship hangover. He is No. 13 in the point standings and has yet to win a race. I suggest staying away from Keselowski until he turns his season around.
18. Joey Logano ended his streak of six straight top-11 finishes last week when his tire went flat and he hit the wall at Daytona. Look for Logano to run well for most of the race but fade in the final laps. Logano will score only a top-20 finish on Sunday.
19. A.J. Allmendinger has been very good at New Hampshire. He has finished three of the last four races at the racetrack in the top 12. He is the best choice for Group C in Yahoo! Fantasy Auto Racing this week.
20. Jamie McMurray does not have good stats at New Hampshire, but he has run well lately. He has only four top-10 finishes in his 20 races at New Hampshire. McMurray will finish in the top 20 on Sunday.
Trying to Stay on Lead Lap
21. Jeff Burton is good at New Hampshire. He has the 10th-best driver rating of 91.8 and the ninth-best average running position of 12.7. I do not trust Burton, since he has only three top-10 finishes this season.
22. Paul Menard was my sleeper pick last week, and he finished last when his car blew up. I will not jinx Menard this week by making him my sleeper pick again. He will run well, but not well enough for a finish inside the top 20.
23. Juan Pablo Montoya is not very good at New Hampshire. There are much better selections for your team this week.
24. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has never raced in the Sprint Cup Series at New Hampshire, but he has finished in the top five in two of his three Nationwide Series races at the racetrack. There is a big difference in talent this week for Stenhouse. His talent will allow him to finish inside the top 25.
25. Aric Almirola has an average finish at New Hampshire of 24.2. I do not see any reason why he will improve this week.
26. Marcos Ambrose has been good on some of the oval racetracks. New Hampshire is not one of them.
27. Danica Patrick will be racing in her first race at New Hampshire in the Sprint Cup Series this week. In her two races in the Nationwide Series, she finished No. 30 and No. 14. She will take her rookie bumps this week on a hard racetrack to figure out.
28. Bobby Labonte has the experience but not the equipment to race well at New Hampshire. There are better choices for your team this week.
29. Casey Mears has run well this year, but New Hampshire is one of his worst racetracks. His best finish in the last six races at the racetrack is 29th.
30. David Ragan has had success at New Hampshire, but it came with Roush Fenway Racing. He will only be able to race his way to a top-30 finish this week.
Yahoo! Fantasy Auto Racing Picks
Group A: Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin
Group B: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, Ryan Newman, Kurt Busch
Group C: A.J. Allmendinger, Ricky Stenhouse
Fantasy Live Picks
Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., A.J. Allmendinger
If you need any further advice with your team, look for me on Twitter @MrFantasyNASCAR
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