NASCAR Picks for New Hampshire
Length: 1.058 miles
Location: Loudon, New Hampshire
The Cup Series returns to New Hampshire Motor Speedway this weekend. While there are nine races remaining in the 2013 season, Sunday's Sylvania 300 offers fantasy owners looking to make up some ground a chance to be aggressive. While the bulk of the Chase is comprised of fast, 1.5-mile ovals, the flat, 1.0-mile layout of New Hampshire makes it one of the more unique tracks remaining on the schedule. More importantly, there are certain drivers that are average options most weeks that excel at flat track racing. As a result, fantasy owners have a chance to get creative with their lineups this weekend, and for owners that need to make something happen, New Hampshire offers the chance to hit it big with an unconventional lineup. Of course, not every fantasy owner is in a position where they need to take risks, and fortunately for the frontrunners out there, there are also plenty of big names that have been reliable options at NHMS over the years.
Jimmie Johnson, #48 Lowe's/Kobalt Tools, Hendrick Motorsports [Yahoo Class A]
Johnson has always enjoyed a ton of success at New Hampshire. In addition to his three wins at the track, he has compiled a 9.3 average finish and has 16 top-10s in 23 starts. Johnson also has 11 top-10s in 13 starts at New Hampshire since 2007, including three straight finishes of seventh or better.
Jeff Gordon, #24 Drive to End Hunger/Axalta, Hendrick Motorsports [Yahoo Class A]
Fantasy owners won't find a more reliable option than Gordon this weekend. After all, his 8.8 average finish in the last 20 races at New Hampshire is the best in the series. Gordon has also reeled off 16 straight top-15 finishes at the track, including four straight top-10s. While he doesn't have a win during the stretch, Gordon does has seven finishes of fourth or better, including three runner-up efforts.
Brad Keselowski, #2 Miller Lite, Penske Racing [Yahoo Class A]
After a bit of a rocky start at New Hampshire, Keselowski has been on a tear at 1.0-mile oval. He has finished sixth or better in his last four starts at the track, including a fourth-place run earlier this year. During the stretch, Keselowski has compiled an impressive 4.3 average finish.
Kasey Kahne, #5 Farmers Insurance/Quaker State, Hendrick Motorsports [Yahoo Class A]
His move to Hendrick Motorsports has continued to his evolution into one of the best drivers at New Hampshire. Kahne has six straight top-15s at the track, including three finishes of 11th or better since joining HMS in 2012. In fact, Kahne won in his first start at NHMS with HMS and has a 5.7 average finish in his three starts at the track with the No. 5 team.
Kevin Harvick, #29 Budweiser/Rheem, Richard Childress Racing [Yahoo Class A]
In typical Harvick fashion, he has quietly been one of the more consistent drivers at New Hampshire lately. He has finished in the top 12 in six of his last seven starts at the track and has a 9.9 average finish during the stretch. For his career, Harvick has a 13.4 average finish at New Hampshire in 25 starts so he is definitely a low-risk option this weekend.
Kyle Busch, #18 Mars Brands/Interstate Batteries, Joe Gibbs Racing [Yahoo Class B]
Although he has never been the most consistent driver at New Hampshire, Busch has managed 10 finishes of 11th or better in 17 starts at the track. More importantly, his upside is undeniable. He is a former winner at New Hampshire, and he finished second at the track earlier this year.
Brian Vickers, #55 Aaron's Dream Machine, Michael Waltrip Racing [Yahoo Class B]
Vickers snapped a long winless drought with a victory at New Hampshire in July, and a season sweep at the track isn't out of the question. He has five top-15s in his last six starts at NHMS, including four straight. Vickers also has three top-10s in his last four starts at the track to go along with a 7.5 average finish.
Joey Logano, #22 Shell-Pennzoil, Penske Racing [Yahoo Class B]
Thanks to a cut tire, his trip to New Hampshire earlier this year was a disaster. However, Logano's overall numbers at the track remain solid. He has six top-15s in 10 starts at NHMS, including four in his last five races. Logano is also a former winner at the track, and he finished eighth in the fall race a year ago.
Clint Bowyer, #15 5-Hour Energy, Michael Waltrip Racing [Yahoo Class A]
While he struggled a bit at New Hampshire in July, Bowyer still managed to salvage a 13th-place finish at a track where he has won twice in his career. In fact, he would be a three-time winner at NHMS had he not run out of gas while leading on the final lap in fall 2011. Meanwhile, Bowyer has a 6.7 average finish at the track since joining Michael Waltrip Racing last year, so a top-five run isn't out of the question.
Matt Kenseth, #20 Husky/Dollar General, Joe Gibbs Racing [Yahoo Class A]
New Hampshire has never been his best track, but Kenseth has enjoyed some success lately. He has four straight top-15s at NHMS, including a ninth-place run earlier this year. No, he isn't the ideal option for owners in Yahoo! leagues and other formats that limit the number of times each driver can be used, but Kenseth is certainly capable of landing in the top 10 Sunday.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., #88 National Guard/Diet Mountain Dew, Hendrick Motorsports [Yahoo Class B]
His numbers at New Hampshire won't overwhelm, but Junior has been one of the more reliable options lately. He has six top-15s in his last seven starts at the 1.0-mile oval, including three straight. Meanwhile, Junior hasn't finished worse than 17th during the stretch. He should make a solid addition to fantasy rosters in just about every format.
Ryan Newman, #39 Quicken Loans/Haas Automation, Stewart-Haas Racing [Yahoo Class B]
With three wins at New Hampshire, the track has always been kind to Newman. Meanwhile, he has enjoyed sustained success at NHMS since joining Stewart-Haas Racing in 2009. In nine starts at the track with the organization, Newman has six top-10s, including a win.