This article is part of our Weekly Preview series.
We make a return this week to the short-track circuit after a long stretch of intermediate ovals. NASCAR's top division heads to the one-mile, flat oval of New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 on Sunday afternoon. The bull ring at Loudon, N.H., is a true oval with variable banking of two to seven degrees in all turns, and one degree on both straightaways. It is a flat track in the purest sense.
The handling of the race car is very important at this oval. How the car turns, how it exits the corners and how it holds the turns will dictate the driver's ability to pass or be passed at NHMS. A driver and crew chief's patience is tested to the max at this challenging short track. If adjustments can be made and an ill-handling car can be corrected over the course of a run, that driver and crew chief will reap the rewards of their persistence and patience. A lack of patience will usually end up in a wreck at this short track, as this typically leads to over-driving the car and pushing the speed/handling envelope a bit too far. Considering that the last several weeks leading up to this event have seen the aerodynamic and easy-passing factors of intermediate ovals, we could see a lack of patience manifest itself this weekend at Loudon. This oval is where the NASCAR adage "race the track, not the competition" was born. This short track embodies that statement