RaceDayScore NASCAR: New Hampshire 301

RaceDayScore NASCAR: New Hampshire 301

This article is part of our RaceDayScore NASCAR series.

New Hampshire 301

Location: Loudon, N.H.
Course: New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Format: One-mile oval
Laps: 301

Race Preview

Brad Keselowski grabbed his second consecutive win last week with a fuel-mileage master class in Kentucky. The race was plagued by tire issues on the newly repaved speedway. While the same number of failures won't be expected this weekend, any failure or mistake will likely hurt even more. The short track and short race distance make for a comparatively short event on a track where passing is notoriously difficult. If a team falls behind due to a mistake on pit road or a tire issue on track, there is little opportunity or time to overcome it. Mistakes have been the hallmark of many races this season, and those hoping to make this year's Chase for the Sprint Cup are going to need a flawless afternoon this Sunday in New Hampshire.

Key Stats at New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Number of previous races: 42
Winners from pole: 5
Winners from top-5 starters: 12
Winners from top-10 starters: 23
Winners from 21st or lower starters: 9
Fastest race: 117.134 mph

Last 10 New Hampshire Winners

2015 fall - Matt Kenseth
2015 spring - Kyle Busch
2014 fall - Joey Logano
2014 spring - Brad Keselowski
2013 fall - Matt Kenseth
2013 spring - Brian Vickers
2012 fall - Denny Hamlin
2012 spring - Kasey Kahne
2011 fall - Tony Stewart
2011 spring - Ryan Newman

New Hampshire is a one-mile oval with a narrow racing groove. Banking in the turns is relatively flat, which makes passing is a challenge. The best opportunity to make moves on track will be for drivers to get off of the turns faster than the cars ahead and out-brake them into the following corner. Brakes will be an important thing to manage throughout the race distance, and the significant wear on pads and rotors witnessed in Kentucky may also appear again this week. Equally important is horsepower on the long straights. While corner exit gives a driver an advantage, the car must still offer the necessary grunt to propel the chassis to the next braking point. Toyota cars have won five of the last seven races here, and Joe Gibbs Racing and Penske Racing have been the teams to beat.

RACE DAY SCORE VALUE PICKS
(Based on Standard $60K Salary Cap)

Tier 1 Values

Kevin Harvick - $11,900
Brad Keselowski - $11,800
Kyle Busch - $11,300
Joey Logano - $11,200

Tier 2 Values

Matt Kenseth - $10,900
Dale Earnhardt Jr. - $10,900
Martin Truex Jr. - $10,900
Denny Hamlin - $10,800

Tier 3 Values

Greg Biffle - $9,900
Aric Almirola - $9,400
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $9,400
Trevor Bayne - $9,400

Long-Shot Values

Danica Patrick - $8,800
David Ragan - $8,600
Casey Mears - $8,300

MY PICKS THIS WEEK

Lower-Risk Cash Game Lineup ($60K Salary Cap)

Kevin Harvick - $11,900
Brad Keselowski - $11,800
Matt Kenseth - $10,900
Aric Almirola - $9,400
Casey Mears - $8,300
Michael Annett - $7,400

The lower-risk lineup option for New Hampshire gives fantasy players the three highest rated drivers at the speedway in Harvick, Keselowski and Kenseth. Harvick has one Loudon win from pole in 2006 but led more than 300 laps in the last three races there. The hottest driver at the moment is Keselowski with back-to-back victories and at least one lap led at New Hampshire in every race since 2011. He has three top-10s and a 12th in the last four races at the track. Kenseth is the most recent New Hampshire winner and turned a losing car into a top-10 finish at Kentucky last week. Almirola crashed out of last fall's New Hampshire race, but had a sixth-place finish in 2014 and a 15th in this race last season. Mears had a tough outing in Kentucky, but will have some confidence here this week since he scored two top-20 finishes at the track last year. Lastly, Annett improved his finish in every one of his four New Hampshire starts as well as each of the last four races this season.

Higher-Risk Tournament Lineup
($60K Salary Cap)

Kyle Busch - $11,300
Martin Truex Jr. - $10,900
Denny Hamlin - $10,800
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $9,400
Danica Patrick - $8,800
Regan Smith - $8,300

Kyle Busch continues to threaten for wins each week, and that's why he leads the higher-risk option for New Hampshire. He won this race last season and has been a consistent top-five runner at the track since 2013. Truex's chances to win last week came undone with a conservative pit call late in the race. He's one of the fastest drivers this season but will have to avoid the mistakes that have cost him numerous wins so far. Hamlin is a two-time winner at Loudon and finished second here in the fall leading 21 laps. New Hampshire has seen improvement from Stenhouse in the last two seasons. He scored his first top-10 at the track in this race in 2014 and finished 13th last fall. In six tries Patrick has yet to snag a top-15 finish at this track, but she's getting better results so far in 2016 than last season, and she has two top-20s in the last three races. Regan Smith rounds out things. He has struggled much of 2016 but has a recent history of better results at New Hampshire. He finished 10th here in 2011 and has three top-20s at the track in his last five efforts.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. C.J. Radune plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: cjradune, RaceDayScore: cjradune.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
C.J. Radune
Radune covers NASCAR, Formula 1 and soccer for RotoWire. He was named the Racing Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association in 2012 and 2015.
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