RaceDayScore NASCAR: New England 300

RaceDayScore NASCAR: New England 300

This article is part of our RaceDayScore NASCAR series.

New England 300

Location: Loudon, N.H.
Course: New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Format: 1.0-mile oval
Laps: 300

Race Preview

The first spot in the next round of elimination races for the Chase for the Sprint Cup was booked by Martin Truex Jr. last week in Chicago. The Furniture Row Racing driver used an overtime pit stop and restart to get ahead of Chase Elliott for the final laps under green, which he nailed and sailed away to victory. The win was his third of the season and gives him and the team some breathing room in the remaining two races of the Round of 16. This week New Hampshire Motor Speedway returns for its second appearance of the season. Joe Gibbs Racing dominated at the circuit earlier in the year, and the team combined with Penske Racing to take the last six victories at the track. However, last week in Chicago the Hendrick Motorsports team signaled that fantasy players should not forget about them as Jimmie Johnson and Elliott combined to lead nearly 200 of the race's 270 laps.

Key Stats at New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Number of previous races: 43
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

2016 spring - Matt Kenseth
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

New Hampshire's long straights and tight turns can be a challenge for teams and drivers alike. The high speeds at the end of the straights lead to heavy braking, which can put extra strain on brakes and tires. The narrow turns feature progressive banking, but still make it difficult to complete passes. Track position can be the difference maker between a great day and a terrible one. Mistakes on pit road have been costly this season, and any infractions that send a car backward in the order could doom a Chase hopeful's prospects of getting through the week with a top finish. Earlier this season the Joe Gibbs teammates combined with Truex led 299 of the 301 laps, and with one Toyota already in the Round of 12 the team will be confident they can get another car from their stable into Victory Lane again this week.

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

Tier 1 Values

Brad Keselowski - $12,000
Kevin Harvick - $12,000
Kyle Busch - $11,400

Tier 2 Values

Denny Hamlin - $11,11
Ryan Newman - $10,900
Martin Truex Jr. - $10,900
Jamie McMurray - $10,600

Tier 3 Values

Greg Biffle - $10,000
Paul Menard - $9,700
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $9,500
Alex Bowman - $9,200

Long-Shot Values

Casey Mears - $8,700
Chris Buescher - $7,900
Michael Annett - $7,400

MY PICKS THIS WEEK

Lower-Risk Lineup ($60K Salary Cap)

Kevin Harvick - $12,000
Brad Keselowski - $12,000
Kyle Busch - $11,400
Greg Biffle - $10,000
Michael Annett - $7,400
Josh Wise - $6,900

Harvick, Keselowski, and Busch lead the lower-risk lineup option this week. All have won at New Hampshire, and all are consistently among the top finishers each week. Busch leads the trio with two track victories, and is also the teammate to Kenseth who has been the man to beat at the circuit most recently. It would come as little surprise that any of these past winners would be considered among the favorites to win this Sunday to add another victor's trophy to their New Hampshire resumes. While 2016 has been a difficult and challenging season for Biffle, the team is improving. It may take until next season before they are as competitive as they desire, but New Hampshire is a track where Biffle can get it done. He was among the top finishers there earlier this season, and arguably has more positives supporting him this week than back then. Annett could offer fantasy players a top-20 finish this week in addition to his ability to consistently finish better than he qualifies. His average New Hampshire finish is nearly seven positions than his average start in the last five races. Similarly, Wise's consistent ability to improve during races could add valuable points to fantasy rosters this week.

Higher-Risk Lineup
($60K Salary Cap)

Matt Kenseth - $11,400
Joey Logano - $11,300
Ryan Newman - $10,900
Jamie McMurray - $10,600
Casey Mears - $8,700
Jeffrey Earnhardt - $6,800

The higher-risk lineup for New Hampshire carries the belief that Kenseth has something unique at this track that gives him a superior advantage to the field. He has won the last two races at the track and three of the last six, so that may not be a far stretch. Logano had a fantastic start to his Chase last week in Chicago with a top finish, and now will look to pick up his third New Hampshire win this week. Newman is another driver that has experienced a lot of New Hampshire success. He has three circuit wins and is still aiming to be the top finisher outside of the Chase. A top-10 finish in the spring for McMurray will give him confidence that he can improve his standing in the Chase this week, while Casey Mears remains capable each week of topping a practice session and scoring a top-20 finish. Perhaps the biggest leap in this option is Earnhardt. The driver hasn't had a notable season to date and has only visited New Hampshire in Sprint Cup one time. He improved his finishing position seven spots from the start in that outing, though.

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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