Thursday, July 12, 2012

5 Questions before the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway

This week NASCAR heads north to Loudon, New Hampshire's "Magic Mile" to Live Free & Race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

I do consider this weekend special for me - I grew up a short 20 minutes from the racetrack and I probably would’ve never fallen in love with racing had I lived elsewhere!

Without further ado, here are my five questions and don't forget to look for me at the track. I'll be there representing Skirts and Scuffs.

1. Will one of the track's five strongest drivers dominate the weekend?

Jeff Burton started second in the 2000 Dura Lube 300 Sponsored by Kmart at NHMS and won after leading all 300 laps. At the time this was a restrictor-plate race because of the tragic accidents that happened earlier that spring. After that, NASCAR decided to take the plate out and racing in Loudon has been restrictor-plate free since. Last weekend we saw a Burton revival at the Coke Zero 400 where he finished second. It’s been a while since he’s won a race, let alone one in N.H., where he has visited victory lane four times.

There is a four-way tie for drivers who have three victories at NHMS.

Ryan Newman, July 2011
Photo Credit: Genevieve
Stewart-Haas Racing's Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart all have three wins at NHMS. Newman won from the pole in July 2011 and his good luck at the track doesn’t stop there: he has six poles, six top-fives and 13 top-10s. Stewart started last season’s July race in second and finished in second. In September 2011 Stewart won his second race of the season on route to his third championship. He won the pole once, has 14 top-fives and 16 top-10 finishes.

Hendrick Motorsports drivers Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson match Newman’s and Stewart’s three wins at NHMS. Johnson collected his third DNF last weekend and is looking for his third win of the season. Gordon is looking for magic this season, and this weekend, he might find it.

2. A few weeks ago representatives from 13 New Hampshire towns chose two drivers to possibly win the race. If one of the two drivers they chose for their city wins on Sunday, $20,000 will be donated towards the town’s education system. Knowing that not all 43 drivers are in this lottery – the question is, will a chosen driver win the $20K?  


PHOTO CREDIT: NHMS FACEBOOK PAGE
All 13 towns/cities and the drivers they chose. 
3. Will Travis Pastrana improve at the 1-mile track, and will Danica Patrick continue her streak - and finish in the top five? Danica Patrick and Travis Pastrana are major headliners in the Nationwide Series and are two of the names that draw the crowd to the track on Saturday. Patrick’s season is nothing to be ashamed of. Having led five times for a total of 14 laps in Daytona and having a chance to finish in the top five at Road America before being spun out, Patrick is earning her spot in the NASCAR series. Her last race at NHMS was in 2010 and she finished 30th. She has Indy racing experience at NHMS and finished sixth – this weekend, she could top that spot. Pastrana’s only race at the "Magic Mile" was in the 2011 K&N Pro Series race where he finished 22nd. This will be his first Nationwide race at the 1.058-mile oval.

Here is an engine especially made for a Modified Series car from
Nuskool Race Engines. Joey Caraccia is the engine builder.
Photo Credit: Genevieve
      4. The Whelen Modified Series car is absolutely different than the Sprint Cup Series car, so it's no surprise that the engine is different, with 200 less horsepower. However, did you know that the Modified cars are much faster than stock cars and must have a restrictor plate in their engine to slow them down at New Hampshire Motor Speedway? The track is too small for the speed that a Modified racecar is capable of.

5. Every time NASCAR comes to NH, you hear everyone talking about the Lobster. So, why is the lobster so popular? Check out this video to find out!


 

If you come out to the race this weekend, be sure to bring lots of water and lots of energy. There's a lot of excitement ahead, and Magic is sure to happen!
Follow me on Twitter at @C_Genevieve.

Welcome to New England!
Photo Credit: Genevieve
4   Genevieve was raised in New Hampshire, 20 minutes from NHMS. She currently resides in Cornelius, N.C. She is a writer with a day job in child care. When not writing or working, she's exercising or spending time with family. All pictures (except the NHMS photo) and video are Genevieve's, photography is her new hobby.

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