Thursday, September 24, 2015

NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Contender round heats up at New Hampshire


Track Classification: Intermediate
Similar Tracks: Atlanta Motor Speedway • Charlotte Motor Speedway • Chicagoland Speedway  Darlington Raceway • Homestead-Miami Speedway • Kansas Speedway •  Kentucky Speedway 
Las Vegas Motor Speedway • Texas Motor Speedway
Distance: 1.058 Miles

Drivers with Most Top 10s (Last 5 Years):
By Race
All with 3 - Brian Vickers, Brad Keselowski, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch and Jamie McMurray
All with 2 - Kevin Harvick, Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer, Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman, Tony Stewart and Denny Hamlin

By Track
Brad Keselowski - 7
Jimmie Johnson - 6
All with 5 - Dale Earnhardt Jr., Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch and Jeff Gordon 

Recent Pole Winners:  
2014 Brad Keselowski
2013 Ryan Newman

The Likely Suspects:  As the drama builds in the playoffs, all eyes are on those first 12 spots in the standings. Who will enter the second round by virtue of a win? Who will get there on points? Who will be left on the outside looking in? As I put together my fantasy team this week, I'll be focusing on these "Magic Mile" elite drivers: Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman, Jimmie Johnson, Jamie McMurray, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Denny Hamlin.

My 2 Cents: Here we are at Chase race #2 with some grumbling drivers angry about restarts and aggressive racing at Chicagoland. It remains to be seen whether the Kevin Harvick and Jimmie Johnson drama will bleed through to this race. Things aren't looking good for Clint Bowyer who was docked 25 points for suspension and track bar issues at Chicagoland. Oddly enough, due to his incident with Jimmie Johnson and Bowyer's loss of points, Kevin Harvick just stands one spot above Bowyer in 15th.

With all this in mind, my no-brainer pick this week is a tie between Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski. My next choices are Clint Bowyer, Austin Dillon, Kyle Larson and Jamie McMurray. I will round out my team with Danica Patrick and Justin Allgaier.

My final four: Keselowski, Bowyer, McMurray and Allgaier.

Points to ponder:
  • Hendrick Motorsports leads the series in wins at New Hampshire in the Cup Series with nine; followed by Roush Fenway Racing (seven), Joe Gibbs Racing (seven), Team Penske (six), and Richard Childress Racing (four).
  • Jimmie Johnson leads the Cup drivers in average finishing position at New Hampshire with a 10.250. 
  • Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart are tied for the series lead in runner-up finishes at New Hampshire with five each, followed by Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch and Mark Martin with three each. 
  • Eight active drivers have multiple wins at NHMS: Kurt Busch, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Newman, Tony Stewart with three each. Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer, Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano each have two.
  • The Coors Light pole is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (five) than any other starting position at New Hampshire.  
  • More than half -- 23 of the 41 -- NASCAR Sprint Cup races at New Hampshire have been won from a top-10 starting position.
Enjoy the race! Post your comments here or follow me on Twitter at @purplecatpr.

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