After the Busch brothers battled it out last Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series makes a trip New Hampshire Motor Speedway this weekend. Nicknamed “The Magic Mile,” the mostly flat, one-mile oval will host Sunday’s Foxwoods Resort Casino 301.
The summer stretch of the NASCAR schedule features tracks with a variety of layouts, and while there are other one-mile tracks, New Hampshire’s combination of size and lack of banking poses some unique problems. For one, completing a pass underneath another driver is tough, which makes restarts and pit strategy crucial elements. The track’s layout can also use up brakes in a hurry, so drivers have to be careful about how the manage their equipment over the course of the afternoon.
Despite the challenges New Hampshire presents, it can actually be a fantasy friendly track. As is the case with many flatter tracks, the drivers who run well here tend to be consistently dominant. You should be able to build around a core of studs to ensure yourself a strong point total.
As a bonus, there are also a few mid-tier and sleeper drivers who see their numbers jump at flat tracks like New Hampshire. You should be able to get creative with at least one of your Group B options in the Driver Group Game and your Group C driver, and you should also be able to use a couple of your Fantasy Live roster spots on non-traditional options.
After rolling out a bunch of sleepers a couple of weeks ago at Daytona and relying heavily on the big names last weekend at Kentucky, Sunday’s race offers a middle ground for fantasy owners. Make sure to build your lineups accordingly.
Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway Rankings
1. Kyle Busch, #18 M&M’s, Joe Gibbs Racing
Busch followed a dominating win at New Hampshire in the fall of 2017 with a second-place finish here a year ago. Over the last 10 at the track, he leads all drivers with eight Top 10s, and his two wins and six Top 5s are both tied for the most in the series. In fact, Busch has finished third or better six times in that span, leading more than 90 laps on four occasions.
2. Martin Truex, Jr., #19 Bass Pro Shops, Joe Gibbs Racing
A New Hampshire win has eluded him, but it isn’t for a lack of speed. Truex has reeled off five straight Top 5s here, and more importantly, he has led more than 80 laps in five straight starts, leading 100-plus laps four times. He should deliver big point totals in season-long and DFS contests.
3. Kevin Harvick, #4 Jimmy Johns/Busch Beer, Stewart-Haas Racing
Harvick is the defending winner of this weekend’s race, and he has piled up a series-best six Top 5s in the last eight races here, picking up a couple of wins in that stretch. He should have one of the highest floors of any driver this weekend.
4. Brad Keselowski, #2 Miller Lite/Discount Tires, Team Penske
Brake issues ruined his day at New Hampshire last year, but prior to that race, Keselowski had cracked the Top 15 in 13 straight starts at the track, notching 10 Top 10s along the way. He is one of the best in the business at flat tracks and should be a strong option in any fantasy format this weekend.
5. Denny Hamlin, #11 FedEx, Joe Gibbs Racing
He has been a flat track ace throughout his career, and Hamlin has made three trips to victory lane at New Hampshire. He also ranks fifth in points scored over the last 10 races here, logging nine Top 15s and winning the summer race in 2017. Hamlin should be an excellent option in Fantasy Live, and this could be a good spot to use one of his starts in the Driver Group Game.