Tha Sports Junkies 101

New Hampshire 301 Preview


This weekend, NASCAR’s finest head to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the New Hampshire 301. This is the 19th race of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. In last year’s race, Kyle Busch continued his rally to the championship with a win over Brad Keselowski.

The Chase Draws Closer: With eight races to go until the Chase for the Sprint Cup playoffs begin, the field is beginning to take shape. Four drivers (Keselowski, Edwards, Harvick, and Kurt Busch) locked themselves in at Kentucky on the provision they start every race going forward until Richmond. Several others are on the outside looking in trying to crash the party as well. Below is a graphic of the current Chase situation (Credit: NASCAR Media).


Keselowski Going For The Trifecta: Brad Keselowski is undisputedly NASCAR’s hottest driver this summer after winning the last two consecutive races (Daytona and Kentucky). Dating back to his May 1 win at Talladega, the No. 2 Ford driver has recorded three wins, six top fives and eight top 10s in his last nine starts. His four wins this season lead the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Now, he is perusing a rare piece of NASCAR history in the Chase era by trying to become only fourth driver to win three straight races (Others who have include Joey Logano, Kyle Busch in 2015 and Jimmie Johnson in 2007 & 2004).

Bowman Takes The Reigns: In an unexpected twist for the 23 year old from Tucson Arizona, Alex Bowman was tapped to drive the #88 Nationwide Insurance this weekend in replacement of Dale Earnhardt Jr. after he was ruled out with concussion like symptoms. Bowman was already scheduled to run the day before’s XFINITY Series race for coincidentally Dale Earnhardt Jr’s JR Motorsports team. In 4 prior starts at New Hampshire, Alex’s best finish is a 28th with BK Racing in 2014.

Another Week Of Parity: It seems like the recent trend with this stretch of tracks is parity, and New Hampshire Motor Speedway is no exception. Dating back to July 2008, 14 different drivers have won in the last 16 races at New Hampshire: Matt Kenseth (2015-2), Kyle Busch (2015-1), Joey Logano (2014-2), Brad Keselowski (2014-1), Kenseth (2013-2), Brian Vickers (2013-1), Denny Hamlin (2012-2), Kasey Kahne (2012-1), Tony Stewart (2011-2), Ryan Newman (2011-1), Clint Bowyer (2010-2), Jimmie Johnson (2010-1), Mark Martin (2009-2), Logano (2009-1), Greg Biffle (2008-2), Kurt Busch (2008-1).

Below is some NASCAR Fantasy advice for the Quaker State 400 and the drivers to consider and to avoid:

Drivers To Consider: Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Greg Biffle, and Matt Kenseth

Drivers To Avoid: Alex Bowman, Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Paul Menard, and Ryan Blaney

Potential Sleepers: Kyle Larson, Clint Bowyer, Ryan Newman, Austin Dillon, and Aric Almirola

The New Hampshire 301 starts Sunday at 1:30PM EST on NBCSN