Jul 6, 2014; Daytona Beach, FL, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jeff Gordon before before the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Forget about last week horror at Daytona. New Hampshire will get you back on track for the stretch run to the Chase.
I was happy for Aric Armirola getting the win, but I don’t think NASCAR did everything possible to get the full race in. I thought they could have waited and dried the track in time and, if it did go into the night, they have lights and no Juan Pablo Montoya on the track. What was the danger?
Brian Vickers is the defending champ of this race, and he came from the 13th starting spot as he chased down Jeff Burton and Kyle Busch. Vickers has descent stats at New Hampshire with one pole, one win, three top fives and four top 10s. He should be priced right to keep you under the cap.
Jeff Gordon ranks second out of all the active drivers with one pole, three top fives and six top 10s the past five years, but hasn’t won at New Hampshire since the last century. This is amazing considering the pole position has produced the most winners with five total. For Jeff’s career, he has won at the Magic Mile three times and the pole three times. What I like about Jeff this year is he’s almost always contending for a win and has finished in the top 10 most of this year.
Tony Stewart leads all active drivers with the top rating for New Hampshire but mentally, he’s been making mistakes that have cost his bottom line. His pit road speeds are less to be desired this year, coupled with recuperating from the broken foot puts caution to the wind. His price is right at most games and his stats of one win, three top fives and four top 10s make it tempting to punch his ticket.
Matt Kenseth did win the Chase race last year, but his stats were dismal to say the least when he ran with Jack Roush. This year, Matt has been up and down but since joining the Joe Gibbs camp, his performance has improved with that win last year.
I really like Kurt Busch on Sunday for the simple fact that he’s raced very well on flat tracks this year. He’s not even in the top 10 in the rankings for New Hampshire, but he has led laps and if it weren’t for a poor pit crew and inferior equipment the past two years, he could easily have one win.
Jimmie Johnson should not be ignored for New Hampshire with the second best stats the past five years with one win, four top fives and six top 10s. It wouldn’t surprise me if Jimmie gets back in victory lane on Sunday.
Kasey Kahne has the best average start the past five years at New Hampshire at 6.6 with one win, two top fives and three top 10s. His average finish is 15.6. His price should be good at most games and Kasey really needs a win soon as the hour-glass starts emptying.
Last year’s pole winners were Brad Keselowski and Ryan Newman. Newman took the Chase race pole. Newman tops Kez with a higher driver ranking at eighth for New Hampshire.
Chevrolet leads all manufacturers in wins with 18, and keep in mind this race is only 301 miles so track position and the top 10 starting spots are crucial for a good points day.
Here are the best power rankings for New Hampshire the past five years:
10 Matt Kenseth- 1 win, 1 top 5 and 3 top 10s, average finish 12.9.
9 Greg Biffle- 2 top 5s and 3 top 10s, average finish 12.4.
8 Brian Vickers- 1 win, 2 top 5s and 3 top 10s, average finish 11.8.
7 Kevin Harvick- 2 top 5s and 4 top 10s, average finish 11.1.
6 Clint Bowyer- 1 win, 3 top 5s and 4 top 10s, average finish 11.0.
5 Tony Stewart- 1 win, 3 top 5s and 4 top 10s, average finish 10.6.
4 Denny Hamlin- 1 win, 4 top 5s and 4 top 10s, average finish 10.5.
3 Dale Earnhardt Jr- 2 top 5s and 4 top 10s, average finish 10.1.
2 Jimmie Johnson- 1 win, 4 top 5s and 6 top 10s, average finish 8.5.
1 Jeff Gordon- 3 top 5s and 6 top 10s, average finish 7.4.