NASCAR Picks for New Hampshire
Brian Vickers, #55 Aaron's Dream Machine, Michael Waltrip Racing [Yahoo Class B]
If you are looking for a bit of a sleeper pick with some serious upside, Vickers is your man. Not only is he the defending winner of this weekend's race, but he has reeled off five straight Top 15s at the track, including three straight Top 10s. During the stretch, Vickers has posted a rock solid 7.4 average finish.
Carl Edwards, #99 Fastenal/Aflac/UPS/Subway, Roush Fenway Racing [Yahoo Class B]
It has been 10 races since Edwards' last Top 5 at New Hampshire. Although his ceiling isn't as high as some other drivers, he has been consistent at the track. He has five finishes of 13th or better in his last seven starts at NHMS; during the stretch, he hasn't finished outside the Top 20. Edwards finished eighth and ninth in two starts at the track last year. Another finish in (or near) the Top 10 seems likely Sunday.
Greg Biffle, #16 3M/Bondo, Roush Fenway Racing [Yahoo Class B]
Although his strong runs at New Hampshire have been tough to predict, Biffle always seems to salvage a decent finish at the track. He has finished 18th or better in his last 11 starts at NHMS; during the stretch, he has three Top 3s (including a win in 2008). Given his high floor, Biffle isn't a bad option to gamble on this weekend. He is a safe bet to challenge for a Top 15 (a Top 5 also isn't out of the question).
Ryan Newman, #31 Caterpillar, Richard Childress Racing [Yahoo Class B]
Newman is a three-time winner at New Hampshire, but his numbers have slipped just a bit since his most recent win at the track (in 2011). He has finished outside the Top 15 in three of his last five starts at NHMS, with a couple of 10th-place finishes in his other two starts. Expecting more than a Top 15 out of Newman this weekend could be asking for trouble.
Kurt Busch, #41 Haas Automation, Stewart-Haas Racing [Yahoo Class A]
His overall numbers at New Hampshire stack up well, but Busch has struggled to find consistency at the track the past few seasons. He has failed to crack the Top 15 in his last five starts at NHMS, and he has finished outside the Top 20 in four starts in the same stretch. Busch is a three-time winner at the track, but he is far from a safe pick this weekend given his recent results.
Jamie McMurray, #1 McDonald's/Cessna, Chip Ganassi Racing [Yahoo Class B]
New Hampshire hasn't always been kind to McMurray, but he is coming off of one of his best seasons at the track. He finished 12th at the track in July of 2013, and he finished fourth when the series returned in September. After his results last season, McMurray could be worth a flier as a sleeper pick Sunday.
Martin Truex, Jr., #78 Furniture Row, Furniture Row Racing [Yahoo Class B]
Truex owns a solid 14.7 average finish at New Hampshire in his career. In 16 starts, he has only finished outside the Top 20 three times. Meanwhile, he has finished 17th or better in his last six starts at the track and has three finishes of 11th or better during the stretch. Truex should be a safe bet for a Top 20, but it's tough to put too much stock in him given his mediocre results so far in 2014.
Kyle Larson, #42 Target, Chip Ganassi Racing [Yahoo Class C]
It is getting to the point where you just have to assume Larson will hold his own at a track regardless of his previous experience. Looking at his previous results at flat tracks this season, a Top 20 seems more than reasonable at New Hampshire (his only finish outside the Top 20 at a flat track so far came at Martinsville). He has finished 16th and fifth in his two most recent starts. If anything, this is probably a conservative ranking for the rookie.
Paul Menard, #27 Menards, Richard Childress Racing [Yahoo Class B]
New Hampshire hasn't exactly been Menard's best track; in 14 starts, he owns a 24.6 average finish and has never finished in the Top 10. On the plus side, he has cracked the Top 20 in four of his last five starts at the track, picking up a career-best 12th-place finish along the way. Menard still doesn't offer much in the way of upside, but he could sneak into the Top 20 Sunday.
A.J. Allmendinger, #47 Kingsford/Clorox, JTG Daugherty Racing [Yahoo Class B]
He has only made one start at New Hampshire over the past two seasons, finishing 22nd in the July race last year. That being said, Allmendinger did log three finishes of 12th or better in four starts at the track between 2010 and 2011. He could challenge for a Top 20 Sunday, and he should make a decent sleeper in deeper formats.
Austin Dillon, #3 Dow Chemical/Cheerios, Richard Childress Racing [Yahoo Class C]
Dillon seems to be hitting a bit of a rookie wall after a solid start to the season. Outside of restrictor plate races, his last Top 15 came at Darlington in early April. Granted, he has been cracking the Top 20 with regularity, but his lack of upside hurts his fantasy value. Dillon is a safe bet to bring his car home in one piece, but don't expect a spectacular finish out of him Sunday.
Marcos Ambrose, #9 Stanley/Dewalt Power Tools, Richard Petty Motorsports [Yahoo Class B]
His overall numbers at New Hampshire are pedestrian at best. In 10 starts at the track, Ambrose has just a single Top 10 to go along with a 21.9 average finish. Meanwhile, he has failed to crack the Top 15 in his last five starts at NHMS. At this point, a Top 20 is probably the best-case scenario.
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