New Hampshire Lenox Industrial Tools 301 Fantasy NASCAR Preview and PicksA= Really, Really Good Pick

Denny Hamlin – Hamlin hasn’t led a lot of laps at New Hampshire but beyond that he’s as good as gold this week. He has one win and an impressive 7.6 average finish. In ten starts Hamlin has never finished outside the top fifteen. (Yahoo A Driver)

Kyle Busch – Kyle Busch has one win at New Hampshire and he’ll certainly be looking like the driver to beat heading into the weekend. What I really like about Kyle Busch is how strong he’s been on similar tracks this season. At Phoenix he finished second to Jeff Gordon and at Richmond he absolutely dominated. Some say Martinsville is a similar track (I have some disagreement here) and he finished 3rd there. (Yahoo A Driver)

Kurt Busch – Kurt Busch has an excellent record at New Hampshire. Last fall he finished 13th but in the five preceding races he finished inside the top six every race. Kurt has three wins at New Hampshire. (Yahoo A Driver)

Jimmie Johnson – Johnson is the defending champion of this race and he’ll be tough to beat in the Lenox Industrial Tools 301. Last year Johnson had the third best driver rating (109.45) in both combined New Hampshire races. (Yahoo A Driver)

Kevin Harvick – Harvick finished 5th in both races last season. In 2006 he won the Chase opening race at New Hampshire and led 196 laps. Some more positives about Harvick is that he finished 4th at Phoenix and won at Martinsville. (Yahoo A Driver)

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A- = Really Good Pick

Clint Bowyer – Bowyer has two wins at New Hampshire and last year he won the opening race of “The Chase”. Last year at New Hampshire he had the best average finish (4th), best average running position (6th), and the best driver rating (127.1). Some other notable things from last season are that he led the most laps (177) and ran the most laps inside the top fifteen (98.85%) percentage wise. (Yahoo B Driver)

Jeff Gordon – Gordon won at Phoenix this year which is a similar track to New Hampshire. Last year at this 1.0 mile flat track Gordon finished 6th and 4th. His average running position last year was ninth which is the fifth best in the series (tied with Johnson and Stewart). (Yahoo A Driver)

Tony Stewart – Last September Stewart led a third of the race at New Hampshire but came up short on fuel at the end. In the summer race he finished second. Since 2005 his average finish is 10th, his mid race average running position is 10th, and his total average running position on the track is 15th. (Yahoo A Driver)

B+ = Good Pick

Fantasy NASCAR Expert Picks
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Dale Earnhardt Jr. – In 2010 Junior finished 4th and 8th at New Hampshire. Between the Martinsville, Richmond and Phoenix races run this year Junior’s been a lousy qualifier (29th avg start) but only Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson, and Kevin Harvick have a better average finish. (Yahoo B Driver)

Ryan Newman – In 2002 Ryan Newman got his first career win from the pole at New Hampshire. In 2005 Ryan Newman once again visited victory lane by outracing his current boss for the win. Currently Newman has three straight finishes of 8th or better going for him at Loudon. (Yahoo B Driver)

Carl Edwards – This track traditionally isn’t friendly to Fords. In thirteen races at New Hampshire Carl Edwards only has two top ten finishes. There’s plenty of upside though to picking him. He was strong at Phoenix before “the big one” (won the pole also), at Richmond he finished 5th, and at New Hampshire last September he was impressive on the track. His average running position was 6th and he had the third best driver rating (109.9) (Yahoo A Driver)

Joey Logano – Logano got his first and only Sprint Cup win at New Hampshire. If you watched the race you certainly couldn’t say it was a competitive win. His Yahoo! race chart paints that pretty clearly. The upside about Logano is that he’s been pretty good on similar tracks lately. Using his teammates setups has really helped him a lot at those venues, and it will help him again Sunday. (Yahoo B Driver)

AJ Allmendinger – AJ’s average finish at New Hampshire is a miserable 27.6 but last season he finished 10th and 12th. At Richmond and Phoenix this year (two most similar tracks) his average finish is 8th and his average running position is 14th. (Yahoo B Driver)

B = A Tier Below The Good Picks

David Reutimann – Sleeper Alert, Reutimann has five straight top fifteen finishes at New Hampshire. Last September Reutimann finished 7th. His average running position in this time span is 13th and he’s raced inside the top fifteen for nearly 70% of the laps run. (Yahoo B Driver)

Mark Martin – Martin’s disappointed many fantasy owners this year but I think he has potential this week. This reason I say this is because of how he’s performed on perceived similar tracks this year. At Phoenix he finished 13th with a damaged race car, at Martinsville he finished 10th with a damaged race car, and at Richmond he finished 14th. Imagine what he can do with a car that isn’t damaged! Martin won at New Hampshire in 2009. (Yahoo B Driver)

Jeff Burton – Burton has four New Hampshire wins and last fall he was extremely strong but was short on gas just like Tony Stewart. In the June race last season he led 89 laps. (Yahoo B Driver)

Greg Biffle – Biffle won at New Hampshire in 2008 but I won’t “stick with the Biff”. Since his win he only has one top ten (9th) and all of his other finishes are in the high teens. (Yahoo A Driver)

Matt Kenseth – If you want to do something wild and crazy this week take Kenseth. Since 2008 he’s finished outside the top fifteen for six consecutive races. His 14.1 average finish is respectable though. (Yahoo A Driver)

Martin Truex Jr. – Don’t let Truex sneak up on you this week. He finished 19th or worse the last four races here but in the preceding four he finished 7th or better. (Yahoo B Driver)

B- = You Can Pencil Them In For Around 20th

Juan Pablo Montoya – In eight races at New Hampshire Juan Pablo Montoya only has one top ten finish (3rd). Last season he finished 16th and 34th. He was good in the race when he finished 34th though, check out his Yahoo! race chart (shows how good he really was, went wild and crazy at the end). (Yahoo B Driver)

Kasey Kahne – Kahne got off to a good start at New Hampshire early in his career but he’s been lackluster recently. Since 2007 Kahne has one top ten and an average finish of 23rd. (Yahoo B Driver)

Brad Keselowski – In Hendrick affiliated equipment Keselowski finished 6th at New Hampshire. In Pesnke equipment  he’s finished 18th and 26th. This year on similar tracks he’s been a sub top fifteen driver.

Marcos Ambrose – Ambrose’s track record  at New Hampshire isn’t anything to be giddy about. His best finish is 13th and all of his others are 20th or worse. Driver rating wise he’s never been +75 here. (Yahoo B Driver)

C+ = Proceed With Caution

Brian Vickers – When Vickers last raced at New Hampshire in 2009 he finished 11th. Unfortunately that’s his only top fifteen finish going back to 2007. Earlier this year he finished 10th at Richmond. (Yahoo B Driver)

C = I’m Not Picking Them

Paul Menard – Menard’s best New Hampshire finish is 21st. That’s the good news. The bad news is that his 29th place average finish isn’t skewed because all of his finishes are right around that mark. (Yahoo C Driver)

David Ragan – Amazingly his first two New Hampshire finishes are his best (15th and 19th). His average finish is 26.9 and his average start is 27.8. Ragan has never led a lap at New Hampshire. (Yahoo C Driver)

Jamie McMurray – McMurray finished 3rd last year but did you know that’s his first top ten since 2004. His average finish at “The Magic Mile” is 22.2. I know I won’t be picking him this week. (Yahoo B Driver)