1) Martin Truex Jr. (Starting – 2nd)
New Hampshire Fantasy Spin – Martin Truex Jr. will be a very strong competitor on Sunday. I expect him to compete for a top five, and potentially a win. In the last two races at shorter flat tracks he’s performed at a high-level and I don’t see why he won’t again. In July at New Hampshire he had a great car and I would argue it was the best but a broken shifter ruined his afternoon. One aspect about Truex Jr. that should be noted is that this is a meaningless race for him so he’ll likely take a lot of chances and race aggressively. On Sunday Truex Jr. will start in 2nd. Carl Edwards probably doesn’t have a good car over long runs so look for him to take the lead early.
New Hampshire Track History – Martin Truex Jr. has been pretty solid at New Hampshire. In July he had an Asterisk Mark 16th place finish but in the five races prior to that he finished between 8th and 12th. If you’re just looking at his 16th place finish this July then you’re missing the big picture. In the race he had the best car and earned the #1 position in our exclusive PROS Rankings. His misleading result can be attributed to him breaking his shifter. Prior to breaking his shifter he was the race leader and paced the field for 123 laps. Last fall he walked away with an 8th place finish which marked his best since 2008. In summer 2015 he had top five potential but a caution during the pit cycle burned him and led to his 12th place finish. In the three New Hampshire races prior to that he had results of 10th, 12th and 12th.
Momentum – Over the last three races Truex Jr. has two wins, a 1.7 average finish, a 5.7 average running position, the best driver rating, has led the most laps and has run the most fastest laps.
2016 Similar Track Success – Martin Truex Jr. has showed good speed at shorter flat tracks this year. In the last two races on this track type he’s arguably had the best car.
Yahoo B Driver / DraftKings $10,400
2) Matt Kenseth (Starting – 8th)
New Hampshire Fantasy Spin – Look for Matt Kenseth to be one of the drivers to beat at New Hampshire. He has back to back wins at the Magic Mile and has a great car this weekend. Since he joined Joe Gibbs Racing in 2013 nobody has performed better than him here. From the 8th place starting position I expect him to be a consistent front runner who’ll finish in the top five, and potentially compete for the win.
New Hampshire Track History – New Hampshire has been a phenomenal track for Matt Kenseth. In his seven races in a JGR Toyota he has 3 wins and six top tens. Also over that stretch he has the best average finish (6.1), second best average running position (7.1) and the 2nd best driver rating. Currently he has back to back wins. In July he had a great car. It was fast over long runs and rotated well in the corners. In addition to finishing first he earned the 2nd best driver rating, had a 5th place average running position and led 38 laps. Last fall he didn’t have the best car but he reached victory lane after Harvick ran out of gas in the closing laps. In that race he also earned the 2nd best drive rating, had a 5th place average running position and led 38 laps. In summer 2015 he overcame a speeding penalty and finished 6th. In fall 2014 he had his one result outside the top ten and finished a misleading 21st. That result can be attributed to him spinning with Paul Menard with 31 laps to go while they were battling for 6th. In his three New Hampshire races prior to that he had results of 1st, 4th and 9th.
Momentum – Since August in incident free races Matt Kenseth has a 9.5 average finish. Last week he finished 9th.
2016 Similar Track Success – Matt Kenseth has run well at shorter flat tracks this year. Minus Richmond #2 where he was top five strong before wrecking he’s finished in the top 7 every race and has a 5.0 average finish.
Yahoo A Driver / DraftKings $10,100