1) Martin Truex Jr. (Starting – 2nd)
New Hampshire Fantasy Spin – Martin Truex Jr. will be tough to beat at New Hampshire. “Performance Wise” I think he’s been strong enough to win the last four races at the “Magic Mile”, but problems have kept him out of victory lane. If Truex Jr. can finally have an incident free race I think he has a great chance to win, and at worst I think he’ll finish in the top five. This year at similar tracks that correlate to success he’s been strong. At Phoenix he finished 5th and at Richmond he led 121 laps and looked poised to win until he had trouble on pit road. One attribute you have to love about Martin Truex Jr. is how well his team is performing right now. He’s fresh off a win, and in 6 of the last 8 races he’s finished in the top 2. In practice Truex Jr. had a stellar car. In Happy Hour his ten lap average ranked as the 2nd best and many people view him as the driver to beat.
New Hampshire Track History – Martin Truex Jr. has been a phenomenal performer at New Hampshire. Over the last four races he’s averaged leading 128.25 laps per race, has the 2nd best driver rating, a 4.0 average running position and has a misleading 7.8 average finish. Last fall, I thought Truex Jr. had the best car (PROS Rankings) but victory lane eluded him. In the race he won Stage #1, should’ve won Stage #2, led 112 laps and finished 5th. On the last lap of Stage #2 while he was leading he was caught up in an accident. If his race would’ve been incident free I think he was the driver to beat. Last summer he had a great car. He earned the best driver rating, led 137 laps and finished 3rd. I’ll note his race wasn’t incident free because he had to make an unexpected pit stop in the last third of the race which had him on older tires than the competition at the end. In fall 2016 he had a great car but poor late restarts hurt him. In that race he finished 7th, earned the best driver rating, had a 2nd place average running position and led a race high 141 laps. In July 2016 Truex Jr. led 123 laps but finished a misleading 16th. Performance wise I would argue he likely had the best car but a broken shifter ruined his afternoon. Prior to his shifter breaking he was the leader.
DraftKings $11,300 / FanDuel $12,700
2) Kyle Busch (Starting – 3rd)
New Hampshire Fantasy Spin – Kyle Busch is a super-elite performer at New Hampshire who’ll be a contender. On Sunday I think he’ll finish in the top five and compete for the win. At New Hampshire he’s thrived. He won last fall and probably would’ve had a season sweep if his race would’ve been incident free last summer. This year at shorter flat tracks which correlate to success nobody has been better. He won at Richmond and at Phoenix he led 128 laps and finished 2nd. In practice, Busch has shown some speed. His ten lap averages between the two sessions rank as the 5th (Practice #2) and 7th (Happy Hour) best.
New Hampshire Track History – Kyle Busch has been very successful at New Hampshire. Since 2013 minus a misleading fall 2015 result he has a 4.3 average finish, a 4.8 average running position and has finished in the top 12 every race. Last fall, Busch had a great car and easily raced his way to victory lane after Martin Truex Jr. had problems. In addition to winning he earned the best driver rating, had a first place average running position and led 187 laps. Last summer he was top 2 good but finished a misleading 12th. While he was leading with 62 laps to go he was caught speeding on pit road which dropped him a lap down. From the race it should be noted he won Stage #2, earned the 3rd best driver rating, had a 5th place average running position and led 95 laps. In fall 2016 e was strong. He finished 3rd, earned the 3rd best driver rating and had a 5th place average running position. In July 2016 he had a great car. He earned the best driver rating, had a 2nd place average running position, led the most laps (133) and finished 8th. I will note that’s a misleading result. Strength wise he was top 3 good but he got shuffled back late.
DraftKings $11,600 / FanDuel $12,500
Further Recommended Reading: Starting Lineup, New Hampshire Post Practice Predictions (another fantasy take), Likely Finish Ranges, DraftKings Playability Value Chart, FanDuel Playability Value Chart, Practice Notes/ Practice Speeds Center, Fantasy NASCAR Start Page, DraftKings Start Page, FanDuel Start Page
3) Kevin Harvick (Starting – 14th)
New Hampshire Fantasy Spin – Kevin Harvick will be one of the drivers to beat at New Hampshire. He’s a recent winner who’s finished in the top five in 4 of the last 6 races. Over those races minus his two misleading finishes he has a 3.2 average finish and a 5.4 average running position. This year at shorter flat tracks which correlate to success he’s been strong and has swept the top five. He won at Phoenix and finished 5th at Richmond. On Sunday I would look for Harvick to finish in the top five and compete for the win. This year in incident free races Harvick has only once finished outside the top five, and that result was a 7th. In practice the #4 car was very strong. Harvick had the best ten lap average and many people view him as one of the drivers to beat.
New Hampshire Track History – New Hampshire has been a great track for Kevin Harvick. He’s a two-time winner who’s finished in the top ten 53% percent of the time. Last fall, Harvick didn’t have one of his better recent races and finished a misleading 36th after crashing during the last lap of Stage #2. At that time he was running in the low-double digits. I think he likely would’ve finished in the top ten if his race would’ve been incident free. Last summer he ran well throughout the event. When the race reached its conclusion he finished 5th, had a 6th place average running position, earned the 6th best driver rating and finished 3rd in Stage #2. In fall 2016 Harvick had a fast car and raced his way to victory lane following a late restart. Additionally, he earned the 4th best driver rating and had a 6th place average running position. In summer 2016 he finished 4th. In fall 2015 he led 216 laps but ran out of gas while leading with 3 laps to go. In the two races prior to that he finished 3rd.
DraftKings $11,000 / FanDuel $12,300