Nascar Sylvania 300 Preview
Added on Sep 19, 2009 by sbworld in
New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Sunday September 20 1:00pm
The Chase is on! The much anticipated NASCAR playoff starts this weekend at New Hampshire, twelve drivers will battle over the next ten races for the biggest prize in all of stock car racing.
Mark Martin begins the Chase as the point leader in lieu of having the most race wins over the first 26 races of the season. Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson are 2nd and 3rd ten points behind, while Denny Hamlin and Kasey Kahne round out the top five. Both are 20 points in back of Martin.
As for this week’s race at NHMS the key word is patience, especially for the Chase drivers. This is pretty much a flat race track and can be difficult to pass so a cool head is key and that definitely favors someone like Mark Martin. Here are the favorites and sleepers for this week:
If its a flat race track Hamlin has to be on the list. In 7 starts at NHMS, 5 Top 10′s/2 Top 5′s/ 1 win and an avg. finish of 8.3. Comes into this race on a streak of six straight Top 10′s (5.5 avg.). After some adversity through the first part of the season this team has put the pieces together and may be the one to beat over these next ten races.
When is he not on this list? This team has had a little trouble of their own in a few races lately but this is the time when the 48 guys start to shine.
At New Hampshire JJ has only finished out of the Top 10 once in the last eight races (10.9 avg). His career stats here: 15 starts/10 Top 10′s/4 Top 5′s/2 wins/9.9 avg. Not his best track but think he will be sniffing the front come Sunday.
Not a surprise here either. Three second place finishes in the last five races here. Has three wins also but none since ’98. Has finished second four times since his last win at Texas in the spring so Jeff is close and due to get a win soon.
Not sure how the news of crew chief Pat Tryson leaving Penske at the end of the year will affect this team for the remainder of 2009 (seem to be ok last week finishing second at Richmond) but you can’t overlook Kurt’s recent accomplishments at this track, 3rd, 6th and 1st the last three trips to New England. Has three wins in the last 11 starts at NHMS.
This is the sentimental favorite and he will be interesting to watch. MM doesn’t have great history here (only 2 Top 10′s in his last 11 starts) but the June race was his only start here since 2006. His smart, patient style may pay dividends.
It has been a dismal year for Truex and this DEI/Ganassi team but if he is going to make any noise before this season ends this may be the race, by far one of his best tracks. Had a streak of 4 straight Top 7 finishes until the race in June, he was caught up in an accident while running in the Top 10 and wound up 37th. Top 10 or better a good possibility.
Just have a feeling about this one. Did run 4th here in June, 15th and 19th in 2008. Has had good runs(8 Top 10′s and a win) and bad runs(finished 28th or worse six times) in 2009, but this team has shown tons of improvement this season. Four of those Top 10′s this year were on flat racetracks.
Looking forward to getting this going, enjoy the race!