The summer stretch of the 2018 season continues as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to New Hampshire Motor Speedway this weekend. The flat, one-mile oval will host Sunday’s Foxwoods 301, and while the usual suspects should run well, this race could also be a chance for fantasy owners to utilize a sleeper or two.
Thanks in large part to the lack of banking, completing passes can be difficult as drivers are able to pull underneath other cars entering the corners but can’t complete the passes coming off. Needless to say, track position is huge at New Hampshire, and plenty of races have been decided by fuel mileage and pit strategy.
Whenever there is an elevated chance for pit strategy to decide things, I’m a little more hesitant to be overly aggressive with my driver usage. I’ll definitely try to steal a start from a midrange Group B option in the Driver Group Game, and in Fantasy Live, I probably won’t be using every member of the “Big 3.”
Busch has six finishes of third or better in the last 10 races at New Hampshire, including a dominating win here last September when he led 187 laps. He’s led more than 90 laps in four of the last six races here, so win No. 6 of 2018 could be on tap Sunday.
He’s always had decent numbers at New Hampshire, but Truex has taken his performance at the track to another level the last two years. He has led more than 100 laps in each of the last four races, finishing third and fifth in the two races last season.
Harvick has been a contender at New Hampshire since joining Stewart-Haas Racing, finishing in the Top 5 in five of his eight starts and winning in the fall of 2016. I expect another Top 5 run out of him Sunday, but I think Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. are the better Group A options in the Driver Group Game this weekend.
He owns a 10.5 average finish in eight career Cup starts at New Hampshire, and last year, Larson was the runner-up in both races at the track. He’s actually finished third or better in half of his starts here, finishing second three times.
You will have a hard time finding a more dependable option this weekend. His 6.9 average finish in the last 10 races at New Hampshire is the best in the series, and Keselowski hasn’t finished outside the Top 15 in that stretch. He also has five Top 5 and seven Top 10s in those 10 starts, so there is no denying his upside. If you need a Group A alternative in the DGG, Keselowski should get the job done.