Race: Bad Boy Off Road 300 Picks to Win
Date: Sunday September 25, 2016
Track: New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Time: 2 pm ET
by Virginia Vroom, NASCAR Handicapper, Predictem.com
Chicagoland proved to be fruitful for Martin Truex Jr. after he managed to take the checkers for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400. Chase Elliott lost another and disappointed yet understanding after the final restart with 10 to go. Elliott is a strong driver and really made the most of what was given to him. The kid definitely has talent and had a very strong finish for a rookie contender this past weekend. Joey Logano managed to get around Elliott in the closing laps, leaving Elliott with a very respectable third place finish. Blaney and Keselowski rounded out the top five. Jimmie Johnson ruined his day after leading the most laps. He gained himself a speeding penalty late in the race, leaving him with a 12th place finish. The two biggest losers were Kyle Larson and Kevin Harvick who put themselves in the hot seat after poor finishes at Chicago. They will be battling hard to not be eliminated after the next 2 races.
The saving grace for Kevin Harvick may be this weekendís race in New Hampshire. We are headed to a flat track, where he has excelled this year on similar styles like Indy, Phoenix, and Martinsville. This is his opportunity to step up and secure his spot next to Truex in the next round. Chicagoland was a good opener, but Iím looking forward to Loudon and the next few races to see how aggressive these drivers become. It seemed like there were some flukes along the way in Chicago with penalties and other mishaps for some drivers. The competition was scarce outside of the top contenders. Perhaps this weekend will provide a little more competition and fewer mistakes and lolly-gagging from some of the drivers.
New Hampshire Motor Speedway is a fun track to watch. Itís flat and fast and acts like a short track. Well, it basically is a short track. Itís one of those stuck in the middle as far as length is concerned tracks. Itís not an intermediate, but itís just big enough that itís not a true short track. Regardless, this place is fun for the drivers but still provides some action for the fans as well. The track itself is a combination of asphalt and granite. The 1.058 mile oval boasts a true 12% grade of variable banking from 2 to 7 degrees. The straightaways are minimal with only 1 degree of banking, hence the flat track status. The track known as the ďMagic MileĒ is host to numerous events, but the majority of events are NASCAR affiliated. There is a road course that runs here as well hosting, amongst other things, motorcycles.
Coming into this race, Truex certainly has a cushion, knowing that heís guaranteed a spot into the next round. With only 2 races to go, the competition will likely (and hopefully) pick up a bit this weekend. This track is a solid track for many of the Chase grid drivers. There are 4 drivers, in particular, that I am looking towards to really be battling for the lead. Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, and Matt Kenseth will be the frontrunners this weekend. Kenseth has won the last 2 races here at Loudon. He seems to have this place figured out. His biggest contender will likely be Harvick. Heís battled some poor pit management and some bad luck in the last few weeks. With a less than stellar performance at Chicagoland, he needs a win to really secure his spot. In terms of points, heís got a lot of ground to make up. Kyle Busch had a top 10 finish at Chicagoland, but he really didnít offer much in terms of domination. When it comes to Loudon, itís a different story. Heís very solid here. The problem with him is that he seems to be the best second place finisher here. That wonít bring home a spot in the next round, though. Letís look at your rundown of potential winners this weekend:
My Pick to Win: Brad Keselowski
Middle of the Road Pick: Chase Elliott
Dark Horse Prediction: Greg Biffle. Bet your picks for FREE by taking advantage of a 100% bonus up to $250 at one of the web's oldest, best and most trusted betting sites! --> Bovada!
Elliott has been bumped to the mid-picks because of his spot in the Chase and his consistency throughout the season. Now, you may remember that he struggled here earlier this year; however, that was not indicative of his driving or even of his carís setup. He had a tire go down and made contact with the wall, leading to a pretty terrible finish. This weekend, heís in a position where heís gained experience and confidence through the season and seems to be coming into his own. Look for him to be up front throughout the day, especially after coming off his top 5 from Chicagoland. Biffle is honestly not in a good position this year. His saving grace has been here. If he can manage to pull something out, this may be his only shot. Overall, I think that Keselowski is on the prowl. He had a solid top 5 last weekend and can easily pull one off this weekend to secure his spot in the next round. While points are important, wins are everything. Thatís what Keselowski and his team will be looking for this weekend.
Here are your current top 16 after last week's race:
1. Martin Truex Jr.
2. Brad Keselowski
3. Kyle Busch
4. Denny Hamlin
5. Joey Logano
6. Chase Elliott
7. Matt Kenseth
8. Jimmie Johnson
9. Carl Edwards
10. Kurt Busch
11. Jamie McMurray
12. Tony Stewart
13. Austin Dillon
14. Kevin Harvick
15. Kyle Larson
16. Chris Buescher
As much as I like Chris Buescher, Iím not surprised to see him in 16th place. If nothing else, this Chase experience is awesome for him. Heís gaining invaluable time on the track with the veterans and learning and soaking up everything he can. I expect him to be on the outs after this first round is through. What I do find surprising is NASCARís inability to get their act together with rule changing. So they come out before the Chase and state that any team failing post-race inspection will be subjected to a potential loss of their win, leaving them without that security blanket of moving on to the next round. Today, NASCAR comes out and says that even though Jimmie Johnson and winner Martin Truex Jr. failed post-race inspection, their infractions werenít severe enough to warrant a penalty. Okay, NASCAR, letís have a little one-on-one. GET IT TOGETHER! We need some consistency. You donít get to pick and choose when to enforce such an important rule. Itís either all or nothing. I dare another driver to be penalized, let alone lose a win over a post-race inspection failure through the rest of the Chase. NASCAR will have a field-day with that one. Anyway, this weekend will hopefully give us a little more of the Chase action we have come to expect. Stay tuned for a fun weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway! Find driver vs. driver props and MORE at MyBookie! They also offer a 100% bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $1000!
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