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New Hampshire 301 Predictions

Race: New Hampshire 301
Date: Sunday July 17, 2016
Track: New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Time: 1:30 pm ET
TV: NBCSN

by Virginia Vroom, NASCAR Handicapper, Predictem.com

Well looky there. Brad Keselowski managed to come away with the win at the newly repaved Kentucky Speedway on Saturday night. It seems that horsepower meant something as these guys navigated their way around a different Kentucky than theyíre used to. Kyle Busch just didnít seem to have things quite tuned in and ended with a 12th place finish. In front of him, Trevor Bayne made a nice run for an 11th place finish. Overall, the top 10 was a little different than weíre used to seeing. Following Keselowski, Carl Edwards, Ryan Newman, Kurt Busch, and Tony Stewart rounded out the top five. Apparently, Tony Stewart just needed a little motivation and confidence to remember how it felt to win. Good for him. The remainder of the top 10 included Greg Biffle, Jamie McMurray, Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick, and Martin Truex Jr.

Overall, it was an interesting race. Truex was made an example when he was thrown to the back for a restart over a pit rule road that NASCAR doesnít enforce but decided to start on Saturday night for some reason. There were multiple lead changes and some passing, which is an accomplishment for the new surface, but I overall wasnít too impressed with the actual racing. I donít know if itís the downforce package or simply the lack of a seasoned track, but surely something will change by our next visit.

Overall, it was an interesting race. Truex was made an example when he was thrown to the back for a restart over a pit rule road that NASCAR doesnít enforce but decided to start on Saturday night for some reason. There were multiple lead changes and some passing, which is an accomplishment for the new surface, but I overall wasnít too impressed with the actual racing. I donít know if itís the downforce package or simply the lack of a seasoned track, but surely something will change by our next visit.

When we are considering winners in this field, itís hard not to immediately pull Brad Keselowski from the bunch. Coming off a win at Kentucky to one of his most dominating tracks, youíd honestly be pretty dumb not to go with him. His average finish here is the best of all drivers. He also finished second here last year and has the best driver rating for the last 4 races at New Hampshire. With his current streak on all tracks as well as his history with New Hampshire, heís a pretty clear choice. The other solid pick for this week is Kevin Harvick. Heís been doing a great job at this place, with him and Brad being split by Kyle Busch last year causing a second place finish. He will undoubtedly give Brad a run for his money. Hereís a look at your potential winners this weekend as we head into New Hampshire:

My Pick to Win: Kevin Harvick
Middle of the Road Pick: Greg Biffle
Dark Horse Prediction: Ryan Newman

Newman is sleeper at New Hampshire. Heís run well here in the past and seems to be picking up some momentum as we move through the season. Greg Biffle and his team are also making moves, doing very well at Kentucky to come away with a 6th place finish. Overall, there are a lot of drivers squirming for a win and getting closer to it in order to secure their spots for the Chase. The points are heating up for sure.

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Here are your current top 16 after last week's race:

1. Kevin Harvick
2. Brad Keselowski
3. Kurt Busch
4. Carl Edwards
5. Joey Logano
6. Kyle Busch
7. Martin Truex Jr.
8. Chase Elliott
9. Jimmie Johnson
10. Matt Kenseth
11. Denny Hamlin
12. Ryan Newman
13. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
14. Austin Dillon
15. Jamie McMurray
16. Trevor Bayne

Look at some of those names! Chase Elliott in the top 10, and Trevor Bayne breaching the top 16 in points. Austin Dillon and Ryan Newman are also holding their own. Thereís been quite a bit of movement in the points lately, and I expect that to continue as these guys fight for their place in the Chase. Loudon tends to bring out some tempers and opportunities for paybacks, so look for some drivers to have a difficult time getting out with clean fenders. Stay tuned as we head to New Hampshire this weekend for another awesome weekend of racing! Another great place to bet on the New Hampshire 301 is 5Dimes Sportsbook. They offer tons of prop bets and in my opinion their odds have better prices than their competitors!

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