Lenox Industrial Tools 301 Preview and Pick to Win

Race: Lenox Industrial Tools 301
Date:Sunday June 27th, 2010
Track: New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Time: 1 pm ET

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Last weekends road race proved to be a treacherous one for many drivers. Its interesting to note how many guys had a difficult time navigating the turns, although there was a shortage of drivers falling into the sand traps this year. Jeff Gordon proved to run strong, coming away with a 5th place finish, but that wasnt without ruining the days of a few other guys first. Martin Truex Jr. was running strong before being involved in an incident with Jeff and some other guys, ending his strong top 5 run.

This weekend, we are headed to Loudon, New Hampshire which is always a fun race to watch. While its not Dover or Bristol, this track tends to be exciting for the fans. Drivers rarely have clean cars after coming home from this track.

Loudon is is a little over a mile at 1.058 miles to be exact. It is a true oval with variable degree banking in the turns from 2 to 7 degrees, meaning that the degree of banking changes through the turn. This is a semi-rare feature, but not a hard one to handle at this track as it is not so significant. The frontstretch and backstretch both boast 1500 feet for the drivers to gain some speed out of the turns.

We have seen quite a few different winners here, but the pattern of winners seems to sweep into anywhere but the Hendrick drivers. Not to say that those guys arent good here, but other teams like Roush, Childress, and even Gibbs have proven to be more consistently victorious here than the Hendrick cars. The reason we cant say that the Hendrick guys arent victorious here is because Mark Martin is the defending champ. That being said, you have to go back to 2003 to find another Hendrick victory here. That driver was none other than Jimmie Johnson, and right now, hes the best shot that Hendrick has at a win this weekend.

The most important thing here at Loudon is often tires. Tires seem to wear and tear here with the worst of the worst tracks. These guys need to nail their pit stops and not overuse their equipment. They also need to steer clear of the upper groove where debris collects to keep their tires clean.

With the way that the drivers have been running recently, I am going to
put a lot of faith in the Gibbs guys. I think that Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin,
and Joey Logano all have a fair shot at winning this one. Honestly, Id
put my money on Busch
. Hes been driving hard and coming through the
field making up a lot of track position, especially at Michigan. Now, he
did, in fact, have a horrendous weekend at Sonoma; but do you guys ever
realize that he seems to come back with a vengeance after such poor finishes.
He has something to prove and this weekend may be his time. Teammate Logano
is also someone Id like you to keep your eyes on. Hes proving to be a
true competitor and someone to watch closely in this sport. Hes growing
on me a little bit and has shown that he deserves to be in this league.
Gibbs certainly has a garage full of outstanding youngsters.

Heres a recap of your current top 12 in the points:

1.Kevin Harvick
2. Jimmie Johnson
3. Kyle Busch
4.Denny Hamlin
5. Jeff Gordon
6. Kurt Busch
7.Matt Kenseth
8.Jeff Burton
9.Greg Biffle
10. Tony Stewart
11.Mark Martin
12.Carl Edwards

Jimmie Johnson is creeping his way back to the top of the standings, but hes got his work cut out for him with 140 points between himself and Harvick. Jr. is also doing a little better with maintaining consistent finishes. Hes only 57 points out of the top 12 right now. Edwards need to step of his game as hes on the verge of falling out of the top 12.

Stay tuned this weekend for another exciting race as we head to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the Lenox Industrial Tools 301!