Last week we saw a thrilling conclusion to the Kentucky race, Kurt Busch edging his brother Kyle Busch while the field was four- and five-wide behind them. Intense finish, and hopefully some of that carries over into this week’s 301 lap (318 miles) battle at New Hampshire.
Here’s what to look for:
–Brad Keselowski will start from Pole today. He has a win here back in 2014, and a decent average (9.7). If not for last year’s 32nd place effort, he’d be sitting far prettier. This is a race in which Jeff Burton once went wire-to-wire, so leading them all is something that CAN happen at this track.
–Kyle Busch will start 2nd, and is a 3-time winner at the track. His most recent victory came in the 2017 Fall race. He carries the best average of all drivers over the last ten races (7.6), and has only finished outside the Top 8 once in that span.
–Martin Truex Jr. calls this his home track (along with Dover), but has yet to taste triumph at Loudon. He ranks 2nd in average finish back through 2013 (8.9), and is currently riding a streak of four straight Top 7s, each finish better than the last; 4th in 2018, that bodes well for today.
–Kevin Harvick was our most recent winner, taking the checkers in 2018. His previous Win at the Magic Mile came just three races prior, and he first broke through in 2006. Today Harvick starts 14th, his exact launch point from last year’s successful journey.
–Ryan Preece is someone you may not expect to see on this list, but he carries some potential. His first run at Loudon iin 2015 didn’t pan out too well, but he’s got a history of performing well in the Xfinity Series. In five races there, he picked up two Top 5s, the most at any track. It should be noted that he was driving for a well-funded Joe Gibbs team in those last two races (a 2nd and 3rd), but we’ve seen the #47 in the Winner’s Circle not too long ago.
Coverage of the race starts on NBCSN at 3:00pm, green flag scheduled for 3:15pm.