The NASCAR month of August kicks off this Sunday with the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, which is often referred to as Loudon. This is a relatively short race (301 miles and laps) and we typically see many of the same faces up front at this track. You will definitely need to nail the dominators in your lineup this Sunday, and we typically have two or three in this race. Aric Almirola will lead the field to the green on Sunday and the full starting lineup for the 20th points-paying race of the season can be found by clicking here. Now let’s get in to this article!
Don’t miss my driver-by-driver breakdown for this New Hampshire slate! Click here to get to see that article.
Speed Report in 2020 After Kansas
Joey Logano technically got the “win” at Kansas in terms of Green Flag Speed, but once again the numbers were skewed by drivers that wrecked out. The notable skewed rankings from Kansas were Logano (1st), Stenhouse (6th), and DiBenedetto (36th). So technically Martin Truex, Jr. got the Green Flag Speed win at Kansas, at least in my book. But let’s look at recent races.
Over the last six races here are the fastest drivers in terms of Green Flag Speed:
- Kevin Harvick (6.5 average rank)
- Aric Almirola (6.8 average rank)
- Denny Hamlin (7.0 average rank)
- Kyle Busch (7.3 average rank)
- Brad Keselowski (8.0 average rank)
You can click here to check out the updated Cheat Sheet on Green Flag Speed and see how every driver ranks in that category plus more, not only for the last six races but for the whole season.
DraftKings Strategy for Loudon
I feel like Kansas was a pretty important race in terms of player mindset. Joe Gibbs Racing has struggled to find speed all season long, and they could have finished 1-2-3 at Kansas. Now we roll in to New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and the JGR cars have really dominated this place recently. Kevin Harvick has stolen two wins here the last couple of years, but looking at the last four Loudon races, Kyle Busch has led 436 laps, Martin Truex, Jr. has led 332 laps, and Denny Hamlin has led 167 laps. The rest of the drivers in the Cup Series have combined for just 268 laps led over that time span; in other words, Joe Gibbs Racing has led over 75% of the laps at this track over the last three years (four races).
Fastest laps over those four races yield a similar result: Kyle Busch has 225 over that span, Martin Truex, Jr. has 157, and Denny Hamlin has 91. Kevin Harvick is the closest after that with 73 fastest laps over those four races. Here’s the JGR vs. field breakdown for fastest laps: 473 to 444. It’s not as one-sided as fastest laps but the Gibbs boys still have 51% of the fastest laps over the last four races.
In terms of mindset, which I touched on earlier, there’s now a resurgence of confidence in the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas, and like I said, we’re at one of their best tracks. DraftKings also has Hamlin, Truex, and Kyle Busch softly priced for Sunday’s race, so we should see some big ownerships of all three. It’s not that difficult to fit all three into a single lineup. There’s an opportunity to go contrarian there, but I will admit everything points to a good day from JGR as a whole on Sunday.
Similar Tracks: Phoenix is the most similar track we’ve raced at this season, and Richmond compares nicely to Phoenix but we haven’t raced there in 2020. You could also throw in Martinsville since it is also flat, but Martinsville is half the length of Loudon. Also Martinsville was ran at night, and that was that crazy race where many top contenders just started out awful. But let’s recap these two races quick from a DraftKings perspective. When analyzing similar tracks this week I’ll be leaning heavily on recent Phoenix races, while taking Richmond and Martinsville into minor consideration as well.
Phoenix: Kevin Harvick was your main dominator, scoring 45.25 dominator points and finishing 2nd for a total of 87.25 FPTS. Joey Logano won the race and added 27.5 dominator points for a total of 85.5 FPTS, and Chase Elliott was up there as well with a total of 84.25 FPTS including 53.25 dominator points.
Martinsville: It was Joey Logano leading 234 laps and putting up the most DraftKings FPTS (128) despite finishing 4th. He had a total of 89 dominator FPTS. The race winner was Martin Truex, Jr. and he had 112 total FPTS with 62 of those being dominator points. Pole sitter Ryan Blaney only led 34 laps in that race but he still finished with the 3rd-most DraftKings points (75) because he finished 2nd and had 51 fastest laps.
Potential Dominators on Sunday
Aric Almirola ($8,500) is on the pole for Sunday and should stay out front for a good portion of Stage 1. Yes, he has Denny Hamlin ($10,400), Chase Elliott ($9,100), Brad Keselowski ($9,500), and Kyle Busch ($9,300) all starting in the top 5, too, but Almirola has performed well when starting from 1st this season, with 61 laps led at Pocono and 35 laps led at Texas.
The three top JGR cars are in play to possibly dominate this race in addition to Almirola. Add in Keselowski as well as a sneaky option, and Ryan Blaney ($11,100) could put up a great score if he gets the track position. I am 50/50 when it comes to Chase Elliott ($9,100). He had a great race at Phoenix this year but has a grand total of 19 fastest laps in the last four Loudon events. That #9 Chevrolet has also come back down to earth in terms of Green Flag Speed.
Kevin Harvick ($11,600) will likely be a contender to win on Sunday but I don’t see him dominating a lot of this race. He’s won the last two years here and led a total of 53 laps between the two races. He’s also finished 7th or worse in three of the four Stages. In other words, Harvick will likely be there at the end, but can he put up a big enough DraftKings score to support that $11,600 salary? If Almirola and Kyle Busch end up being the two main dominators I could see it working out…
GPP / Tournament Picks I Love for the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301
Joey Logano ($9,800) – Looking at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Joey Logano hasn’t been incredible by any means over the last five races: no finish better than 10th, and a single lap led. Flash back to Phoenix, though, and we were saying the same things. What did Logano do? Go out and lead 60 laps, put down 25 fastest laps, and win the race. This #22 team made it a point to get better on flat tracks this season since the Championship race is at Phoenix, and it has shown. In addition to the Phoenix race this year, Logano also led 234 laps at Martinsville and posted 61 fastest laps en route to a 4th-place finish. Joey has won at New Hampshire Motor Speedway before–twice actually, once from rain and one legitimately–and I really think a lot of people will be sleeping on him this Sunday. I know I won’t be.
Matt Kenseth ($7,600) – I touched on why I like Matt Kenseth so much in my Slingshot article, but let’s re-visit that. First, his record here at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is crazy good; over his last 11 starts at this track, Kenseth has three wins and eight finishes of 6th or better. Now, the majority of these races were in the #20 Toyota for Joe Gibbs, and that is a great point, but let’s not forget that Kyle Larson wheeled this #42 Chevrolet that Kenseth is driving now to a 4th-place finish at Phoenix earlier this year. Matt showed at Indianapolis last month what he can do with good track position. He also had good runs in both Pocono races, and technically all three of those are considered flat tracks. Kenseth starts back in 21st on Sunday so with a 10th-place finish we’re looking at 45 FPTS.
Tyler Reddick ($7,500) – I definitely like being overweight on Reddick in GPPs this weekend. You never know when this kid is going to come out and challenge for a top 5 finish, and this weekend his ownership percentage should stay relatively low considering he drew the 13th spot in qualifying. Looking back at the Phoenix race this year, Reddick actually showed legitimate top 10, if not top 5 speed, and he also put up the 3rd-most fastest laps in that race (39). Richard Childress Racing has been better than normal on the flat tracks over the last few years as well.
If you’re looking for a cheaper GPP play, I don’t mind Cole Custer ($6,700) either, especially as a pivot off of Stenhouse/Newman.
Kansas DraftKings Projections
The following chart takes into account the very basics: the starting position and the projected finish of each driver. The projected finishes are averaged from five different ranking systems. Also included are projected laps led and fastest laps for each driver. You can click the headers below to sort the chart by that attribute. By default it is sorted by average projected FPTS.
|Driver||Starting Position||DraftKings Salary||Avg Proj FPTS||Avg. Projected Finish||Proj Laps Led||Proj Fastest Laps||Dollar Per FPT|
|Martin Truex Jr||11||$10,700||70.8||04.8||39||30||$151|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr||31||$6,800||37.5||19.0||0||1||$181|
|John H. Nemechek||36||$7,000||28.5||26.0||0||1||$246|