By Micah Roberts
Because of similar traits, performances run already this season at Phoenix and Richmond can be used as a great barometer into getting a head start for handicapping this weeks race. None of the tracks look alike in configuration, but because of the flat banking, many of the successful teams will be bringing the same chassis they did well with in those races to Loudon this week.
The driver with the most combined success this year at Phoenix and Richmond was Jeff Gordon, who probably should have won both, but finished second in each. It’s likely that if it had been the Gordon from 10 years ago, those would have been cinch wins, but even the Gordon of 10 years ago didn’t have to deal with green-white-checker finishes, the new late-race format where Gordon has yet to be the beneficiary of.
Gordon has yet to win in 2010 but is coming in this race with two straight top-five finishes and is currently fifth in points. His two runs at Phoenix and Richmond remain his best runs of the year. Over his career, Gordon is a three time winner at New Hampshire with his last coming in 1998. It seems like an eternity since that magical 13 win season of 1998. In more recent history, last season Gordon finished runner-up in this race and did the same in both 2007 races.
The one car Gordon may want to stay away from this week is Martin Truex Jr’s NAPA “Know-How” car. Last week at Sonoma, Gordon punted Truex Jr. early in the race after Truex Jr had fought his way into the top-5 with a very good car which resulted in Truex Jr losing several positions, and eventually caused him later to be involved in a wreck ending his day.
Truex Jr. vowed to get even with Gordon at Loudon with the “What goes around, comes around” theory. Gordon admitted he was wrong and apologized as much as he could, but Truex Jr didn’t seem to care much saying, “Of course he‘s sorry.”
Read More Here Including My Early Top-5 Prediction
ROBERTS NASCAR NOTES on Radio - Saturday (3 Hours After Happy Hour)
Be sure to listen to my Post Practice report and preview for each race on Prime Sports Network following the final practice sessions three hours after happy hour. Listen live or at your leisure; all shows are archived. Host Greg DePalma and I will review each of the top drivers and steer you in a direction you should be going based on past/recent history along with critical practice information for your NASCAR Fantasy teams or wagers.