Saturday, July 18, 2015

Final New Hampshire Practice Notes and Driver Ratings: Edwards is real fast!

Edwards looks very sporty this week with new haircut and speed.
LAS VEGAS -- Carl Edwards said after Friday's first practice session where he was fourth fastest that he hasn't had a car that good at New Hampshire in a long time. He wasn't kidding either. And he took things up a notch later by grabbing the pole and then came back Saturday and put on another show which elevates him to the top of our charts and makes him the driver to beat in Sunday's 5-Hour Energy 301.

Kevin Harvick had the fastest lap (132.0.94 mph) during Saturday's early practice with Edwards third (131.888), but it was Edwards who showed the most continued speed over long runs with the best 10-consecutive lap average among the 25 drivers that ran as many in a row.

During the final practice session (happy hour), Edwards secured his top rating by not only having the fastest lap (133.110), but also having the best 10-consecutive lap average among 31 drivers. Kyle Busch, Harvick and Denny Hamlin were just behind Edwards in the average lap category.

Edwards has never won at New Hampshire over his career which is surprising because he's been very good on similar flat tracks at Phoenix and Richmond. But Sunday could be his day.

The most surprising part of all the practices was how good all the Joe Gibbs cars were because they weren't very good at Phoenix and Richmond earlier this year with Matt Kenseth's seventh-place at Richmond being the best finish between the two. Last week all four cars finished in the top-five, but that was with a temporary new aero-package.

Things were supposed to go back to normal this week with Harvick and Busch, the dominant Phoenix and Richmond winners, being bad to the bone again. And they were both fast during practices, and might even win the race, but Gibbs has something clicking right now. They've got things figured out.

Read More Here.....Final Driver Ratings

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