Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Video: Micah Roberts discusses bets on 2020 Foxwoods Resorts Casino 301 at New Hampshire

New Hampshire Betting Preview: 2020 Foxwoods Resort Casino 301

Is it time for Joey Logano to break out? Situation is good for him.
Date: Sunday, August 2, 2020
New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Location: Loudon, New Hampshire
Television-Time: NBCSN, 3:00 p.m. ET
Handicapping NASCAR
at New Hampshire

We have a couple of drivers to win Sunday’s Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway offered at 14-to-1 odds that have a great shot to win and I recommend visiting your favorite sportsbook sooner than later to take advantage of the generosity before both numbers drop.

They’ve combined to win three of the 19 NASCAR Cup Series races this season and four of the 20 if you count the non-points All-Star Race. Could I sell you on the idea of betting Joey Logano or Chase Elliott winning in what will be the first Cup race in the Northeast this season?

We have a couple of drivers to win Sunday’s Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway offered at 14/1 odds that have a great shot to win and I recommend visiting your favorite sportsbook sooner than later to take advantage of the generosity before both numbers drop.

They’ve combined to win three of the 19 NASCAR Cup Series races this season and four of the 20 if you count the non-points All-Star Race. Could I sell you on the idea of betting Joey Logano or Chase Elliott winning in what will be the first Cup race in the Northeast this season?
NASCAR Cup Series
Handicapping New Hampshire
Understand the Packages!

Before you answer, let me give my best sales pitch beginning with the race package that’s being used this week.

It’s the package with the tiny spoilers and engines producing 750 horsepower which has been used only four times this season, the last being the All-Star Race at Bristol won by Elliott.

Denny Hamlin leads the series with five wins and Kevin Harvick is next with four wins, but of the nine combined wins, none came using this week’s race package. The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook has Harvick as the 3/1 betting favorite (Bet $100 to win $300) and Hamlin at 5/1 odds.
Local 22

Joey Logano, from nearby Middleton, CT, won his first career Cup race at New Hampshire in 2009 and won there again in 2014 and also swept two K&N Series races in 2007. He has two wins this season but both came before the shutdown -- none in the 15 races since the season re-started.

While that last part doesn’t sound encouraging to drop your hard-earned money on, it’s because of that the odds are high at 14/1 after being 10/1 and 12/1 most of the season.

The two main points of why I like Logano to win this week are that he won at Phoenix and that he’s using the 750 horsepower package which Team Penske has a slight edge with than the other elite teams. The Phoenix win is important because Logano beat runner-up Harvick who has nine wins at Phoenix. The 1-mile length of Phoenix is similar to New Hampshire and the flat layout is similar so the set-up for both is similar. If a driver does well at one, they usually do well on the other.

In the four races using the 750 package, Logano has the Phoenix win and led a race-high 234 laps at Martinsville before finishing fourth. The Martinsville layout is a flat half-mile paperclip, a mini-New Hampshire of sorts.

And then the final reason I put the most of my allotted weekly bankroll on Logano was that I think this moment is something Logano, his crew, and guys in the Charlotte garage know they can win and break the non-win streak. If I know they’re great with this package, I know they know.

They should all be a little more fired up this week which means a little extra bit of attention to detail before the car is thrown onto the hauler. This may not make sense to some but I tell myself notes and beliefs to justify a wager. Logano is my guy this week.

Hendrick Motorsports Driver Quotes for New Hampshire

Elliott is 14/1 to win at New Hampshire.
Driver Chase Elliott on if success with low downforce package this season will affect outlook at New Hampshire:
“I am not really sure why we have been better at the low downforce races this season. I kind of just think it is more happenstance with the racetrack more than it is the aero package. Loudon has been a really hit or miss place for us, it’s just a different track. It takes a different driving style, I feel like, than some of the other places. I look at London at being more of its own animal. We’ve had a couple solid runs there, but never a dominating performance. It hasn’t been my best place, I don’t feel like personally, but we have some decent ideas and some different approach options that hopefully will lend us a more consistent result.”

Driver William Byron on racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway:
“It’s a challenging track and has become more of a challenge for me since they’ve put the PJ1 down. It was already a slick track, but with the traction compound it almost has more of a slick feeling. You’re also on the brakes hard at New Hampshire and there’s a lot of bumps under braking. Managing all those bumps and oscillations in the track is important, as well. Some guys are really good at that and it shows in their ability to make speed. I think understanding what your car needs to be able to do to run well there is the key.”

Byron on NHMS's progression throughout a race:

“New Hampshire is a really line-sensitive track already, but the traction compound makes it even more so, especially with the way the marbles accumulate outside the preferred groove. I think as a driver you try to keep your car within that line that is really fast but also try to give the best feedback you can on how to adjust. Thankfully, you can manage the line more as the race goes on. Typically with our race cars, as soon as rubber gets laid down the groove starts to widen out and the room for error becomes greater. You can drive the car a little bit looser at that point. We just have to see how the track progresses and keep up with it.”

Driver Jimmie Johnson on the difficulty of New Hampshire:
“New Hampshire is one of those trickier tracks. It’s a ‘scrappy’ track with long straightaway with tight turns. I’ve had some great success there and some hard races, but I am so fond of the memories. I’ve enjoyed riding around the track on my bike and exploring that area of the country the past few years. The track itself is one of the best we race on, the fans in the New England area can’t get enough of motor sports and I’m looking forward to my last race there.”

Driver Alex Bowman on racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway:

“I am really hoping that we have a strong weekend in New Hampshire. Last year was just a weekend of not great circumstances but this team really fought through and finished inside the top 15. We really need to have a good weekend and keep the car clean. New Hampshire is a very unique track we go to, so I know that it will be a challenge but I’m confident in this team.”

Hamlin & Harvick: The class of the field in 2020; heads to New Hampshire

Hamlin's win at Kansas gave hi a series-leading 5 for the season.
Despite having 10 different NASCAR Cup Series winners in 19 races this season, the dominance of Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin (five victories) and Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick (four wins) combining to win nine of the 19 events – a winning percentage of 47.3% - can’t be understated.

What is even more interesting is these two winning juggernauts, Hamlin and Harvick, went head-to-head in a stellar battle to the finish in last season’s NASCAR Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. It was Harvick’s first win of the 2019 season and his fourth career win at the famous short track (2006, 2016, 2018, 2019).  This season, Harvick heads to New Hampshire with a bit more early-season success. The Californian currently leads the series standings and has posted four wins (Darlington, Atlanta, Pocono, Indianapolis), 12 top fives, 16 top 10s and a notable average finish of 6.5 this season.

Even though Hamlin finished runner-up last season to Harvick at New Hampshire, he is currently riding a wave of momentum coming off his series-leading fifth victory of 2020 (Daytona 500, Darlington, Homestead-Miami, Pocono, Kansas). The Virginian is currently fourth in the driver standings but leads the series in Playoff points with 28. Hamlin also has accumulated 10 top fives, 11 top 10s and an average finish of 10.3 through 19 races this season.

Looking at the stats for this weekend’s Foxwoods Resorts Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday, August 2, at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, expect to see the dynamic duo of Harvick and Hamlin battling it out upfront again.

Harvick leads all active drivers in wins at New Hampshire with four, Hamlin is right behind him with three. Hamlin leads the series in runner-up finishes at New Hampshire with five second-place results; including last year. Harvick is tied with Matt Kenseth for series-most top fives among active drivers with 12 each; Hamlin is right behind them with 10.

And while Hamlin leads the series in average finish at New Hampshire with a 9.8; Harvick is not far behind with a 12.8. Harvick has led the second-most laps among active drivers at New Hampshire with 759; Hamlin has led the fourth-most at 662.

Even the pre-race loop data points to Hamlin and Harvick as the favorites this weekend. Hamlin leads the series in average running position (10.6) and driver rating (103.6) and Harvick is right there with him in second in average running position (10.8) and fourth in driver rating (98.5).

NASCAR is producing top notch competition

Lots of lap lead changes which has made racing entertaining in 2020.
Despite the changes to schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic, plus the lack of practice and qualifying, the NASCAR Cup Series competition is putting up some solid passing stats this season.

Since 2007 through 19 races of a season - the 2020 season ranks first in total green flag passes and second in green flag passes to the lead.

In a year-over-year comparison (2019 vs. 2020) we are up 32.7% in green flag passes and up 24.1% in green flag passes for the lead through 19 races

Race Season
Total Passes
Total Passes for Lead

Average number of leader through 19 races in 2020 is 10.41 – the most since 2014 (11.05). The average number of leaders through 19 races in 2019 was 9.58.

Average number of lead changes (19.63) per race through the first 19 events of the 2020 season are the most since 2014 (24.1) during that same time frame.

Average margin of victory over the first 19 races of the 2020 season is 1.809 seconds, with 10 of the 19 races (52.6%) this season finishing with a margin of victory of less than a second.

Cole Custer is 100/1 to win at New Hampshire

Returns to Site of Record-Breaking Win

KANNAPOLIS, North Carolina (July 29, 2020) – After taking last weekend off, the NASCAR Cup Series season returns to action this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, where Cole Custer and the No. 41 team will race in Sunday’s Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 in his 23rd career Cup Series start.

The New England market has some of the most passionate motorsports fans, and the “The Magic Mile” is usually packed with racing each day from Modified cars to the Cup Series. Unfortunately, the schedule is abbreviated this weekend due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, with New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu’s approval, a limited number of fans will be allowed to watch Sunday’s 318-mile event live from the grandstands.

New Hampshire is the site of Custer’s first NASCAR national series win. He won the September 2014 Gander RV & Outdoor Truck Series race for not only his first big win, but a record-setting one as he became the youngest winner in the series at just 16 years, 7 months, and 28 days old. Custer started on the pole, led 148 laps and won the race by a 1.148-second margin while driving the No. 00 entry. In addition to his first win, Custer also has two other starts in the Truck Series at New Hampshire.

The driver also has three New Hampshire outings in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at New Hampshire, with one pole award and one runner-up finish, both in July of last year. All three ended with top-10 finishes.   

With Custer’s Cup Series July 12 win at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, he became one of 10 drivers who have won in each of NASCAR’s top three national series, as well as in ARCA and NASCAR’s developmental K&N Pro Series.

Last Thursday night at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Custer started 24th and battled a loose-handling Mustang but ultimately finished seventh. The result marked his fourth top-10 of the season.

Team co-owner Gene Haas’ newest holding, Haas Tooling, was launched as a way for CNC machinists to purchase high quality cutting tools at great prices. Haas’ cutting tools are sold exclusively online at and shipped directly to end users. Beginning July 1, products became available nationally. The cutting tools available for purchase at are even more important during the current COVID-19 pandemic as CNC machines have become vital to producing personal protective equipment.

There are seven races left in the regular season before the playoffs start Sept. 6 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, and Custer’s win at Kentucky earned him one of the coveted playoff spots. He currently holds a playoff spot along with SHR teammate Kevin Harvick, who has multiple wins this season.

In 62 starts at New Hampshire, SHR has five victories – team co-owner Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman both in 2011, and Harvick with a trio of wins in 2016, 2018 and 2019. In total at the Granite State track, SHR has 15 top-fives, 27 top-10s and 1,166 laps led.

Haas Automation, founded by Haas in 1983, is America’s leading builder of CNC machine tools. The company manufactures a complete line of vertical and horizontal machining centers, turning centers and rotary tables and indexers. All Haas products are constructed in the company’s 1.1-million-square-foot manufacturing facility in Oxnard, California, and distributed through a worldwide network of Haas Factory Outlets.

Even though Custer had a trio of starts in the Cup Series in 2018, 2020 officially marks his Rookie of the Year campaign in NASCAR’s most prestigious series. He’s competing for rookie honors with notables Christopher Bell and Tyler Reddick. The three have battled against each other in the Xfinity Series and are making the full-time transition to the Cup Series together. Custer is the first of the 2020 rookie class to earn a win this season.
Cole Custer: Driver of the No. 41 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

New Hampshire is the site of your first big win back in the Truck Series in 2014. What does it feel like to have come so far, now?

“It feels good to be where I am today. Back when I was 16 and won that race, I really had no clue what I was doing when it came to stuff outside of the truck, like media. I’m much more comfortable now. It’s almost hard for me to believe that this is where I’m at and how much has changed in the last few years.”

What do you think about the live lobster that New Hampshire gives the winner as a trophy?

“I think it’s a cool trophy because it’s so unique. I haven’t put a ton of thought into what I might do with it yet. I like to eat crustaceans but I’m not sure what I would do with that gigantic lobster. I hear the big lobsters don’t actually taste very good. If I win it, then I’ll have to decide.”

Now that we’re more than halfway through the season and you have one win under your belt, do you feel like you are where you want to be as part of the rookie class?

“At the start of the year, I felt a little bit behind. I don’t think I caught on to the car as quick as the other rookies. I feel much better now with where I’m at. It’s been fun to move up with this group of guys though. We’re all friendly and all good at different things. Tyler (Reddick) is really good at running the top line, and I’m good at a different things, so it has been neat to see how everyone has progressed.”

Oddsmaking/Handicapping walk-through for Foxwoods Resort Casino 301

Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick are two of the New Hampshire favorites.
The 20th race of the NASCAR Cup Series season takes us to Loudon, New Hampshire for the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 which will also be a visit to the upper Northeast region of the country.

The drivers got their first semi-break since coming back May 17 from the pandemic shutdown with nine days of rest before Sunday’s race after racing at Kansas Speedway last Thursday night.

Nobody’s complaining about needing a break. It has been quite the opposite. They have loved being the main live sporting event on TV as the other sports figured out a plan. They’ve all been ambassadors to the sport and their positive attitudes and high energy throughout while the nation has endured its most challenging moment of a generation has surely won over some new fans while also getting a big thumbs up from the regular fans. So yes, these drivers and teams deserve a break.

I’m going to take you through my process of handicapping and setting odds for a race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway’s flat 1-mile paperclip layout. I started the process immediately after Thursday night’s race and it carried into Friday. This has served me well for the last few decades, so I see no reason to alter it. I’d rather share so you can add to whatever you go through to handicap a race.

The first thing to take notice of is who has done well at New Hampshire, not necessarily the most wins, but drivers that are consistently good there at different phases of their career. It’s a good base to start with. Then I’ll match those drivers with how their current form is.

Are they struggling to get a win like Kyle Busch, Erik Jones, Clint Bowyer, or Kurt Busch? Or do they seem to be leading at every track like Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, or Ryan Blaney? Hamlin leads the series with five wins but he probably should have about eight wins (Bristol, Pocono, Indianapolis). Imagine that, bad luck on a season with five wins in 19 races.

After that, we’re going to examine what race package is being used. Between the 19 races, the most used package has been the one with engines producing 550 horsepower which has been raced 14 times so far. Daytona and Talladega have used the superspeedway package and four races, including the non-points All-Star Race, have used the packages with engines producing 750 horsepower while featuring a tiny spoiler.

This is an area that surprisingly doesn’t get mentioned much on coverage during the race. Comparing what a driver did last week at Kansas has no relevance to New Hampshire whatsoever because they are completely different cars with different set-ups. I find separating the results by type of race package the past two seasons has been one of my most important aspects of the weekly handicapping process.

Next up is identifying any recent races on similar tracks. New Hampshire is special on its own like no other, but I picked up a trick early in the early 90’s listening to crew chiefs talking about their set-ups being similar at Richmond, Phoenix, and New Hampshire which are all different shapes and sizes ranging from a ¾-mile to 1-mile.

But the set-up secret that made them the same was that all those tracks have minimal banking. They’re all flat and if a driver does well at one they’re likely to do just the same at the other. The trends hold up well with every type of race package and the car used for the past three decades.


Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Clint Bowyer is 30/1 to win at New Hampshire for third time

‘Back in (the Haas Red and) Black’

KANNAPOLIS, North Carolina (July 28, 2020) – It’s been a while since Clint Bowyer carried the Haas Automation decals on his No. 14 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), but he’ll get the chance once again Sunday when the NASCAR Cup Series races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon.

Both of Bowyer’s Cup Series victories since joining SHR in 2017 came driving the red-and-black Haas paint scheme. He led 215 laps on his way to dominating and winning the March 2018 race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, then led just eight laps in June 2018 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, posting his 10th career and most recent victory.

“Those Haas Automation decals must be pretty fast,” said Bowyer, who last raced a Haas liveried Ford in June last year.

Haas Automation, owned by SHR co-owner Gene Haas, is America’s leading builder of CNC machine tools. Founded by Haas in 1983, Haas Automation manufactures a complete line of vertical and horizontal machining centers, turning centers and rotary tables and indexers. All Haas products are built in the company’s 1.1 million-square-foot manufacturing facility in Oxnard, California, and distributed through a worldwide network of Haas Factory Outlets.

“It’s nice to do well for the ‘Boss Man’s’ company,” Bowyer said. “Gene does so much for us at Stewart-Haas Racing and racing in general, whether it’s here in NASCAR or Formula One. I’d love nothing more than to get another trip to victory lane in one of his cars.”

Bowyer could use a victory. He arrives in New Hampshire 12th in the season’s point standing after a 14th-place finish at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City last Thursday night. He is 14th in the playoff standings with a 42-point cushion over the final transfer spot into the 16-driver playoff field. A win at New Hampshire secures a spot in NASCAR’s postseason, but a good run helps in padding his points cushion.

Few  places have shown Bowyer the hospitality like the “Magic Mile" has over his 16-year Cup Series career.

Two of Bowyer’s 10 career victories and one of his two poles have come on the flat mile oval, including his first Cup Series victory in 2007.

Bowyer affectionately calls the New Hampshire track that’s celebrating its 30th anniversary this season “a big Martinsville.”

“I love New Hampshire,” he said. “That place just fits my driving style. We don’t get up to that part of the country a lot, so it’s good to see the race fans there. They have so many tracks and they love their racing, from Modified to Late Models to our stuff."

A look at Bowyer’s record makes it easy to understand why he likes racing in the Granite State.

At the September 2007 race weekend, he earned his second career pole Friday, then led 222 of 300 laps Sunday en route to his maiden Cup Series win. Attrition played no role in the victory as, for the first time in the sport’s modern era, the entire 43-car field finished the race.
Fast-forward to September 2010, when Bowyer started second and led the most laps before fading back. A series of caution periods put him behind now-boss Tony Stewart during the closing laps. With both drivers trying to nurse their sputtering fuel tanks to the finish, Bowyer found himself in position to pounce when Stewart’s tank ran dry a lap from the checkered flag.

It was Bowyer’s turn to run out of gas with two laps remaining in the September 2011 race at New Hampshire, giving the victory to – you guessed it – Tony Stewart.

“We still laugh about running out of gas and giving each other the victories,” Bowyer said, “whether it’s fuel mileage or those late restarts where everyone starts beating and banging. It seems like there is always an interesting finish there.”

Bowyer has made quite the impression on New Hampshire, as well.

Then-Gov. Maggie Hassan declared Sept. 5, 2013 “Rockin’ with Clint Day” in New Hampshire. Bowyer took her for a burnout, used a 250-foot crane to dig up a personalized, 7,500-pound piece of granite at a local quarry, and took part in a rock-climbing race.

“There aren’t many states where I’ve gotten to do burnouts with the governor,” Bowyer said with a laugh.

With approval from now-Gov. Chris Sununu, New Hampshire Motor Speedway plans to allow fans to attend Sunday’s race. The grandstands and suites at the Loudon track will be open to fans with social-distancing requirements and other health protocols in place. The number of fans will be limited, however the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 is still expected to be the largest fan event in New England since the onset of the pandemic.

“I hope we can put on a good show for the fans this Sunday,” Bowyer said. “These folks deserve a good race. I’d like to win and hold that big lobster up in victory lane.”

He’ll have the right paint scheme for the pictures.

CLINT BOWYER, Driver of the No. 14 Haas Automation Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
What is the secret to getting into the playoffs?

“It is all about the racecars and making them as fast as possible. That goes for aerodynamics, having the right setup underneath with (computer) simulation and everything. Everything has to be perfect. It is so much more competitive than when I came into this sport. You can’t have a down area. You can’t have a weak link. It is all across the board that you have to be 100-percent perfect.”

You were a commentator on FOX Xfinity broadcasts this season. Is that something you are interested in pursuing in the future?

“I’m a racecar driver man. I love doing the broadcasts and things like that but, you know, I think that time will come and I don’t know when that’ll be. I want to race and I want to be in a racecar. I love competing. I love being pissed off at the end of the race. I love being happy at the end of the race. I love that adrenaline of lining up next to that guy and wondering how in the hell you’re going to come off the turn two ahead of him and that’s a feeling that can’t be replaced.

“That being said, I feel like I really have appreciated the relationship with FOX this year. I feel like that’s something. It’s not up to me whether that happens or not. It’s a ton of fun, I can tell you that. I mean, it’s relatively easy for me. I mean, everybody’s always asked, ‘How do you get up and do that.’ I mean, I don’t know. Let me get this straight, you want me to go up there and bench race with a bunch of my buddies and talk racing about a race, like I’ve done since I was 4 years old at the dinner table? That’s what you want me to go do? Yeah, I got that, I can handle that. It is a ton of fun and I have a huge amount of respect for everybody who puts on the production of our sports. And then you start looking at production, when you watch a football game or a baseball game, differently. Once you know how that product comes to play and what we see on television, it’s a whole different respect for all the individuals who make that happen, from the cameraman to the producers. The lead guys, like Adam Alexander, and Mike Joy, those guys are just crazy talented. They keep these maniacs who grew up racing and talk racing and doing that bench racing like we do up there, for those guys to get up there and to control all of that and to make that go smooth as silk is just amazing. So, yeah, I appreciate that. And, hopefully, that opportunity will come someday. I don’t know when that day will be.” 

Kyle Busch 5/1 to win 2020 Foxwoods Resort Casino 301

Doggone Good in the Granite State

Kyle Busch has three Cup wins at New Hampshire.
HUNTERSVILLE, North Carolina (July 28, 2020) – A quick look at Kyle Busch’s statistics at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon shows Busch and his Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) team have been doggone good in the Granite State throughout his career.  

Busch, driver of the No. 18 PEDIGREE® Toyota for JGR, heads into Sunday’s Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 looking for his first win of the season. What better place to bring home that first win of 2020 in NASCAR’s top series than at a place where he’s seen plenty of recent success with two wins in his last eight starts to go with four top-five finishes and six top-10s during that stretch.

The New Hampshire track affectionately dubbed the “Magic Mile” has certainly lived up to its billing for Busch over the years. In 2015, he and his team used hard work and a little bit of luck to bring home what would be his second of three Cup Series wins in a row during a summer hot streak that would ultimately springboard him to that year’s Cup Series championship.
The 2015 New Hampshire victory was Busch’s second Cup Series win on the 1.058-mile oval, the first coming in just his third start there in July 2006, and in dominating fashion as he led 107 laps. After that 2006 win, the Las Vegas native left with plenty of confidence that he could get multiple New Hampshire wins as his career progressed. As it turned out, he was winless there over the next 17 races, which included a number of near-misses.

Still, the driver of the PEDIGREE® Toyota posted five top-five finishes in those 17 starts between New Hampshire wins, including three runner-up finishes in a row in 2013 and 2014 before breaking through for the aforementioned 2015 win, and then adding his first playoff victory at the track in September 2017 after leading 187 of the 300 laps in an impressive performance. In all, Busch has 11 top-five finishes and 16 top-10s in 28 starts at New Hampshire.

The PEDIGREE® brand will be on board this weekend for the only time in 2020, as the brand uses its platform in NASCAR and other various sports properties to help dogs in need find a forever home through its adoption program, about which fans can learn more at

So, as NASCAR’s top series heads to the Northeast for Sunday’s 301-mile race, Busch knows he’s been doggone good enough to bring home his first win of the season and his fourth career victory in the heart of New England. 
KYLE BUSCH, Driver of the No. 18 PEDIGREE® Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing: 

How do you approach New Hampshire this weekend?

“I love going up to New Hampshire. I’ve got a lot of friends from the area. I’ve raced over at Thunder Road before. I’ve raced over at Oxford before, so I’ve been around this area a little bit racing the short tracks and stuff. It’s been a pretty successful place for us. We’ve won a couple of times there fairly recently. We’ve been kind of the car to beat, one of the guys to beat there for – I think about, I don’t know – the last two, three, four years, maybe. Sometimes guys really, really hit on it and they’re better than us and we’re just always consistently good there, so hopefully we can keep that pattern going, at least, and be consistently good there again, but maybe we can hit on it better than somebody else and try to win. Really happy to have PEDIGREE back on our car this weekend. I got to visit their offices near Nashville during Champions Week last year and they are huge supporters of our team.”

Was the racing any different at New Hampshire the last couple of years because it’s no longer a playoff track?

“It didn’t seem to be much different. I think that Loudon sometimes is a more challenging racetrack to pass people on, but we’ve had a lot of success there and I think we will again this weekend with our PEDIGREE Toyota. There is more time or opportunity for slipping and sliding and contact being made, being a short track, being a flat track. So maybe guys won’t care as much, I guess, because it’s not in the playoffs and they don’t really need notes to help them try and run better there when it comes to playoff time. We’ll see.”

The New Hampshire race is one of the shortest on the circuit. How do you approach that race knowing you might have a little less time to get to the front at the end?

“Essentially, at Loudon, you’re looking at how good your fuel mileage is and you have to look at when you have to make your last pit stop since that’s what everyone looks at. You end up running it almost like a road-course race because you do want to be the first guy on the last round of pit stops to pit. You want to get in there, get your tires and fuel, and then stay out the rest of the race and keep your track position since it’s so important there. It’s just a challenging race because it’s so hard to pass there. You can be two-tenths faster than a guy and not be able to pass him because everyone typically runs the same speed. You’ll have it where the leader might be a tenth better than the second-place guy, but everyone is separated by so little that it takes a mistake on someone’s part in order to pass them there.”

When you make a mistake at Loudon, does it cost you a little bit more because you have less time to recover?

“You don’t because you’re always on edge there. You’re trying to go as fast as you can into the corners, as deep as you can into the corners while rolling as much speed, or just a bit higher than everyone else so you are able to get back to the gas sooner. You’re going harder than everyone else in order to make the straightaway a little bit longer and get your momentum built back up. It’s definitely a challenging racetrack – not one of my best racetracks, I’ll admit that. I’ve won there twice so, if we get a good car – I guess I’ll need to have a really good car, apparently – then we might have a shot to win there.”

Kevin Harvick is 3/1 favorite to win third straight at New Hampshire

Going for Three Consecutive Wins

KANNAPOLIS, North Carolina (July 28, 2020) – Kevin Harvick won the NASCAR Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon on July 22, 2018. He then won the race there on July 21, 2019.

He is hoping to make it three wins in a row during Sunday’s Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire and lift his victory total at the mile oval to five. He also scored victories there in September 2006 and 2016.

Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), is tied with his former Richard Childers Racing teammate Jeff Burton for most wins at the track with four.

If Harvick adds a win Sunday, it would be his 54th in the Cup Series, which would put him tie him at 11th on the all-time list with NASCAR Hall of Famer Lee Petty.

In addition to his four wins at New Hampshire, Harvick has 12 top-five finishes, 20 top-10s, one pole and he’s led a total of 759 laps in his 36 career Cup Series starts there. His average New Hampshire start is 12.9, his average finish is 12.8 and he has completed 10,482 of 10,690 laps of competition.

In the NASCAR Xfinity Series at New Hampshire, Harvick has 12 career starts with one win, nine top-fives, 11 top-10s and three poles. He scored his victory from the pole in June 2007. And in six NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series outings at New Hampshire, Harvick has finished in top-15 each time with three top-threes.

This weekend, Harvick will again have the help of Mobil 1 on board as a sponsor and partner.

Mobil 1 isn’t just the world’s leading synthetic motor oil brand, it also provides the entire SHR team with leading lubricant technology, ensuring that all SHR Mustangs have a competitive edge over the competition on the track. In its 18th consecutive season as the “Official Motor Oil of NASCAR,” Mobil 1 is used by more than 50 percent of teams throughout NASCAR’s top three series.

Harvick arrives at New Hampshire first in the NASCAR Cup Series standings with 763 points, 97 markers ahead of second-place Brad Keselowski. He’s led the points since the conclusion of the March 8 race at Phoenix Raceway and will look to extend that with a solid performance in The Granite State.

KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing: 

Could you comment on winning three of the last five at New Hampshire and tying Jeff Burton’s record?

“Yeah, this place has been really good to us, and I think Rodney (Childers, crew chief) and I probably feel like we should have – could have – won them all. But it’s been a racetrack that has been really good for us from a performance standpoint. And I think, from a confidence standpoint, being able to adjust on the car and know what we’re looking for, I think this is definitely a racetrack where a lot of those things came into play, and we used a lot of the same things that we’ve used in the past as far as tools of how we make our car go around the corner. I think obviously it’s been a great racetrack for us.”

On pit road after the race last year, Denny (Hamlin) said he didn’t want to “do you dirty,” and he could have dumped you. How much of that was going through your mind, that he could have dumped you?

“I mean, look, he took his shot. And I think at that point, it’s kind of, ‘Do whatever you have to do.’ It’s the last lap. And I think he thought he was going to move me up out of the groove, and I don’t think he expected for me to be in the middle of the racetrack and be on the brakes and all those things. There was just a lot of scenarios there. When you look at moving Kyle (Busch in 2018) up and out of the groove, I don’t think he expected to be up out of the groove at that particular point in time, and I think he did what he had to do. It’s just like 2018, like I didn’t want to dump Kyle, I wanted to move him out of the groove and try to win the race, and I think that’s what Denny was trying to do. We raced hard and tried to do each other as good as we could and still not sell our teams short. But I’ve been in position where I’ve dumped somebody, and it doesn’t work out well for you as you go through the end of the year.”

What does it take to be successful at Loudon?

“I’d say the most important thing at Loudon is track position, just because it’s hard to pass. You want to be up front and on the right strategy no matter what you do. If the caution flag falls in the wrong spot and you lose track position, it usually becomes a longer day than it could have been.”

Why do your prefer Mobil 1 synthetic?

“I’m a synthetic guy because, in 1993 when we were sitting in the engine shop, we dumped Mobil 1 synthetic in and that’s all we did and gained seven horsepower. From that day on, we would actually save our money and then go to the local auto parts store because, at that time, it was like $5.50 a quart and the conventional and other oils were like $3.50. At the big races, we would put the Mobil 1 in the car and the regular races would put the regular oil in there. You know I’m going to say synthetic.”

Aric Almirola is 20/1 to win at New Hampshire

Unfinished Business in New Hampshire 

KANNAPOLIS, North Carolina (July 28, 2020) – Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Hometown Original Heroes Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), heads to New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, where he nearly won in 2018. 

On July 22, 2018, the Smithfield driver battled adversity from the beginning of the race at New Hampshire when an issue with the right-front tire demoted him to 28th place in Stage 1. He worked his way back into contention in the final stage, when he led 42 laps and battled his teammate Kevin Harvick for the top spot. A caution flag on lap 257 sent Almirola to the pits for four tires and fuel. He restarted third and that’s where he finished the race behind the winning Harvick and runner-up Kyle Busch. 

“I was extremely disappointed,” he said. “Even though we earned a top-five, we had the fastest car, hands down. I’m excited to go back to Loudon because the Smithfield No. 10 team and I have looked forward to getting back where we had a chance to win in 2018. We’ve been running up front each weekend, so there’s no reason we can’t get it done on Sunday.” 

The 36-year-old Tampa, Florida native has the highest average finish in the series in the last eight races at 5.4, yet he is without a victory. This is Almirola’s best season to date and the first time in his career he has earned consecutive top-five finishes. His five top-fives are the most he’s had in any single season during his nine-year full-time Cup Series career.

Almirola is riding a string of eight consecutive top-10 finishes, the best of his career. He finished fifth June 14 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, third June 22 at Talladega, third June 27 at Pocono, fifth June 28 at Pocono, third July 5 at Indianapolis, eighth July 12 at Kentucky, 10th July 19 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, and sixth last Thursday at Kansas Speedway. His previous best streak was a run of six consecutive top-10s in 2019 that began with the second race at Atlanta Motor Speedway and lasted through the series’ seventh race at Texas.

The No. 10 Ford driver sits eighth in the playoff standings for his career-best points position after 19 races. In his first two seasons at SHR in 2018 and 2019, Almirola was 11th and 10th in the standings, respectively, after 19 races. 

Almirola has career totals of two wins, two poles, 23 top-five finishes, 72 top-10s and 790 laps led in 335 starts. He has led a total of 218 laps this year at six different venues. 

Almirola continues to provide fans with content from his documentary series Beyond the 10, where they can get VIP, behind-the-scenes access by subscribing to his YouTube channel. Episodes showcase never-before-seen footage of the Smithfield driver at the racetrack, on family trips, and “A Day in the Life” during the week, as well as all that goes into a NASCAR Cup Series driver’s season. Click here to subscribe on YouTube and watch the latest episode. 

Almirola and his longtime partner Smithfield Foods have collaborated to honor frontline hometown heroes by showcasing a special paint scheme on the No. 10 Ford this weekend.

Smithfield looks to honor those who are putting their own health and safety at risk in a selfless act to protect and nourish others around them. The Smithfield “Hometown Original Heroes” program provides the opportunity for fans to share the stories of their own “Hometown Hero.” Be it a nurse, doctor, food worker, public servant or anyone who is on the frontlines each and every day, Smithfield and Almirola want to hear their stories and give.

To nominate a hometown hero, visit and submit a one-minute video nominating the “Hometown Hero”. Ten heroes will be chosen to have their stories told and will have their names riding onboard the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang at a race during the NASCAR playoffs this fall. The heroes will also receive a VIP race day experience and full-year supply of Smithfield “Hometown Original” bacon.

Almirola has had New Hampshire on his calendar as a race he should have a win. This weekend, he’ll look to finally get it done with a visit to victory lane. 
Aric Almirola: Driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

What do you like about going to New Hampshire Motor Speedway?

“It kind of takes you back to Saturday-night, short-track racing. It’s a mile track but it races like a short track. You go there and see the Modified division there and it makes you feel like when you were a kid and racing Late Models. It’s a fun track to race at and I’ve had some success there and I’ve run well there in the past.”

Are you satisfied with the results in the last two months?

“This Smithfield team continues to bounce back every weekend. Years ago we would do anything for consistent top-10 and top-five finishes, but now it’s just not enough. I’m looking forward to the next round of races where we’ve been good in the past and we’ll be ready to get this win.” 

Monday, July 27, 2020

Odds to win 2020 Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire

Good idea to review Phoenix results before betting New Hampshire.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 2, 2020 - 3:15 PM ET

Kevin HARVICK 3/1
Denny HAMLIN 5/1
Kyle BUSCH 5/1
Martin TRUEX JR 7/1
Ryan BLANEY 10/1
Chase ELLIOTT 14/1
Joey LOGANO 14/1
Aric ALMIROLA 20/1
Erik JONES 30/1
Kurt BUSCH 30/1
Clint BOWYER 30/1
Jimmie JOHNSON 40/1
Alex BOWMAN 40/1
Matt KENSETH 60/1
Ryan NEWMAN 60/1
William BYRON 60/1
Christopher BELL 100/1
Cole CUSTER 100/1
Tyler REDDICK 100/1
Austin DILLON 200/1
Chris BUESCHER 200/1
Ricky STENHOUSE JR 300/1
Ryan PREECE 500/1
Darrell WALLACE JR 500/1
Michael McDOWELL 1000/1
John Hunter NEMECHEK 1000/1
Ty DILLON 2000/1
Corey LaJOIE 5000/1
Daniel SUAREZ 10000/1
Brennan POOLE 10000/1
Quin HOUFF 10000/1
JJ YELEY 10000/1
Timmy HILL 10000/1
Joey GASE 10000/1
Josh BILICKI 10000/1
Garrett SMITHLEY 10000/1
BJ McLEOD 10000/1