Date: Sunday, September 25th, 2011
Time: 2 p.m. (ET)
Track: New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Laps: 300 ; Miles: 317.4
Broadcast: TV – ESPN ; Radio – PRN/Sirius XM NASCAR
Sunday: High-76°F ; Low-60°F
30% Chance of Rain
Winds SE at 4 mph
Target: Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Clint Bowyer, Denny Hamlin, and Kurt Busch
Avoid: Matt Kenseth, Kasey Kahne, and Jamie McMurray
Analysis: Stewart is fantastic at any flat track. Bowyer has two career wins at NHMS, so you can never count him out (even with the season he has had). Kurt Busch is averaging a top-10 finish in each of the last six races, which isn’t bad when you’re competing for a Chase championship.
Bargain: Even though Brad Keselowski had a dismal performance at New Hampshire earlier in the season (finished P35), he still won the pole for the 2010 Chase race, and he finished sixth in ’09 in the No. 9 car. Marcos Ambrose had a career-best P9 run here last June.
-Chicago is now in the rear view mirror, and race one of the 2011 Chase for the Sprint Cup is in the books. Kevin Harvick leads after ’round one’, but can he hold on for the next nine rounds before being “KO’ed”?- Yes, I used a boxing term for the Chase, because that is exactly what it has turned into- A boxing ‘fight’.
-Last year, New Hampshire Motor Speedway was the first event in the Chase. Clint Bowyer opened the 10-race classic by winning for the first time in 88 races.
-Three days following the New Hampshire race, NASCAR handed down stiff penalties to Bowyer’s team after their winning car was found to be illegal during a more thorough post-race inspection conducted at NASCAR’s Research and Development center in Concord, NC. Bowyer and team owner Richard Childress were each penalized with a 150-point loss, while crew chief Shane Wilson received a six-race suspension, a $150,000 fine and probation until the end of the year. Car chief Chad Haney also received suspension for the same length of time, as well as probation for the remainder of the year. Wilson’s fine was later reduced to $100,000.
-Something to keep in mind: In four of the previous seven years, the eventual championship Chase winner finished in the top-five of race two – and Johnson won each of the last two.
-New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS), was the first superspeedway to be constructed in the United States since 1969. There have been 33 Sprint Cup races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway; one a year from 1993 through 1996 and two per year since. Four drivers have competed in all 33 races: Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte and Joe Nemechek. Jimmie Johnson (2003) and Kurt Busch (2004) are the only drivers that have posted season sweeps. They are also the only back-to-back winners. The pole sitter has captured this race four times, including two of the past five years.
Next Race: October 2 AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway
#00 David Reutimann (Zephyrhills, FL) Toyota/Aaron’s Dream Machine
#1 Jamie McMurray (Joplin, MO) Chevrolet/Axe Cool Metal
#2 Brad Keselowski (Rochester Hills, MI) Dodge/Miller Lite
#4 Kasey Kahne (Enumclaw, WA) Toyota/Red Bull
#5 Mark Martin (Batesville, AR) Chevrolet/GoDaddy.com
#6 David Ragan (Unadilla, GA) Ford/UPS
#7 Robby Gordon (Orange, CA) Dodge/Speed Energy
#9 Marcos Ambrose (Launceston, Australia) Ford/DeWalt
#11 Denny Hamlin (Chesterfield, VA) Toyota/FedEx Ground
#13 Casey Mears (Bakersfield, CA) Toyota/GEICO
#14 Tony Stewart (Columbus, IN) Chevrolet/Office Depot/Mobil 1
#16 Greg Biffle (Vancouver, WA) Ford/ford40mph.com
#17 Matt Kenseth (Cambridge, WI) Ford/Affliction Clothing
#18 Kyle Busch (Las Vegas, NV) Toyota/M&M’s
#20 Joey Logano (Middletown, CT) Toyota/Home Depot
#22 Kurt Busch (Las Vegas, NV) Dodge/Shell/Pennzoil
#24 Jeff Gordon (Vallejo, CA) Chevrolet/DuPont
#27 Paul Menard (Eau Claire, WI) Chevrolet/Menards/Sylvania
#29 Kevin Harvick (Bakersfield, CA) Chevrolet/Budweiser
#30 David Stremme (South Bend, IN) Chevrolet/Inception Motorsports
#31 Jeff Burton (South Boston, VA) Chevrolet/Caterpillar
#32 Mike Bliss (Milwaukie, OR) Ford/Street King
#33 * Clint Bowyer (Emporia, KS) Chevrolet/Cheerios/Hamb. Helper
#34 David Gilliland (Riverside, CA) Ford/TBA
#35 Steve Park (East Northport, NY) Chevrolet/”Ole Blue” Tribute
#36 Dave Blaney (Hartford, OH) Chevrolet/Golden Corral
#37 Josh Wise (Riverside, CA) Toyota/TBA
#38 J.J. Yeley (Phoenix, AZ) Ford/Long John Silver’s
#39 Ryan Newman (South Bend, IN) Chevrolet/Haas Automation
#42 Juan Pablo Montoya (Bogota, Colombia) Chevrolet/Degree
#43 A.J. Allmendinger (Los Gatos, CA) Ford/Best Buy
#46 Scott Speed (Manteca, CA) Ford/Red Line Oil
#47 Bobby Labonte (Corpus Christi, TX) Toyota/Bush’s Beans/Kingsford
#48 Jimmie Johnson (El Cajon, CA) Chevrolet/Lowe’s
#50 T.J. Bell (Reno, VA) Chevrolet/Green Smoke
#51 Landon Cassill (Cedar Rapids, IA) Chevrolet/Phoenix Construction
#55 Travis Kvapil (Janesville, WI) Ford/TBA
#56 Martin Truex Jr. (Mayetta, NJ) Toyota/NAPA Auto Brakes
#60 Mike Skinner (Susanville, CA) Chevrolet/Big Red
#66 Michael McDowell (Glendale, AZ) Toyota/HP Racing
#71 Andy Lally (Northport, NY) Ford/Interstate Moving Services
#78 Regan Smith (Cato, NY) Chevrolet/Furniture Row Racing
#83 Brian Vickers (Thomasville, NC) Toyota/Red Bull
#87 Joe Nemechek (Lakeland, FL) Toyota/TBA
#88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Kannapolis, NC) Chevrolet/Diet Mountain Dew
#99 Carl Edwards (Columbia, MO) Ford/Scott’s Winterguard
For all your post race analysis, continue to follow thepacelap.com, as Branden and I will do our best to make you feel like you are part of the action! Have fun this weekend!