FANTASY: The Magic of Our Mile
Camping World RV Sales 301 Fantasy Preview
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
The circus is rolling into town. It started about a week ago when the first Sprint trucks showed up. It took full shape on Tuesday; the driver motorhomes, TV production haulers and corporate displays all set up shop.
The Global RallyCross Championship has already arrived and opened the paddocks in preparation for Thursday evening's race. Before thosee drivers run their race, the NASCAR haulers will parade into the infield and unload for three series of racing on Saturday and Sunday.
The ultimate goal for the weekend? Visiting victory lane after the Camping World RV Sales 301, which will run Sunday at 1 p.m.
Here's a look at the best Yahoo! Fantasy Auto Racing options that might lead their team managers to victory this weekend:
The Magic Mile of New Hampshire Motor Speedway is considered a flat track. At 1.058 miles around, it falls somewhere between a standard, intermediate cookie-cutter and a short track. The paperclip shape causes it to race short, even though the intermediate name claims it as its own. It's hard to pass on the flat surface and tight turns, so track position is important.
We've been waiting for the Generation-Six car to arrive at the speedway all year! During recent test sessions, drivers said they think the cars will make the race grooves bigger and thus make side-by-side racing more feasible. On a track like this, the new technology could be a game changer. There's no other track that's really laid out quite like NHMS, so the drivers haven't had experience racing the new car on this layout.
There have been ten different winners in the last 10 races at NHMS, but that seems to be somewhat of a statistical oddity. This is a technical track to race and some drivers are good here, while others struggle. With less likelihood of an unexpected wreck, I'd recommend going with the tried and true drivers at the Magic Mile.
- #14 Tony Stewart - Smoke has a series-best 111.7 driver rating at the Magic Mile and has finished 50 percent of his NHMS starts in the top-five (14 of 28).
- #15 Clint Bowyer - Stats might not be on his side (six top-10s in 14 NHMS starts), but two of his eight career wins have come at the track. During a Goodyear Tire Test, Joey Logano described the No. 15 as "rocketship fast," and Bowyer recorded top-fives in both of last year's starts at the Magic Mile.
- #48 Jimmie Johnson - It's hard to go against the No. 48 at any track right now, especially the Magic Mile where his 9.5 career average finish ranks him second in the field.
- #11 Denny Hamlin - The season seems about done for this poor guy. As if the broken back wasn't enough, he's finished three of the last six races in a crash and finished 23rd and 30th in two of the other races. He's great at NHMS, with a series-best 7.9 average finish, but he has no momentum right now.
- #18 Kyle Busch - His poor stats at NHMS make him very risky, but they don't really tell the whole story. He led 120 of the 601 laps run at the Magic Mile last year, but finished 16th and 28th. He's dominated the Nationwide Series events at this track, so there's no reason he can't put it together in a Cup race.
- #39 Ryan Newman - The Magic Mile is one of Newman's favorite tracks, and why not? He has three wins, six poles and 15 top-10s in 22 starts.
- #78 Kurt Busch - Wow! Furniture Row Racing's lone driver has ascended to ninth in the standings. That's a testament to just how good of a driver Kurt can be, and he's visiting a track where he has three career wins.
- #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. - Don't expect him to win, but Junior seems to have figured this track out after struggling early in his career. He has three top-fives in the last 10 races at NHMS and has completed every lap run at the Magic Mile in the last three years.
- #31 Jeff Burton - He has a series-high four wins at the Magic Mile, but those came over a decade ago. He's just not driving like he once did. and has just three top-10s this year.
- #99 Carl Edwards - He makes no bones about this being one of his worst tracks. To paraphrase what he told me in an interview last year: "We don't qualify well, can't figure out the pit stops and lack speed in the corners and on the straightaways. But other than that, we're pretty good here!"
- #13 Casey Mears - The C-list has very little to offer in this race. I'm considering Mears because he's one of only three entered drivers that's been effective in 2013, and I don't want to waste a start on Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
- #51 AJ Allmendinger - The Dinger is probably the best option. The No. 51 has been respectable all season and three of his last four races at the Magic Mile ended in finishes of 12th or better.
- #17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - In the Yahoo! system, you can only start a driver nine times. Stenhouse has never raced at NHMS in a Cup car and has nothing with which to compare the track layout. Save his starts for another track.
Drivers are listed by car number and not necessarily in rank order.
Join the "Fans of NHMS" Yahoo! Fantasy Auto Racing group.