Crunching The Numbers: New Hampshire & Iowa

After celebrating the Fourth of July weekend on the high banks of Daytona International Speedway, the three national NASCAR series head to short, flat tracks in separate parts of the country this weekend. New Hampshire Motor Speedway will host the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series, while the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series heads to Iowa for a standalone weekend of their own.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series – Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire

For the first time this season, the Sprint Cup Series makes its way to the flat one mile oval in Loudon, N.H., the eighth of eight tracks that the series has already visited this year that will also be in the Chase for the Sprint Cup that starts in September. Drivers that have won the July race here have gone on to win the championship four times, with success in this race carrying over to the track’s Chase date in September. The track has also featured 10 different winners since 2008, so will we finally see a repeat winner or will this mark 11 different winners?

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Driver Races Wins Top 5 Top 10 Pole Laps Led Avg. Start Avg. Finish
Denny Hamlin 14 2 7 10 0 417 13.6 7.9
Jimmie Johnson 22 3 8 15 0 321 11.1 9.5
Jeff Gordon 36 3 16 21 4 1316 9.9 10.5
Tony Stewart 28 3 14 17 1 1218 11.2 11.4
Ryan Newman 22 3 6 15 6 720 8.0 12.7
Kevin Harvick 24 1 5 12 1 319 14.1 13.7
Jeff Burton 36 4 8 13 0 783 19.4 13.8
Matt Kenseth 26 0 5 12 0 89 21.1 14.0
Brad Keselowski 7 0 2 4 1 10 15.6 14.0
Carl Edwards 17 0 2 3 0 70 15.2 14.5

Who To Watch: As he mounts what may be his last stand to make the Chase, and his Chase hopes rapidly dwindling thanks to some unfortunate circumstances that have befallen him this season, Denny Hamlin has to be happy to be heading to a track where he tops the list statistically. Hamlin’s New Hampshire career has featured two wins, seven top fives, 10 top tens, 417 laps led, and an average finish of 7.9 in 14 races. Hamlin is also coming off of a stellar 2012 campaign at the track with a second place finish in the July race and a win in the September race.

Winner of last weekend’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona and four-time winner on the season, Jimmie Johnson, comes in just behind Hamlin with three wins, eight top fives, 15 top tens, 321 laps led, and an average finish of 9.5 in 22 starts.

Others who run well in the Granite State include: Jeff Gordon, with three wins, 16 top fives, 21 top tens, four poles, 1316 laps led, and an average finish of 10.5 in 36 starts; Tony Stewart, with three wins, 14 top fives, 17 top tens, one pole, 1218 laps led, and an average finish of 11.4 in 28 starts; Ryan Newman, with three wins, six top fives, 15 top tens, six poles, 720 laps led, and an average finish of 12.7 in 22 starts; and Kevin Harvick, who has one win, five top fives, 12 top tens, one pole, 319 laps led, and an average finish of 13.7 in 24 starts.

Matt Kenseth, who is tied with Jimmie Johnson for most wins on the year, doesn’t have a stellar career at New Hampshire (0 wins, five top fives, 12 top tens, 89 laps led, and 14.0 average finish in 26 starts), but with the success that he has had in his first season with Joe Gibbs Racing, Kenseth would be another to keep an eye on this weekend.

NASCAR Nationwide Series – CNBC Prime’s “The Profit” 200 at New Hampshire

As the Nationwide Series heads to New Hampshire to share in the companion weekend with the Sprint Cup Series, we have a couple of storylines that will be playing out this weekend. First, New Hampshire marks the second leg of the Nationwide Insurance “Dash 4 Cash”, in which the highest finisher out of eligible drivers will be able to win a $100,000 bonus. The eligible drivers for this weekend are Daytona “Dash 4 Cash” bonus winner Elliott Sadler, Austin Dillon, Kyle Larson, and Sam Hornish, Jr. The other storyline will be the Cup regulars who will be running on Saturday and when looking at the statistics for this track are evenly distributed among the Nationwide regulars. As is the case anytime there is a Sprint Cup/Nationwide companion weekend, it is the battle between the Cup regulars and the Nationwide regulars, who will come out on top this week?

Driver Races Wins Top 5 Top 10 Pole Laps Led Avg. Start Avg. Finish
Sam Hornish, Jr. 1 0 1 1 0 0 6.0 4.0
Kasey Kahne 5 0 2 4 0 53 9.6 6.8
Brian Vickers 2 0 1 1 0 0 7.0 8.0
Trevor Bayne 2 0 1 1 0 58 12.5 9.0
Justin Allgaier 4 0 0 3 0 0 9.8 9.2
Kyle Busch 7 3 4 4 1 273 5.4 10.7
Matt Kenseth 7 1 3 5 0 55 17.9 11.4
Joey Logano 3 0 2 2 1 111 3.7 11.7
Reed Sorenson 5 0 0 2 0 0 10.8 12.6
Austin Dillon 2 0 1 1 0 1 10.0 14.0

Who To Watch: Currently sitting second in points, Sam Hornish, Jr., is tops statistically at New Hampshire with a sixth place start and a fourth place finish in his lone start at the track last year.

Cup regular Kasey Kahne comes in right behind Hornish with two top fives, four top tens, 53 laps led, and an average finish of 6.8 in five starts. Nationwide regulars Brian Vickers, Trevor Bayne, and Justin Allgaier are next with average finishes of 8.0, 9.0, and 9.2 respectively.

Cup regulars and Joe Gibbs Racing teammates, Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth, are the only two in the top ten statistically at New Hampshire with a win. Busch has three wins, four top fives, four top tens, one pole, 273 laps led, and an average finish of 10.7 in seven starts. Kenseth, winner of last weekend’s race at Daytona, has one win, three top fives, five top tens, 55 laps led, and an average finish of 11.4 in seven starts

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series – American Ethanol 200 at Iowa

While the Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series are enjoying New England this weekend, the young guns of the Camping World Truck Series will be in America’s Heartland taking on Iowa Speedway in a Saturday night showdown that is sure to be full of great racing, as the racing always is at this short track.

Driver Races Wins Top 5 Top 10 Pole Laps Led Avg. Start Avg. Finish
Ryan Blaney 1 1 1 1 0 50 2.0 1.0
Johnny Sauter 5 0 5 5 0 24 5.2 3.8
Matt Crafton 5 1 3 5 0 56 8.6 4.4
Ty Dillon 2 0 1 2 0 0 12.0 4.5
Joey Coulter 3 0 1 2 0 0 9.3 8.7
Miguel Paludo 3 0 0 1 0 0 10.0 12.7
Timothy Peters 5 1 1 2 1 87 7.0 13.2
Ross Chastain 2 0 0 0 0 0 21.0 13.5
James Buescher 5 0 1 2 0 98 10.2 14.6
Brendan Gaughan 1 0 0 0 0 0 19.0 16.0

Who To Watch: Ryan Blaney surprised everyone last year at Iowa Speedway when he became the youngest winner in series history in only his third career start. Blaney, who now has a full time ride with Brad Keselowski Racing could very well make it two in a row this weekend and give Ford their first win of the season and first win since pulling factory support from the series some years back.

Others who run well at Iowa are Johnny Sauter, with five top fives, five top tens, 24 laps led, and an average finish of 3.8 in five starts; Matt Crafton, with one win, three top fives, five top tens, 56 laps led and an average finish of 4.4 in five starts; Ty Dillon, with one top five, two top tens, and an average finish of 4.5 in two starts; and Joey Coulter, with one top five, two top tens, and an average finish of 8.7 in three starts.

Of course, the rookies of the series Jeb Burton, Darrell Wallace, Jr., and Chase Elliott will be strong this weekend, as they have been all season long.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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