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Driver Recommendations for the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire

Posted by chadmusselman on June 22, 2009

We’re almost half way through the season and this is the first trip to New Hampshire. Lots of chasers have good records here with eight in the top 10 for best average finishes at the track. The only two non-chasers in the top 10 for average finishes here are Martin Truex Jr. and Mark Martin. The racing has been getting better and more exciting to watch and hopefully continues at the 1-mile oval on Sunday.

Recommendations this week:

Chaser: Jimmie Johnson
Jimmie has registered top 10 finishes in the last 4 races here and 6 of the last 7. His 9.9 average finish is 3rd best among active drivers. He also has two career wins and nine top 10s in 14 career races. Add to this the fact that he’s averaging a 9.4 place finish over the past 5 races this season and he’s an easy pick to put on your team. Jimmie should be the man on Sunday.

Alternate Chaser: Denny Hamlin
No active driver has a better average finish at New Hampshire than Denny. His 7.2 average finish is more than 2.5 spots better than the next guy. He has a win and five top 10s in six career races. Denny is a very good driver and likes this track. There’s no reason to believe he won’t be in the front on Sunday.

Ryan Newman
Not long ago Ryan was in the middle of a great run with 6 consecutive top ten finishes. His luck has changed a bit in the last two races finishing 23rd and 17th. I don’t think that streak of bad finishes will continue. New Hampshire is a track he has a pretty good record at with 2 wins, 5 top fives, and 9 top tens in 14 career races. Good enough numbers to keep him on your team and ride out that little rough patch.

Mark Martin
Whether it’s bad luck, lack of focus/concentration, or what, Mark hasn’t done will in the race after a win this season. In those races he’s averaging a 31.7 place finish. Two races later he has a 5th and 10th place finish. This is the 2nd race after his last win. Is another top 5 or 10 run in store for Mark? I think so. He hasn’t raced here since 2006, but in 24 career races he has 13 top tens and an average finish of 11th, good enough for 4th among
active drivers.

Dark Horse: Martin Truex Jr.
First the bad: Martin has the 9th worst average finish over the last 5 races, at 24.6 with his best finish being 18th over that span. His confidence may be shaken a bit by that, but nothing can get him going again more than racing at a track you have success at. Now the good: Martin has performed very well at New Hampshire. His average finish of 9.8 is 2nd best among active drivers, and he’s recorded his 4 top ten finishes here over the past two seasons. With that, I say Martin is the perfect dark horse for New Hampshire and should finish in or close to the top ten.

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