Fantasy Picks: Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire


The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is at New Hampshire Motor Speedway this weekend for the annual running of the Sylvania 300.

Loudon, NH will play host to 43 Sprint Cup Series teams who will be looking to cross the finish like of the 1.058-mile track first come Sunday.

This is the second of three first round races in the NASCAR Chase. Currently 15 drivers are competing for the remaining 11 spots in the second round. Brad Keselowski – winner at Chicagoland – is already assured of a spot in the second round.

Below we take a look at some Fantasy Picks for Loudon.

Five to Pick

Brad Keselowski – With wins in the last two races how can you not pick Keselowski anywhere? Keselowski is already guaranteed a spot in the Chase so he has nothing to lose here by going for broke. Expect Keselowski to do just that on Sunday.

Jeff Gordon – With a second place finish last week, Gordon is in good position to advance. His team has been working hard and heads to a track Gordon has won at three times in his career. Of course the negative people will point out that he has not finished higher than 10th since the fall of 2012. Don’t worry about those people though.

Denny Hamlin – We understand if there is apprehension about picking Hamlin. Truth is he has been up and down far too much and even the up moments have not produced wins. Still Hamlin has his crew chief back this week and is at a track which he has 11 top ten finishes in 17 races. JGR appears to be turning the corner and that can only mean good things for all of its drivers.

Jimmie Johnson –  He has three career wins here and one on Sunday would push him though to the second round. Johnson is not done winning this year and expecting him to duplicate his 42nd place run due to a crash earlier this year is wishful thinking. Prior to that he had finished seventh or better in the last four events.

Kyle Larson– If there is one thing I hate about the Chase it is that people like Kyle Larson who missed it are left to battle for 17th. Larson led 14 laps when the Cup Series was at New Hampshire earlier this season and finished third. If there is one driver who missed that Chase that I am counting on winning before the end of the season it is Larson.

Three to Avoid

kaseykahnepoconoKasey Kahne – Kahne raced his way into the Chase with a win at Atlanta. Good thing because he was 17th a week later at Richmond. To open the Chase he was 13th. While the rest of Hendrick Motorsports is mowing down the wins, Kahne is simply filling the field.  Sure he has won here once in the past but Kahne is simply too much of a risk to choose at this point. If you are down to drivers and races left, you may want to gamble on him here but do not be surprised if he pulls off another ho-hum run.

Clint Bowyer  – There was a point where I would strongly have said to pick Bowyer here. He has good overall numbers but the truth is Bowyer has been up and down like a ping pong ball in recent weeks. Parts failures, crashes and just poor efforts have really taken its toll on the No. 15 team.

Aric Almirola – Far too much attention was given to him last week when his motor blew up. Then again he was the first Chase driver to exit the race. He is expected to be in the first group of four eliminated because he simply does not win races. His best career finish at Loudon is fifth from the spring of 2013. Aside from that he has never finished higher than 18th.