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  • Writer's pictureByrds

New Hampshire Flat-Out Weird

Like Dover, we're down to one race a year at New Hampshire. And that's probably fine.

Most folks' memory of New Hampshire Motor Speedway is fast boredom. Just over a mile, fairly flat, plays like Phoenix, Richmond, Gateway and even a little like Dover.

Tire wear matters, darkness matters (last year's race ended early for lack of sunlight), and not being Chevy has mattered for the last 15 or so years.

Aric Almirola won a rare race last year, but would have been caught easily by second place finisher Christopher Bell had the race been able to go its full length. Almirola opened last year at +8500, Bell was at +3100 52 weeks ago.

This race has been flat out dominated by Toyota & Ford for the last 16 tries. Only one Chevy has won, Kevin Harvick in 2016, who then won two more in Fords since.

Now, does history matter? Maybe not. The new Gen7 car is here, and every bit of modeling this year based on past behavior has been trumped by recent speed or performance.

History would tell you Harvick, the top Toyotas (Kyle Busch, Truex, Hamlin), and Ryan Blaney, still winless despite great speed in 2022.

Blaney is as expensive as +600 this week, a pricey favorite. A year ago, +1800. This week's price doesnt feel right. He's never won here, but always run well. Oddly, dominators, the guys who lead the most laps in the race, have rarely won at New Hampshire, despite the lack of multi-groove racing.

The Toyotas have been nothing but inconsistent all year. Kyle Busch has a pair of wrecks and mid-30s finishes his last two trips here, and Truex has never won here.

On the flat tracks? Hendrick Chevys totally missed the setup on Phoenix and Gateway, but were pretty much all Top 12 at Richmond and won the smaller flat at Martinsville (Byron). Chastain & Reddick were fine at all of them, so does not appear that there is a specific Chevy hitch as this track style.

We've said Chevy has been horrible here of late. The only outlier? The current hottest driver in the Cup Series, Chase Elliott. He's actually cheaper now than he was last year to win this one.

Elliott is priced at +1000 at some books, and led 62 laps the last two races at NH. Chevy, combined, has only led 94 laps in the last five races. Good signs for Elliott and no one else. Qualified third last year.

Typical race will see 18-20 cars on the lead lap, fairly light on the wrecks and attrition.

Check the Discord for the full card, but the plays this week center on the guys above.

Bell to Win at +1800 before it moves, +500 or so Top 3 and -115 for the Top 10 at Barstool.

Bell is a cheat code here, or very well could be. Near-winner last year, won the last three Xfinity races here and the Trucks in 2017 for good measure. Bad news pit crew only real concern.

Harvick was a good deal for a Top 10 when it opened at Caesar at +100, but that's long gone. Could nibble on him as Top Ford around +550.

Like Cindric, Elliott and Bell as darts to qualify on pole. Super deep darts on Custer Top 10 and if he's in any matchups that hit the board. Ditto for Top 10 on Cindric as long as it stays cheaper than +175.

Like the early Elliott matchups and value for him in Top 5s in the +165 area.

Will watch qualifying and wait to buy Chastain in-play, if at all. While his raw speed all season has been epic, his record is very limited here. 8th place in 2022, and virtually no seat time in lower series.

Flat tracks aren't as predictable as the road courses, but there is a lot to like here.

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