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2008 LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway

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2008 LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway

2008 LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Logo Courtesy of NASCAR

2008 LENOX Industrial Tools 301 Preview:

The 2008 LENOX Industrial Tools 301 is a key race in the Sprint Cup season. Teams battling for a spot inside the top twelve in points will start to feel the pressure as time is running out. Only ten races remain until the cutoff in September.

New Hampshire Motor Speedway will also host the first race of the Chase for the Cup. This makes this weekend an important practice opportunity for teams that expect to be battling for the Championship in September.

Tickets:

Speedway ticket office (603) 783-4931

The Track:

The 1.058 mile perfect oval that is New Hampshire Motor Speedway has variable banking in the corners but remains relatively flat. The straightaways measure 1,500 feet each to make this a true symmetrical oval.

Race Distance:

301 laps = 318 miles

The Big Picture:

Kyle Busch pulled a new trick out his hat last week by winning on a road course. He is having an incredible 2008 so far and continues to lead in the points.

At the back of the top twelve Matt Kenseth raced his way into twelfth bumping Kevin Harvick from a Chase qualifying spot.

The top twelve are now:

  1. Kyle Busch
  2. Jeff Burton -103
  3. Dale Earnhardt Jr. -152
  4. Carl Edwards -258
  5. Jimmie Johnson -326
  6. Jeff Gordon -367
  7. Greg Biffle -389
  8. Denny Hamlin -400
  9. Kasey Kahne -450
  10. Clint Bowyer -484
  11. Tony Stewart -500
  12. Matt Kenseth -516

Storylines:

The Race to the Chase kicks off this week. For the next ten races the focus shifts to the drivers battling to get, or stay, in the top twelve in points.

Matt Kenseth currently holds onto twelfth place by just two points over Kevin Harvick. Behind Harvick David Ragan, Brian Vickers, Ryan Newman and Martin Truex Jr. all still have a shot at cracking the top twelve.

Media Coverage:

TV: TNT Sunday, June 29th, 12:30PM Eastern.

Radio: MRN and SIRIUS Satellite

Actual Race: 2:30PM Eastern

Recent Events:

2007 Winner: Denny Hamlin

2007 Polesitter: Dave Blaney

Last Year:

New Hampshire Last year Jeff Gordon put on a great show but came up just short. Denny Hamlin beat Gordon to the finish line by less than a car length to win the 2007 Lenox Industrial Tools 300.

NASCAR was still testing the Car of Tomorrow at this point in the season last year. This suggested that they were on the right track as the 2007 version of this event continued the CoT's string of great finishes.

Predictions:

Jeff Gordon finished second in both races here last year. I know he has been having a terrible 2008 Sprint Cup season but this is a race track that he always runs well at.

Chevrolet drivers have won the last four New Hampshire races in a row and I think that trend could continue this week with the #24 team.

For my backup pick I have to go with one of the very fast Toyotas. Denny Hamlin won this race last year when he had a bowtie on the hood. Now 2008 has him driving one of the fastest cars in the garage. Hamlin has to be considered a solid backup pick.

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