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2011 Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway

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2011 Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway

2011 Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Logo Courtesy of NASCAR

2011 Sylvania 300 Preview:

Last week in Chicagoland Chaser Tony Stewart won the first Chase for the Cup race of 2011. Tony brings a ton of momentum into New Hampshire where he finished second earlier this year behind his teammate Ryan Newman. Stewart could make a strong statement with another top finish in this week's 2011 Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Tickets:

Speedway ticket office (603) 783-4931

The Track:

The 1.058 mile perfect oval that is New Hampshire Motor Speedway has only 12 degrees of banking in the corners. The straightaways measure 1,500 feet each to make this a true symmetrical oval. The corners feature variable banking from 2 to 7 degrees. This is still relatively flat and passing can be difficult.

Race Distance:

300 laps = 317.4 miles

The Big Picture:

Kevin Harvick took over at the top of the Chase standings with nine races remaining in the 2011 season.

Tony Stewart's Chicagoland victory allowed him to jump from ninth in points up to second just seven markers behind Harvick.

The 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings:

  1. Kevin Harvick -0
  2. Tony Stewart -7
  3. Carl Edwards -10
  4. Kurt Busch -11
  5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. -13
  6. Brad Keselowski -14
  7. Ryan Newman -14
  8. Jimmie Johnson -16
  9. Kyle Busch -19
  10. Matt Kenseth -24
  11. Jeff Gordon -25
  12. Denny Hamlin -41

Storylines:

Stewart-Haas Racing ruled New Hampshire when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series was here in July. Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman qualified on the front row. Newman got a run on the outside in turn one and went on to lead the most laps throughout the day.

When the checkered flag flew Ryan Newman had claimed the win with teammate Tony Stewart closing fast on his back bumper. Tony probably had the best car in the closing laps but he ran out of time.

Tony had to wait until last week in Chicagoland to get his first win of 2011, but he may not have to wait long for his second. Is Tony about to take the Chase lead?

Media Coverage:

TV: ESPN Sunday, September 25th, 1:00PM Eastern.

Radio: MRN and SIRIUS Satellite

Actual Race: 2:00PM Eastern

Recent Events:

2010 Winner: Clint Bowyer

2010 Polesitter: Brad Keselowski

Last Year:

The 2010 Chase for the Cup started with a bang. New Hampshire Motor Speedway put on a rousing race with the 2010 Sylvania 300. The Chasers started the day racing three wide, bumped and punted each other out of the way at the end and finally pit strategy and fuel mileage decided the winner.

Tony Stewart was leading late in the race but ran out of fuel as he came to take the white flag. This left the win for Clint Bowyer who brought it home in front of Denny Hamlin in second.

Hamlin left New Hampshire as the points leader while Stewart fell all the way to eleventh.

Predictions:

An astute reader might have noticed a theme to this week's race preview:
  • Tony Stewart was fast here in 2010.
  • Tony Stewart had a fast car in New Hampshire in July.
  • Tony Stewart won the race last week in Chicagoland.
For good measure let me throw in the fact that Tony Stewart has two previous wins in New Hampshire (2000, 2005) and I don't think it will take a mind reader to predict who my top pick is for this weekend's 2011 Sylvania 300. Tony Stewart has to be considered the favorite this weekend.

For my backup I'm sticking to the Chase drivers but moving a but further back into the pack. Kurt Busch has three New Hampshire victories under his belt including a sweep here in 2004. Kurt lead 66 laps here in July and ended with a solid top ten finish. Kurt makes a great backup pick this weekend in New Hampshire.

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