Xander Predicts: New Hampshire Motor Speedway
By: Xander Clements
Date: September 18th, 2010
This week NASCAR heads to the rough 1.0 mile race track that brings NASCAR short track racing together with the New England clan of states. This track may not seem like a beatin' and bangin' track from its statistics, but it sure provides with its flat surface and normally one-lane racing. Is there anything wrong with the track then if it is only one-lane? Of course not. It just brings more action for the fans with all 43 drivers having to battle for one spot in the turn on the track. This was proved back in the Spring with the Lenox 301 as drivers Kurt Busch and Jimmie Johnson both used the bump-and-run move on each other in the closing laps of the race, giving the fans their moneys worth and then some in less than 15 miles of the 301 total. Another funny statistic to look at from the race is that every since they added the extra-mile in the race length they had never used it up until 2010 with the weather being the deciding factor in the races.
This year has provided great racing with now the three attempts at a green white checkered finish added with the "Have at it boys" phrase has produced a great ammount of positive feedback from the fans from many of the tracks where you can come anywhere, which means New Hampshire can only get better. Even though we did not have to go into over-drive back in the Spring, the odds of the race having to use it this time around have nearly doubled after the crazy racing we have had so far in the season combined with the start of the chase. Remember, the top twelve drivers now after being reset have only a mere sixty points between them means every position and every lap will count towards the championship. This is why my prediction this week is that we will at least use one of the attempts in the new set of G-W-C rules introduced in the pre-season for 2010.
However, a prediction isn't a prediction without a look into the finishing order. Here is from what I saw in my look into the future. I am not sure if this will be the exact order, but I believe Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch, and Kasey Kahne will AT LEAST make a top 10 finish. Consistency is the name of the game though, and even though I doubt that he will win, Jeff Gordon should probably also be able to pull off a top 15 finish from the way he has been running. Unless some of these drivers got some SERIOUS help in the speed column after they were locked in, I think Clint Bowyer should also be able to pull off a top 15 and maybe if he has a good day a top 10. Kevin Harvick was sure hot in Virginia last week, and even though I don't believe he will get a top 5, you basically have to have the points leader before the reset set up in your predictions because he wasn't able to get into that position by accident.
Predictions at New Hampshire are always tough by the nature of them, but with this being the first race of the chase and the top 12 drivers separated by only 60 points, the unexpected becomes reality. As said before, with everything put into porportion from the new rules of the 2010 year to the short track racin' from a 1.0 mile race track, it is a fan's race. In fact, NHMS nearly sold out this Spring and it is expected to fill the house today with every single person wishing for someone to knock off the reigning four-time champ, it may be that those requests could be heard. All of these reasons simply have one moral theme, "WATCH THE RACE AT NEW HAMPSHIRE!"