Look to Phoenix and Richmond when betting N.H.

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The 19th race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season takes us to New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and as is always the case, when races take place there we have to take a look at what happened in previous races on the year at Phoenix and Richmond.

Although all three tracks are configured different in size and shape, the common denominator between them is they’re all relatively flat.

The best reason to group the three tracks together is that the crew chiefs for teams doing well at one of the tracks usually bring the same chassis to each. If it’s a good enough correlation for them, it should be good enough for bettors to follow their lead at the bet windows.

Carl Edwards won the March 3 race at Phoenix and Kevin Harvick took the checkers at Richmond on April 27. Edwards has never won on New Hampshire’s one-mile paper-clip layout, but Harvick did in 2006, a year he also won at Richmond and Phoenix. Both should be considered solid candidates to win this week. Edwards finished sixth at Richmond while Harvick was 13th at Phoenix.

Jimmie Johnson won his fourth race of the season Saturday at Daytona to tie Matt Kenseth for the most this season, and is a three-time winner at New Hampshire. He swept the two races during the 2003 season and also won in 2010.

Johnson was runner-up to Denny Hamlin last fall, as well as finishing second to Edwards at Phoenix in March. Right now, despite Edwards and Harvick winning at Phoenix and Richmond this season, Johnson is the driver to beat on any track.

Hamlin’s New Hampshire win last fall was his second and he fits the mold of being a driver very adept at all three tracks. He also won at Phoenix last season and has two career wins at Richmond.

Hamlin has struggled lately, but this is a track that should get him back on his game. His 7.9 average finish in 14 New Hampshire starts is best among all active drivers.

The best longshot on the board looks to be Harvick’s teammate Jeff Burton at 40-to-1. He’s a four-time winner at New Hampshire, the last coming in 2000 while driving for Jack Roush. He was 10th at Phoenix and fifth at Richmond.

Micah Roberts is a former Las Vegas race and sports book director, and longtime motorsports columnist and sports analyst at GamingToday. Follow Micah on Twitter @MicahRoberts7 Contact Micah at [email protected].

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