The 20th race of the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series schedule takes us to New Hampshire Motor Speedway’s flat one-mile paper-clip layout for Sunday’s Foxwood’s Resorts Casino 301. It’s the first time since 1996 the New England track will have only one race on the season after owner Speedway Motorsports Inc. moved one of its regular two dates to Las Vegas.
I love having two races in Las Vegas and the Sept. 16 race in town to kick off the Playoffs is going to be incredible. Still, I love the type of racing New Hampshire produces, mostly just because it’s different. Another reason is because I’ve always done very well betting New Hampshire races and the method to securing a winner is simply to analyze what happened in previous races on the season at Phoenix and Richmond, which are both flat tracks at almost the same distance. The cars that do well on either of those tracks always do well at New Hampshire.
So let’s refresh ourselves quickly on what happened March 11 at Phoenix and April 21 at Richmond, with more relevance placed on the later date just because it’s fresher. Kevin Harvick won at Phoenix like he always does followed by Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin and last week’s winner Martin Truex Jr. Kyle Busch would win at Richmond with Elliott finishing second, Hamlin third followed by Joey Logano and Harvick. Truex would lead the most laps (132) but finished 14th.
Do you see anything that stands out there in that equation? Yes, of course, the big three of Harvick, Busch, and Truex are prevalent. They’ve combined to win 14 of the 20 races on the season. It’s a nice three-way battle going with Truex winning three of the past six races on the schedule while Harvick has gone dry in the past seven races.
But I’m alerted to possible high-paying odds this week with Hamlin and Elliott. Yes, I’m wishing for it to happen, but if I can get 25-to-1 on Elliott and 15-to-1 on Hamlin, I’m very excited about the dream until it actually loses.
Hamlin is looking for his first win of the season and has three wins at New Hampshire in his career, the last coming in July last season. Elliott finished 11th in both New Hampshire races last season, but his set-up on these tracks this year is much better. He’s garbage on the 1.5s this season, but a contender on the flat tracks.
Clint Bowyer is a two-time winner at New Hampshire and has been at his best on flat tracks. He’s a two-time winner this season and has been the only driver to consistently give the big-3 some competition. You should be able to get 18-to-1 or higher on him.
One last thing regarding the Sept. 16 race at Las Vegas, called the South Point 400. The South Point sportsbook posted odds to win it over the weekend with the March Vegas winner Harvick as the 5-to-2 favorite followed by Busch and Truex at 7-to-2.