New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) is the site for today’s NASCAR Cup Series race. The one-mile flat track is all about track position, but in a smart offseason move, NASCAR moved away from the high-downforce package at short tracks. That means the 2019 race at New Hampshire should have little bearing on today’s proceedings.
Instead, we’ll look toward the 2016-2018 races where NASCAR ran lower-downforce packages with the Gen 6 car, giving more weight to more recent years. Additionally, this year’s race at Phoenix is also a good comparable race to judge driver performance.
With the qualifying draw all set, let’s look at some driver options for your DFS lineups.
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NASCAR at New Hampshire DraftKings Dominator DFS Picks
Aric Almirola‘s qualifying draw luck has been well-documented, and New Hampshire is a track that suits him well. He finished third in 2018 while collecting the second-most fastest laps. Previously, for mid-tier Richard Petty Motorsports, Almirola had a sixth- and fifth-place finish.
However, I don’t expect him to win, so some negative place differential is in order. He’ll need to lead a large chunk of the race to be worthwhile, and I’m not sure that happens.
Instead, the next two drivers in the order, Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott, have been faster in aggregate in 2020. Elliott tops the field in average green flag speed rank in 2020, while Hamlin has five wins in 19 races. Elliott finished fifth in 2018, while Hamlin won in 2017. Almirola, meanwhile, is ranked only 11th in average green flag speed this year.
The other two favorites to dominate have to be Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. Harvick has won three of the past five races at New Hampshire, and pulled off a second-place finish at Phoenix earlier this year.
Truex has four straight top-seven finishes at New Hampshire, including a dominant performance in the 2018 race. In 2017-2018 he finished between third and fifth in all three races at NHMS.
NASCAR at New Hampshire DraftKings DFS Value Picks
William Byron ($7900) – Byron may go overlooked when you see Erik Jones, Matt DiBenedetto and Jimmie Johnson starting behind him, but William may actually be the best driver on flat tracks of the group. He had the best finish and second-best driver rating among the quartet at Phoenix. Byron has been a stud at flat tracks throughout his development, with six of his 11 wins coming at the flat tracks, including four at the shorter variety.
Ryan Newman ($6600) – The flat tracks are Newman’s best track type, with six of his past seven wins coming on these tracks. That includes five at the shorter flat tracks, with two at New Hampshire. Of course, Newman is unlikely to win these days, but he still can put up strong finishes at these tracks.
Newman’s last two races at NHMS have resulted in top-seven finishes. He rolls off 22nd, giving him plenty of place differential potential.
Ryan Preece ($5600) – Preece is the epitome of the phrase “if it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.” Four straight DNFs, and seven on the year, have Preece sitting 30th in points. However, much of this was bad luck, and it serves to dampen his price.
Preece has been the 28th-fastest driver in 2020 despite limping around with a bad car at times. And the short flat tracks may just be his best track type. He pulled of a second- and third-place finish at NHMS in his two XFINITY Series races in good equipment, and backed that up with a win at Iowa and a fifth at Phoenix.
Speaking of Phoenix, Preece clawed his way to an 18th-place finish in this year’s Cup race at the track. If he replicates that, he’ll probably be in the winning lineup. Anything better and it’s an almost certainty.
Christopher Bell ($10,100) vs. John Hunter Nemechek ($7000) – If you just looked at their Cup careers, it seems like a no-brainer that you’d pick John Hunter Nemechek given the $3100 price difference while they start one place apart. At the short flat tracks, Nemechek has averaged a 25th-place finish, while Bell has averaged a 26th-place finish. Additionally, Bell has run only five spots ahead of Nemechek in average green flag speed at all tracks in 2020, and sits only one point ahead of Nemechek in the points.
However, Bell is an absolute monster at this track type. Eight of his 16 XFINITY wins have come at the short flat tracks, including wins in both of his races at NHMS. Extending his NHMS track record to the Truck Series, Bell has one win and a second-place finish.
Nemechek is a solid cash game play, which makes him playable in tournament formats as well. But Bell has some serious tournament upside at his best track type, and quite possibly his best track overall. With a driver like Preece out there that’s usable in tournaments, I don’t see much need for Nemechek. Give me Preece and Bell in tournament formats and fade Nemechek.