If last week’s eventful race at Chicagoland Speedway proved anything, it is that no Chase contender is safe from the threat of elimination – unless they win.
Winner @dennyhamlin will rest easy as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series prepares for the second race of the playoffs held at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The remaining 15 drivers, however, will be fighting to keep their championship hopes alive.
Today, will another Chase driver clinch his spot in the upcoming Contender Round? Here are some interesting stats to consider before the green flag drops.
• A Chevrolet has failed to win at New Hampshire in six events. Their last victory here came in 2012 with @KaseyKahne. The manufacturer is currently in a 10-race winless streak this season. Can the bowtie crew defy the odds and return to Victory Lane this weekend?
• @KevinHarvick is 22 points from 12th place in the point standings. With two races left before elimination, New Hampshire is statistically his best shot for a victory. He has one previous victory here (2006). In addition, his last two starts each resulted in a third place finish and a total of 163 laps led. He begins second today.
• Perhaps one of the best at the 1.058-mile track is @JimmieJohnson. In 27 starts the No. 48 team has amassed three wins, 18 top-10s, and an average finish of 10.7 that ties Denny Hamlin for second best. However, his last five starts have been inconsistent. The team collected three top-six finishes, but also two finishes of 22nd or worse.
• Brad @keselowski has the best average finish at New Hampshire, 10.2, along with eight top-10s in 12 starts. His first victory here came last year after leading 138 of 305 laps. Could Keselowski grab a second victory today? He will start fourth.
• Among active drivers, there is a five-way tie for most wins at New Hampshire – three. Four of these drivers are in the Chase: @KurtBusch, @JeffGordonWeb, Johnson, and @RyanJNewman. However, four other Chase drivers trail behind them with two victories: @ClintBowyer, @KyleBusch, Hamlin, and @joeylogano. These eight drivers collectively have won 20 of the venue’s 41 NASCAR Cup races.
• Gordon is the only driver to have raced in every event at Loudon. If he finishes on the lead lap in his 42nd start today, he will have completed more than 12,000 laps and nearly 13,000 miles.
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