New Hampshire Motor Speedway–commonly referred to simply as Loudon–is the home to this weekend’s race, and it’s bound to be an interesting. Looking at the recent trends of this track, there tends to be two drivers that dominate for most of the race, and then another comes in to sweep away the win at the end. Looking at the last four races here and the number of laps led by the winner, we have: Kevin Harvick (8 laps), Matt Kenseth (38 laps), Matt Kenseth (27 laps), and Kyle Busch (96 laps). Don’t be surprised if strategy comes into play in a big way here on Sunday.
With just 301 laps scheduled, that means there will probably be close to 130 FPTS for fastest laps and 75 FPTS for laps led up for grabs on Sunday afternoon, the first number obviously depending on the number of caution laps. A heavy emphasis needs to be placed on dominator points this weekend, although place differential points usually come into play here at Loudon as well.
High-Dollar DraftKings Drivers to Target at Loudon (over $9,000)
NOTE: Kyle Larson ($9,700) is the “No Brainer” pick in this price range. He starts back in 39th and has one of the best cars in the field. I didn’t want to waste your (or my) time by writing a full section about him.
Martin Truex, Jr. ($10,300) – It’s unfortunate that Martin Truex, Jr. has such an ugly race car this weekend because we’re going to be seeing a lot of it. The biggest component of being fast at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is being able to roll through the corner, and pretty much every team was pointing at that #78 Toyota on Saturday as the car who did that the best. Truex led 123 and 141 laps in the two races here at Loudon last season and it honestly wouldn’t be that surprising to see him surpass that amount here on Sunday. There’s a little bit of risk considering he’s starting from the pole, but the #78 Toyota is, by far and away, the car to beat heading into race day. Unless something major happens, Truex will score the most points in DraftKings this weekend.
Chase Elliott ($9,100) – From a base FPT-per-dollar perspective, I have Chase Elliott projected as the 3rd-best value in that category, and that’s saying a lot considering he’s $9,100 in DraftKings this weekend. However, the #24 team is starting to get on a roll here as of late, and they brought a hot rod to the track this weekend. Additionally, Elliott qualified back in 11th, so he has some pretty good place differential potential as well. The #24 Chevrolet was 4th-fastest on the Practice #2 speed chart this weekend and wound up 5th-fastest in Happy Hour. In terms of ten-lap average, Chase was 3rd-best in both of those sessions. He had some disappointing finishes in both races here at Loudon last season, but Elliott was a solid top 10 choice before running into trouble during those events. Don’t be surprised if the #24 car notches another top 5 finish in Loudon on Sunday.
Mid-Range DraftKings Drivers to Target at Loudon (between $7,000 and $9,000)
Ricky Stenhouse, Jr, ($7,400) – Don’t forget that Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. was a master at flat tracks during his reign in the Xfinity Series. It’s not a lot of fun picking the same drivers week in and week out, but when you have a guy that consistently performs at the level that Stenhouse is, you kind of just have to roll with the hot hand. The #17 Ford will roll off the grid from 18th when the Overton’s 301 goes green on Sunday afternoon, but Stenhouse should wind up closer to the top 10 when it’s all said and done. He came home 10th in this race one year ago and has finished between 9th and 17th in four of the last six races here at Loudon. As far as similar tracks go, Martinsville and Richmond are relatively close, and Ricky came home 10th and 4th in those two races this year.
Austin Dillon ($7,000) – A lot of DraftKings players will inherently gravitate toward Ryan Newman ($7,300) this weekend and completely forget about his teammate, Austin Dillon. And while that definitely makes sense–Newman is a three-time winner here and has finished 11th or better in three of the last four Loudon races–it’s not a guarantee that the #31 Chevrolet finishes better than the #3 car. And with Austin Dillon starting a couple spots worse than Newman on Sunday (26th compared to 24th), there’s actually a little more upside with taking the older Dillon brother. Looking at Austin’s record at this track, he has made six career starts here and has just one finish worse than 16th. That’s pretty solid for a guy priced at $7,000 in DraftKings this week.
Low-Dollar DraftKings Drivers to Target at Loudon (under $7,000)
Paul Menard ($6,500) – I have Menard projected to earn more base FPTS than both Trevor Bayne and Aric Almirola this weekend, and he comes at a cheaper price, so that’s two positives right off the bat. Menard, like his Richard Childress Racing teammates, struggled in qualifying on Friday and will have to start from back in 29th when this race goes green on Sunday. However, you can expect the #27 team to move up at least a handful of positions throughout the day, as Menard has finished between 15th and 19th in four of the last six Loudon races. Additionally, the #27 Chevrolet has wound up between 13th and 22nd in six of the last seven races this season. Menard was 22nd-fastest in Practice #2 on Saturday and wound up 23rd-best on the Happy Hour speed chart.
Danica Patrick ($6,200) – Don’t look now but Danica Patrick has now finished 17th or better in four of the last six races after coming home 15th at Kentucky last weekend. Apparently her luck has just turned around after the All Star Break. Looking at this weekend, Danica qualified back in 30th, but that’s a good thing for DraftKings players, as it limits the amount of damage she can do if she wrecks out of the race. An in addition to running pretty well here as of late, Danica also had a strong showing here at Loudon last season, posting finishes of 14th and 18th in the two races ran. That makes it three top 20s in the last five events here at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for Danica. Speed-wise, she practiced better than she qualified in both sessions on Saturday, so she should be able to move up some spots on Sunday.