Heading into this weekend’s Chase for the Championship race at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Brad Keselowski leads Jimmie Johnson by a scant three points, and third-place Tony Stewart by just eight points.
Keselowski may wish the series was heading somewhere else, since the Penske Racing driver has never won at the one mile oval in Loudon, New Hampshire. Jimmie Johnson, on the other hand, has racked up three Sprint Cup wins in New Hampshire, including a victory at the Sylvania 300 in September of 2003.
Tony Stewart also has three first-place Sprint Cup finishes at Loudon, including the one he earned at last year’s Sylvania 300. Look for Smoke to do all he can to stretch his lead over Denny Hamlin, Kasey Kahne and Clint Boyer, all of whom have accumulated 2,041 points in the Chase.
Kahne won at New Hampshire earlier this year, at the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 in July, so the Hendrick Motorsport driver will look to capitalize on his earlier success. So will Jeff Gordon, who currently trails the Chase for the Championship standings but has earned three career races wins in Loudon.
Sunday’s weather forecast calls for temperatures in the high 60s, with a chance of morning showers. That may delay the 1:00 start of Sunday’s race, but we expect it won’t push it back by that much. If you’re watching at home, you’ll find the Sylvania 300 televised live on ESPN.