NASCAR Racing for Magic at New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Cars racing in the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway 7-18-21
Cars racing in the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway 7-18-21 (Photo credit: YouTube)

The NASCAR Cup Series drivers are looking for some magic when they climb in their cars for Sunday’s Ambetter 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

The track is called the “Magic Mile.” Drivers and teams want that to be good magic not bad magic. The track is just over a mile in length and has very little banking through the turns. That makes handling a chore for the drivers and teams.

The magic the drivers without a win are looking for is to get one in the final seven races of the regular season. With three spots in the Playoffs not filled by a driver with a win yet, that could be the only way in.

The drivers with a single win are looking for the magic of a second win. If there are more than three new winners in these final seven races, a driver with a single win is not guaranteed a spot in the post-season.

The five drivers with more than one win want more wins. This just gives them a bigger buffer above the rest of the field of Playoff drivers throughout the post-season.

He is what the drivers and teams will be facing this weekend at the “Magic Mile.”

New Hampshire Motor Speedway Data
Track Size: 1.058-mile
Banking/Turns: 2 to 7 degrees
Banking/Frontstretch & Backstretch: 1 degree (each)
Frontstretch & Backstretch Length: 1,500 feet (each)

Ambetter 301 Data
Season Race #: 20 of 36 (07-17-22)
Race Length: 301 laps / 318.46 miles
Stages 1 Length: 70 laps
Stages 2 Length: 115 laps
Final Stage Length: 116 laps

Here are the top 10 active drivers in over-all driver rating at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Cup Series.

Denny Hamlin – 104.0
Brad Keselowski – 102.3
Kevin Harvick – 99.6
Kyle Busch – 98.1
Martin Truex Jr. – 94.8
Christopher Bell – 93.9
Ryan Blaney – 91.9
Kyle Larson – 90.6
Kurt Busch – 88.8
Tyler Reddick – 84.4
*Based on 2005-present among active drivers at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

These are the active drivers that have won on the “Magic Mile” in the NASCAR Cup Series.

Kevin Harvick4 Wins2019, 2018, 2016, 2006
Denny Hamlin3 Wins2017, 2012, 2007
Kurt Busch3 Wins2008, 2004 sweep
Kyle Busch3 Wins2017, 2015, 2006
Brad Keselowski2 Wins2020, 2014
Joey Logano2 Wins2014, 2009
Aric Almirola1 Win2021

When you look at the list of winners, history leans toward a repeat winner at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. That could benefit Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski or Aric Almirola. None of these three drivers have a 2022 win yet. Being that repeat winner on the “Magic Mile” would give them the playoff magic they are looking for.

However, this year has not seemed to follow trends very much. There have been five first-time winners in the Cup Series. There have been several young drivers that have won. There are several veteran drivers that would typically have at least one win by this point in the season that have not won.

There will be magic for every driver that starts the race Sunday. The only question is will it be good magic or bad? We will find out Sunday, July 17th starting at 2 p.m. central time (3 p.m. eastern time) in the Ambetter 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

By: Buck Stevens