Track position key for NASCAR Cup Series drivers in Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at NHMS


Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski racing into the turns at NHMS (Matthew Wiernasz Photo)

LOUDON, NH (WWLP) – The NASCAR Cup Series raced at New Hampshire Motor Speedway this past weekend for the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301. On the NASCAR weekends, there is practice and qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series. The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour was the only division this weekend to practice, qualify, and race on Saturday. The track also did not have the PJ1 surface.

Denny Hamlin told 22News that the track position would be big on Sunday more so without the PJ1.

“I thought yesterday (Saturday) passing was a little more difficult because the lanes were slightly narrower. I think the track position will be big today for sure. Hopefully, we can keep it. We’re going to have some conditions here that are going to be treacherous at this track with no rubber on it, cold, clean. It’s going to be loose. You’re going to see a lot of sideways cars to start the race,” Hamlin said.

Kyle Busch is a multiple-time winner at NHMS. He talked to 22News about not having practice or qualifying.

“It’s not about whether or not we want it, it’s we’re not getting it. It is what it is and we just show up and run. With not having the practice time, it’s the same for everybody so we just try to come out here and for me, it’s remembering what I did two years ago because last year we only made 10 laps and crashed. It’s been a while since we’ve run a full race here,” Busch said.

Martin Truex, Jr talked to 22News about not having practice or qualifying this year

“It hurts everywhere to really get your car feeling the way you want it to, but it’s the same for everyone. It really just puts a lot more pressure on the engineers and crew chiefs to make the right decisions to have the perfect setup, which is very, very difficult. It’s hard to come up with that with just computers. There’s a lot of guesswork involved and a lot of things going off past history and trying to make good decisions based on that. It’s a big challenge for those guys and I don’t know that they get enough credit for what they’re able to do and the stuff they have to work on,” Truex, Jr said.

Brad Keselowski talked to 22News about how important Sunday’s race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway was to get into the NASCAR playoffs.

“This is an important race for us for sure. The closest thing we have left to Phoenix which of course is the championship race this fall. Development cycle things of that nature. Cars are already developing slower. Some of the rules have been implemented but still are always developing. This is a key race for us for sure. We feel like last year, we were really strong here. We have high expectations. Track will be a little different without having the PJ1. I am not sure that’s a bad thing. I think we saw some great racing yesterday,” Keselowski said.

Ross Chastain told 22News that not having practice or qualifying is the new normal.

“The biggest thing is a fresh track with rain since the Xfinity race. No new spray,” Chastain said.

Chastain would love to see two-day race events again.

“Two-day shows I feel like is the sweet spot. Three days up here, I remember those days and that’s unnecessary. I feel like if we come up Saturday morning. Practice, qualify, Saturday night, late afternoon, a late evening before it gets dark, and then show up Sunday and race. That’s a NASCAR weekend. We do need to be here I feel like more than just one day for our fans and have that weekend experience. Cup cars need to be on the track for more than one day. We have to give that to our fans and for us as competitors. We’re fans of the sport too,” Chastain said.

The NASCAR Cup Series will be back in action at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 8.

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