NASCAR Hits New England – Lenox Industrial Tools 301
After another change at the top of NASCAR’s Sprint Cup standings in Kentucky last weekend the circuit heads to New England this week for the running of the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 on the mile oval at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Sunday, 1:15 Eastern, TNT).
Last week polesitter Kyle Busch led 125 laps in winning the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway. In doing so Busch rewarded his financial backers at Sportsbook.com with a payoff of +800.
David Reutimann, as a +6,000 shot, placed second; Jimmie Johnson, also at +800, showed third; Ryan Newman, at +3,000, finished fourth; and Carl Edwards, as a +700 co-favorite, came in fifth.
With the victory Busch took over the lead in the Sprint Cup points standings. He’s now four points up on second-place Edwards and 10 up on third-place Kevin Harvick. Kurt Busch at -18, Johnson at -19 and Matt Kenseth at -22 round out a very tight top six.
Last June Johnson led for just nine laps but those included the last two as he won the Lenox Tools 301. Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch, Jeff Gordon and Harvick rounded out the top five.
Then last September Clint Bowyer led for 177 laps, taking the lead for the last time when Stewart ran out of gas with two laps to go, on his way to winning the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire. Denny Hamlin, Jamie McMurray, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Harvick finished two through five. NASCAR later docked Bowyer 100 points after his car failed the post-race inspection.
Over the course of the last 10 Sprint Cup races at New Hampshire Gordon, with five top-fives, owns the best average finish at 7.4. Hamlin, with a win and three other top-fives, comes next at 7.6. Johnson, also with a win and three other top-fives, follows at 10.9. Stewart comes in at 12, and Jeff Burton follows at 12.9.
As of Friday morning Bodog.com is listing Johnson and Hamlin as 11/2 co-favorites on its Lenox Tools 301 betting board. Kyle Busch comes next at 15/2, followed by, among others, Gordon and Harvick at 8/1, Kurt Busch and Edwards at 11/1, Stewart at 12/1, Bowyer, Earnhardt, Greg Biffle and Kenseth at 20/1, Burton at 30/1, and Brad Keselowski, Reutimann, Joey Logano, Kasey Kahne, Mark Martin, Martin Truex, Jr. and Newman at 40/1.
Gordon has won three times in 32 career starts at New Hampshire, and finished in the top five 11 other times. So we like his chances at 8/1. And for a longshot we like Newman, who’s got two wins and 10 other top-ten finishes in 18 career starts at NHMS, at 40/1.
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