LOUDON, NH — It is hard to believe that we are only seven races away from the cut-off for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup playoffs. There are two drivers that may be getting desperate for a win to lock in a spot in the playoffs, and several more that are ready to make their move to the next level of the cup series.
Kevin Harvick has not been to victory lane so far this season, but I am sure that he is looking forward to New Hampshire. Harvick went to victory lane last year at New Hampshire, and he has two victories in last four races there and a total of three wins. He also has 11 top-five and 19 top 10’s in 35 races. Even though the results this year are not what was expected, Harvick is third in points and in great position to make the playoffs. I am sure the team would love to lock in a spot with a win this weekend.
The other team that is desperate for a win is the No. 48 team of Jimmie Johnson. Johnson hasn’t been to victory lane since 2017, and Loudon has been a good track for Johnson. The 48 team has three wins and has finished in the top ten four times in the last six races. Johnson’s playoff hopes are still hanging on by the slimmest of margins, he is currently in 15th place in the point standings.
Probably the driver who is looking for a win the most is Kyle Larson. Larson is the driver that most fans believed would make a move to be a top tier driver this season, but it hasn’t panned out for the No. 42 team. Even though they have 3 top-five’s and 7 top 10’s the season has been marred by 4 DNF’s. Expectations have to be high for this Ganassi team after teammate Kurt Busch picked up the win last week in Kentucky.
One more driver to keep an eye on this weekend is Denny Hamlin in the Fed-Ex Toyota. Hamlin has the best driver rating at New Hampshire at 102.7 with an average finish of 10.2, the best in the series. He also three wins, nine top-five’s and 14 top 10’s. He guaranteed his spot in the playoff’s by taking the win in the 2019 Daytona 500, but he has not been to victory lane since his win in Texas in April.
We will have a wrap-up of all the racing action on the Fox 4 Race Zone podcast available Sunday evening.