NASCAR Preview

Last Updated Sunday, Jul 4, 2010 2:47 am, EDT

Race Capsule

New Hampshire Motor Speedway
  • What:

    Race 16 of 35 on Nationwide circuit

  • Where:

    New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon, NH

  • When:

    June 26, 2010 3:46 pm EDT

  • Laps:


  • Track Length:

    1.058 miles

  • Race Length:

    212.00 miles

  • Purse:


Drivers to Watch

Brad Keselowski Keselowski will be making his first Sprint Cup start at Indianapolis. "You can't go to the Brickyard without thinking about what the track means not only to NASCAR but to auto racing in general," said Keselowski. "Being from the Midwestern section (Rochester Hills, Mich.) of the country myself, I always looked to the spectacle of the Indianapolis 500 and wondered what it would be like to compete there."
Carl Edwards Edwards has no wins, one top-five (second in 2008) and two top-10 finishes in five starts at Indianapolis. He was 15th last year. "After a second-place finish at Chicago, I feel really good about our chances at Indy," Edwards said. "The new FR9 engine will be huge there, and the guys have worked on that a lot. We've run second there before, and I can only imagine what it would feel like to win there. For us, we're going there to go for the win, and at the very least we hope to build a bigger cushion on 13th in the points (he's 74 points ahead). Right now we've got some good momentum that we'd like to continue."
Kevin Harvick Harvick started on the pole and led 33 laps to win the Brickyard 400 in 2003. That is his only win there; in nine starts he has three top-five finishes and six top-10s. He finished sixth in this race last year after finishing 37th in 2008 and has three top-10 finishes in his last four Indianapolis starts. "Indy has a lot of tradition," Harvick said. "It's one of those places where everybody wants to win. It's the second place that you check off in the year that you want to try to win the race next to Daytona. We've been fortunate to win there and know what that feels like. And (after) growing up as a fan of IndyCars and really wanting to race open-wheel cars ... to be able to win there and just to compete there is pretty cool. Track position is pretty key there. Obviously, you need to have a fast car, and usually Indy is the place where everybody brings out all their new stuff to try to take that next step on performance, and hopefully we do that. I know we have a plan to do that and I think we will. You car has got to turn, but you've got to be able to lay the throttle down and still maintain grip up off the corner."
Kyle Busch Busch has no wins, one top-five finish (fourth in 2007) and three top-10s in five starts at Indy. He was 38th last year and 15th in 2008. "It's a very difficult track to master," Busch said. "I'm not even sure that I've done it. Just racing the races I've run there, I've finished well a couple of times. I think I've had a seventh and a 10th and a fourth. To me, it has been one of those race tracks that is very unforgiving. It's narrow, tight. Not a lot of passing goes on there. It's tough to get your car set up perfectly there, so you have to do what you can to make it the best you can. All four corners being so different, remembering exactly how to drive all four of them and just trying to be able to be able to qualify up front and to race up front is so important there. It's very tight down the straightaways. You roll through (turn) one and (turn) two, and there are people on the inside, there are people on the outside, there are people in the grass, just sitting along the back straightaway on the inside. You've got the golf course there and fans sitting on the hills underneath the trees. You start back up into turn three, with the grandstands going around (turn) three and (turn) four, and then down the frontstretch and, again, there are two tunnels. There's a tunnel at the (turns) one and two side and on the (turns) three and four side. There's a center road that runs all the way through, and then coming down the frontstretch again, looking on both sides of you, you've got the pit road, which is really narrow and really tight, and the grandstands on the inside and the outside, so you're going down a 'V' of just people -- a sea of people. Coming to the Pagoda and the media center, the way it is, and of course the scoring pylon being as tall as it is, you come down there and, if you're leading the race, sometimes you can't see that high, so you're kind of wondering who is second and third or who is behind you. It stinks when you're running in the back because you can see yourself right there."
Joey Logano After having to start at the back of the field after an engine change, Logano raced his way to a 12th-place finish in his Indy debut a year ago. "Indy is a tough place to pass -- that I remember well," said Logano. "I finished 12th but did all my passing on the restarts and luckily had a good enough car to do that. I am sure qualifying is going to be really important again."
Paul Menard Menard has not finished better than 20th in his three starts at IMS. "I never take for granted the fact that I'm racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway," said Menard. "I grew up racing in Indiana and the Indianapolis area. This is definitely the one race on the schedule that I keep my eye on, and it's definitely one of my favorite venues."