Chevrolet Sprint Cup Drivers Will Be Tough to Beat at New Hampshire

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COMMENTARY | This weekend, NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series heads to New England to visit Loudon, New Hampshire's New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the Camping World RV Sales 301 on Sunday, July 14. In 36 previous races at the 1.058-mile track, the dominant force has been the General Motors nameplate, particularly Chevrolet, which has won 18 races there (Pontiac won two during its stay in the series). Three of the following six drivers have won all of their NHMS races with a GM product - and still drive them - and the other three currently drive a "bow-tie."

Jeff Burton - Burton has four wins at New Hampshire, but all came under the guise of the "blue oval" - his Roush Racing days with Ford. Now a member of Richard Childress Racing and racing Chevrolets, Burton has 15 top 20 finishes in 17 races with RCR, including five top 10s.

Kurt Busch - Busch has three wins at NHMS, two in Roush Racing Fords and one in a Penske Dodge. These days, the 2004 Cup Series champ is driving a Chevrolet for Furniture Row Racing and having one of his best seasons in recent memory, ranked ninth in points and knocking on the door of the winner's circle many times since what seemed like a team turnaround at Charlotte in May. Busch and Furniture Row Racing are on a mission to make the Chase, and currently are on the upswing.

Jeff Gordon - Gordon made his Sprint Cup debut in the final race of 1992 in a Chevrolet, and has been racing them ever since at Hendrick Motorsports. Gordon won the first of three races at New Hampshire in 1995, with the last coming in 1998, but Gordon has still been a threat in most races at the track: he won the pole there last fall, and has just one finish outside the top 15 in the last 18 events. Gordon is currently 14th in points without a win, putting him outside the cutoff for the two Chase Wild Card spots.

Jimmie Johnson - Like Gordon, Johnson has been a career-long Chevrolet driver in Sprint Cup with Hendrick Motorsports, and, also like Gordon, has three wins at NHMS with a Chevy. In 22 races, Johnson has 15 top 10 finishes and an average finish of 9.5; last season, he earned two top 10 finishes there, including a runner-up finish in the fall. The current Cup Series points leader has four wins on the season and is tied with Matt Kenseth for the most wins so far.

Ryan Newman - Stewart-Haas Racing driver Newman has three wins spaced across three different manufacturers: one each at Ford, Dodge and Chevrolet, with the latest coming in the spring of 2011. Newman's statistics nearly mirror Johnson's: 15 top 10s in 22 races, with two 10th-place finishes there in 2012. Newman also routinely runs the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races at NHMS, and has two wins and four top 10 finishes in eight starts in the series. Newman currently sits 16th in points.

Tony Stewart - Newman's boss has three wins under two different GM nameplates - one with Pontiac and two with Chevrolet. Stewart's most recent win came in his epic run to the championship in September 2011, and last season he posted 12th and seventh-place finishes there; in 28 starts, Stewart has 17 top 10 finishes. He currently sits on the brink of the Chase in 10th place, just two points behind Busch for ninth.

Sources: "Statistical Advance: Analyzing the Camping World RV Sales 301," NASCAR Media, July 8, 2013

"NASCAR National Series News and Notes: New Hampshire and Iowa," NASCAR Media, July 8, 2013

Paula is a freelance writer and photographer specializing in motorsports. She also covers NASCAR at and Skirts & Scuffs.

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