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Will one of four Chasers get first Magic Mile win?

September 20, 2011, ,

After an exciting finish at Chicagoland to start the Chase, the Cup Series heads east to the track known as the Magic Mile. New Hampshire Motor Speedway hosts Race No. 2 in the Chase and there are four Chase drivers still searching for their first New Hampshire Cup victory.

Will one of four Chasers get their first New Hampshire victory?


Anyone who's made it into the Chase for the Sprint Cup can win a Chase race or anywhere.

At New Hampshire Motor Speedway this weekend, that list includes four Chase drivers who haven't won a Cup race there: Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Brad Keselowski.

Edwards and Kenseth have won there, in what's currently the Nationwide Series, so they know how to get it done.

Statistically, Edwards has the best shot. He was second there in his Truck Series debut. In Nationwide, Edwards finished first or second in his first three New Hampshire starts, with a worst finish of sixth in his first six. In Cup, Edwards had nine top-20 finishes, including a second and a third, in his first 11 starts.

Kenseth won and had three top-10s in his first five Nationwide Series starts and added a top-five and two top-10s in the other two. Kenseth once scored seven consecutive Cup Series top-10 finishes at N.H., but has struggled since the series went to the new car full-time, with a best finish of 17th.

Earnhardt had a top-10 in one of his two Nationwide Series starts, but made six Cup starts before leading a lap. He once scored three consecutive top-10 finishes and led 79 laps and finished fifth in one new car race.

Keselowski has four top-10s, including a second and a third in four Nationwide starts and was sixth in his Cup debut. Keselowski's performance of late makes his previous career moot.

Dave Rodman, NASCAR.COM

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

While it would be great to see Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr. or Brad Keselowski grab their first victory at New Hampshire ... I just don't see it happening.

I'm a trends guy, and the trends just aren't in their favor.

Edwards probably has the best chance based on three consecutive top-fives at Atlanta, Richmond and Chicagoland. But Edwards hasn't won since the third race of the season, and while he has been strong, it always seems something keeps him from finishing on top. Plus at New Hampshire, Edwards does not appear to be figuring out the Magic Mile.

After running out of fuel at Chicagoland, Kenseth is coming off back-to-back finishes outside the top 20. Momentum is not on the No. 17's side, and momentum is needed at New Hampshire. At the Magic Mile, Kenseth's last top-10 came in 2007, giving him seven consecutive finishes of 17th or worse.

Junior was all smiles coming out of the Windy City with a third-place run, but let's be honest ... he looks nowhere near a race victory. And it looks like the magic Keselowski had before the Chase may have cooled a bit as well.

We won't have a surprise winner at New Hampshire. Since the Chase began in 2004, the New Hampshire race has been won by a Chase driver. The best of the best rise to the top at NHMS, and for the four Chasers without a victory at the track ... their best chance at a victory will be next week at Dover.


The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Brad Keselowski are winless at the mile-long track and a win could propel all of their championship chances. But will one of them snag that elusive victory? Dave Rodman and Bill Kimm have their thoughts. Read theirs and weigh in with your own in the comments below. And don't forget to vote in the poll at the right.