What to Watch: 2023 New Hampshire


Crayon 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway
(⏰ Monday, noon ET | 📺 USA, NBC Sports App | 📻 PRN, SiriusXM)

Everything you need to know for Monday’s NASCAR Cup Series race in Loudon, the 20th points-paying race of the 2023 Cup Series campaign.

Weekend schedule | TV schedule | Weather tracker | New Hampshire 101

📍 Location: Loudon, New Hampshire
📐 Track length: 1.058 miles
🎟️ Buy tickets: Find weekend passes, seats for the race
💰 Cup Series race purse: $7,520,319
📏 Race distance: 318.46 miles | 301 laps
🔢 Stages: 70 | 185 | 301

🚨 Race postponed: Weather forces move to Monday; get details
🚪 Entry list: Cup Series drivers entered
📋 Starting lineup: Christopher Bell races to pole | See full recap
🚗 Pit stall assignments:
Where drivers will pit on Monday
🏆 Most recent winner: Christopher Bell, 2022

Key things to watch 🔑

Saturday’s sessions

Despite his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Christopher Bell capturing the pole position, Martin Truex Jr. looked most consistent during the afternoon’s practice and qualifying sessions. Truex rolled his way to P2 on both results boards, only bested by an incredible showing from Michael McDowell in the lone practice session. Nonetheless, Bell’s pole position should make him the driver to beat as the reigning track winner and already among the favorites to win this weekend. Aric Almirola, who was victorious in Loudon in 2021, will roll off P3 trailed by the Team Penske duo of Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney. Leading the charge for the Chevrolet camp is series points leader William Byron, who rolls off seventh. | Read the full practice, qualifying recap

Big story line

Which driver on the outside of the playoffs looking in will make the biggest statement? Plenty of drivers under the elimination line are searching for a massive win to lock their team into the Round of 16. But for a handful, there’s still a pretty significant points path to the postseason. Only one driver will reach Victory Lane, but others can do their best to maximize what they get out of the race. For instance, Bubba Wallace is only three points behind Daniel Suárez and Michael McDowell, leaving him slightly out of the playoff picture. AJ Allmendinger sits only 13 back from Suárez and McDowell. A big points day, or a faulty finish, from any of these drivers could swing the standings dramatically. And plenty of other drivers are in the mix, as well — including Chase Elliott, who’s surging up the standings after being sidelined for a handful of races. It’s going to be a fight to the finish, every single week. And just one win by a driver below the top 16 could change the entire outlook. | Check out the current playoff outlook

History tells us…

Christopher Bell will get back on track this weekend. Bell has been phenomenal at New Hampshire in the Next Gen era, finishing top two in both races, including a dramatic victory in 2022. Though he managed to ace the Bristol Dirt Race earlier this season, his recent results have left him sliding down the projected playoff standings. In his last eight races, Bell has six finishes outside the top 10, spotlighted by a 36th-place result at Kansas Speedway. The race could not come at a more ideal time for Bell, who has won at New Hampshire at every level of the NASCAR national series — once in Cup, three times in the Xfinity Series and once in the Craftsman Truck Series. He just knows how this place works. At a track that Joe Gibbs Racing has historically dominated, Bell will be a major focus and potentially contend for his second win of 2023.

He may not be the betting favorite to win, but watch out for…

Chris Buescher. At 70-1 opening odds, Buescher jumps off the page as a driver who presents incredible betting value this weekend. While Buescher has never finished better than 15th in his nine starts at Loudon, momentum might be on his side this time around. The No. 17 RFK Racing driver has six top-10 finishes in the last 10 races and is trending upward after a solid run at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Buescher has yet to find Victory Lane this year, though he’s proven he can win in the Next Gen era after a dominant 2022 performance at Bristol Motor Speedway. Like teammate Brad Keselowski, Buescher is currently in the projected playoffs based on points — so he should be trying to maximize his situation every single week. If you’re looking for a long shot, keep your eye on Buescher. | See complete list of DraftKings betting odds

Beef on the track? 🐄 🥩

In this week’s ‘Stacking Pennies’ episode, Corey and crew recount his on-track tangle with Erik Jones and talk about the aftermath.

Familiar favorites ⭐️

Our biggest pieces of the week — get covered for race day from all angles.

– At-track photos: Best shots from New Hampshire race weekend | Scroll through gallery
– Paint Scheme Preview:
Lovely paint schemes for Loudon weekend | Pick a favorite
– Power Rankings: Will Martin Truex Jr. check Loudon off bucket list? | Latest driver rankings
– Fantasy Fastlane: Vibes for Christopher Bell at New Hampshire | Fantasy Live plays, lineup advice
– Betting odds: See which driver is favored to win the race | Top bets, underdog picks
– Stacking Pennies:
Corey LaJoie recaps Atlanta and unwraps beef with Erik Jones | Listen to the podcast

💎 NASCAR 75: Learn more about the history of the sport, from pioneers to current stars | Visit NASCAR 75 hub

Hot off the press 📰

Key stories and breaking news from the week leading up to the race.

– Playoff Watch: How the 2023 postseason picture looks after Atlanta | Check out latest update
– Hall of Fame:
NASCAR reveals nominees for 2024 class | Johnson, Knaus, others
– Kyle Busch:
Been eyeing regular season championship since Race 2 or 3 | Watch interview
– Testing:
NASCAR officials postpone rules package test at New Hampshire | Read more
– NASCAR Foundation:
Teams with Martin Truex Jr. Foundation, AdventHealth to honor cancer heroes | Read more
– Sponsor news:
Trackhouse Racing, Chastain announce multi-year with Anheuser-Busch | Read more
– Kaulig Racing:
Team owner Matt Kaulig set to host charity golf tournament | Read more
– Davey Allison:
Remembering the star on 30th anniversary of his passing | Read more | Davey through the years
– Chase Elliott:
Set to compete in Xfinity Series race at Pocono Raceway | Read more
– Ryan Preece:
New Englander aims to build on New Hampshire memories | Read more
– Dale Earnhardt Jr.:
Hall of Famer launches new podcast series, ‘Becoming Earnhardt’ | Read more
– Garage 56:
NASCAR taking program to historic Goodwood Festival of Speed | Read more

Get in on the action 💰

Think you know NASCAR? Put your mettle to the test with gaming, fantasy and Fan Rewards.

– Fantasy Live: Participate in interactive gameplay from week to week | Choose your lineup
– Fan Rewards: New in 2023, get rewarded for your participation | Learn more
– NASCAR BetCenter: Don’t miss your chance to make picks each week | Visit the BetCenter
– Going the distance:
2023 Cup Series championship odds | See them here
– The Action Network: Early betting favorites for Monday’s race | Expert analysis

Landing in Loudon 🦞

From Rusty Wallace’s incredible rally to the iconic lobster celebration in Victory Lane, New Hampshire is filled with NASCAR memories.

– Winner, winner: All-time winners at New Hampshire | See the full list
– Do you remember?
Most memorable moments at Loudon | Relive them here
– Loudon legacy:
NASCAR racing in New England is centered around New Hampshire | Read more
– Race Rewind:
Christopher Bell ignites for winning run at the ‘Magic Mile’ | Watch highlights

Take some notes 📝

Five hard-hitting, race-relevant statistics, brought to you by the experts at Racing Insights.

Chevrolet has only won one pole position at New Hampshire since 2014.
Christopher Bell is the only driver under 30 to win at New Hampshire in the last 11 races.
A driver led 100 laps or more in 15 of the last 17 races at New Hampshire.
The final green-flag stretch was 83 or more laps in the last three races at New Hampshire.
Eight races during the 2023 season have had an overtime finish.

🔮 Advance to Victory Lane: Racing Insights projects Monday’s finishing order

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