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June 21, 2024

NASCAR survivor pool: NASCAR.com’s 36 for 36 picks for New Hampshire


36 for 36 graphic.
NASCAR

NASCAR.com’s 36 for 36 continues at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

With 36 races and 36 full-time Charter cars, our players select one car per race, but there’s a simple twist: once they’ve made the pick, they can’t choose that car again for the rest of the 36-race season. Yes, that means every car will be selected exactly once … a survivor pool, by another name.

Follow along weekly as our panel of pickers — Dustin Albino from Jayski, along with Steve Luvender and Cameron Richardson from NASCAR.com — embarks on a season-long journey to think like strategists and prove their picking prowess.

We’ll also feature a fourth “community” 36 for 36 pick each week, as decided by fan vote on the r/NASCAR subreddit. Can the collective vote topple our trio of full-timers?

Current Standings:

  1. Dustin Albino: 408
  2. Steve Luvender: -6
  3. r/NASCAR Community: -31
  4. Cameron Richardson: -47

Race 18 of 36: New Hampshire

The inaugural NASCAR Cup Series race from Iowa Speedway provided a bounty of points for three of our four pickers. While Steve Luvender’s Zane Smith pick netted just six points, it was a 30-plus-point day for the rest of the panel. The r/NASCAR community went with Brad Keselowski, who posted a respectable 10th-place finish, while Dustin Albino’s selection of Christopher Bell, the fourth-place finisher, was enough to boost him into the points lead. Cameron Richardson had the best day of the four — a much-needed one — after a 36-point afternoon for Joey Logano.

Now, NASCAR heads to a slightly bigger and much flatter track in the land of granite and lobster. New Hampshire marks the end of the season’s first half, the ideal time for our 36 for 36 pickers to take inventory and start thinking about how they’ll handle the final 18 races.

Jayski’s Dustin Albino: No. 22, Joey Logano
A general 36 for 36 graphic of Dustin Albino's New Hampshire selection.

Dustin’s pick last week: No. 20, Christopher Bell (33 points)

Total season points: 408 (first place)

Dustin: There is a new points leader in town, so we’re looking to keep up that momentum at New Hampshire. Logano is on the upswing as well, having scored his second- and third-highest points totals of the season over the last three races. Both came at shorter, flat tracks, a discipline at which Team Penske excels. The No. 22 team has three top-five finishes spanning the last four races at New Hampshire, including a runner-up finish last year. Look for Logano to be a threat to win on Sunday as his two Penske teammates have won the last two tracks on an oval that had similar characteristics to New Hampshire.

NASCAR.com’s Steve Luvender: No. 20, Christopher Bell
A general 36 for 36 graphic of Steve Luvender's New Hampshire selection.

Steve’s pick last week: No. 71, Zane Smith (6 points)

Total season points: 402 (second place)

Steve: My intention was to save Christopher Bell for the playoffs, but my ego insists I retake my rightful throne atop the standings table as quickly as possible. CBell should do the trick: He’s won at New Hampshire in all three series — including in each of his three starts on the Xfinity tour — and he’s currently riding a wave of four consecutive top 10s dating back to his Coca-Cola 600 win. Look out, Dustin!

NASCAR.com’s Cameron Richardson: No. 19, Martin Truex Jr.
A general 36 for 36 graphic of Cameron Richardson's New Hampshire selection.

Cameron’s pick last week: No. 22, Joey Logano (36 points)

Total season points: 361 (fourth place)

Cameron: Can we count this as a home track for MTJ as well? In what may very well be his final performance in the Granite State, there would be no better place for Truex to break through in 2024. Truex has flat-out (no pun intended) dominated New Hampshire, leading 426 of 602 laps in the Next Gen era around the 1-mile oval. Truex loves fishing, so it’s only right for him to reel in one final lobster in Loudon.

r/NASCAR Community: No. 20, Christopher Bell
A general 36 for 36 graphic of r/NASCAR's New Hampshire selection.

r/NASCAR’s pick last week: No. 6, Brad Keselowski (32 points)

Total season points: 377 (third place)

The r/NASCAR community has selected Christopher Bell by vote.

From this week’s Reddit voting thread:

u/Extreme-Bite-9123: “New Hampshire is already one of Bell’s best tracks. Add in how good he has been on flat tracks this year (won Phoenix and should have won Gateway), and you have a week designed for us to maybe get full points.”

u/Dont_hate_the_8: “Should be pretty obvious, either him or Truex.”

u/FridgusDomin8or: “If Bell isn’t crashing out here then he’s basically guaranteed to finish top 3”

u/Boom_Confetti: “I know Truex dominated last year, so it’s tempting to take him, but New Hampshire remains Bell’s playground. His numbers are ridiculous: 1.5 average finish in Trucks, 3-0 in Xfinity, and [1] win here already in Cup. This is far and away Bell’s best track, there’s no reason to overthink this one.”

Check back next week to see how our pickers fared as the season-long 36 for 36 journey continues.

And, if you’ve got a competitive itch beyond meticulously managing your Fantasy Live lineup each week, feel free to save or print your own 36 for 36 sheet and see if you can beat our pickers and the Reddit community!

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