Qualifiers raced well at NHMSStaff report
September 20. 2012 1:19AM
The numbers from NASCAR's July visit to New Hampshire Motor Speedway tell an intriguing tale leading into Sunday's race.
The second event in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, the Sylvania 300, will take place Sunday in Loudon at 1 p.m.
Back in July, Kasey Kahne won the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at NHMS. All nine of the top finishers that day went on to qualify for the Chase and will be in action at Loudon Sunday. (Related story, Page A5)
Furthermore, 12 of the top 13 finishers in that race would go on to make the Chase. Only Ryan Newman (who finished 10th that day) missed out.
The rest of the top nine were Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Brad Keselowski, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick and Greg Biffle. Martin Truex, Jr. and Tony Stewart finished 11th and 12th respectively.
Keselowski took the checkered flag last week in Chicago in the first of the Chase races.
In addition to his solid showing in fifth in the Sprint Cup race at Loudon in July, Keselowski had himself another nice day at NHMS the day before with a first place finish in the Nationwide Series F.W. Webb 200.
Harvick and Kahne also fared well in the Nationwide event, finishing second and sixth respectively.
While it is only the second race in the Chase, Loudon has consistently been an important stop for drivers hoping to win the crown.
On two occasions the winner of the Loudon Chase race has gone on to win the championship. In 2004 it was Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart became the second to do it last year.
NHMS has also consistently meant a good overall finish for its winners as nearly every one of them has completed a top 10 Chase.
Keselowski is the favorite to win this weekend.