2020 NASCAR Cup Series preview: New Hampshire

The NASCAR Cup Series heads to New Hampshire Motor Speedway. It is the first time where only the Cup Series is racing during the weekend this season.

This kicks off a busy month for the Cup Series with two doubleheaders (Michigan and Dover). This will be the first time since 1998 where the New Hampshire race takes place in August. Also, this marks the third straight year that there will only be one race at New Hampshire.

In the past, the top contenders have won this race, and in the last two years, this has remained the case with Kevin Harvick winning.

Last year, Harvick held off Denny Hamlin for the victory as Hamlin could not catch Harvick despite taking two tires in an attempt to gain time. The rivalry between Harvick and Hamlin not only was prevalent last year but also will be in this year’s race.

In 2020, no one has been more dominant than these two drivers. Harvick is the overall playoff points leader in the standings with four victories and 12 top-five finishes.

Meanwhile, Hamlin is second in playoff points with five victories and 10 top-five finishes. He comes into this race with plenty of momentum as he won the night race at Kansas Speedway last week. It will be interesting to see which driver prevails in their long-running battle in 2020. Hamlin will start second and Harvick will start seventh.

Aric Almirola is the pole starter, another success in what has been a great last two months for him. After not finishing the race at Martinsville Speedway, he went on a streak of five top-five finishes in a row. After that, he followed it up with three more top-10 finishes, bringing his streak to eight. He finished 11th at last year’s New Hampshire race. Almirola is 11th in the playoff standings, the top driver without a victory in 2020.

Stages for Sunday’s race end on lap 75, lap 185 and the finish on lap 301.

TV coverage for the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 will start at 3:00 p.m. EST on NBC Sports Network. Radio coverage will be provided by the Performance Racing Network.

Starting lineup:

Pit stall assignments:

Goodyear tire notes: https://www.jayski.com/2020/07/29/goodyear-fast-facts-new-hampshire-3/

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