2021 Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 Betting Preview
Last week, Kurt Busch delivered an upset style victory at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Busch held off younger brother Kyle Busch in the closing laps to cash a 30-1 winning ticket and earn his first victory at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The victory was also Kurt Busch’s first of the season and locked the #1 team into the playoffs with just 5 races remaining in the regular season. On Sunday, the Cup Series gears up for another opportunity for drivers to solidify their spot in the playoffs with the running of the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motorspeedway. The Magic Mile will provide the last short-track test of the regular season before the playoffs begin in September and considering the importance that short-tracks will have in the Chase; this Sunday’s race at Loudon will be important for all teams looking to find some extra speed in the closing weeks of the season.
The Cup Series has been extremely busy over the last several months with weekly events since Easter. Following Sunday’s race at New Hampshire, the Cup Series will enjoy a rare two week break as the Olympics take center stage. Afterwards, the Cup Series will return to Watkins Glen where the playoff battle will heat up with just 4 races before the Chase begins at Darlington. For this week’s solo stop at New Hampshire, teams and drivers will resort back to the 750HP (low-downforce) rules package that has been consistently used at tracks less than 1.5 miles in length. However, New Hampshire is a relatively unique track. Unlike the cookie cutter venues that dominate the Cup Series schedule, New Hampshire is an anomaly featuring a 1.058 mile extremely flat oval. There are not many tracks that compare closely to New Hampshire but I would describe it as an overgrown Martinsville.
The key to success this week will be a trifecta of handicapping angles that relies on prior track experience, driving style selections, and ultimately performance trends from the 2021 season using the 750HP rules package. Personally, I think this week’s race at New Hampshire will be beneficial for bettors. The last several weeks have been dominated by performances at bigger tracks with the 550HP package and road course races. I believe odds makers have developed a trendline from performances over the last several weeks that does not exactly correlate for every driver. For example, Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex have struggled in recent weeks. Truex had a solid bounce back effort at Atlanta with a 3rd place finish but that was the first Top 5 finish for the #19 team since Sonoma. Meanwhile, Denny Hamlin continues to lead the points in the Cup Series due to a dominant string of Top 5 finishes at the beginning of the season in 8 of the first 9 races. However, Hamlin has cooled off a bit in recent weeks with just two Top 5 finishes in the last 10 races.
For Sunday’s Foxwoods Resort Casino 301, I have Hamlin and Truex at the top of my list as drivers that should contend for the victory. Truex may be the sharper pick of the bunch considering he has never won at Loudon (New Hampshire). However, Truex has been really strong at New Hampshire in recent races and all 3 of his victories this season have come with the 750HP rules package. Truex’s long-run driving style is perfect for the type of racing we traditionally expect at New Hampshire. Meanwhile, I also expect Hamlin to be in the mix on Sunday as well. Despite having 0 wins this season, New Hampshire provides a great opportunity. Hamlin has 3 career victories at the Magic Mile and has performed best under the 750HP rules package this season. While many bettors will put focus towards the likes of Kyle Larson, Kyle Busch, and Kevin Harvick, the smart money should be on the likes of Truex and Hamlin who are in prime positions to capitalize on this circumstantial betting opportunity.
If you observe win (futures) odds for Sunday’s Foxwoods Resort Casino 301, we are obviously not getting the best value across the board. In fact, 8 different drivers have been listed at less than 10-1 odds early this week. While I wish there was better value, I think that confirms that odds-makers are not confident in the drivers that deserve to be the outright favorites this week. I would keep an eye on odds throughout the week because there should be some line movement and potentially better odds closer to race time. For now, I would also throw out one additional driver to keep on your radar in the dark horse option of Christopher Bell. Bell has been performing exceptionally well and it is going mostly unnoticed. Bell is an exceptional short-track talent and has the driving style to excel at New Hampshire. At near 30-1 odds, Bell is the best long shot on the board and should provide even better value in H2H match-ups once they are released later in the week!
Our official race picks have yielded profits in the last 10 of 13 weekends. Be sure to follow me at NASCARWagers.com for all official race picks for this week’s races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway