NASCAR is heading to New Hampshire Motor Speedway this weekend, which is where the Crayon 301 race will take place on July 16. This is the first time this event bears this name – it was previously known as the Ambetter 301 and Casino 301. As you’ve probably figured out from its name, the race
NASCAR is heading to New Hampshire Motor Speedway this weekend, which is where the Crayon 301 race will take place on July 16. This is the first time this event bears this name – it was previously known as the Ambetter 301 and Casino 301.
As you’ve probably figured out from its name, the race is contested over 301 laps. The speedway is just over a mile long (1.058 miles to be precise), which makes it ideal for a certain type of driver. Christopher Bell, last year’s winner, for example, belongs to this category. Despite not winning a single race in roughly three months, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver is the No. 1 favorite to triumph at Loudon.
Martin Truex J. and Denny Hamlin are just behind him with the Crayon 301 odds of +700 each. Then, there’s Kyle Larson, the last driver with odds of under +1000. Among the notable dark horses is Chase Elliott, last year’s regular season winner who’s desperate for points in order to make the playoffs in 2023.
Martin Truex Jr
*Odds taken from FanDuel on Wednesday, July 12, 2023.
When, Where, and How to Watch?
Place: New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire
Date: Sunday, July 16, 2023
Time: 2:30 PM
How to Watch: FS1
Christopher Bell Looking for His First Win Since April
Christopher Bell is fourth in the NASCAR Drivers championship at the moment, but he hasn’t won a single race since April when he triumphed at the 2023 Food City Dirt Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. That’s also the last time he finished on the podium.
Since that race, his best result is the No. 6 place at the 2023 Wurth 400 in Dover. The worst thing is that in the last two races, he finishes 18th and 23rd. Given how poor his recent run is, you might be wondering why bookies are giving him the shortest Crayon 301 odds.
The explanation is that Bell is the right driver for these sorts of races, and the proof of this is that he’s the reigning champ at Loudon. His Toyota passed the finish line before anyone else in 2022, while a year earlier, we saw him finish just behind Aric Almirola.
Chase Elliott Needs a Win for a Playoff Push
Chase Elliott won the NASCAR Cup Series three years ago. Two years ago, he finished fourth in the standings. Last year, he finished fourth once again, but before that, he was the one who won the regular season.
In 2023, however, it’s still unclear whether he’s going to make it to the postseason. It’s because he missed seven races this season due to injury and suspension. Plus, since he came back, he hasn’t been too impressive. In the previous race, he finished 13th, although in the three events prior he was among the top 5 each time.
As Elliott is currently 23rd in the standings, he just needs to step up in the remainder of the season. Sure, the Crayon 301 isn’t his favorite race on the NASCAR calendar, but he has no other choice but to go for a win.
Crayon 301 Prediction
We absolutely agree with the bookies that Christopher Bell should be thought of as the top favorite. There’s one thing, however, that we don’t agree with them. We think Chase Elliott’s odds just have to be shorter. He’s one of the best drivers of his generation, so getting a decent finish on July 16 is very, very likely. Elliott might not necessarily win, but we can see him end up in the top 3.
Picks: Christopher Bell to win; Chase Elliott top 3 finish