Driver Handicaps: New Hampshire

Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon

Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon both have three victories at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. (Photo: Getty Images)

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MotorRacingNetwork.com’s Pete Pistone takes a look at some of the field for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Who's HOT at New Hampshire

Jeff Gordon: Best average finish over the last 10 races in Loudon at 7.5. Gordon has two straight top-10 runs to his credit, including a sixth-place finish at New Hampshire back in July.

Tony Stewart: The defending race winner, Stewart finished first and second in his two previous outings before a 12th-place effort in the summer race. Owns an 8.4 average finish in last 10 starts.

Denny Hamlin: Looked like he had the July race all sewn up until a pit road miscue and miscalculation relegated the Joe Gibbs Racing driver to a second-place finish. Has "guaranteed" victory this weekend via Twitter.

Brad Keselowski: The Chase point leader is looking for another good finish at Loudon to stay on top of the championship battle. Keselowski was fifth in July and came home second in last year's Sylvania 300.

Kasey Kahne: Looking for a 2012 Loudon sweep after the Hendrick Motorsports driver won the season's first race in New Hampshire. Kicked off his Chase with a solid third-place effort in Chicago.

Who’s NOT

Paul Menard: Don't look for the recent struggles by the Richard Childress Racing No. 27 team to disappear this weekend, based on previous New Hampshire outings. Menard has a 25.5 average finish in 10 track starts.

Marcos Ambrose: The transition to new crew chief Mike Ford might be under more pressure in New Hampshire where Ambrose has not fared well during his Sprint Cup career. One top-10 finish in seven starts.

Juan Pablo Montoya: The "Magic Mile" has been anything but for the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing driver. Montoya's best finish came in 2009 with a third-place result, but he has four runs outside the first 25 dating back to 2007.

Matt Kenseth: After a tough start to the Chase when he lost a shock, Kenseth will have to rebound at a track where he only has two top-10 efforts in his last 10 starts.

Jeff Burton: A former New Hampshire winner but that seems a lifetime ago. The RCR driver hasn't finished inside the top five at Loudon since 2008.

Keep an Eye On at New Hampshire

Brian Vickers:
Returns to the Michael Waltrip Racing No. 55 Toyota, where he has been more than impressive in a limited schedule this season. Vickers was fifth in last year's Sylvania 300.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Had a solid fourth-place performance in the July race. Junior has four Loudon top-10 finishes, dating back to 2007.

Joey Logano: A top 10 at Chicagoland to kick off his final Chase schedule for Joe Gibbs Racing. The Connecticut driver is hungry for a second career home track win.

Greg Biffle: Two straight top 10's at New Hampshire. Biffle needs a good outing after a mediocre Chase opener at Chicagoland.

Jimmie Johnson: Has not been strong at Loudon in recent outings, but has only two finishes outside the top 10 in his last 10 starts.

Photos

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