2018 Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 Betting Preview, Odds and Predictions

by Rick Rockwell
on July 20, 2018
16

Minute Read

TL;DR

Here are the most valuable bets you can make for the 2018 Foxwoods Resort Casino 301.

  • Winner: Denny Hamlin (+750)
  • Betting Value: Kurt Busch (+3300)
  • Best Longshot: Jimmie Johnson (+6600)
  • Driver Matchups:
    • Jimmie Johnson (-115) over Suarez
    • Denny Hamlin (-120) over Larson
    • Kurt Busch (-140) over Almirola


On Sunday, July 22nd, NASCAR’s Monster Energy Cup Series will be live from the New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) for the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301. Located in Ledyard, Connecticut, the Foxwoods Resort Casino became the title sponsor of this event beginning in 2018 and will continue as the primary sponsor for the next few years.

This weekend’s event marks the 20th race of the season with only 6 additional races left until the Playoffs. The NHMS is a one-mile oval nicknamed “the magic mile” and located in Louden, NH. The race itself is 301 laps with the following stage breakdown:

  • Stage 1: First 75 laps
  • Stage 2: Laps 76-150
  • Final Stage: remaining laps 151-301

The Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 starts at 2 PM ET and will be televised on NBCSN.

Heading into New Hampshire

With only 6 races after the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301, the pressure is mounting for drivers to earn their first win of the season or to secure as many points as possible each and every week. Last weekend at the Quaker State 400 in Kentucky, Martin Truex Jr. completely dominated the 19th race of the season. He won the first two stages, the race itself, and led 174 of the 267 laps at the Kentucky Speedway. That marked Truex’s 3rd win in the last 6 races.

Denny Hamlin won the 2017 installment of this race, which marked the second time he’s won a Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 race in his career. Although he’s only 11th in the standings, Hamlin has a great chance to improve his overall position on the season with a strong showing in New Hampshire. Other storylines to watch this weekend are:

  • Will one of NASCAR’s Big 3 win again this weekend?
  • Will we have a first time winner at the NHMS?
  • Will Joe Gibbs Racing win this race for the 8th time?
  • Can Clint Bowyer make this a Big 4 again?
  • Will Toyota claim its 6th win in the last 7 races at Louden?
  • Will we get a previous winning driver take the checkered flag?

Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 History

The NHMS groundbreaking initially began in August of 1989, but the inaugural Monster Energy Cup race was not run until 1993, and won by Rusty Wallace. The racetrack was originally named the New Hampshire International Speedway, but it was renamed to the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 2008.

From 1993 to 1996, there was only won Monster Energy Cup race at this track. However, starting in 1997 all the way through 2017, NASCAR decided to run 2 races at the NHMS with one in July and one in September. Once again, as of 2018, NASCAR has gone back to holding just one race in New Hampshire with it being July’s Foxwoods Resort Casino 301.

Previous Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 Winners

As mentioned, the first race was run in 1993. This weekend’s event will be the 26th installment of NASCAR’s July race. The following is a look at the previous winners courtesy of Wikipedia:

Year Winning Driver Winning Race Team Winning Manufacturer
1993 Rusty Wallace Penske Racing Pontiac
1994 Ricky Rudd Rudd Performance Motorsports Ford
1995 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
1996 Ernie Irvan Robert Yates Racing Ford
1997 Jeff Burton Roush Racing Ford
1998 Jeff Burton Roush Racing Ford
1999 Jeff Burton Roush Racing Ford
2000 Tony Stewart Joe Gibbs Racing Pontiac
2001 Dale Jarrett Robert Yates Racing Ford
2002 Ward Burton Bill Davis Racing Dodge
2003 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
2004 Kurt Busch Roush Racing Ford
2005 Tony Stewart Joe Gibbs Racing Chevrolet
2006 Kyle Busch Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
2007 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Chevrolet
2008 Kurt Busch Penske Racing Dodge
2009 Joey Logano Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
2010 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
2011 Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
2012 Kasey Kahne Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
2013 Brian Vickers Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota
2014 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford
2015 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
2016 Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
2017 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

Jeff Burton holds the record with 3 wins in this race. However, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Kurt Busch can equal that mark if they win this weekend. There are 4 other drivers who can win this race for a second time and a host of potential candidates for first-time winners.

Joe Gibbs Racing is the all-time team leader with 7 wins, but Rous Racing and Hendrick Motorsports have 5 wins each. But, don’t be surprised if Stewart-Haas Racing picks up its second win of this race as they do have Harvick and Bowyer as their drivers.

2018 Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 Betting Odds

The following NASCAR Monster Energy Cup odds are courtesy of BetOnline:

  • Kyle Busch +250
  • Kevin Harvick +325
  • Martin Truex Jr +350
  • Denny Hamlin +750
  • Clint Bowyer +800
  • Kyle Larson +800
  • Brad Keselowski +1000
  • Joey Logano +1600
  • Ryan Blaney +2000
  • Erik Jones +2000
  • Kurt Busch +3300
  • Chase Elliott +3300
  • Aric Almirola +4000
  • Daniel Suarez +6600
  • Jimmie Johnson +6600
  • Jamie McMurray +10000
  • Ryan Newman +15000
  • Alex Bowman +15000
  • Paul Menard +20000
  • William Byron +20000
  • Matt Kenseth +20000
  • Austin Dillon +25000
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr +30000
  • Kasey Kahne +50000
  • Chris Buescher +75000
  • Bubba Wallace +75000
  • AJ Allmendinger +75000
  • Ty Dillon +100000
  • Justin Marks +100000
  • Blake Jones +100000
  • Matt DiBenedetto +100000
  • Michael McDowell +100000
  • David Ragan +100000
  • BJ McLeod +100000
  • Corey LaJoie +100000

Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 Betting Favorites

According to BetOnline, the following 5 drivers are odds on favorite to win the race in New Hampshire:

Kyle Busch (+250)

For the first time in almost a few months, Kyle Busch comes into this weekend as the sole odds on favorite to win the race. Typically, it has been Harvick as the favorite each week except for the occasional races where Busch and Harvick are tied. Currently, Busch leads the standings with 799 points due to his 5 wins, 3 poles, 13 Top 5’s, and 15 Top 10’s. Busch finished 4th last weekend in Kentucky, but has a great chance to take the checkered flag in New Hampshire.

Last year, Busch finished 12th in this race, but let’s not forget that he’s a two-time winner as he took the checkered flag in 2006 and 2015. He also won NASCAR’s fall race last year at New Hampshire.

Kyle has 26 career starts at NHMS and has 3 wins, 5 Top 10’s, 14 Top 10’s, and an average finish of 13.2. Kyle also has 4 poles and an average start of 10th. He’s finished 10th or better in roughly 54% of his NHMS races and has led 973 total laps.

Kevin Harvick (+325)

Harvick comes into this race tied with Busch at the top of the sport with 5 wins, but he sits in 2nd place with 740 points. Harvick has 3 poles, 14 Top 5’s, and 15 Top 10’s. Last weekend, Harvick finished in 5th place just behind Kyle Busch who he’s battling for the top spot in the Playoffs.

In 2017, Harvick finished 5th in this race. He has not won the July race yet, but has won the fall race at NHMS on two occasions (2006 and 2016).

In 34 career starts at this speedway, Harvick has 2 wins, 1 pole, 10 Top 5’s, 18 Top 10’s, 1 DNF, and an average finish of 13.5. Harvick has finished in the Top 10 for 53% of his career races at NHMS and has an average start of 12.9. He’s also led 706 laps as this track.

Harvick hasn’t won in 8 races, but he does have 5 Top 5’s in the last 6 races. Will he break his winless streak this weekend?

Martin Truex Jr (+350)

We already discussed Truex Jr’s dominance at Kentucky last weekend, but it’s interesting to note that he’s never won at this track. Coming into this weekend, Truex is in 3rd place with 689 points. He has 4 wins, 13 Top 5’s and 13 Top 10’s. He trails only Busch and Harvick for wins on the season and he trails only Busch for Top 5’s this year. Additionally, Truex leads the series with 4 poles so far.

Martin Truex Jr. finished in 3rd place for last year’s race and followed that up with a 5th place finish in the fall race on the same track. Of note, Martin did start on the pole for the 2017 race in July.

For his career, Truex has 24 starts with zero wins, 5 Top 5’s, 10 Top 10’s, 1 DNF and an average finish of 12.9. Truex Jr. has led 661 laps and an average start of 11.4 with 1 career pole.

Despite coming to this track ever since he was a kid, Martin Truex Jr. is still looking for his first career win at the NHMS. After getting his 3rd win in the last 6 races, 4th overall, can Truex Jr. win for the second consecutive weekend?

Denny Hamlin (+750)

Hamlin might be the 4th odds on favorite to win this race, but he’s currently sitting 11th in the standings with zero wins, zero poles, 6 Top 5’s and 10 Top 10’s. Last weekend, Hamlin was only able to muster up a 16th place finish and that was after starting 36th. He also has 3 DNFs on the year.

In 2017, Hamlin won the July race at New Hampshire which marked the 2nd time he’s won this race. Hamlin finished 12th in the fall race, but has also won that race 1 time (2012).

In 24 career starts at NHMS, Hamlin has 3 wins, 9 Top 5’s, 14 Top 10’s, and an average finish of 10.1. Hamlin has led 549 laps and has an average start of 10.5.

Out of the top 5 favorites for this weekend, Hamlin has the best average finish and is in desperate need of winning this race to secure his spot in the 2018 Playoffs. With only 140 points separating Hamlin from the Playoff cutoff mark, and the threat of a driver leapfrogging him with a win, Hamlin needs another strong showing in New Hampshire to keep his Playoff hopes alive.

Clint Bowyer (+800)

Bowyer comes into this race ranked 4th in the standings with 629 points. He’s won 2 races, 6 Top 5’s, and 10 Top 10’s. Unfortunately, he also has 2 DNFs on the year. Last weekend, Bowyer finished 12th at Kentucky after starting 8th. He’s only got 3 Top 5’s in the last 8 races and has been forgotten by many pundits and bettors.

Bowyer finished in 7th place for both of the New Hampshire races last year. Unfortunately, he didn’t lead any laps or score as many points as other higher ranked drivers in these two races.

For his career, Bowyer has 24 starts at NHMS with 2 wins, 4 Top 5’s and 9 Top 10’s. He has an average finish of 15.9, which puts him as the lowest average finish out of the top 5 favorites this weekend. Bowyer has an average start of 16th and has led 516 laps.

Bowyer has already cemented his spot in the 2018 Playoffs. However, he could use a strong showing this weekend in order to get some momentum during the final weeks of the regular season.

Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 Best Value Bets

Kurt Busch is my pick for the best betting value this weekend. At +3300 odds, I really like what he has to offer especially since he has won this race two times before (2004, 2008). Currently, Busch sits 9th in the standings with 601 points, just 29 points behind 8th place Brad Keselowski. Last weekend, Kurt finished in 6th place, which is his 3rd Top 6 finish in the last 5 races. Busch bounced back nicely last weekend after crashing out in Daytona two weeks ago.

In 2017, Kurt finished 8th in the July race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, but finished 37th in the fall race after crashing out.

In 34 career starts, Kurt has 3 wins, 8 Top 5’s and 14 Top 10’s. He has an average finish of 16.2, 2 DNFs, and finishes in the Top 10 41% of the time.

After looking at those NHMS numbers, how can anyone not like this betting value? Busch is racing well in 2018 with an average finish of 13.4. I expect him to get at least a Top 10 finish this weekend and maybe even flirt with a late chance at the checkered flag.

Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 Betting Longshot

Jimmie Johnson (+6600), NASCAR’s 7-time champ, is certainly not having a great season so far. However, with that in mind, he is currently sitting in 14th place with 2 Top 5’s and 6 Top 10’s. Additionally, he does have an average finish of 15.5 on the season, but has also crashed out 3 times in 19 races.

Put that aside for a moment, and let’s just focus on Johnson’s success at New Hampshire. Last year, Johnson finished 10th in the July race and 14th in the fall race. But, it’s his career numbers at this track that will blow you away and probably inspire you to jump on his long odds.

In 32 career starts at NHMS, Johnson has 3 victories, 10 Top 5’s, and 21 Top 10’s. He has an average finish of 10.6, only 1 DNF which came in 2014, and has led 323 laps. In addition to that juicy career average finish, Johnson has finished in the Top 10 at staggering 65.6% of the time. Yes, those numbers are accurate.

That means that JJ finishes within the Top 10 two-thirds of the time he races at NHMS. I expect JJ to turn the heat up on the competition this weekend and get back to form. Look for Johnson to be one of the top cars this weekend.

2018 Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 Betting Props: Driver Matchups

Last weekend, we tried a NASCAR prop bet that included a group of drivers for which you had to pick the one driver that would finish the highest out of the group. This weekend, I’m going back to the one-on-one NASCAR prop bets as I really like the following driver matchups:

Daniel Suarez (-115) vs Jimmie Johnson (-115)

I’ve just stated my case for Johnson above, and it’s the reason why I believe he will win this driver matchup. Suarez is currently in 20th position, 140 points behind JJ on the season. Daniel only has 1 Top 5 and 4 Top 10’s on the year so far. Suarez also has just two starts at New Hampshire with both of them coming last year. In the summer race, Suarez finished 6th, but fell to 8th in the fall race. He has an average finish of 7, but an average start of 19.5.

Despite that nice average finish, he hasn’t had a Top 10 finish in his last 9 races this year. I find it hard to believe that he will nail a Top 10 finish this weekend. And, I’m willing to bet that Johnson does. Go with JJ in this matchup.

Denny Hamlin (-120) vs Kyle Larson (-110)

Now, I expect this matchup to be more competitive than the one above. I’ve already laid out Hamlin’s success at NHMS, and I think it gives him the slight advantage over Kyle Larson who is one spot higher in the standings than Hamlin by 22 points. Larson has zero wins, 2 poles, 6 Top 5’s and 11 Top 10’s on the season. Larson did crack the Top 10 at Kentucky, but only has 1 Top 5 in his last 5 races. I believe Hamlin is going to finish in the Top 5 this weekend, which means I’m taking him to beat Larson in this matchup.

In 8 career starts at NHMS, Larson has 4 Top 5’s, 5 Top 10’s, and an average finish of 10.5. He finished runner-up in both races last year. Like I said, this is going to be a tough matchup, but I like Hamlin’s chances to finish a few spots higher than Larson this weekend.

Kurt Busch (-140) vs Aric Almirola (+110)

On the season, Almirola is 13th in the standings, roughly 65 points behind 9th place Kurt Busch. Almirola has 8 Top 10’s on the year, but he’s yet to crack the Top 5. And, I believe Kurt Busch has a shot at the Top 5 this weekend, definitely the Top 10. Take a look at my Betting Value section to read my argument for Kurt Busch’s success on Sunday.

As for Aric Almirola, he has 15 starts at NHMS with 1 Top 5 and 2 Top 10’s. Not only does he struggle to finish high at this track, average finish of 21.3, but he also has poor starting positions as Almirola has an average start of 23.4.

I think this will be the easiest driver matchup of the weekend as Busch has more success and experience at New Hampshire, in addition to having a better 2018 season so far.

2018 Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 Checkered Flag

The Big 3 (Busch, Harvick and Truex Jr.) have won 14 of the season’s 19 races so far. They’ve won 15 of 20 races if you count NASCAR’s All-Star race. It’s hard trying to pick someone outside of these 3, but it’s also pretty boring picking one of these 3 drivers every weekend.

This week, I expect the Big 3 to finish in the Top 5. I also feel that Denny Hamlin will crack the Top 5 and possibly Jimmie Johnson or Kurt Busch. I also believe that Kyle Larson, Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski will round out the Top 10.

Here are the top sites we recommend for betting on the 2018 Foxwoods Resort Casino 301:

With that said, I believe this weekend’s win will come from a driver outside of The Big 3 and I’m looking at Denny Hamlin to be the man. But, don’t sleep on Keselowski who has an average finish of 9.8 and an average start of 11.5 at New Hampshire. As for Hamlin, he’s too good to go an entire regular season without a win. With an average finish pf 10.1 at NHMS, and having won this race twice before including last year, I like Hamlin’s chances to turn his season around and earn a Playoff spot this weekend.

Top 5 Drivers

(In no particular order)

  • Kyle Busch
  • Martin Truex Jr.
  • Kevin Harvick
  • Jimmie Johnson
  • Denny Hamlin

New Hampshire Motor Speedway Fun Facts

The following fun facts have been gathered from numerous sources including NASCAR, ESPN and Wikipedia:

  • The inaugural race was run in 1993 and won by Rusty Wallace
  • Jeff Burton has the most Foxwoods Resort Casino wins with 3 and the most NHMS wins at 4.
  • Jeff Burton is the only driver to have consecutive wins. He won 3 in a row (1997-1999).
  • Burton will also be calling the race this weekend for NBCSN.
  • Joe Gibbs Racings has the most team wins for the Foxwoods Resort Casino with 7. They also have the most wins at NHMS with 12.
  • Chevrolet and Ford have the most manufacturer wins with 8.
  • NASCAR’s top series has run 46 races at this track.
  • Matt Kenseth leads all active drivers with 36 career starts at NHMS.
  • 24 different drivers have won at NHMS, which includes both races.
  • Two drivers have swept both New Hampshire races in the same season: Jimmie Johnson in 2003 and Kurt Busch in 2004.
  • 6 of the 46 NASCAR NHMS races have been won from the pole.
  • The deepest position to win a race at New Hampshire was Jeff Burton at the 38th spot, back in 1999.
  • 5 different drivers have posted their first career win at New Hampshire. Of those 5, Logano, Newman, and Bowyer will be racing this weekend.
  • 5 drivers have won a New Hampshire race from the 13th
  • 54 different drivers have finished in the Top 5 for a NASCAR Monster Energy Cup race at NHMS.
  • Jeff Gordon holds the record for the most Top 5 finishes at NHMS with 16.
  • 4 Monster Energy Cup races have gone to Overtime.
  • Weather has shortened 4 races at NHMS and has also cancelled 5 different qualifications.
  • Danica Patrick is the only female driver to compete in a Monster Energy Cup race at NHMS.
  • The youngest driver to win a NHMS winner was Joey Logano at 19 years of age. The oldest was Mark Martin at over 50 years of age.
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