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The Leading Logic In Sports Handicapping

Johnson favored to win Sunday at Loudon, NH
By: Brian Graham - StatFox
Published: 7/12/2014  at  4:03:00 AM
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NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Camping World RV Sales 301

Sunday, July 13 – 1:00 p.m. EDT
New Hampshire Motor Speedway – Loudon, NH

The NASCAR circuit moves north to New Hampshire for Sunday’s Camping World RV Sales 301 race at Loudon’s “The Magic Mile.” This is no cookie-cutter track, considered to be one of the toughest oval courses for drivers, as it is sometimes referred to as “Martinsville on steroids.” This 1.058-mile track completed in 1990 is mostly flat with 1° straights and turns varying from 7° to 9°. The frontstretch and backstretch are both exactly 1,500 feet, making it a true oval. This race has had a different champion in each of the past 12 starts, with last year's winners being Brian Vickers in the summer and Matt Kenseth in the fall.

Odds to Win Race

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Jimmie Johnson5-to-1
Jeff Gordon7-to-1
Kevin Harvick7-to-1
Brad Keselowski7-to-1
Dale Earnhardt Jr.8-to-1
Kyle Busch10-to-1
Denny Hamlin12-to-1
Kasey Kahne12-to-1
Matt Kenseth12-to-1
Joey Logano12-to-1
Clint Bowyer15-to-1
Tony Stewart20-to-1
Kurt Busch25-to-1
Brian Vickers25-to-1
Kyle Larson30-to-1
Jamie McMurray30-to-1
Carl Edwards30-to-1
Ryan Newman40-to-1
Greg Biffle50-to-1
Martin Truex Jr.60-to-1
FIELD (Any other driver)100-to-1
Austin Dillon100-to-1
Paul Menard100-to-1
Aric Almirola200-to-1
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.300-to-1
A.J. Allmendinger300-to-1
Casey Mears300-to-1
Danica Patrick300-to-1
Justin Allgaier300-to-1
Marcos Ambrose300-to-1

Drivers to Watch

Denny Hamlin (12/1) - Hamlin's odds have more than doubled since he was tabbed with a 5-to-1 price in last year's Camping World RV Sales 301. Not only does Hamlin own the best average finish (9.0) at this venue in the history of NASCAR among drivers with multiple New Hampshire starts, but he has done this with a pedestrian average starting spot of 13.2. Over his past nine starts in Loudon, Hamlin has cranked out five top-3 finishes, which included his second win at this venue in 2012. He also has three top-6 showings in his past six starts this season, including a 6th-place finish at rain-soaked Daytona last week. With double-digit odds, Hamlin should garner your largest wager for Sunday's race.

Jimmie Johnson (5/1) - Sure the odds are miniscule, but Johnson is the clear-cut favorite of this race for good reason. His three career wins, nine top-5's (38%) and 17 top-10's (71%) in 24 Loudon starts have given Johnson the second-best average finish (9.2) among all drivers at this venue with more than one start. Since 2007, he has a single-digit finish in 12-of-14 New Hampshire races. Also, consider that before last week's crash at Daytona, Johnson had pounded out seven straight top-10 finishes, including three victories (Charlotte, Dover and Michigan). Although Johnson doesn't offer a big payday, you should still save some of your betting dollars for the No. 48 car on Sunday.

Ryan Newman (40/1) - A great value pick for Camping World RV Sales 301 is Newman, who has long odds despite his 14.0 average finish at this venue which ranks 10th among active drivers. In 24 career Loudon starts, Newman has banged out 15 top-10 finishes (63%), which includes three victories in 2002, 2005 and 2011. Last fall, Newman won his seventh career pole position at New Hampshire, which is quite impressive considering Jeff Gordon (4 poles) is the only other NASCAR driver with more than two poles at this venue. Newman has also been shooting up the points standings over the past month with an average finish of 12.0 over his past five starts, which includes a third-place showing in Kentucky two weeks ago. At 40-to-1, you should drop a small wager on Newman in hopes that he can bring home his fourth New Hampshire title.

Tony Stewart (20/1) - His odds keep rising in this New Hampshire July race, as Stewart had 6-to-1 odds in the summer of 2012, 12-to-1 odds last July and now he's a legitimate darkhorse at 20-to-1. Considering how much success he's had in this New England venue (14 top-5's in 29 starts), this price tag seems almost too good to be true. Stewart's 11.9 average finish at Loudon ranks fourth among active drivers, as he's taken home the checkered flag three times, in 2000, 2005 and 2011, and has been the race's runner-up finisher five times (1999, 2005, 2006, 2010 and 2011). Because Stewart usually heats up in the summer months, placing a one-unit wager on the No. 14 car appears to be a sound strategy for Sunday.

Aric Almirola (200/1) - Last week's winner at Daytona was quite a surprise, especially since Almirola was a 60-to-1 longshot. But that is nothing compared to the 200-to-1 price tag given to him for Sunday's race. Almirola has made only seven career starts in New Hampshire, but his best finish occurred last July when he placed 5th despite a mediocre starting spot of 17th. And with last week's victory, he now has top-8 finishes in four of his past 15 races this season. Lightning may not strike twice in a two-week span, but if it's the monster payout you crave, place that one-unit bet on Almirola.

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