New Hampshire Motor Speedway Facts and Figures

The New Hampshire Motor Speedway – sometimes called Loudon after the town in which the track is located – hosted its first NASCAR Cup Series race in 1993. This weekend’s race will be the 51st.

Follow the facts

The 1.058-mile track is the flattest oval NASCAR currently visits. The trombone shape provides two straights of 1,500 feet each, resulting in the track turning at 46.3%. The turn radius is the same at all four corners: 450 feet. That’s much smaller than the 741-foot turns the Cup Series raced last week in Atlanta.

The bends are gradually banked from four degrees near the deck to seven degrees by the outside wall. This means that the front stretch of Las Vegas Motor Speedway has a higher incline (nine degrees) than the Loudon turns.

“The straights are long on this track and the corners are flat,” noted Tyler Reddick. “It’s a one-mile race track, but it runs a bit like a short track with the way you break the corner and the amount of corner entry.”

Air pressure is one of the most important tools teams have to help drivers navigate flat corners, as well as damper and camber settings. The eruption of tire issues has eased as teams learn how to set up the Next Gen car, but everyone will be watching for tire wear in the first few green flag races.

Although this is the Cup Series’ first (and only) visit to the NHMS this year, teams can take advantage of information from Phoenix, Richmond and World Wide Technology Raceway. They’re even using the same tire combination they’ve used at all three of these tracks this year.

Kevin Harvick’s crew chief Rodney Childers adds Martinsville to the list of reference tracks.

“The trombone shape of the track, how tight the turns are and how much change is going to happen,” Childers said. “It just depends on the final pace and the level of grip when we get there, whether you are going to change gear once in each corner or twice in each corner.

The rule prohibiting drivers from returning to the start and finish line when a warning is issued was developed in response to a 2003 incident at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Dale Jarrett stalled on the front straight ahead of the cars racing for position. Starting the next race, NASCAR froze the field at the time of the warning and instituted the bye rule.

New Hampshire has no lights. The original owner, Bob Bahre, signed a legal agreement with the town of Loudon that he would not install lights. That deal stands, even though Speedway Motorsports now owns the track.

Race Facts

Earning pole at the NHMS historically doesn’t offer much of a race-winning advantage. Jeff Gordon was the first NHMS poleman to find the way to victory in 1998. The sixth and most recent driver to claim pole was Kyle Busch in 2017.

The eventual race winner has started outside the top 10 in five of the last seven races where qualifying has taken place. Only once has a driver won a Cup Series race at the NHMS after having to start from the back of the field: Robby Gordon, in 2001.

Both Kevin Harvick and Rodney Childers have four NHMS wins, but only three are together. Harvick won with Todd Berrier in 2006, while Childers won in 2013 with Brian Vickers.

Harvick shares the NHMS win record with Jeff Burton, but Childers alone holds the team leader record. Ray Evernham, Frank Stoddard, Greg Zipadelli, Chad Knaus and Jason Ratcliff each have three wins. All victories except Zipadelli were with the same driver. If Harvick wins in New Hampshire, he and Childers will have the most wins by a single driver/crew manager pair.

Of the active drivers, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin each have three NHMS wins.

Joey Logano is the youngest NHMS winner (2009; 19.1 years old). The youngest rider in Sunday’s field is Harrison Burton at 21.78, so that record won’t be broken this year.

No more than the record for the oldest winner, held by Mark Martin (2009; 50.7 years). The oldest rider in Sunday’s peloton is Kevin Harvick at 46.6.

A comeback track for older pilots?

But here’s a record that could be broken: Since the 2015 spring race, no driver under 30 has won in New Hampshire. The average age of the last nine laureates is 38.3 years.

Young drivers have recent numbers and track records on their side. Of the 36-man field for Sunday’s race, 19 drivers (52.7%) are under 30. The average age of the winners of the 2022 race is 30.6.

A bar chart showing the average age of winners by race.

While the average age of winning drivers had mostly increased, it has started to drop recently. The last five 2022 winners have an average age of 28.4 years. The average age of the last three laureates is 26.6 years.

In contrast, the drivers with the best finishing averages in the last three races at the NHMS are Kevin Harvick (4.00), Denny Hamlin (4.67) and Brad Keselowski (4.67). The best driver under 30 on the list is seventh: Ryan Blaney has an average finishing position of 9.67.

As my colleague Dustin Long noted, Harvick finished sixth at Phoenix and second at Richmond. It raced well at World Wide Technology Raceway until mechanical failure.

Not only is NHMS one of Childers’ favorite tracks, but he feels like the team has been making progress lately.

“I think the key was Nashville,” Childers said, “and being able to run the right cars all night and have a really good race. Hopefully that was a turning point for us and we can keep moving forward. from there.

Fun facts

Milo the Moose is the track’s mascot. Milo’s name comes from the NHMS which is a millete ohvalue Moose are the largest members of the deer family. According to the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, moose are the state’s largest land mammal. A mature moose’s antlers are about 79 inches apart – just a bit larger than Austin Cindric, who is 76 inches tall.

The adverb “wicked” is not exclusive to New Hampshire. It is used in much of New England, but not to indicate evil. It means, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, “to an extreme or awesome degree”.

Although you might guess that the origin of “wicked” is tied to New England’s history with witches, it’s actually a late 20th century development. The word is unusual because it is still used primarily in New England, while most of the once-regional words have spread across the country.

Learn more about NASCAR

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Dr. Diandra: New Hampshire Motor Speedway Facts and Figures originally appeared on NBCSports.com

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