After dominating the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular season, the four Joe Gibbs Racing drivers struggled a little last weekend at Chicagoland Speedway. But a return visit to New England might just help them regain their mojo.
At Chicagoland, Denny Hamlin was the best of the JGR squad, finishing fifth in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400, the opening race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
But it's a new week and the schedule this time out is favorable for the team. Sunday, the Sprint Cup teams will race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, where Toyotas have won six of the last eight races, with five of those wins coming from the four JGR drivers.
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JGR's best hope at NHMS might be Matt Kenseth, who has won two straight at the 1-mile oval and three of the last six here.
"New Hampshire is unique because it's such a flat track with just a little bit of banking change from the bottom lane up to the top," said Kenseth. "It's really the only flat one-mile track that we go to on the circuit and I really can't compare it to anywhere else that we go."
Here's how JGR's four drivers measure up at the Loudon, N.H, track:
The reigning Sprint Cup champ has two victories, eight top fives and 12 top 10s at NMHS, where he has led 589 laps and has posted an average finish of 14.217. In his last seven starts here, Busch has one victory and three runner-up finishes.
The only JGR driver not on Twitter is the only JGR driver who has yet to win at New Hampshire, although he's come close. Edwards' best finish at NHMS came in July 2006, when he was runner-up to Kyle Busch. For his career, Edwards has three top fives and seven top 10s in 24 starts at this track. He has an average finish there of 13.542 and has led 108 laps.
A two-time NHMS winner, Hamlin has an average finish here of 10.190 and has led 495 laps. In addition to his two victories, Hamlin has eight top fives and 13 top 10s in 21 New Hampshire starts.
If you look at the stats, Kenseth certainly appears to be the biggest threat to win among the JGR drivers. He has the aforementioned three victories, plus nine top-five and 18 top-10 finishes. Kenseth has led 305 laps at NHMS and has an average finish of 12.333