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NASCAR DFS: New Hampshire 301

NASCAR DFS Expert Brian Polking points out the top drivers to target on DraftKings for the New Hampshire 301!

New Hampshire 301

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The Sprint Cup Series heads to New Hampshire Motor Speedway this weekend, and when it comes to DFS NASCAR, Sunday's New Hampshire 301 can be treated as a short track event.

The race is scheduled for 301 laps, so there are plenty of points available in the laps led and fastest laps run categories. More importantly, passing tends to be difficult on New Hampshire's flat surface, so it is common for one or two drivers to monopolize the categories.

In fact, a driver has led more than 100 laps in nine of the last ten races at New Hampshire, including eight straight. There is a good chance that one driver tops 100 fantasy points at DraftKings this weekend, and needless to say, that driver needs to be in your lineup if you have any hope of winning serious cash.

As important as the laps led and fastest laps run categories will be, it isn't the only way to score points this weekend. The track's difficult passing conditions can also lead to a variety of pit strategies being used, and there always seems to be a few drivers starting deeper in the field that end up with strong finishes.

In the six races at New Hampshire since 2013, there have been four instances when three or more drivers that have started outside the top 20 have finished 11th or better. There are going to be a few drivers that pile up points in the place differential category, and if you can pair a couple of them with the dominant driver, you are going to be in business.

Here is a closer look at the drivers to keep in mind heading into the weekend. Qualifying is set for 4:45 p.m. ET Friday, and the New Hampshire 301 can be seen at 1:30 p.m. ET Sunday on NBCSN.

High-Priced Drivers

Kevin Harvick ($10,700)

Over the last three races at New Hampshire, Harvick's 379 laps led are the most of any driver. He has led at least 59 laps in all three races during the stretch, logging a pair of third-place finishes and leading 216 of the 300 laps last fall before running out of gas while leading with a couple of laps to go. Look for Harvick to pile up plenty of points in the laps led and fastest laps run categories.

Kyle Busch ($10,500)

He is the defending winner of this weekend's race, and in the last six races at New Hampshire, Busch has five top 10s, including four finishes of either first or second. He ranks third in laps led during the same stretch, leading more than 50 laps on three separate occasions. For his career, he ranks third in laps led at the track.

Brad Keselowski ($10,300)

His 8.5 average finish in the last ten races at New Hampshire is the best in the series, and Keselowski has five top-five finishes during that span, including a win and two second-place finishes. He has also led at least 78 laps in three of the last four races here. Coming off back-to-back wins at Daytona and Kentucky, Keselowski could be headed for another dominant run Sunday.

Value Plays

Kyle Larson ($8,500)

Although he struggled at New Hampshire last year, Larson finished second and third in two starts at the track as a rookie in 2014 and even led some laps. Yes, he tends to be a boom-or-bust pick, but the fact he offers top five upside for a mid-range price should have him on your radar in GPPs heading into qualifying.

Tony Stewart ($8,100)

New Hampshire has always been one of Stewart's better tracks. He is a three-time winner here, and he ranks first in driver rating and laps led and second in fastest laps run. Of course, Stewart's numbers have slipped overall in recent years, but he is worth a look if he has some upside through place differential after qualifying.

Kasey Kahne ($7,900)

It has been a quiet year for Kahne, but he has been an underrated performer at New Hampshire. He has seven top 15s in the last ten races here, including a win, and he ranks in the top 10 in laps led and in the top five in fastest laps run. He could be a sneaky mid-priced play, especially if he qualifies deeper in the field.

Ryan Newman ($7,700)

Newman is a three-time winner at New Hampshire, and while those wins came earlier in his career, he has remained a reliable option. He has three finishes of 11th or better in the last four races here, and he should be a safe, solid addition if he qualifies in the middle of the pack or deeper, especially in cash games.

Jamie McMurray ($7,300)

Since 2013, McMurray has finished 16th or better in five of his six starts at New Hampshire, and he has managed a couple of top five finishes during the same stretch. If McMurray qualifies deeper in the field, he is worth considering in any format, and the fact that he has shown a tad more upside than most drivers in this price range could make him a great GPP play.

Greg Biffle ($6,600)

He has displayed a decent floor and an intriguing ceiling at New Hampshire throughout his career. Biffle won a race here early in his career, and he has cracked the top 20 in nine of his last ten starts. During the same stretch, he has three top-five finishes, including a fourth-place run last September. Biffle could be one of the top lower-priced options depending on how qualifying plays out.

Sleeper Special

Casey Mears ($6,100)

There aren't many attractive options in this price range, but Mears has shown the most potential. He has four top 25 finishes in the last five races at New Hampshire, including three straight. In fact, he cracked the top 20 in both races here last year. Mears needs to qualify deeper in the field before I would use him, but he could be a useful source of cap relief if he does start toward the back of the pack.

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