2023 Crayon 301 Predictions

The gimmicks? Just about over. Playoffs? 7 races ‘til. Old school? Starts now. Christopher Bell, picking up where he left off last year, leads the field of 36 to the green flag for the Crayon 301, provided Mother Nature behaves. An eventful day of qualifying and practice nearly leads us to believe that the usual contenders at New Hampshire Motor Speedway- Christopher Bell, Martin Truex Jr, Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, and even Aric Almirola (?)- will show serious strength when the green eventually flies. But where will the chips fall after 301 miles? Let’s see.

Driver to Fade:

Photo Credit: http://Jayski.com

Corey LaJoie. Hate this for the driver of the Schluter Systems #7. After a quiet week at Atlanta last Sunday evening, it’s starting to feel like the playoffs are quickly fading from sight for the 31-year-old from Charlotte, NC. But, never say never- a guy with his optimism, work ethic, and charisma can pull out a surprise at any time. Just not this week. His best finish at NHMS is 23rd, one position higher than where he starts today.

Dark Horse:

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(Sigh). I’ve been burned by this pick before…perhaps I’ll never learn. Alas, Bubba Wallace has showed strength all weekend and his results at New Hampshire tease stability. He finished P3 here last summer, was 5th fastest in practice , and rolls off from 8th place. Obviously, he’s in need of a win after a late-race crash booted him below the playoff cut last week. Here’s to hoping he holds strong. I’ll stop here. 

Top 10:

Photo Credit: http://nascar.com

No need to sell this pick this week. New Hampshire is quickly becoming Christopher Bell’s playground. If I weren’t too superstitious, I’d say that he gets to hold the lobster at the end of the day. But what are the odds? Victory Lane is certainly within striking distance, and it feels like the Top 10 is a lock.


Photo Credit: http://pitstopradio.net

Martin Truex Jr. The guy is already having a year. Acknowledging that he needs to quickly make a decision on his future, it doesn’t feel like Truex is slowing down any time soon. The man has come so close to Victory Lane here on numerous occasions- take a look at his results over the past ten races here. Does he look like a man to mess with? Having never punched a P1 here, we look for him to finally do it at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

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