Majority of NASCAR fans weren’t psyched going into Sunday’s race at New Hampshire. The 1-mile flat track has historically produced some very lackluster racing. Combine that with this season’s high downforce package that struggled to produce anything worthy of excitement at Martinsville, Phoenix, and Sonoma, and most fans were pretty down on this weekend.
That was until Sunday when the NASCAR Cup Series put on one of the better races we’ve seen at NHMS in recent memory. The “short track” package for Cup this season consists of 750 horsepower and there’s something to be said for more horsepower and more throttle management.
Sunday’s race produced the second-lowest number of green flag passes since 2014 but it didn’t seem to matter. Take a look at the numbers.
Sunday’s race statistically featured around the same amount of leaders and lead changes the previous 5 July races did. The biggest difference came in loop data passing numbers. Green flag passes were the second lowest over the last 6 years. Quality passes were the third-lowest in the last 6 years. Which was expected with this high downforce package.
Like we’ve noted earlier in the year, if the race was good visually then the loop numbers don’t matter. This was one of those races. Numbers-wise it wasn’t the best, however, there was side by side action, green flag on-track passes for the lead.
There are a couple of reasons why the race was enjoyable. First, it was actually a good race. Part of that was because of the 750-horsepower these cars had. More power means less on-throttle time which puts throttle management into the driver’s hands. That creates good racing. Another major factor is how NBC presents the race. So far this season they’ve done exceptionally better than FOX. And the main reason is the fact they are showing more battles for position. FOX tends to just look at the Top-5 and that’s it. NBC is showing that but also showing battles throughout the field.
New Hampshire isn’t historically great however what we saw Sunday is what fans want more of.
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