CONCORD, N.C. – The NASCAR Cup Series heads to The Granite State to take on New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the venue's single premier series date and the 20th race on the 2022 schedule.
The 1.058-mile track commonly known as "The Magic Mile" has hosted Cup Series racing since 1993. With variable banking between two and seven degrees in the turns, the circuit’s flat nature calls for a style racing that has been seen at WWT Raceway and Phoenix Raceway already this year. With the championship race being held at Phoenix for the third year in a row, this weekend’s race will provide all four Hendrick Motorsports teams with potentially valuable knowledge to take into the season finale.
Last season’s New Hampshire race saw both Kyle Larson and Alex Bowman finish inside the top 10. Cup Series officials were forced to call the race eight laps early due to darkness, which hurt the finish for the teams of Chase Elliott and William Byron as they were using an alternate strategy to that of leaders. Prior to that, Elliott had received stage points in the first two segments and Byron had been inside the top 15 for most of the race.
Fast forward to this season and Elliott's No. 9 team heads North riding a fantastic run of recent results. With two wins and a runner-up finish in the last three races, the 26-year-old has grown his points lead over the field while continuing to rack up victories. The Dawsonville, Georgia, native will look to continue his strong second half with the hopes of capturing the regular season championship and the 15 playoff points that accompany that honor.
While unfortunate luck has limited Byron’s performances of late, the issues have not been for a lack of speed. Last weekend's event at Atlanta Motor Speedway saw Byron pace the field for 41 circuits, the second-most of any driver in the race. The No. 24 team are looking to New Hampshire to get their season pointed in the right direction. In an effort to have additional seat time, Byron will run the NASCAR Xfinity Series race on Saturday in the No. 88 JR Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro.
Bowman's top-10 finish last year was his first at the Loudon, New Hampshire-venue, while Larson has four top fives and six top 10s in his career there.
As a company, Hendrick Motorsports has won nine times at New Hampshire. Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson each tallied three wins, while Kyle Busch, Mark Martin and Kasey Kahne notched one win apiece. Kahne's win in 2012 is the organization's most recent victory there.
Here is what you need to know to catch this weekend’s action.
WHAT TIME IS PRACTICE AND QUALIFYING?
On Saturday, July 16, Cup Series group practice will start at 11:35 a.m. ET on the NBC Sports App. Coverage will also be available on USA Network at noon ET. Group qualifying will begin on Saturday at 12:20 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on USA Network.
Byron, Bowman and Elliott will be in Group A, while Larson will be in Group B. The top five in qualifying from each group will advance to compete for the pole in the final round.
WHAT TIME IS THE RACE?
The 301-mile Cup Series main event is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 17, and will be broadcast on USA Network.
CAN I LISTEN ON THE RADIO?
Both races will be on PRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (channel 90).
CAN I STREAM ONLINE?
FIVE FAST FACTS HEADING INTO NEW HAMPSHIRE
Data courtesy of Racing Insights
3: The number of runner-up finishes Larson has at New Hampshire. All of those came from his time at Chip Ganassi Racing.
13: After two race wins and three stage victories, Byron has accumulated this many playoff points, putting him in a tie for second in this category.
14.37: Bowman's average finish for 2022 heading into New Hampshire. This is the eighth-best average finish in the Cup Series.
16: Elliott and crew chief Alan Gustafson's total of Cup Series victories together. The duo is tied for the second-most wins among active driver-crew chief pairings.
24: The number of victories Hendrick Motorsports has achieved since the start of the 2021 season, which is double that of the next team on the list.