By Ben White
New Hampshire Motor Speedway held its first Cup Series race on July 11, 1993 with Rusty Wallace, driver of the No. 2 Team Penske Ford, rolling into victory lane for the first time. Mark Martin finished second, followed by Davey Allison inn third, Dale Jarrett in fourth and Ricky Rudd in fifth.
Since that day, 49 Cup Series races have been completed on the 1.058-mile oval with Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Team Penske Ford the latest driver to roiling into victory lane on Aug. 2, 2020.
The car number that is known for having the most wins at New Hampshire is the No. 99, giving current driver Daniel Suarez and those at Trackhouse Racing an interesting fact and something to smile about.
Of all the drivers that have had the honor of making the winner’s list on New England’s most popular superspeedway, one driver has taken a number to victory more times there in the Cup Series than any other.
Jeff Burton, a former driver for Roush-Fenway Racing, dominated At NHMS in 1997, twice in 1998 and 2000. During his final victory, the South Boston, VA. native led all 300 laps, a feat that had only happened twice before in NASCAR competition with three-time Cup Series champion Cale Yarborough at Bristol Motor Speedway and Nashville Speedway, both coming in 1973.
In a July 16, 2016 article for the Sporting News, Burton explained the key for winning at New Hampshire.
"You have to attack the racetrack," Burton said. "You have to really be aggressive, but if you're any too aggressive at all, then it pushes you over the line and you run a lot slower. You get paid off for running hard but you get penalized if you run a little bit too hard. You have to have your car in the exact right spot. You have to be in that spot with a certain amount of momentum with your car.
"All those things are really important. So a very precise driver, someone that can run a fast lap time and do it lap after lap after lap, those are the guys that tend to do the best at New Hampshire."
Coming from a guy that has led a total of 592 laps during his four victories, he is an excellent person to listen to.
It should be noted that Kevin Harvick also has four Cup Series victories at NHMS. His first win came with Richard Childress Racing using the No. 29 in 2006, while three wins have come with Stewart-Haas Racing using the No. 4 in 2016, 2018 and 2019.