Kevin Harvick pushed Kyle Busch out of the way to win his series-leading sixth race of the season on Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Busch was leading with less than 10 to go, but Harvick moved the No. 18 up the race track to take the lead in the final moments.

Harvick now has three wins at New Hampshire, tying him with active drivers Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth and Ryan Newman for second-most all-time at the track. Jeff Burton holds the track record with four wins.

The No. 4 team earns five more playoff points with the win, putting him ahead of Kyle Busch for the series lead. Harvick now has 32, followed by Busch with 30 and Martin Truex Jr. with 26. 

Truex picked up where he left off last week, taking the lead from pole-starter Kurt Busch before going on to win Stage 1. The green-and-white checkered was Truex’s sixth of the season and comes on the heels of him sweeping the stages last week. 

Chase Elliott held off Busch and Truex to win Stage 2. It was his first green-and-white checkered flag of the season. Coming into Sunday’s race, Elliott had only finished stages in the top five four times. His stage win was also just the third for Chevrolet this season. 

Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 results

  1. Kevin Harvick
  2. Kyle Busch
  3. Aric Almirola
  4. Martin Truex Jr.
  5. Chase Elliott
  6. Ryan Newman
  7. Ryan Blaney
  8. Kurt Busch
  9. Joey Logano
  10. Jimmie Johnson
  11. Alex Bowman
  12. Kyle Larson
  13. Denny Hamlin
  14. William Byron
  15. Matt Kenseth
  16. Erik Jones
  17. Paul Menard
  18. Jamie McMurray
  19. Kasey Kahne
  20. Chris Buescher
  21. Austin Dillon
  22. Daniel Suarez
  23. Ty Dillon
  24. Bubba Wallace
  25. Ross Chastain
  26. Michael McDowell
  27. Corey LaJoie
  28. Matt DiBenedetto
  29. David Ragan
  30. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  31. Kyle Weatherman
  32. Brad Keselowski
  33. Blake Jones
  34. BJ McLeod
  35. Clint Bowyer
  36. AJ Allmendinger
  37. Landon Cassill

2018 NASCAR Cup Series regular season standings

POSITION

DRIVER

CAR #

POINTS

BEHIND

WINS

1.

Kyle Busch

18

844

LEADER

5

2.

Kevin Harvick

4

791

-53

6

3.

Martin Truex Jr.

78

740

-104

4

4.

Joey Logano

22

679

-165

1

5.

Kurt Busch

41

646

-198

0

6.

Clint Bowyer

14

638

-206

2

7.

Brad Keselowski

2

635

-209

0

8.

Kyle Larson

42

606

-238

0

9.

Ryan Blaney

12

584

-260

0

10.

Denny Hamlin

11

583

-261

0

11.

Aric Almirola

10

575

-269

0

12.

Jimmie Johnson

48

522

-322

0

13.

Chase Elliott

9

520

-324

0

14.

Erik Jones

20

501

-343

1

15.

Alex Bowman

88

453

-391

0

16.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

17

425

-419

0

17.

Paul Menard

21

424

-420

0

18.

Ryan Newman

31

379

-465

0

19.

Austin Dillon

3

378

-466

1

20.

Daniel Suarez

19

359

-485

0

Stage 1: Truex keeps it going

The race was moved up to 1 p.m. ET after originally being scheduled for 2 p.m. ET. That minor change didn’t make much of a difference as the race finally kicked off at 4:22 p.m. ET.

When the green flag did fly, Kurt Busch led the field after qualifying on the pole. 14 laps into the race, Landon Cassill hit the wall hard in Turn 3, bringing out the first caution of the day. Cassill was forced to bring his car to the garage with irreparable damage.

After a quick yellow, Busch led the field back to green. On the restart, Denny Hamlin moved into second place but before he could pounce on the lead, AJ Allmendinger cut a tire and hit the wall hard to bring out yet another caution. Allmendinger was unable to bring his car in for repairs, which by-rule ended his day.

Kurt Busch again held the lead on the restart while his brother Kyle Busch battled Hamlin for second place. The No. 41 continued to lead before the scheduled competition caution came out on Lap 35 to allow drivers to make adjustments after the delay.

Martin Truex Jr. won the race off pit road after taking just two tires while the No. 41 team — who opted for a two-tire strategy last week — took four and lost multiple positions. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. stayed out and restarted from the lead ahead of Jimmie Johnson, who also opted not to pit. Truex eventually took the lead from Stenhouse after about 10 laps under green. Not much later, NASCAR threw the fourth yellow of the day, this time for debris on the frontstretch.

This time, it was Truex that held the lead on the restart and he took off with Johnson in his rearview. As the No. 78 began to build his lead, Johnson’s teammate Chase Elliott took second place.

Stage 1 results

  1. Martin Truex Jr. (10 points plus 1 playoff point)
  2. Chase Elliott (9 points)
  3. Jimmie Johnson (8 points)
  4. Kurt Busch (7 points)
  5. Ryan Blaney (6 points)
  6. Kyle Busch (5 points)
  7. Kevin Harvick (4 points)
  8. Clint Bowyer (3 points)
  9. Joey Logano (2 points)
  10. Aric Almirola (1 point)

Stage 2: Elliott makes his move on Truex

Truex took four tires and beat Elliott off pit road between stages. Both restarted well, but it was the No. 78 that shot out to an early lead while Ty Dillon was penalized for a restart violation and had to serve a pass-through penalty. Blaney also restarted from the tailend of the field after fixing damage suffered by contact with Kyle Busch at the end of Stage 1 between stages.

Elliott continued to hold the second position and eat into the lead while Truex ran out front. With 19 to go, Elliott throttled past Truex to take the lead for the first time. Kurt Busch also followed into second while Truex fell back to third.

With five to go, pole-starter Kurt Busch began breathing down the neck of the No. 9. However, despite a run-in with lapped traffic towards the end, Elliott was able to drive on to claim his first stage win of the season.

Stage 2 results

  1. Chase Elliott (10 points plus 1 playoff point)
  2. Kurt Busch (9 points)
  3. Martin Truex Jr. (8 points)
  4. Kevin Harvick (7 points)
  5. Aric Almirola (6 points)
  6. Kyle Busch (5 points)
  7. Clint Bowyer (4 points)
  8. Jimmie Johnson (3 points)
  9. Ryan Blaney (2 points)
  10. Joey Logano (1 point)

Final Stage: Harvick pushes Busch away for win

Kurt Busch just barely beat Elliott off pit road between stages and restarted from the lead while Aric Almirola charged into the top five.

As Busch led, his teammate Almirola took second from Elliott who dropped back to third. That order remained for quite some time before other Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Harvick disrupted it by taking third away from the No. 9.

Moments later, Almirola caught Busch for the lead in lapped traffic. It was the first time in his career (18 starts at New Hampshire) that he led at the track. He went on to lap Brad Keselowski, who reported brake issues halfway through the final stage.

Daniel Suarez got green flag pit stops going with 80 laps to go. Six laps later, Almirola and the rest of the leaders pit for their adjustments. Notably, Kurt Busch and Blaney got caught in a tangle entering and leaving their respective boxes which cost each of them about three seconds. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. also hit the wall during stops, but no caution came out.

Harvick cycled to the lead after the stops, but lapped traffic allowed Almirola to recover and reclaim the lead from his teammate. Behind them, it was Kyle Busch, Elliott and Kurt Busch.

Almirola held a healthy lead over Harvick and Kyle Busch with less than 50 to go before Clint Bowyer hit the wall hard to bring out the seventh caution of the day. Unfortunately for the No. 10, his pit stop under yellow wasn’t as fast as his competitors as Busch won the race off pit road.

Kyle Busch held the lead by using the high line on the restart as Harvick and Truex shadowing in his rearview. Busch held the lead while Harvick lingered and Truex fell behind.

While it appeared Busch would drive on for the win, he got loose in the final laps which opened the door for Harvick. The No. 4 crew chief Rodney Childers then instructed Harvick to do what he had to do to win, and that meant pushing Busch out of the way with less than 10 to go. Harvick did so and drove on to take his sixth checkered flag of the season. 

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