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Harvick Uses Late Pass To Win New Hampshire

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, September 25 2016
Kevin Harvick will advance to the round of 12 in the Sprint Cup's Chase playoffs after winning in New Hampshire on Sunday. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Andrew Coppley)

Kevin Harvick will advance to the round of 12 in the Sprint Cup’s Chase playoffs after winning in New Hampshire on Sunday. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Andrew Coppley)

RacinToday.com

Kevin Harvick, who found himself off the lead lap for a big chunk of Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, passed Matt Kenseth for the lead after a restart with six laps to go and went on to get the victory.

sprint-logo-08The victory moves Harvick, who led just eight laps, and his Stewart-Haas Racing team into the second round of the Chase playoffs.

“Man, that worked out really good,” Harvick said in Victory Lane. “My car was pretty good on restarts. Once we got clean air there at the end, I knew I would be really good out front.”

Kenseth, who led 105 of 300 laps, finished second in his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota while teammate Kyle Busch was third.

“The last restart was my fault,” Kenseth said. “I let Kevin lay back of me when we should have been side by side. I should have known better. He anticipated it just right and laid back and plus, I spun my tires so I got beat through (turns) 1 and 2 and it was over.”

Harvick joins Martin Truex Jr., who won the Chase opener last weekend at Chicagoland Speedway, as having secured second-round berths.

The victory was the 34th of Harvicks career and it came in the 100th start with SHR.

Though he finished seventh after leading a race high of 141 laps in the second Chase playoff race, Truex had a shot at winning when he was running a close second to Kenseth when the second-to-last caution came out on Lap 286 of 300.

“I raced with Matt (Kenseth) so hard for the lead for such a long time that I just kind of burned my tires up and then really had trouble getting going on those last two restarts,” explained Truex. “It was unfortunate to have a car that good all day long and then come home seventh. But all in all it was a fun day.”

Truex, who started second, led four different times in his No. 78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Toyota Camry. He initially moved into first place on Lap 31. He led laps 31-75 (45), 81-125 (44), 126-166 (41) and 168-178 (11).

“We led a lot of laps and the team did a great job all weekend,” said Truex. “We’ll go on to Dover and see if we can’t finish the deal off there.

Carl Edwards started the race from the pole and led the first 30 laps. Passing Edwards and taking the lead on Lap 31 was Truex Jr.

On Lap 74, green flag pit stops began. When the pitting cycled through, Truex emerged with the lead.

On Lap 124, the first caution flag wave when debris was spotted on the track and with Truex a half second in front of Kenseth. Truex had a clean stop and led the field to the Lap 132 restart. Jumping fro P4 to second place on the restart was Jimmie Johnson.

Debris brought out a second caution on Lap 165 with Truex leading and Kenseth back in second. Truex and Kyle Busch – both of whom took just two tires – came out of the pits first and second.

The two-tire strategy proved to be a poor one as Kenseth, who took four tires, caught and passed Truex for the lead on Lap 179 – nine laps into the run.

The final green flag stops of the day began with 68 laps to go and Kenseth with a lead of about 1.7 seconds over Truex Jr.

With 60 laps to go, the caution flag waved with Kenseth ahead of Truex. On the restart with 52 laps to go, Kenseth was perfect and kept the lead.

With 37 laps to go, Michael McDowell blew a tire and the fourth caution of the day as called. Leader Kenseth and second-place Truex stayed on the track while a large group led by Kyle Busch, who was sixth at the time, pitted.

After the restart, which came with 29 laps to go, Kenseth and Truex fought for the lead before Kenseth could open up a bit of room at the front.

Behind him, Busch, on his fresher tires, was moving up through the field. With 18 laps to go, he passed Harvick for third place. Two laps later, Trevor Bayne crashed and brought out another caution.

On the restart with 11 to go, Kenseth got away clean but Harvick jumped to second while Busch went into Turn 1 third.

A lap later, Paul Menard bashed Ricky Stenhouse Jr. from behind, spun him and that brought out another caution.

The race restarted with six laps to go with Kenseth leading. Heading into Turn 3, Harvick eased past Kenseth to take the lead.

Harvick pulled out to a five-car lead and from there cruised to victory

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NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race – Bad Boy Off Road 300

New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Loudon, New Hampshire

Sunday, September 25, 2016

  1. (19) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 300.
  2. (8) Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 300.
  3. (12) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 300.
  4. (11) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 300.
  5. (13) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 300.
  6. (1) Carl Edwards, Toyota, 300.
  7. (2) Martin Truex Jr, Toyota, 300.
  8. (4) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 300.
  9. (9) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 300.
  10. (6) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 300.
  11. (15) Joey Logano, Ford, 300.
  12. (16) * Ryan Blaney #, Ford, 300.
  13. (10) Chase Elliott #, Chevrolet, 300.
  14. (18) Alex Bowman(i), Chevrolet, 300.
  15. (5) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 300.
  16. (29) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 300.
  17. (26) Aric Almirola, Ford, 300.
  18. (24) Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 300.
  19. (7) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 300.
  20. (3) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 300.
  21. (17) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 300.
  22. (37) Clint Bowyer, Chevrolet, 300.
  23. (22) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 299.
  24. (21) Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Ford, 299.
  25. (14) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 299.
  26. (20) Michael McDowell, Chevrolet, 298.
  27. (31) Casey Mears, Chevrolet, 298.
  28. (33) Matt DiBenedetto, Toyota, 298.
  29. (34) Landon Cassill, Ford, 298.
  30. (28) Chris Buescher #, Ford, 298.
  31. (25) Brian Scott #, Ford, 298.
  32. (23) David Ragan, Toyota, 297.
  33. (32) Greg Biffle, Ford, 297.
  34. (30) Regan Smith, Chevrolet, 297.
  35. (36) * Cole Whitt, Chevrolet, 294.
  36. (38) * Reed Sorenson, Toyota, 293.
  37. (40) Jeffrey Earnhardt #, Ford, 290.
  38. (27) Trevor Bayne, Ford, Accident, 282.
  39. (39) * Josh Wise, Chevrolet, 268.
  40. (35) Michael Annett, Chevrolet, Steering, 236.

 

Average Speed of Race Winner:  109.291 mph.

Time of Race:  02 Hrs, 54 Mins, 15 Secs. Margin of Victory:  0.442 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  6 for 31 laps.

Lead Changes:  14 among 8 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   C. Edwards 1-30; M. Truex Jr 31-75; C. Edwards 76; Kyle Busch 77-78; B. Keselowski 79-80; M. Truex Jr 81-124; Kyle Busch 125; M. Truex Jr 126-166; C. Elliott # 167; M. Truex Jr 168-178; M. Kenseth 179-231; K. Harvick 232-233; D. Patrick 234-242; M. Kenseth 243-294; K. Harvick 295-300.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  M. Truex Jr 4 times for 141 laps; M. Kenseth 2 times for 105 laps; C. Edwards 2 times for 31 laps; D. Patrick 1 time for 9 laps; K. Harvick 2 times for 8 laps; Kyle Busch 2 times for 3 laps; B. Keselowski 1 time for 2 laps; C. Elliott # 1 time for 1 lap.

Top 16 in Points: B. Keselowski – 2,087; M. Truex Jr – 2,086; Kyle Busch – 2,085; M. Kenseth – 2,078; J. Logano – 2,073; K. Harvick – 2,071; D. Hamlin – 2,071; J. Johnson – 2,070; C. Elliott # – 2,068; C. Edwards – 2,068; Kurt Busch – 2,067; K. Larson – 2,057; J. Mcmurray – 2,052; A. Dillon – 2,052; T. Stewart – 2,046; C. Buescher # – 2,027.

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, September 25 2016
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