Harvick Bumps Busch Out Of The Way For 6th Victory Of The Season In New Hampshire

Tell me if you’re heard this before, the “Big 3” dominated the final finishing order of Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. In fact, all three finished in the top four of this weekend’s Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 on the Magic Mile.

In the end though, it was down to Kyle Busch vs. Kevin Harvick for the win. Each had a series leading five wins a piece coming into this weekend.

Harvick, passed his teammate Aric Almirola on the final restart of the day on Lap 258 and was hoping to set sail for another victory. Prior to that, Almirola, was set to earn his first win since joining Stewart-Haas Racing in the offseason before their other teammate Clint Bowyer got into the wall negating his lead and bringing out the seventh and final caution of the rain filled afternoon. That set up Harvick’s move on the restart when Almirola appeared to have spun his tires.

Kevin Harvick during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 22, 2018 in Loudon, New Hampshire.

Harvick though, was then passed one lap later by Busch as the duo had a thrilling battle over the final 40 laps of the race to settle the score. Harvick’s No. 4 Ford battled Busch’s No. 18 Toyota lap-by-lap for the entire duration of the race.

With a little over 10 laps-to-go, Harvick was told to do anything that he could to get by. With eight laps left, he’d do just that. Harvick, got into the left rear of Busch’s white and green Interstate Batteries Toyota and moved him up the track and retook the lead as a result. He’d lead the final seven laps en route to his sixth win of the season and 43rd of his Cup Series career. He’s now just one win shy of tying Bill Elliott for 17th on the all-time wins list.

Busch’s had to settle for second as he could never get back to Harvick’s light blue Busch Beer bumper for retaliation. He wasn’t upset either after the race though telling NBCSN’s TV broadcast that Harvick’s car was actually faster but that Harvick didn’t have to dump him out of the way like he did.

Harvick now leads Busch 6-5 in wins in 2018. The win was crucial too as he’d get five playoff points for his third trip to victory lane at New Hampshire as he now has 32 bonus points compared to Busch’s 30.

It was Harvick’s first win in seven races though and he became the second non Toyota driver to win in the Granite State since 2015. Both times were actually Harvick in fact.

Busch earned his seventh top five finish over the last eight races on the season and seventh top three in his last 11 New Hampshire starts.

Almirola, passed Truex for third in the final laps to bring his No. 10 Ford home third for his first top five finish since joining SHR. Truex, was fourth in his No. 78 Toyota for his fifth straight top five and ninth over the last 10 races on the season. He won the first stage of the day.

The driver that won the second stage in Chase Elliott rounded out the top five.

Between Harvick, Busch and Truex, they’ve now won 15 of the 20 races in 2018.

The series now heads to their annual return trip to Pocono next Sunday.

Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 Results

  1.  4 Harvick
  2. 18 KyBusch
  3. 10 Almirola
  4. 78 Truex Jr.
  5.  9 Elliott
  6. 31 Newman
  7. 12 Blaney
  8. 41 KuBusch
  9. 22 Logano
  10. 48 Johnson
  11. 88 Bowman
  12. 42 Larson
  13. 11 Hamlin
  14. 24 Byron R
  15.  6 Kenseth
  16. 20 Jones
  17. 21 Menard
  18.  1 McMurray
  19. 95 Kahne
  20. 37 Buescher -1
  21.  3 ADillon -1
  22. 19 Suarez -1
  23. 13 TDillon -1
  24. 43 Wallace Jr. R -2
  25. 15 Chastain -3
  26. 34 McDowell -2
  27. 72 LaJoie -2
  28. 32 DiBenedetto -2
  29. 38 Ragan -2
  30. 17 Stenhouse Jr. -5
  31. 99 Weatherman -7
  32.  2 Keselowski -8
  33. 23 Jones -12
  34. 51 McLeod -34
  35. 14 Bowyer OUT
  36. 47 Allmendinger OUT
  37. 00 Cassill OUT

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