Event: ISM Connect 300 (Round 28 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon (1-mile oval)
Format: 300 laps, broken into three stages (75 laps/75 laps/150 laps)
Start/Finish: 6th/36th (Running, completed 148 of 300 laps)
Point Standing: 10th with 2,069 points, 25 points ahead of 13th
Race Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Furniture Row Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-75):
- Kevin Harvick started sixth, finished 10th and earned one bonus point.
- He reported he was loose-off and battled rear-grip issues throughout the opening stage.
- The Mobil 1 Ford remained inside the top-10 before the conclusion of Stage 1.
- The No. 4 team pitted at the end of the stage for four tires, fuel and air pressure and chassis adjustments.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 76-150):
- Started 11th, finished 36th.
- Harvick continued to battle rear-grip issues throughout Stage 2.
- On lap 149 Harvick was struck in the left-rear quarter panel on the exit of turn two, sending the No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford spinning.
- With nowhere to go, teammate Kurt Busch made contact with Harvick, ending the day for both.
- ISM Connect 300 at New Hampshire is the second of the 10-race playoffs to determine the 2017 NASCAR Cup Series champion.
- Harvick gained one bonus point by finishing 10th in Stage 1.
- There were six caution periods for a total of 32 laps.
- Twenty of the 39 drivers in the ISM Connect 300 finished on the lead lap.
- Kyle Busch won the ISM Connect 300 to score his 41st career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his third of the season and his third at New Hampshire. His margin of victory over second-place Kyle Larson was 2.641 seconds.
Playoff Standings: (with one race to go before Round of 12):
- Martin Truex Jr. (2,149 points) 1 win
- Kyle Busch (2,119 points) 1 win
- Kyle Larson (2,125 points, -24) +81 points
- Brad Keselowski (2,106 points, -43) +62 points
- Denny Hamlin (2,088 points, -61) +44 points
- Matt Kenseth (2,087 points, -62) +43 points
- Jimmie Johnson (2,076 points, -73) +32 points
- Ryan Blaney (2,070 points, -79) +26 points
- Chase Elliott (2,070 points, -79) +26 points
- Kevin Harvick (2,069 points, -80) +25 points
- Jamie McMurray (2,053 points, -96) +9 points
- Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (2,044 points, -105) +0 points
- Austin Dillon (2,044 points, -105) -0 points
- Ryan Newman (2,043 points, -106) -1 point
- Kurt Busch (2,027 points, -122) -17 points
- Kasey Kahne (2,023 points, -126) -22 points
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“I tried to lock it down, and it was too far up across the racetrack. I knew I was probably worse off at that particular point, so once it turned back right and I was in trouble, I should have just tried to keep it left. I couldn’t really tell where I was with all the smoke and everything that was happening. I just got hit from behind and spun out. The cars were locked together, so our Mobil 1 Ford was stuck and we couldn’t get her to back up anymore.”
The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Apache Warrior 400 on Sunday, Oct. 1 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. The race starts at 2 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN, MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio channel 90.