Event: ISM Connect 300 (Round 28 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon (1.058-mile oval)
Format: 300 laps, broken into three stages (75 laps/75 laps/150 laps)
Start/Finish: 16th/7th (Running, completed 300 of 300 laps)
Point Standing: 18th with 718 points
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):
- Clint Bowyer started 16th and finished 19th.
- Dealt with a Haas Automation Ford that was loose early into the corners and tight off.
- Pitted at the end of the stage for four fresh tires and fuel. Made a left-rear tire pressure adjustment.
- Stage 2 Recap (Laps 76-150):
- Started 16th and finished 11th.
- Jumped to 13th on restart, but then felt car became tight as laps wore on.
- “Too tight on the gas,” said Bowyer on lap 107, yet he rose to 11th by the end of the stage.
- Pitted at the end of the stage for four fresh tires and fuel. Reversed left-rear tire pressure adjustment from previous pit stop.
Stage 3 Recap (Laps 151-300):
- Bowyer started 11th and finished seventh.
- Cracked top-10 on lap 182.
- Rose to ninth with pass of Chase Elliott on lap 210.
- During caution on lap 223, Bowyer pitted for four tires and fuel. “No changes,” he said. “It takes a while to get going, but once it’s going, it’s ok.”
- Good work by Haas Automation crew allowed Bowyer to maintain ninth place when race restarted on lap 226.
- Grabbed eighth place from Ryan Blaney on lap 256.
- Caution on lap 264 allowed Bowyer to pit for four tires and fuel, no changes.
- Pit crew got Bowyer off pit road in sixth place, a gain of two positions.
- Bowyer made most of restart and mistakes of others, rising to second place before a lap-269 caution.
- Restarted in second behind race leader Kyle Busch with 28 laps to go. Fell to third before another caution on lap 274.
- Final restart came on lap 278. It was a frantic one, with Bowyer dropping to seventh in the waning laps.
- This was Bowyer’s 11th top-10 of 2017 and ninth top-10 in 24 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at New Hampshire.
- 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.
- Martin Truex Jr. leads the championship standings with 2,149 points and holds a 30-point advantage over second-place Kyle Busch.
Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 Haas Automation Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“It really wasn’t a strategy race. We just kept digging and were just off a little bit.”
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. It is the third race of the 10-race playoffs and it starts at 2 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN.