Event: Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 (Round 20 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon (1.058-mile oval)
Format: 301 laps, broken into three stages (75 laps/75 laps/151 laps)
Start/Finish: 14th/1st (Running, completed 301 of 301 laps)
Point Standing: 3rd (691 points, 92 out of first)
Race Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Aric Almirola of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-75):
● Kevin Harvick started 14th and finished eighth to earn three bonus points.
● The No. 4 Busch Beer / National Forest Foundation Ford Mustang was tight center-off early on but was in the top-10 by lap 40.
● On lap 47, Harvick pitted for four tires, fuel and a tire-pressure adjustment. He resumed in seventh.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 76-150):
● Harvick started seventh and finished eighth to earn another three bonus points.
● The No. 4 Busch Beer / National Forest Foundation Ford Mustang pitted on lap 78 for four tires, fuel and tire and chassis adjustments.
● On lap 110 as he ran in seventh, Harvick said the car was “a bit too loose.” Most cars pitted, but Harvick stayed out and took over the lead for the first time.
● Harvick was in the lead on the lap-116 restart, but Kyle Busch moved from third into the lead on the backstretch.
● On lap 127, while in second place, Harvick said he “needed rear grip all the way through.”
● Harvick pitted on lap 140 from second place for four tires, fuel and a track-bar adjustment. He restarted 13th.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 151-301):
● Harvick started second and finished first to earn five playoff points.
● On lap 198, Harvick was 1.3 seconds behind Denny Hamlin. He said the car was too tight.
● Harvick was 1.7 seconds behind Hamlin when the caution came out on lap 214. He pitted for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment but had a little trouble getting into the pit box, and one of his crew members slipped coming around the car. Harvick resumed in fifth place.
● On lap 227, Harvick moved past Erik Jones into fourth place. He was 1.8 seconds behind leader Hamlin.
● After a caution came out on lap 266, Harvick stayed on track and assumed the lead on lap 267 while those ahead of him pitted, including Hamlin, Brad Keselowski and Ryan Blaney.
● Harvick had a solid launch on the race’s final restart on lap 273 and despite last lap contact with second-place Denny Hamlin, Harvick led the final 29 laps for the victory.
● Harvick’s victory in the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 was his first win of the season and his fourth victory in 36 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at New Hampshire.
● Harvick’s four wins at New Hampshire are the most among active Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers.
● Harvick’s 20 top-10s at New Hampshire are the second most among active Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers. Jimmie Johnson leads the series with 22 top-10s at New Hampshire.
● Since joining SHR in 2014, Harvick has finished in the top-five seven times at New Hampshire – a span of 10 races.
● Harvick is tied with Kurt Busch for the most top-fives (11) among active drivers at New Hampshire.
● Harvick led three times for 41 laps to increase his laps-led total at New Hampshire to 759.
● Harvick’s margin of victory over second-place Denny Hamlin was .210 of a second.
● There were nine caution periods for a total of 48 laps.
● Only 18 of the 37 drivers in the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301finished on the lead lap.
● Joey Logano remains the championship leader after New Hampshire with a three-point advantage over second-place Kyle Busch.
Kevin Harvick, Driver of the No. 4 Busch Beer / National Forest Foundation Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We’ve run well enough a few times this year to win, but we’ve just made mistakes, and to finally battle and get over that hump is a great day for everybody at Stewart-Haas Racing and everybody on the 4 car. I thought it was really questionable about how that (final restart) was going to go, and the thing took right off. The only thing that wasn’t good was we got the traffic, and my car started pushing. I knew that he (Hamlin) was going to take a shot. I would have taken a shot. I stood on the brakes and just tried to keep it straight. I just didn’t want to let him back to the inside and let him have another shot. I wanted to at least be in control of who was going to have contact in turns three and four. It was a heck of a finish – closer than what we wanted – but it was our only chance. I would have never done it (stayed out), but that’s why he (crew chief Rodney Childers) is on the box and not me.”
The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Gander RV 400 on Sunday, July 28 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. The race starts at 3 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.