NASCAR Cup: Harvick beats Kyle Busch with aggressive late pass

Kevin Harvick won the Nascar Cup series race at New Hampshire, making an aggressive late pass on title rival Kyle Busch to take his sixth win of the year

NASCAR Cup: Harvick beats Kyle Busch with aggressive late pass

Harvick ran near the front for most of the race but led the least number of laps. He became a key player in the race for the win on lap 257 of 301 when, following a caution brought out by team mate Clint Bowyer hitting the wall, he emerged from the pits behind Busch.

This pair had been behind Aric Almirola prior to the stoppage, but a slow pit stop for the Ford driver dropped him back. Almirola managed to hold on during the final 40 laps for third place, but the closing moments were all about Busch and Harvick.

Harvick had the quicker car but couldn't find a way past the Toyota driver until lapped traffic began to hamper Busch's progress.

By lap 284 Harvick was right on Busch's tail, and made contact with him at turn two five laps later. The move was repeated on the next two laps before Harvick forcefully moved Busch aside with just seven laps remaining.

The heavy-handed pass didn't take Busch out of contention completely, but allowed Harvick to build an unassailable lead in the race's closing stages.

Busch held on for second, ahead of Almirola and Martin Truex Jr. who won the first stage of the race and led the second-most laps overall.

The reigning series champion looked almost unbeatable in the early part of the race but was unable to take a second consecutive win after slipping down the order in the third and final stage.

Chase Elliott won the second stage of the race and finished fifth. His stage win was his first of the year and just Chevrolet's third all season. It was also the first time the Hendrick Motorsport's driver had made a pass for the lead since the race at Phoenix last November.

Kurt Bush led the most laps during the race, completing 94 of the race's 301 tours at the front of the field, but a poor restart after the final caution dropped him down the order.

The elder Busch brother eventually finished the race ninth behind Ryan Newman and early victory threat Ryan Blaney.

Joey Logano and Jimmie Johnson completed the top 10, Johnson's result being just his seventh top 10 finish all season in what has been a tough year for the seven-time series champion.

Bad weather threatened to postpone the race, with forecast showers leading organisers to bring the race forward an hour, before inclement weather delayed the start by approximately three hours from the amended start time.

Rain threatened again in the closing stages, but the race went the distance untroubled.

Race result

Pos Driver Team Car Laps Gap
1 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 301 2h52m56.s
2 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 301 1.877s
3 Aric Almirola Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 301 5.429s
4 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Racing Toyota 301 7.287s
5 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 301 10.234s
6 Ryan Newman Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 301 13.747s
7 Ryan Blaney Team Penske Ford 301 14.225s
8 Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 301 14.542s
9 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 301 14.727s
10 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 301 15.496s
11 Alex Bowman Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 301 16.031s
12 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 301 16.849s
13 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 301 17.410s
14 William Byron Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 301 18.160s
15 Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Racing Ford 301 19.538s
16 Erik Jones Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 301 25.924s
17 Paul Menard Wood Brothers Racing Ford 301 26.494s
18 Jamie McMurray Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 301 29.717s
19 Kasey Kahne Leavine Family Racing Chevrolet 301 30.294s
20 Chris Buescher JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 300 1 Lap
21 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 300 1 Lap
22 Daniel Suarez Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 300 1 Lap
23 Ty Dillon Germain Racing Chevrolet 300 1 Lap
24 Darrell Wallace Jr. Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet 299 2 Laps
25 Ross Chastain Premium Motorsports Chevrolet 298 3 Laps
26 Michael McDowell Front Row Motorsports Ford 298 3 Laps
27 Corey LaJoie TriStar Motorsports Chevrolet 298 3 Laps
28 Matt DiBenedetto Go FAS Racing Ford 298 3 Laps
29 David Ragan Front Row Motorsports Ford 298 3 Laps
30 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford 296 5 Laps
31 Kyle Weatherman StarCom Racing Chevrolet 294 7 Laps
32 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford 293 8 Laps
33 Blake Jones BK Racing Toyota 289 12 Laps
34 B.J. McLeod Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet 267 34 Laps
35 Clint Bowyer Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 255 Accident
36 A.J. Allmendinger JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 19 Accident
37 Landon Cassill StarCom Racing Chevrolet 13 Accident

Drivers' standings

Pos Driver Points
1 Kyle Busch 844
2 Kevin Harvick 791
3 Martin Truex Jr. 740
4 Joey Logano 679
5 Kurt Busch 646
6 Clint Bowyer 638
7 Brad Keselowski 635
8 Kyle Larson 606
9 Ryan Blaney 584
10 Denny Hamlin 583
11 Aric Almirola 575
12 Jimmie Johnson 522
13 Chase Elliott 520
14 Erik Jones 501
15 Alex Bowman 453
16 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 425
17 Paul Menard 424
18 Ryan Newman 379
19 Austin Dillon 378
20 Daniel Suarez 359
21 William Byron 358
22 Jamie McMurray 355
23 Chris Buescher 324
24 Darrell Wallace Jr. 315
25 A.J. Allmendinger 315
26 Kasey Kahne 299
27 David Ragan 290
28 Michael McDowell 284
29 Ty Dillon 266
30 Matt DiBenedetto 224
31 Trevor Bayne 185
32 Gray Gaulding 113
33 Landon Cassill 94
34 Matt Kenseth 89
35 Cole Whitt 87
36 D.J. Kennington 82
37 Corey LaJoie 74
38 Jeffrey Earnhardt 61
39 Reed Sorenson 36
40 Harrison Rhodes 23
41 Mark Thompson 15
42 Kyle Weatherman 10
43 Chris Cook 6
44 Tomy Drissi 5
45 Derrike Cope 4
46 Blake Jones 4
47 Danica Patrick 2
48 Cody Ware 1

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