NASCAR New Hampshire: Kevin Harvick takes Chase victory

Kevin Harvick won at New Hampshire to advance to the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup "round of 12" stage of the Chase for the championship

NASCAR New Hampshire: Kevin Harvick takes Chase victory

Harvick continued where he left off in Chicagoland with his aggressive approach, moving up to third by two-thirds distance after starting 19th on the grid.

He traded places with defending champion Kyle Busch but after the penultimate restart, Harvick moved into second behind Joe Gibbs Racing driver Matt Kenseth, who was aiming to be the first driver to win three consecutive races at New Hampshire.

Harvick passed Kenseth on the final restart with five laps to go, hanging onto the lead to take the chequered flag.

Kyle Busch finished third as his gamble to take an extra pitstop compared to many of the Chase competitors gave him rubber to charge through the field.

Former champions Brad Keselowski and Kurt Busch were out of contention for much of the race but benefitted from the final caution flag stops to take fourth and fifth place respectively.

Polesitter Carl Edwards finished sixth overall, picking up a late-race penalty for crossing into the pit entry too late, hampering his chances of victory.

Furniture Row driver Martin Truex Jr was the pacesetter for much of the race but the decision was made by the crew of Truex to only change two tyres instead of four at the second set of caution pitstops so a few laps after the restart, Kenseth seized the lead.

Truex then dropped down to seventh ahead of Jimmie Johnson as he was overtaken on his final two restarts having chosen the inside line when the outside of the track had more grip.

Non-Chase driver Kasey Kahne was forced to start at the back but his charge through the field and timing at pitstops allowed him to progress to ninth place.

Kyle Larson was fastest in all three practice sessions but failed to convert this into race pace - coming home 10th ahead of Joey Logano.

Chase Elliott finished 13th having been in the top five for much of the race while Denny Hamlin looked set to finish in the top ten for ten consecutive races for the first time in his career but a series of pitlane penalties near the end of the race ended his hopes of continuing that streak.

Austin Dillon had a strong end to the race to take 16th while fellow Chase contender Jamie McMurray lost out in the final pitstops to finish 19th.

Tony Stewart and Chris Buescher had races to forget as they finished well outside the top 20, leaving them in real danger of not making the "round of 12" stage of the Chase.

RESULT

Pos Driver Team Car Laps
1 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 300
2 Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 300
3 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 300
4 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford 300
5 Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 300
6 Carl Edwards Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 300
7 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Racing Toyota 300
8 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 300
9 Kasey Kahne Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 300
10 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 300
11 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 300
12 Ryan Blaney Wood Brothers Racing Ford 300
13 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 300
14 Alex Bowman Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 300
15 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 300
16 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 300
17 Aric Almirola Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 300
18 Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 300
19 Jamie McMurray Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 300
20 Ryan Newman Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 300
21 A.J. Allmendinger JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 300
22 Clint Bowyer HScott Motorsports Chevrolet 300
23 Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 299
24 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford 299
25 Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 299
26 Michael McDowell Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing Chevrolet 298
27 Casey Mears Germain Racing Chevrolet 298
28 Matt DiBenedetto BK Racing Toyota 298
29 Landon Cassill Front Row Motorsports Ford 298
30 Chris Buescher Front Row Motorsports Ford 298
31 Brian Scott Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 298
32 David Ragan BK Racing Toyota 297
33 Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing Ford 297
34 Regan Smith Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet 297
35 Cole Whitt Premium Motorsports Chevrolet 294
36 Reed Sorenson Premium Motorsports Toyota 293
37 Jeffrey Earnhardt Go FAS Racing Ford 290
38 Trevor Bayne Roush Fenway Racing Ford 282
39 Josh Wise The Motorsports Group Chevrolet 268
40 Michael Annett HScott Motorsports Chevrolet 236


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