Column By: BRITTANY NUTILE / RPW – LOUDON, NH – The NASCAR Cup Series event on Sunday started two hours late due to the rain.
Rain had been in an issue for Sunday coming into the weekend, many weather channels were different, and no one was very sure on if it would rain the whole day or just rain in the morning and have time to get the race. The race for Sunday has never been rained out in over 20 years. They either start it on time and its finished early due to rain or they start it late and get to the finish the whole thing. The fans were still there early, and many were eager to get the race going and were very thrilled that they had got it in on Sunday. We even had partially blue skies around the racetrack at one point during the race which was nice to see.
Kevin Harvick wins the Foxwoods Casino 301 today at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Harvick started the race 14th. Kurt Busch had the pole today for the race and had gotten the lead and led 37 laps and then Truex Jr. and Kurt Busch had a great battle and then Truex Jr. took the lead and led 27 laps and won the first stage. Kurt Busch finished 8th and Truex Jr. finished 4th in tonight’s race.
After the pit stop Truex Jr. stayed in the lead and led another 83 laps before him and Kurt Busch had another battle for the lead eventually Kurt Busch took over the lead and led 37 laps in stage 2. Chase Elliott got his first stage win in the cup series and had a good shot at winning the race today. Elliott has had a hard time at NHMS and today he got his first top 5 finish here. Elliott finished 5th in the race today.
Aric Almirola lead 42 laps and had an awesome day had almost a chance to win but, a caution came out and came in with the lead and went out 3rd. For the restart he spun his tires and didn’t have a chance to get himself up to compete for the win. With his injury sidelining him after Daytona he didn’t know if he was able to compete anymore or be in good equipment to get back to winning or even in the top 5. The Stewart- Hass company gave him a shot to be competitive and be able to try and win the race. He just feels that he let down the people who gave him a shot and believed that he had something that they needed for their group of people. The 10 team with Almirola are only 20 races into being a team together and they are still learning from each other. Bowyer had a problem and that’s the caution that came out when Almirola was leading. Bowyer apologized saying it was his fault and he hated that for his teammate.
The battle for the last 30 laps or so were between Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch. Kyle Busch was leading after the final caution of the race and won the lead off of pit road and for a while it seemed like Busch pulled away so it didn’t look like Harvick would get to him in time but, there were a lot of lap traffic and Harvick was on the back bumper multiple times but couldn’t make it stick or get around him. Finally, Harvick got into him and Busch went up the track and Kevin got by him for the lead. While this was happening the 4 team was on the radio telling him to do whatever he had to for him to win the race. Kevin Harvick led 12 laps today during the last stage of the race. The incident with Busch he said in the post-race interview that it was essential pay back for what in Chicago.
There were 7 cautions, 3 of which were end of the stages. There were 10 lead changes among 7 drivers. The American Ethanol Green Flag Restart Award went to Truex Jr., Martin also had the fastest lap of the race. The Moog Go the Extra Mile was Aric Amirola’s crew chief John Klausmeier. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series next race is July 29th at Pocono.
Christopher Bell Shows The Way In Saturday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series Race At NHMS
Christopher Bell wins the Lake regions 200 Saturday. Christopher Bell won from the front row, was supposed to start second but started first because Keselowski had to start in the back for being late to the drivers meeting.
Brad Keselowski won the pole for the Xfinity race today. He won’t get the first pit stall because Xfinity does it by who won the pole for the last race.
Ryan Truex couldn’t get in the final round of qualifying. Brandon Jones got in the final round after his last lap at the end of the round. Truex will start 13th. Ryan Truex got into a wreck while racing with Ryan Reed and Reed clipped him in the side and spun him out in the 2nd stage. After qualifying he was frustrated about not making it to the last round. He felt confident in his race team and his car to get him up to the front since he’s from New Jersey, it’s not really his home track but his father, brother and Ryan have all won in the K&N series (Busch North series) at New Hampshire.
Ryan Preece start 3rd for the Xfinity race today. He ended up finishing 3rd was very good all day, he had a big advantage than most of the other drivers since he raced the modified race right before the Xfinity race and knew which lines work and where you could pass on the track. Ryan Preece was passing drivers on the bottom of the race track and making it look easy. He had good short runs but when they got into long runs he would fall off the pace.
They had 13 driver changes among 5 drivers. They only had 7 cautions during the race. The lead changes and battles were great Preece would dive to the bottom and then Keselowski would do a slide job and by turn 3 Keselowski would lead and they would go back and forth like that for a good 4 or 5 laps. The points have changed since Bell won the race today. Daniel Hemric is now the points leader with 6 points over Christopher Bell and Elliott Sadler is now in 3rd place.
The Xfinity series next race will be Iowa Speedway on July 28th.