Kyle Busch’s mid-season march toward a post-season berth continued Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway with his third victory in the last four races. The win lifted him from thirty-fifth to thirty-third in the point standings with seven races left in the regular season. With three wins to his credit, all Busch needs to do now in order to secure a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup is finish among the top thirty in the regular-season standings.
He trails thirtieth-place David Gilliland by fifty-eight points heading into the next race next weekend at Indianapolis. Busch led ninety-five laps Sunday, including the final forty-nine trips around the one-mile oval. The race ended under caution for Alex Bowman’s single-car accident that took place in Turn-2 after Busch had taken the white flag. Brad Keselowski led a race-high 101 laps and finished second with Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano (Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate) and Dale Earnhardt Junior completing the top five.
Pole sitter Carl Edwards led just nineteen laps and finished seventh. Busch is the ninth different winner in the last nine summertime races contested in New Hampshire dating back to 2007. Denny Hamlin was going for a weekend sweep after winning Saturday’s X-FINITY Series race but finished fourteenth on Sunday. He was one of twenty drivers running on the lead lap with Busch at the checkered flag. Sunday’s race included just nine lead changes, half as many as there were last year. There were seven cautions for thirty-four laps. There was balance at the top of the running order with each of NASCAR’s participating manufacturers getting one spot among the top three.