Almirola holds off Logano for Stage 2 win at New Hampshire
Aric Almirola held off Joey Logano in a two-lap dash to claim the Stage 2 win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Almirola got a jump on Logano with two of 75 laps remaining in the second stage and was able to claim his first stage win of the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series season.
Ryan Newman finished third, William Byron was fourth and Kyle Busch completed the top-five.
Following the break between Stages 1 and 2, the lead-lap cars elected to pit and Kyle Busch was the first off pit road thanks to a two-tire stop.
On the restart on Lap 82, Busch led the way followed by Brad Keselowski and Martin Truex Jr.
After 90 laps, Kyle Busch held onto the lead with just two new tires. He maintained a 1.7-second lead over Keselowski as Kurt Busch ran third.
With 50 laps remaining in the second stage, Kyle Busch continued to lead Keselowski by about 1.7 seconds. Kurt Busch was third and Truex ran fourth.
On Lap 111, Daniel Hemric hit the Turn 2 wall after contact with Daniel Suarez, which brought out a caution. The two appeared to spin after Chase Elliott’s No. 9 Chevrolet dropped fluid on the track.
Most of the lead-lap cars elected to pit with Kyle Busch once again the first off pit road. Kevin Harvick elected to stay out and inherited the lead.
On the restart on Lap 117, Harvick led the way followed by Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer and Almirola.
In less than a lap after the restart, Busch had powered around Harvick to retake the lead.
With 30 laps to go in the stage, Kyle Busch had opened up almost a 1-second lead over Harvick as Almirola ran third.
On Lap 137, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. slammed into the Turn 2 wall to bring out another caution. “I’ve got no brakes,” Stenhouse said over his team radio.
Several lead-lap cars elected to pit but Almirola remained on the track and inherited the lead when the race returned to green on Lap 144. He was followed by Newman, Jimmie Johnson and Logano. Kyle Busch lined up 10th, the first car that pit.
Erik Jones had to restart from the rear of the field after he was penalized for speeding on pit road.
Exiting Turn 4, Bowyer and Truex got together on Lap 145 bringing out the caution. On the restart on Lap 149, Almirola led the way followed by Logano, Newman and Byron.
Kyle Busch takes Stage 1 win at New Hampshire
Harvick fends off Hamlin in wild finish to win at New Hampshire