Kyle Busch wins Stage 2 at New Hampshire

Kyle Busch won Stage 2 in Sunday’s Overton’s 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Busch led 72 laps and held a 4.1-second lead over his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin at the line for his fifth stage win of 2017. Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Martin Truex Jr. Matt Kenseth, Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson and Clint Bowyer rounded out the top 10.

“It’s ever-changing it keeps moving all over the race track,” Busch said. “We’d like to think we’re the car to beat but there are cars around us that are pretty good, too.”

Polesitter and Stage 1 winner Martin Truex pitted after the first segment. Kenseth, Larson, Ty Dillon, McMurray, Elliott, Kahne, Ryan Newman, David Ragan and Reed Sorenson also came to pit road.

Before the start of Stage 2, NASCAR red-flagged the race at the 54-minute mark to seal a hole between Turns 3 and 4 on the Magic Mile. The drivers came down pit road and waited for five minutes and 29-seconds until repairs were complete.

Kyle Busch had the lead followed by Blaney, Hamlin, Johnson, Harvick, Kurt Busch, Clint Bowyer, Keselowski, Logano, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Danica Patrick, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Daniel Suarez, Austin Dillon and Chris Buescher on Lap 84.

In clean air, Busch extended his advantage by 0.460-seconds after the first lap over Blaney Hamlin, Harvick and Johnson rounded out the top-five at the conclusion of Lap 85.

Suarez, who was running 11th, took Keselowski and Earnhardt three-wide to move up to ninth coming to Lap 87. On the next lap, Austin Dillon spun in Turn 4 while running in the top 15. Kyle Busch held the point followed by Blaney, Hamlin, Harvick, Johnson, Kurt Busch, Logano, Bowyer, Keselowski, Patrick, Stenhouse, Truex, Allmendinger, Kenseth, Buescher, Aric Almirola, Michael McDowell and Larson.

The race returned to green on Lap 93. Harvick moved around Blaney on the restart for third and brought teammate Kurt Busch with him. Johnson, Logano, Earnhardt, Bowyer and Suarez rounded out the top 10. On Lap 96, Hamlin shot past Kurt Busch for third and Johnson moved by Blaney for fifth.

Busch’s lead over Harvick was 1.6-seconds after five laps. Hamlin, Kurt Busch, Johnson, Logano, Blaney, Suarez, Bowyer and Truex rounded out the top 10. On Lap 104, Larson passed Earnhardt for 12th. He moved by Bowyer for 11th on the next lap.

With 45 laps to the end of the stage, Busch extended his advantage to two-seconds over Harvick. Blaney passed Logano for sixth on Lap 114, but Truex passed both Penske drivers over the next two circuits to take over sixth. Kyle Busch held the point followed by Harvick, Hamlin, Kurt Busch and Johnson.

Busch’s lead over Harvick was 3.49-seconds with 30 laps to decide the stage. Hamlin, Kurt Busch, Johnson, Truex, Blaney, Logano, Kenseth and Larson completed the top 10. Thirty-two cars remained on the lead lap.

On Lap 128, Larson passed Logano for ninth — as Truex closed in on fifth-place Johnson. With 20 laps to decide the stage, Logano held onto 10th but was challenged by Suarez, Earnhardt, Bowyer, and Elliott. Suarez took over 10th and Logano dropped to 16th. Five laps later, Busch’s lead grew to 3.5-seconds over Harvick. Hamlin, Kurt Busch and Johnson held onto the top five.

Hamlin caught Harvick and used the bumper to make the pass on Lap 137 for second. That allowed Kurt Busch to catch Harvick as well. Busch encountered traffic with five laps to decide the stage but still had a 5.6-second lead over Hamlin, Harvick, Kurt Busch, Johnson, Truex, Kenseth, Blaney, Larson and Bowyer rounded out the top 10.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Event Loudon
Track New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Drivers Kyle Busch
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing
Article type Race report