Mary Schwalm/Associated Press
An extended rain delay didn’t seem to bother Kevin Harvick, who won his sixth race of the year Sunday with a come-from-behind effort at the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301.
The No. 4 car only led 12 laps at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, but Harvick used contact to pass Kyle Busch with seven laps to go and held on for his first win since May 19.
Busch, Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. have now won 15 of 20 races so far this year, continuing some incredible dominance from the Big Three.
1. Kevin Harvick (4)
2. Kyle Busch (18)
3. Aric Almirola (10)
4. Martin Truex Jr. (78)
5. Chase Elliott (9)
6. Ryan Newman (31)
7. Ryan Blaney (12)
8. Kurt Busch (41)
9. Joey Logano (22)
10. Jimmie Johnson (48)
Full results available at NASCAR.com.
The big story of the race came at the very end, when it once again came down to Busch and Harvick.
While the No. 18 was ahead with eight laps left, Harvick used a bump-and-run to get by him:
How did @KevinHarvick get past @KyleBusch for the win at @NHMS?
Busch was never able to recover, and he finished in second place, although he wasn’t too upset about how he was defeated.
“How you race is how you get raced,” he said after the race, per Nick DeGroot of Motorsport.com.
This finish is what we have come to expect throughout the year, although neither was in front for most of the race.
Kurt Busch began on the pole and led all drivers with 94 laps, while Truex was able to add to his playoff point total with a Stage 1 win.
There were limited lead changes through the second stage, but some aggressive driving from Chase Elliott created plenty of excitement at the midway point:
NASCAH on NBC @NASCARonNBC
Four-wide at @NHMS!
SERIOUSLY. #NASCAR #Foxwoods301 https://t.co/Isoyi4M3mP
NASCAH on NBC @NASCARonNBC
Round the outside. Round the outside. Round the outside.
@ChaseElliott moves into the LEAD at @NHMS! Watch @NASCAR on @NBCSN or stream here: https://t.co/WTwvY7sMVl https://t.co/NyQ9Pgw2yh
He came through with the Stage 2 win, his first stage victory of the season.
The theme in the final stage was missed opportunities, with both Kurt Busch and Aric Almirola hurting themselves after taking the lead. Busch fell back during a miscommunication on a pit stop, while Almirola struggled on a restart.
Nick Bromberg of Yahoo Sports discussed the problems for the No. 10 car:
Nick Bromberg @NickBromberg
Aric Almirola (and team) have fumbled two really, really good chances to win this year. Yeesh.
Almirola ended up in third place, his highest of the season.
This left the door open for yet another battle between Harvick and Kyle Busch, leaving fans with quite a show through a rainy day. The rest of the field was left just trying to pick up some points and move up the standings.
The pressure will continue to rise over the next few weeks with drivers looking for spots in the playoffs. Next Sunday’s Gander Outdoors 400 at Pocono Raceway will be a great opportunity for some other contenders to pick up much-needed points.