Kevin Harvick wins at New Hampshire to advance in the Chase
Kevin Harvick took advantage of a restart with six laps to go in the Bad Boy Off Road 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway to earn his third win of the season.
Harvick quickly disposed of Matt Kenseth, who had been dominant in the second half of the race, to lead the final five laps. The win, Harvick’s second at New Hampshire, comes in his 100th start with Stewart-Haas Racing, the organization he joined prior to the 2014 season. Harvick won his first championship that same year.
Sunday’s victory automatically advances Harvick and the No. 4 team to the round of 12 in the Chase.
“Man, that worked out really good,” Harvick told NBCSN in victory lane. “My car was pretty good on the restarts, and once we got clean air there at the end, it wound up being really good out front. Just really proud of our team, they did a great job. On we go.”
Kenseth finished second after leading 105 of 300 laps. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver was in position for his third straight win at New Hampshire as he fended off repeated challenges from Martin Truex Jr. throughout the final 50 laps. However, Truex, who led a race-high 141 laps, fell from second to seventh on the second to last restart, which opened the door for Harvick.
“We talk about that stuff all the time,” Harvick said of the restarts. “I think for me it was just a smooth restart; I just didn’t want to spin the tires. I don’t know what happened to (Kenseth) or if I just timed it right, but worked out good when we got to Turn 1.”
Kyle Busch finished third, Brad Keselowski fourth, and Kurt Busch fifth.
HOW HARVICK WON: Harvick beat Matt Kenseth into Turn 1 on the race’s final restart with six laps to go.
WHO ELSE HAD A GOOD RACE: Brad Keselowski finished fourth after spending much of the event outside the top 10 ... Pole-sitter Carl Edwards rebounded from a commitment line violation to finish seventh ... Kasey Kahne was the best of the non-Chase drivers with a ninth-place finish, his fourth consecutive top-10 finish.
WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Austin Dillon finished 16th in his backup car ... Jamie McMurray finished 19th ... Tony Stewart finished one lap down in 23rd-place ... Chris Buescher finished two laps down in 30th-place.
NOTABLE: Sunday was Kevin Harvick’s 10th career Chase win, which includes at least one win in the last five seasons. The victory was the third at New Hampshire for Stewart-Haas Racing.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Last restart’s my fault. The one before that I thought I did right and (NASCAR radioed) down that they thought I slowed up before I restarted or something, so the last one I let Kevin lay back on me which we’re supposed to be side-by-side, and I should have known better. I should have just went really late in the zone and waited until he had to get up to my nose because he anticipated it just right and laid back and plus I spun the tire, so I got beat through (Turns) 1 and 2 and then it was over.” -- Matt Kenseth
WHAT’S NEXT: The Delaware 400 is the final race in the round of 16 at Dover International Speedway on Oct. 2 at 2 p.m. ET on NBCSN.