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Martin Truex Jr. leads every lap to win Stage 1 of New Hampshire Cup race

Martin Truex Jr. continues his dominance over the new format in NASCAR as he claims Stage 1 of the Cup race at New Hampshire.

Pole-sitter Martin Truex Jr. led all 75 laps in the first stage of the Overton’s 301 to bank his series leading 14th stage win of the season.

Truex clinched the stage win in a two-lap shootout following a late caution.

The top 10 at the end of Stage 1 was Truex, Matt Kenseth, Kyle Larson, Jamie McMurray, Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Ryan Newman, Ryan Blaney, Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott.

The race was briefly put under a red flag during the stage ending caution period in order for repairs to made to the track surface in Turn 3.

Larson worked his way into the top five after starting in 39th, a result of having failed post-qualifying inspection on Friday.

The first stage was slowed by three cautions. The first was the Lap 35 competition caution. The second was caused by a Erik Jones crash on the resulting restart on Lap 41. Jones lost a tire and hit the Turn 3 wall. The tire was caused by damage Jones’ No. 77 Toyota suffered on pit road when he was pinched by Kasey Kahne and Denny Hamlin.

“Disappointing day for sure, you know,” Jones told NBCSN. “We had a good car to fire off and it’s unfortunate made a little contact there with the 5 and the 11 on pit road.

“We thought we were okay and unfortunately (lost) the right front or left front into three and it ended our day.”

Cole Whitt brought out the third caution when his engine blew up on Lap 68.

Jimmie Johnson served a pass-through penalty for a start violation on the initial green flag and finished the stage in 12th.

Stage 2 of the race will end on Lap 150 and the race will end on Lap 301.

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