|Date: July 16, 2017
Event: Overton’s 301 (Round 19 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon (1.058-mile oval)
Format: 301 laps, broken into three stages (75 laps/75 laps/151 laps)
Start/Finish: 9th/8th (Running, completed 301 of 301 laps)
Point Standing: 14th (455 points, 303 out of first)
Race Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Furniture Row Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-75):
● Kurt Busch started ninth, finished 14th.
● Busch started Stage 1 from the ninth position due to a penalty on the No. 42 car prior to the race.
● During a lap-67 caution, Busch pitted for four fresh tires, wedge adjustments and fuel. He restarted in the 20th position.
● Busch fired off the restart quick and battled his Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion back inside the top-15 before the conclusion of Stage 1.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 76-150):
● Started sixth, finished fourth. Earned seven bonus points.
● Another quick restart forced Busch to the third position. He ran in the fourth position for the majority of the stage.
● Busch told crew chief Tony Gibson that his Ford Fusion became looser as the stage went on.
● At the conclusion of the stage, Busch took four tires and fuel but was caught in traffic on pit road, losing two positions.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 151-301):
● Started sixth, finished eighth.
● Busch began the final stage running inside the top-five.
● He ran in and around the top-10 until lap 234, when he pitted under green-flag conditions for four tires fuel and adjustments.
● On lap 263, Busch pitted under caution for four tires and fuel to restart in the eighth position.
● Busch battled his way just outside of the top-five for the remainder of the race.
● This was Busch’s 33rd Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start at New Hampshire and his 595th career NASCAR Cup Series start.
● Busch scored his ninth top-10 finish of 2017.
● Busch scored his 14th top-10 finish in 33 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at New Hampshire.
● There were seven caution periods for a total of 34 laps.
● Twenty-four of the 39 drivers in the Overton’s 301 finished on the lead lap.
● Denny Hamlin won the Overton’s 301 to score his 30th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his first of the season and his third at New Hampshire. His margin of victory over second-place Kyle Larson was .509 of a second.
● Martin Truex Jr. leads the championship standings with 758 points with a 38-point advantage over his nearest pursuer, Larson.
Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“Those long green-flag runs are reminiscent of the old days where you would have green-flag pit stops mixed in. It is neat to change lanes and try to find different things with the VHT and the grip that they put down. When you are out there running and you get in that rhythm, you think if you preserve your tires you can get two- or three-tenths when we get to lap 50 and half a second when we get to lap 70. It gave you the old-school feel of taking care of the tires. Our Haas Automation/Monster Energy team did a fantastic job, and we’re pleased with the performance from our Roush Yates engines.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!