LOUDON, N.H. — Kevin Harvick has hoisted his third victory lobster.
The Stewart-Haas Racing driver won Sunday’s Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway after bumping and running past Kyle Busch with six laps left. Busch finished runner-up, with Aric Almirola, Martin Truex Jr. and Chase Elliott rounding out the top five.
The win marks the sixth of the season for Harvick, and the third of his career at NHMS. He last won in New Hampshire in 2016.
The Granite State’s lone Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race of the season was delayed over three hours, with perpetual rains threatening to push the race to Monday. But NASCAR, with a watchful eye on local radars, identified a window between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., and drivers delivered with a brisk, virtually wreck-free race at the Magic Mile.
Harvick’s aggressive move on Busch surely will be the talk of the race, which ultimately came down to a battle between the season’s premier drivers.
“I just didn’t know if I was gonna get (that close) again, felt like that was my best opportunity to do what I had to do to win,” Harvick said after the race. “I didn’t wanna wreck him, but I didn’t wanna spend a bunch of time behind him.”
So, does Harvick, who still sits second behind Busch in the Cup standings, expect retribution from “Rowdy?”
“You do (expect retaliation), and you worry about that stuff later,” he said. ” … It’s not directed at him.”
Busch, perhaps surprisingly, wasn’t overly upset with Harvick’s bump. In fact, he seemed resigned to the fact that he’s invited this type of aggression from his fellow drivers.
“It’s racing, we had a really, really poor performance today,” the Joe Gibbs Racing driver said after the race. ” … We kept fighting the same things all weekend long.
” … It’s all fair game when you’re racing. How you race is how you get raced.”
The Cup Series now will set course for Pennsylvania with the Gander Outdoors 400 scheduled for Sunday afternoon at Pocono Raceway.
NHMS, of course, will wait until next season to host another Cup event, as it no longer hosts a fall playoff race.
Thumbnail photo via Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports Images