This week the Monster Energy Cup Series moves to Loudon, New Hampshire to the New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the Overton’s 301.
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After crashing during practice Denny Hamlin had to move to a backup car but since the crash happened before qualifying, he will not have to move to the back of the field.
Aric Almirola returns to racing this weekend after being out with a back injury from a crash in Kansas seven races ago.
In pre-qualifying inspection only 18 of the 39 cars made it through inspection the first time. When qualifying began there were still 10 cars that had not made it through inspection. All 39 cars made it through in time to qualify for the race.
After failing to qualify last week in Kentucky, Kyle Larson dominated practice and all three rounds of qualifying to take the pole for his fourth pole of the season.
The starting lineup for the Overton’s 301:
Martn Truex Jr
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Dale Earnhardt Jr
During post-qualifying pole sitter Kyle Larson’s car failed with a rear wing height issue. For the second week in a row, he will have to start the race at the back of the field. Martin Truex Jr. is now the pole sitter for the race.
Stages one and two of the race are 75 laps each and for stage three the drivers will make 151 laps around the Magic Mile.
NASCAR has called for a competition caution on lap 35.
Martin Truex Jr brings the field down for the green flag start of the race and gets out in front for the lead of the race.
NASCAR posted the number 48 car of Jimmie Johnson for a race start violation. Johnson will have to serve a pass through penalty.
Matt Kenseth challenges Martin Truex Jr for the lead but Truex holds on to the lead.
Prior to the race start, Kyle Larson stated that he planned to be in the top five by the end of stage one. On lap six he has moved up to the 23rd spot.
On lap 10 Martin Truex Jr has a one second lead on Matt Kenseth.
On lap 14 Martin Truex Jr’s lead is up to a second and a half on Matt Kenseth..
On lap 23 Martin Truex Jr’s lead is now up to two and a half seconds. Kyle Larson has moved up to 12th place and Jimmie Johnson has moved up to 31st after having to serve his penalty and being put in 38th place.
On lap 30 Kyle Larson has moved up to the top 10 in 10th place.
Lap 35 Martin Truex Jr has pulled out to a six second lead on Matt Kenseth.
On lap 35 there is a long line of cars heading for pit road for the competition caution. Martin Truex Jr won the race off of pit road.
Martin Truex Jr brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 40 and pulls out in front for the lead of the race.
Erik Jones brings out the second caution flag of the race on lap 42 when he cuts a tire and hits the wall after some contact on pit road. He becomes the first driver out of the race.
Martin Truex Jr brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 46 and pulls out in front of the field.
On lap 53 the top three are Martin Truex Jr, Kyle Busch, and Kyle Larson. Jimmie Johnson has moved up to 18th place.
On lap 55 Martin Truex Jr has a half second lead on Kyle Busch.
On lap 64 Martin Truex Jr is running away from the field and has a seven second lead on Kyle Busch.
Cole Whitt brings out the third caution flag of the race on lap 67 with a heavily smoking car.
Jones left a lot of oil on the track from his smoking car with engine issues and it is taking an extended amount of time to clean up the track.
Some drivers come down pit road for service while others stay out on the track.
With only two laps to go in the stage, Martin Truex Jr brings the field down for the greet flag restart and continues to lead the race.
Martin Truex Jr wins stage one. This is Truex’s 14th stage win of the season.
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The stop 10 at the end of stage one:
Martin Truex Jr
The drivers who did not pit during the caution come down pit road for service. Martin Truex Jr wins the race off of pit road.
Before the drivers can get the green flag for the beginning of stage two, NASCAR brings the cars down pit road and throws the red flag while they repair a hole in the track.
Once the cars are back on the track, Kyle Busch is in the lead and brings the cars down for the start of stage two on lap 84 and gets out in front of the field.
Austin Dillon spins out on lap 88 bringing out the caution flag.
Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 93 and pulls out in front for the lead of the race.
Jimmie Johnson is reporting some radio issues.
Lap 100 Kyle Busch leads the race.
Kyle Larson is reporting a tire rub.
Lap 105 Kyle Busch is in the lead followed by Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, and Jimmie Johnson.
Lap 114 Kyle Busch has a lead of over two seconds on Kevin Harvick. Martin Truex Jr is in seventh place.
Lap 119 Kyle Busch has pulled out to a three second lead. There are 32 cars on the lead lap.
Lap 127 Kyle Busch’s lead is up to over three seconds.
Drivers are getting three wide across the track.
Lap 136 Kyle Busch leads Kevin Harvick by three and a half seconds.
Denny Hamlin passes Kevin Harvick to take over second place.
Lap 144 Kyle Busch continues to dominate and has a lead of over five seconds on Denny Hamlin.
In sixth place, Martin Truex Jr reports that his tires are used up.
Kyle Busch wins stage two.
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The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Martin Truex Jr
The drivers bring their cars down pit road for service, reporting various issues.
Denny Hamlin wins the race off of pit road with Martin Truex Jr in third and Kyle Busch in fourth.
Denny Hamlin brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 158. The drivers get three wide across the track for first but Denny Hamlin holds on to the lead.
Lap 160 it’s Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, and Martin Truex Jr – 1,2,3.
On lap 164 Martin Truex Jr takes second from Kyle Busch.
Lap 168 Martin Truex Jr challenges Denny Hamlin for the lead of the race, but Hamlin holds on to the lead.
On lap 172 Martin Truex Jr challenges Denny Hamlin for the lead of the race.
Martin Truex Jr passes Denny Hamlin to take over the lead of the race. Joey Logano has some rear end issues and brings his smoking car down pit road before heading for the garage for repairs. Logano is not under the five minute clock since his issues are mechanical in nature.
Lap 180 Martin Truex Jr is pulling away from the field. Kyle Busch passes Denny Hamlin for second. There are 28 cars on the lead lap.
On lap 183 Martin Truex Jr has a lead of a second and a half on Kyle Busch.
Lap 196 Martin Truex Jr’s lead is now up to two seconds.
With 100 laps to go Martin Truex Jr is in the lead of the race with Kyle Busch in second.
Joey Logano returns to the track after making repairs and is 33 laps down.
With 83 laps remaining in the race green flag pit stops begins. Martin Truex Jr has some trouble on his pit stop. Kyle Busch takes over the lead of the race.
Lap 233 Kyle Busch has pulled out to a lead of a second and a half on Denny Hamlin.
With fresher tires, Martin Truex Jr has unlapped himself. Kyle Busch has yet to make a pit stop.
Clint Bowyer has issues on pit road – he overshoots his pit box and ran over the air hose.
Kyle Busch finally come down pit road for service on lap 238. Kyle Larson takes over the lead of the race.
Kyle Busch was caught speeding on pit road and will have to serve a pass through penalty.
Dale Earnhardt Jr takes over the lead of the race. He is the first non-Toyota driver to lead the race today.
Lap 245 Dale Jr brings his car down pit road for service; putting Martin Truex Jr back in front of the field.
On lap 250 Martin Truex Jr has a lead of over four seconds on Matt Kenseth. Drivers with fresher tires are running faster than the leaders. There are 20 cars on the lead lap.
Lap 252 Martin Truex Jr’s lead is down to just over three seconds over Matt Kenseth.
Lap 254 Truex Jr’s lead is down to less than two seconds.
Lap 259 Matt Kenseth passes Martin Truex Jr for the lead of the race.
On lap 260 Ryan Newman brings out the caution flag when he spins out after making contact with another driver.
Matt Kenseth took only two tires on pit road. Kyle Busch is caught speeding on pit road for a second time.
Dale Earhnardt Jr brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 265 and is challenged for the lead by Matt Kenseth for the lead and takes over.
Lap 271 Denny Hamlin is in the lead with Matt Kenseht second and Kyle Larson in third. Dale Jr is dropping back in the field.
Lap 275 Kyle Larson gets around Matt Kenseth.
Twenty to go and Denny Hamlin has a lead of nearly two and a half seconds.
With 15 laps remaining, Denny Hamlin has a two second lead with 26 cars on the lead lap.
Martin Truex Jr reports that he isn’t feeling very well and his car isn’t so good either.
Nine laps remaining in the race, Denny Hamlin has less than a second lead on Kyle Larson.
With seven laps to go, Denny Hamlin’s lead is less than a second.
With five laps remaining Denny Hamlin’s lead is back to a second on Kyle Larson.
With three laps to go, Kyle Larson is closing in on Denny Hamlin.
Denny Hamlin takes the white flag.
Denny Hamlin holds off Kyle Larson to win the race…in a backup car. Hamlin blew his tires out celebrating with burnouts. The trophy for winning races at Loudon, New Hampshire is a giant 40 pound lobster.
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The unofficial results of the Overton’s 301:
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Martin Truex Jr
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Dale Earnhardt Jr