Kevin Harvick wins at New Hampshire to advance in the Chase

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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.”

MORE: Results and statistics from New Hampshire

MORE: Who’s on the outside looking in going to Dover

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.

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Coca-Cola 600 resumes after rain delay

Coca-Cola 600
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The Coca-Cola 600 is back under way following a rain delay.

The caution was issued on Lap 49 for rain and the field was brought to pit road. The red flag was issued at 7:07 p.m. ET and lifted at 8:16 p.m. ET.

The top five at the time of the stoppage was Kurt Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Chase Elliott, Tyler Reddick and Joey Logano.

Check back for updates.

 

Denny Hamlin team faces potential penalty after ballast falls off car

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Denny Hamlin was involved in an incident even before Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 got underway that could result in a hefty penalty.

A chunk of tungsten ballast — which teams use to bring Cup cars up to minimum weight standards — fell off Hamlin’s car on a parade lap.

The incident puts Hamlin’s crew chief Chris Gabehart and several others on the team in violation of the NASCAR rule book, which means a hefty penalty could be in the offing.

According to the NASCAR rule book, the penalty is 12.5.2.7.4.d: Minimum safety penalty options — “Loss or separation of added ballast from the vehicle will result in a four Race suspension of the crew chief, car chief, and head engineer. If NASCAR cannot identify which series or vehicle the lost ballast originated from, all vehicles entered for that Event from and associated with the team organization identified on the lost ballast may receive the suspensions.”

If NASCAR implements the potential penalty, Gabehart and others could miss the following four races: May 27 at Charlotte, May 31 at Bristol, June 7 at Atlanta and June 10 at Martinsville.

Several of those tracks are good for Hamlin, including winning the Bristol summer night race last year, as well as was fourth at the Martinsville playoff race last fall and 11th at Atlanta.

NASCAR ordered Hamlin back to pit road where the No. 11 crew added a new chunk of ballast to Hamlin’s car. He returned to the race eight laps down.

Here’s what a fabricator from rival team Stewart-Haas Racing tweeted about the incident:

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Coca-Cola 600 starting lineup

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Chevrolet drivers swept the top three rows for tonight’s Coca-Cola 600, led by Kurt Busch‘s pole-winning lap of 181.269 mph.

Jimmie Johnson was next with a lap of 181.214 mph. He was followed by Chase Elliott (181.002 mph), Matt Kenseth (180.923), rookie Tyler Reddick (180.905) and Austin Dillon (180.741).

Ford driver Joey Logano, who starts seventh after a lap of 180.451 mph, was the top qualifier not driving a Chevrolet.

TO THE REAR: Matt DiBenedetto (backup car), Brad Keselowski (unapproved adjustment), Aric Almirola (unapproved adjustment), JJ Yeley (unapproved adjustment) and Timmy Hill (unapproved adjustment)

Click here for Coca-Cola 600 starting lineup

Kurt Busch on pole for Coca-Cola 600

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Kurt Busch will lead the field to the green flag for tonight’s Coca-Cola 600 after claiming the pole Sunday afternoon at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

It is Busch’s 28th career pole and first at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Busch is joined on the front row by Jimmie Johnson. Chase Elliott qualified third and is followed by Matt Kenseth and rookie Tyler Reddick. Austin Dillon was sixth, as Chevrolet drivers took the top six spots.

Click here for qualifying results

Aric Almirola spun coming to take the green flag to begin his qualifying lap. He grazed the wall with his rear bumper.

Matt DiBenedetto slapped the wall off Turn 4 during his qualifying lap and will go to a backup car and start at the rear of the field.