Busch advances to second round with New Hampshire win
By Dominic Aragon
September 24, 2017
Kyle Busch led the final 33 laps in the ISM Connect 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway Sunday en route to his third premier series win of 2017.
The victory solidified Busch’s opportunity to move on to the second round of the playoffs.
Busch, who started from the pole for the eighth time this season, led three times for 187 laps, the most of all drivers in the field.
During the second stage of the race, Busch avoided damage on the final lap of the stage when contact from Austin Dillon sent Kevin Harvick spinning off of Turn 2.
“It was a close call,” Busch said. “You know, that was certainly a defining [moment] of the race, I think, with the 78 getting torn up a little bit and us being able to squeak through unscathed.
“Thankfully when I saw the wall of smoke coming off of Turn 2 I was far enough back that I just checked up real hard.”
In the first stage, Martin Truex Jr. took the lead from Kyle Busch and secured his 19th stage win.
Five playoff drivers were involved in the eight-car accident on the final lap of stage two.
Austin Dillon, Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch and Martin Truex Jr. all sustained damage in the crash. Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Harvick and Busch were unable to continue.
“I know as I got sideways there I tried to get thing whoa’d down and pointed in the right direction and it snapped back the other way,” Harvick said. “I tried to lock it down and it was too far up across the race track.
“I knew I was probably worse off at that particular point, so once it turned back right and I was in trouble I should have just tried to keep it left, but I couldn’t really tell where I was with all the smoke and everything that was happening, but just got hit from behind and spun out.”
The four drivers outside the cutoff for the second round leaving New Hampshire are Austin Dillon (0 points behind), Ryan Newman (-1 point), Kurt Busch (-17 points) and Kasey Kahne (-21 points).
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