Harvick Edges Hamlin at New Hampshire for First Win of 2019

Nigel Kinrade

LOUDON, NH – RIS – It was a long time coming, but Kevin Harvick won his first race of 2019 in the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, but it wasn’t easy.  Harvick used a late bump and run to win last year at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Repeating required another bump, but there was little time for a run before Harvick crossed the finish line 0.210 seconds ahead of Denny Hamlin on Sunday.

"It turned into a wild finish," Harvick said.

Harvick gave Hamlin a late opening when he had trouble navigating a group of cars that were off the lead lap. After nearly catching him on the back stretch, Hamlin made another run through the final two turns but couldn't regain the lead.

"I just told him we were leaving on a tow truck or winning the race today," said Harvick, who hadn't won since Texas in November.

Hamlin was driving a backup car because he wrecked his primary car in practice Friday, but that didn’t keep him from leading 113 laps and nearly winning. 

"I just could not break that barrier," Hamlin said. "I could not get him to make that one little slip to give me the bottom."

Harvick led the final 41 laps in the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford for his second straight victory at the track. He has four victories at the mile oval to tie the record set by Jeff Burton.

Harvick won at New Hampshire last year after a late bump from behind knocked Kyle Busch off the lead. On Sunday, Harvick had a late bump again, but this time it was nudging Hamlin just enough to the side coming out of the final turn.

"I'm like, 'You're not getting under me again.' And he drove to the outside of me, and I waited until he got near me, and I just put a wheel on him," Harvick said.

Erik Jones finished third and Ryan Blaney fourth.  Matt DiBenedetto finished fifth to round out the too five finishers.  Series leader Joey Logano finished ninth and maintains a 3-point lead over Kyle Bush, who finished eighth.  Busch led 118 laps, the most on the day and won the first stage.

Harvick, who also won this race last season, benefitted from a risky call by his crew chief. When many of the drivers brought their cars down pit road with 35 laps, Crew Chief Rodney Childers told Harvick to stay out.  That was the winning move, but almost backfired.

The Cup cars and drivers head to Pocono Raceway next week.

Fin Str Car Driver Team Laps Stage 1 Pos Pts Status Tms Laps Playoff Pts
1 14 4 Kevin Harvick Busch Beer/National Forest Foundation Ford 301 8 8 46 Running 3 41 5
2 23 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Express Toyota 301 9 6 42 Running 1 113
3 4 20 Erik Jones STANLEY Toyota 301 2 43 Running 2 4
4 5 12 Ryan Blaney Menards/Sylvania Ford 301 7 37 Running
5 7 95 Matt DiBenedetto Procore Toyota 301 32 Running
6 6 19 Martin Truex Jr Sirius XM Toyota 301 6 36 Running
7 26 6 Ryan Newman Oscar Mayer/Velveeta Ford 301 3 38 Running
8 2 18 Kyle Busch Interstate Batteries Toyota 301 1 5 45 Running 4 118 1
9 8 22 Joey Logano AAA Insurance Ford 301 2 37 Running 1 1
10 1 2 Brad Keselowski Alliance Truck Parts Ford 301 5 33 Running 2 12
11 9 10 Aric Almirola Smithfield Ford 301 3 1 44 Running 1 12 1
12 22 24 William Byron Liberty University Chevrolet 301 4 32 Running
13 17 21 Paul Menard Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford 301 9 26 Running
14 37 88 Alex Bowman Axalta Chevrolet 301 23 Running
15 25 37 Chris Buescher Scott Comfort Plus Chevrolet 301 22 Running
16 18 13 Ty Dillon GEICO Military Chevrolet 301 21 Running
17 24 34 Michael McDowell Dockside Logistics Ford 301 20 Running
18 3 1 Kurt Busch Monster Energy Chevrolet 301 10 20 Running
19 13 41 Daniel Suarez Haas Automation Ford 300 10 19 Running
20 16 14 Clint Bowyer Toco Warranty/Haas Automation Ford 300 4 24 Running
21 28 47 Ryan Preece # Kroger Chevrolet 300 16 Running
22 27 43 Bubba Wallace Victory Junction Chevrolet 300 15 Running
23 29 32 Corey LaJoie WeirsMotorSales/AdirondackTreeSurgeons Ford 299 14 Running
24 30 36 Matt Tifft # Louis Kemp Crab Delights Ford 299 13 Running
25 32 15 Ross Chastain(i) YVARS Branding.com Chevrolet 299 0 Running
26 31 00 Landon Cassill(i) StarCom Fiber Chevrolet 298 0 Running
27 33 27 * Reed Sorenson VIP RacingExperience.com Chevrolet 294 10 Running
28 35 51 Andy Seuss JACOB COMPANIES Ford 291 9 Running
29 12 9 Chase Elliott Kelley Blue Book Chevrolet 290 8 Running
30 10 48 Jimmie Johnson Ally Chevrolet 288 7 Running
31 34 77 Quin Houff #MyTrackMyRoots Chevrolet 287 6 Running
32 21 3 Austin Dillon BEHR ULTRA Chevrolet 268 5 Running
33 15 42 Kyle Larson McDonald's Chevrolet 264 7 8 Accident
34 20 38 David Ragan Compressor World Ford 261 3 Running
35 36 52 Austin Theriault BANGOR SAVINGS BANK Chevrolet 185 2 Rear Gear
36 11 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Fastenal Ford 135 1 Accident
37 19 8 Daniel Hemric # Okuma Chevrolet 110 1 Accident
Time of Race: 3 Hrs, 3 Mins, 37 Secs. Average Speed: 104.062 MPH Margin of Victory: 0.210 Seconds
Stage 1 Top 10: 18, 20, 10, 14, 2, 19, 12, 4, 11, 41
Stage 2 Top 10: 10, 22, 6, 24, 18, 11, 42, 4, 21, 1

Failed to Qualify: None.
Caution Flags: 9 for 48 laps; Laps: 46-50 (#3 Incident Turn 4 [34]); 77-82 (Stage 1 Conclusion [36]); 111-116 (#8, 41 Incident Turn 2 [13]); 138-143 (#17 Incident Turn 2 [00]); 146-148 (#19, 14 Incident Frontstretch [15]); 152-157 (Stage 2 Conclusion [27]); 215-218 (#18 Incident Turn 2 [13]); 220-224 (#42, 88 Incident Turn 1 [21]); 266-272 (#42 Incident Turn 2 [None]).
Lead Changes: 14 among 7 drivers; B. Keselowski 0; K. Busch 1-36; B. Keselowski 37-47; E. Jones 48-50; K. Busch 51-77; E. Jones 78; K. Busch 79-110; B. Keselowski 111; K. Harvick 112-116; K. Busch 117-139; K. Harvick 140; A. Almirola 141-152; J. Logano 153; D. Hamlin 154-266; K. Harvick 267-301.
American Ethanol Green Flag Restart Award : Kyle Busch, #18 Fastest Lap : Kyle Busch, #18
Moog Go the Extra Mile : Matt DiBenedetto, #95 crew chief Michael Wheeler, 0.31 seconds Sunoco Rookie of the Race : Ryan Preece, #47
(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series

Ron Fleshman

RIS NASCAR Editor.  Has been with RIS since the middle 90's. Writes on each of the three main series of NASCAR.

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Volume 2019, Issue 7, Posted 10:20 PM, 07.21.2019