Photo by: Jonathan Ferrey
Kyle Busch secured his way into Round 2 of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs with his win Sunday during the ISM Connect 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Busch led 187 of 300 laps toward his third win of the season. The win is also the Joe Gibbs Racing driver’s third win at the 1.058-mile track and the 41st of his career.
Busch missed being in a multi-car wreck on Lap 150 when the No. 3 of Austin Dillon made contact with Kevin Harvick. The contact ultimately turned the 2014 MENCS Champion sideways.
Harvick’s teammate Kurt Busch and Jeffrey Earnhardt had nowhere to go when they hit the Mobil 1 Ford.
“That was pretty intense,” Busch said “That was some ‘Days of Thunder’ stuff over there. You couldn’t see anything. It was just a wall of smoke over there off of Turn 2. I was listening to my spotter and basically was told to stop, and I was like ‘Sounds like a good idea.’
“I just checked up as much as I could. Of course, I was trying not to get run into from behind. I didn’t know who was behind me – I knew Matt (Kenseth) was there. But all in all, just a great day. We ran up front all day long, we executed, we did what we were supposed to do, and it’s awesome to win here in the Granite State in front of these fans.”
Kasey Kahne heads to the Monster Mile as the No. 16 seed in the playoff standings. The Hendrick Motorsport driver is in a must-win situation after a broken rear suspension sent him to the garage for repairs on Lap 263.
Kahne returned, but finished in the 35th position, 11 laps behind the leader.
Kyle Larson and Brad Keselowski clinched their positions into the Round of 12 based on points. Larson finished second, while Keselowski finished fourth, his 12th top-5 of the season.
The MENCS head to Dover International Speedway on Sunday, October 1st, where eight positions are on the line to remain in contention for the 2017 Championship.
Will Jimmie Johnson recover from his summer slump and find Victory Lane at the track he hold 11 victories at? Find out on October 1, 2017 at 2 p.m ET on NBC Sports.