Thriller: Kevin Harvick Tops Denny Hamlin In Banging Duel To Finish Of Foxwoods 301 At NHMS

Kevin Harvick celebrates victory in the Monster Energy Cup Series Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Photo: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)

LOUDON, N.H. – Kevin Harvick summed up his thoughts on the closing laps of the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 succinctly Sunday. 

“We were leaving on a tow truck or winning today,” Harvick said. 

No tow truck was needed for Harvick’s Stewart Haas . 

Harvick held off Denny Hamlin in a dramatic contact filled final lap duel to win the Monster Energy Cup Series Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. 

It was the first victory of the season for Harvick, clinching a spot in the playoffs for the 2014 Monster Energy Cup Series champion. 

It was Harvick’s second consecutive year in victory lane at the event and his fourth Monster Energy Cup Series victory overall in Loudon. 

“This place has been really good to us,” Harvick said. “I think [crew chief Rodney Childers] and I probably think we shoulda, coulda won them all. But it’s been a race track that has been really good for us from a performance standpoint. From a confidence standpoint coming into this weekend, being able to adjust on the car and know what we’re looking for, this is a definitely a race track where a lot of those things came into play.” 

Hamlin was second and Erik Jones third. 

Hamlin headed to the pits with most of the leaders on lap 266, but it was Childers who made the call for Harvick to stay out. 

Hamlin restart the race fourth and quickly got up to second, but Harvick was able to open up an advantage that forced Hamlin to be in chase mode for most of the final 29 laps. 

In the closing laps Harvick encountered some lapped traffic that cut his lead over Hamlin to nothing. 

“The lapped cars were right in the middle of the groove with three laps to go and there were four of them that were just right where I wanted to be,” Harvick said. “I had to do something, but I didn’t want to lose momentum. I was hoping to catch a break. As soon as I got to them the front of my car just didn’t turn as well and that’s really when the tire deficit showed up. In clean air we were where we needed to be.” 

The pair took the white flag with Hamlin on Harvick’s bumper. Going into turn one on the final lap Hamlin bumped Harvick and moved him up a groove and got under him. The pair went through turn two side-by-side with Harvick gaining the advantage off of turn two and down the backstretch. 

Hamlin looked to the top groove through turn three and made contact with Harvick’s right rear through turn four. Harvick was able to fend off the attack coming onto the frontstretch to take the checkered flag. 

“The thing it comes down to is the call that [Childers] made putting us in control of the race,” Harvick said. 

It was a finish reminiscent of the 2018 event at NHMS, when Harvick moved Kyle Busch from the lead late in the race. 

“Well, I kind of shoved him up a little higher and tried to get him out of the groove,” Hamlin said. “Yeah, I wanted to just tap him there, but I didn’t want to completely screw him. I at least wanted to give him a fair shot there and then down the backstretch, I kind of let off and I’m like ‘alright, well I’m just going to pass him on the outside and kind of do this thing the right way.’ Once I had that big run, he just turned right. I would do the same thing. It was a fun race. Congratulations to him and his team. They made a great call there at the end. It was fun.” 

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  1. The last handful of laps were thrilling. The rest of the race boring. Anybody notice the stand we’re only about
    3/4 full.

  2. The stands may have looked 3/4 full. Most people probably don’t even know that 1/2 of the seats in the main grandstand were removed. There is now a little shelf in front of your seat. It is a nice little feature. The place was empty. No traffic in or out. I was home at the same time as I used to get home when the race started at 1:00.

  3. Sharpie Fan says

    I am sure the heat had an affect on attendance. I saw a line to get into the “cooling tent”.

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