Photo: Stewart-Haas Racing
Date: Sept. 24, 2017
Event: ISM Connect 300 (Round 28 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon (1.058-mile oval)
Format: 300 laps, broken into three stages (75 laps/75 laps/150 laps)
Start/Finish: 7th/37th (Accident, completed 148 of 300 laps)
Point Standing: 15th with 2,027 points
Race Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Furniture Row Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-75):
● Kurt Busch started seventh and finished 15th.
● By lap six Busch was 11th and reported the Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion was lacking right-front grip.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 76-150):
● Busch started 13th and finished 37th.
● Busch’s first pit stop came on lap 79. He took four tires, fuel and chassis and wedge adjustment.
● On lap 134 Busch was 17th and reporting that the car was loose in and tight center.
● Busch’s day was ended on lap 148 when he was involved in a multicar accident on the backstretch.
● There were six caution periods for a total of 32 laps.
● Twenty of the 39 drivers in the ISM Connect 300 finished on the lead lap.
● Kyle Busch won the ISM Connect 300 to score his 41st career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his third of the season and his third at New Hampshire. His margin of victory over second-place Kyle Larson was 2.641 seconds.
Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“Wow. I mean, I don’t know what to say. It’s tough when you’re running where we were. We were just trying to limp it to the end of Stage 2, and I heard ‘Car spinning off of two’ in my ear. I saw smoke up ahead. A lot of times they’ll come back up, and I tried to leave the high side or the low side and then, boom, as soon as the smoke cleared I’m looking at (Kevin) Harvick’s door, my teammate. We’re both running for the Playoffs, and it’s a shame that the handling is off and we’re both running where we were, but we were still going to fight all the way to the end, but now we don’t have a chance. I cannot understand the bad luck we’re having.”
Playoff Standings (with one race to go before Round of 12):
1. Martin Truex Jr. (2,149 points) 1 win
2. Kyle Busch (2,119 points) 1 win
3. Kyle Larson (2,125 points, -24) +81 points
4. Brad Keselowski (2,106 points, -43) +62 points
5. Denny Hamlin (2,088 points, -61) +44 points
6. Matt Kenseth (2,087 points, -62) +43 points
7. Jimmie Johnson (2,076 points, -73) +32 points
8. Ryan Blaney (2,070 points, -79) +26 points
9. Chase Elliott (2,070 points, -79) +26 points
10. Kevin Harvick (2,069 points, -80) +25 points
11. Jamie McMurray (2,053 points, -96) +9 points
12. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (2,044 points, -105) +0 points
13. Austin Dillon (2,044 points, -105) -0 points
14. Ryan Newman (2,043 points, -106) -1 point
15. Kurt Busch (2,027 points, -122) -17 points
16. Kasey Kahne (2,023 points, -126) -22 points
The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Apache Warrior 400 on Sunday, Oct. 1 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. It is the third race of the 10-race playoffs and starts at 2 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN.