In a few ways, Sunday’s Camping World RV Sales 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon mirroed the Nationwide Series race at the track the day prior. Just like on Saturday, Brad Keselowski ended the day in victory lane after a dominating performance. In the Sprint Cup race, Keselowski led 138 laps en route to his third Cup win of the season.
“It (having such a dominant car) is every driver’s dream,” Keselowski said. “Every once in awhile you get these cars and you are thankful and try like hell to not screw them up.”
The top-two in the finishing order mirrored that of the Nationwide finishing order, with Kyle Busch finishing second. The Sprint Cup top-four nearly mirrored the Nationwide top-four, with Matt Kenseth, who finished third in Saturday’s Nationwide race, finishing fourth on Sunday. Kyle Larson, who was third in the Sprint Cup race, was fourth in the Nationwide race on Saturday.
JGR teammates Busch and Denny Hamlin showed the way prior to Keselowski taking the lead for the first time on lap 90. Busch started on the pole and led the first 62 laps before losing the lead to Hamlin on lap 63. Hamlin then ran up front until a cycle of green-flag stops around lap 80 and then cycled back to the front.
Once Keselowski took the lead, he only lost positions on pit road, mostly because of varying pit strategies. Through several cautions in the final two-thirds of the race, Keselowski restarted in the back of the top-10, but would get back up to the lead a handful of laps later.
“This was a hard-fought battle, passing cars and trying to stay up front all day,” Keselowski said. “We had a couple bullets to dodge, and I am not thinking of anything else right now than how thankful I am to have a team and car that is clicking this well. Hopefully, we can keep it going.”
Hamlin ran second to Keselowski in the final 20 laps, but when the yellow flag waved with three laps remaining in the scheduled 301-lap distance to send the race into a green-white-checker overtime, Hamlin gave up second to pit for fuel after staying out during a lap 246 caution.
Hamlin’s stop handed second over to Jeff Gordon, but Gordon ran out of fuel right before the race returned to green. Kevin Harvick then inherited the second spot but ran out of fuel as soon as the race restarted.
With others running out of fuel, Busch, who also stayed out during the lap 246 caution, moved into seconds to challenge Keselowski for the lead.
Kenseth finished fourth, and Ryan Newman was fifth. Sixth through 10th went to Clint Bowyer, Tony Stewart, Hamlin, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Dale Earnhardt Jr.