Brad Keselowski won Sunday’s Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway to claim his third victory of the year.
Keselowski triumphed over Denny Hamlin on an afternoon that saw the two drivers combine to lead 276 of 301 laps.
Keselowski led 184 laps, Hamlin led 92.
While Keselowski won by 1.6 seconds, their back-and-forth battle led to Hamlin to say “this is awesome racing” over his team radio with about 70 laps to go.
“We’ve had a lot of great races this year with the 2 car, but we just hadn’t really gone out and kind of dominated a race,” Keselowski told NBCSN as an estimated 12,000 fans yelled from the grandstands. “I was talking to (crew chief) Jeremy Bullins and that’s what we need to get to that next level. We’re right there, we need to go out and just dominate a race and that’s what today was for us. … It’s so great to be racing in front of fans again. It feels like forever, so welcome back, guys.”
It is Keselowski’s second win at track, following his win in 2014.
STAGE 1 WINNER: Denny Hamlin
STAGE 2 WINNER: In a two-lap shootout, Brad Keselowski passed Hamlin on the last lap and narrowly beat him.
WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Kyle Busch’s winless streak continued due to a hard crash into the Turn 3 wall on Lap 16 after his right-front tire went down. It’s his third DNF of the year and his first at New Hampshire in 29 Cup starts … Erik Jones placed 24th after he was assessed a one-lap penalty for pitting outside his box during the caution for Busch’s incident … Christopher Bell finished 28th after he caused two cautions for incidents resulting from cut tires… Matt Kenseth finished 37th after he caused three different cautions, with the last coming out on Lap 204 when he cut a tire and hit the Turn 3 wall … John Hunter Nemechek finished 36th after a hard hit into Turn 3 wall with 88 laps to go.
WHAT’S NEXT: Cup race at Michigan International Speedway, 4 p.m. ET Saturday, Aug. 8 on NBCSN.
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