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Kyle Busch, Truex Jr. split stage wins at New Hampshire

RELATED: Overton’s 301 leaderboard

STAGE 2

Kyle Busch relied on some pit strategy to soar to a Stage 2 win Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Busch, a three-time New Hampshire winner, secured his fifth stage win of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season. His Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota led from Lap 79 to the Lap 150 stage conclusion in the Overton’s 301, taking the green-checkered flag 4.138 seconds ahead of second-place stage finisher Denny Hamlin.

Busch was in second place when a caution flag flew for Cole Whitt’s blown engine on Lap 67, just before the end of the opening 75-lap stage. He was among the first front-runners to make a pit stop, and that left him out front when Stage 1 winner Martin Truex Jr. and others pitted during the opening intermission.

Hamlin, Busch’s teammate at Joe Gibbs Racing, held off Kevin Harvick in their contest for second place. Kurt Busch was fourth, with Jimmie Johnson — who was tagged with a pass-through penalty for jumping the race start — rallying to complete the top five.

Martin Truex Jr., the Stage 1 winner, finished sixth. After a pit stop during the first stage brake, he restarted Stage 2 in 24th place.

The race’s full distance was scheduled for 301 laps on the 1.058-mile track.

Stage 2 results

Finish Driver Team Race points
1. Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing 10
2. Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing 9
3. Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing 8
4. Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Racing 7
5. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports 6
6. Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Racing 5
7. Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Racing 4
8. Ryan Blaney Wood Brothers Racing 3
9. Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing 2
10. Clint Bowyer Stewart-Haas Racing 1

STAGE 1

Martin Truex Jr. surged to an opening stage win Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, leading all 75 laps from the Coors Light Pole position.

Truex started first in the Overton’s 301, quickly establishing a torrid pace in the Furniture Row Racing No. 78 Toyota. After withstanding a two-lap shootout because of a late-stage caution flag, Truex flashed under the green-checkered flag to post his 14th stage victory of the season, adding a playoff point to raise his series-leading total to 29.

Truex has scored stage wins in six of the last eight Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races.

Matt Kenseth, a three-time New Hampshire winner, took second place in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota.

Kyle Larson rallied from a last-place starting position to finish third among the stage-point earners. He began the race in 39th after his qualifying time was disallowed Friday, when competition officials found an unapproved part on his Chip Ganassi Racing No. 42 Chevrolet.

Stage 1 results

Finish Driver Team Race points
1. Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Racing 10
2. Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Racing 9
3. Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing 8
4. Jamie McMurray Chip Ganassi Racing 7
5. Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing 6
6. Kasey Kahne Hendrick Motorsports 5
7. Ryan Newman Richard Childress Racing 4
8. Ryan Blaney Wood Brothers Racing 3
9. Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing 2
10. Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports 1