The red flag was displayed early in Sunday’s 301-lap NASCAR Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway after a burst of rain led to multiple cars spinning out, including the No. 18 of race-leader Kyle Busch.
Busch, the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 polesitter, was leading six laps into the 301-lap event, with Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Martin Truex Jr. behind him. The two Toyotas entered Turn 1, and as rain started to fall, the track got wet and they spun. Further back, teammate Denny Hamlin’s car did the same.
“We were fortunate,” Hamlin said. “I think we were just far enough up the field to be in the wreck, but far enough back to where I saw the leaders wrecking and were able to check up and brake 100 feet which kept us out of the wall. It was fortunate and unfortunate, but we’re going to be fine.”
The No. 18 of Busch backed into the wall, sustaining the most damage. The front of Truex’s No. 19 was hit, too. Hamlin and the No. 11 made contact with Alex Bowman’s No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet and then also clipped the wall, with less damage.
Everyone besides Busch returned to the race when it restarted.
“The lap before I went into (Turn) 1 and it shoved the nose really bad and I was able to keep it under control. It wasn’t bad enough,” Busch said. “The next time I went down there, hell, I lifted at the flag stand – maybe a little past the flag stand, don’t get too dramatic – and just backed it in.”
Rain fell down harder soon after, and NASCAR threw the red flag three laps later. Chase Elliott’s No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy held the lead after Busch and Truex wrecked.
“We were excited for the opportunity to race here at one of my favorite tracks,” Truex said. “Now we’re out. We’ll be able to get some work done on it, but it’s not pretty.”
The red flag lasted one hour, 41 minutes and 22 seconds.