By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support local journalism.
The Art of Racing - Big Three are hard to beat

Last Sunday’s Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 race in New Hampshire had a little of everything, but in the end, the “Big Three” prevailed. 

Starting from the pole, Kurt Busch was strong, leading the first 37 laps and a race high 94. Busch lost valuable time on the last pit stop as he and Ryan Blaney played a "you go, no, I’ll go" game while getting in and out of their pit stall. 

“Pit road, once in 1,000 years that’s gonna happen,” Busch said. “We just shouldn’t have pitted on that lap.  Blaney is a good kid.  He wanted to let me go, but then I would have blocked him in. I was like, ‘No kid, go.’ That just turned into a total disaster.”

Besides Kurt Busch, the teams of Chase Elliott and Aric Almirola gave the fans something to cheer about. Elliott had one of his best races of the year, winning stage 2 and finishing 2nd in the first stage. Almirola took charge with 67 laps left and seemed on pace for his first victory with Stewart-Haas Racing.  But to beat the “Big Three” you have to be on your game the entire race.

These three teams had strong pit stops after the last caution and restarted the final 39 laps 1-2-3. Busch and Harvick gave the few remaining fans their money’s worth as they rubbed sheet metal during the last few laps with Harvick bumping Busch out of the racing groove, passing him for the victory.

Many fans can remember the Michigan July race where Busch moved Kyle Larson out of the way in order to get the win.  “I didn’t want to wreck him,” Harvick said after charging forward after the race’s final caution for Clint Bowyer hitting the wall. “But I didn’t want to waste a bunch of time behind him.” 

Kyle Busch took the move in stride. “We weren’t the best car on the long run,” Busch said. “It was going to be hard to hold him off, I was just backing up. I’m not sure he had to do it, but he did it, that’s fine. How you race is how you get raced.”

Harvick’s win was his 6th of the year, breaking the tie with Kyle Busch.

Only 6 races are left before the playoffs begin.

Alex Bowman is in the final spot, leading Ricky Stenhouse by 28 points. Paul Menard is another point behind Stenhouse.  If a driver (other than the 7 winners this year) wins a race before the playoffs, Chase Elliott would be on the bubble.  Elliott’s 5th place finish puts him a whopping 67 points ahead of Bowman. Drivers like Ryan Newman, Daniel Suarez just about need a victory in order th make the playoffs.
Sunday’s race is in Pocono where Truex, Busch and Harvick finished 1st, 3rd and 4th last June.