LOUDON, N.H. – Kevin Harvick held off Denny Hamlin at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday for his first NASCAR Cup Series victory of the season.
After the two made contact coming out of the final turn, Harvick finished 0.210 seconds ahead for his 46th series victory and first since November at Texas.
Driving a backup car after wrecking during a practice lap Friday, Hamlin led 113 laps, but couldn’t catch Harvick after pitting on a caution after Kyle Larson blew a tire on the 265th lap.
The 43-year-old Harvick led the final 41 laps in the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford for his second straight victory at the track. He has four victories at the mile oval to tie the record set by Jeff Burton.
Harvick won at New Hampshire last year after a late bump from behind knocked Kyle Busch off the lead. On Sunday, Harvick had a late bump again, but this time it was nudging Hamlin just enough to the side coming out of the final turn.
“I’m like, ‘You’re not getting under me again.” And he drove to the outside of me, and I waited until he got near me, and I just put a wheel on him,” Harvick said.
Erik Jones was third, and Ryan Blaney fourth.
Joey Logano was ninth. He has a three-point lead over Kyle Busch in the point standings. Busch, who won the first stage Sunday after qualifying second, finished eighth.
NASCAR paid tribute to crew chief Nick Harrison, who died overnight after Saturday’s Xfinity Series race.
NASCAR announced Harrison’s death during the drivers’ meeting before the race Sunday and honored him with a moment of silence. No details were given.
The 37-year-old Harrison was the crew chief for Justin Haley, who finished in 13th Saturday. In Harrison’s first season with Kaulig Racing, Haley had two top-five finishes and finished 12 times in the top 10.
“Not just a crew chief, but a friend to everyone who knew him,” Haley wrote on Twitter. “I, and everyone at Kaulig Racing are devastated. He will be greatly missed.”
Harrison was a veteran crew chief with all three NASCAR national series since 2006. His teams won five Xfinity Series races with drivers Austin Dillon, Paul Menard and Kurt Busch, who were all driving Sunday.
“We all lost a friend last night. We love you Nick Harrison. You were a leader, and a great friend to all,” Kurt Busch posted on Twitter. “Nick really helped me rebuild my career when I was at a low point. RIP.”
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