Kyle Busch had the top speed on Sunday in New Hampshire. It wasn’t a secret either. If this race came down to the best car, his No. 18 Toyota would be the one in victory lane – not Kevin Harvick.
Unfortunately for him, he got into the wall on Lap 215 in Turn 1 and ruined his potential race winning effort. Busch, led four times for a race-high 118 laps.
“We had a good car all day,” Busch said after a top 10 effort in his No. 18 Toyota. “Just got into it on a restart I guess with (Kyle Larson) and that got us damage and that got us behind the eight ball. We would have been on strategy with where (Denny Hamlin) was the whole rest of the day, but we had to fix damage.”
His teammate Martin Truex Jr. was frustrated too. He, like Busch, was on the same strategy as the leaders and expected it to work out in his favor. Instead, he had to settle for a sixth place result in his No. 19 Toyota.
“We were set up strategy-wise to be right there with (Kevin Harvick) and (Denny Hamlin) and we were right behind those guys, so I think so, but you never know how these things are going to play out,” Truex said on his race. “The SiriusXM Camry was really fast when we could get near the front. It wasn’t quite good enough on restarts, and I kept getting inside restarts and just lost track position. Each time the caution came out we’d lose a spot or two and it’s just hard to overcome that, but proud of the battle that we came through to come from the back to get back to sixth with a tore up race car.”
Erik Jones had a great race in a second straight third place effort in his No. 20 Toyota. While it was a finish that he needed, it wasn’t as smooth as he wanted.
“It was kind of a sloppy day in my opinion, but it was a good day,” Jones said. “Got good stage points in the first stage and finished well at the end. But the Stanley Camry was good. All day I felt like we were close, we just needed to get up front and never quite did it and never quite got the lead, but we were there. Again, up in the top five you can’t complain, and especially with the points we gained today, it’s good. We can definitely get more aggressive with that gap. We’re getting close there to having almost a race on them; if we can have a couple more good weeks we’ll be there. Pocono is a good one. We’ll keep doing it, but today was definitely testament I think to our speed and this team. We keep fighting through it. We never gave up. We did what we needed to do, fixed the damage when we needed to and got a good finish out of it.”
The best was Denny Hamlin who nearly moved Kevin Harvick out of the way for his third win of the season. Instead, he had to settle for a runner-up.
“I kind of shoved (Harvick) up a little higher and tried to get him out of the groove,” Hamlin said. “I wanted to just tap him there, but I didn’t want to completely screw him. I at least wanted to give him a fair shot there. Down the backstretch, I kind of let off, and I’m like, all right, well, I’ll just pass him on the outside and kind of do this thing the right way, and once I had that big run, he just turned right. But I would do the same thing. It was a fun race, and congratulations to him and his team. They made a great call there at the end.”