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New Hampshire NASCAR: Kyle Busch wins, damaged Truex falls back

Kyle Busch Loudon NASCAR Cup 2017

Joe Gibbs Racing's Kyle Busch took the win at New Hampshire after playoff points leader Martin Truex Jr picked up damage in a pileup.

Championship leader and Furniture Row Racing driver Truex dominated the first half of the race after moving past poleman Busch to lead halfway through stage one, and continued to take his 19th stage win of the year.

Truex then led all of stage two until its final lap when Kevin Harvick spun and created a plume of smoke on the back straight after contact from behind by Austin Dillon.

Busch, who had been running a close second, was able to just avoid the melee to win the stage, and he dominated the race to take his third win of the season.

His victory books his place as one of the 12 drivers who will remain in championship playoff contention following the next round at Dover.

While the earlier pileup played into his hands, it damaged Kurt Busch's hopes as he retired in the collision and remains in the in the playoff 'drop zone' with just one more race before the playoffs drop to 12 drivers.

Truex was able to continue after the incident with just rear left corner damage, he then dropped to 18th place for the eventual restart after repairs and became the last car on the lead lap.

He recovered to seventh place and then briefly vaulted to the lead after making a two-tyre pitstop under a caution with 36 laps to go after Kasey Kahne stopped on track with a suspension breakage.

Kahne also received a penalty for deliberately starting the caution and lost several laps making repairs and he remains in the playoff drop zone.

After green flag racing resumed, Truex on his older rubber hung on to finish fifth.

Chip Ganassi Racing's Kyle Larson finished second, just as he did in the July race at this track, and secured passage into the round of 12 on points.

He was followed home by Matt Kenseth of Joe Gibbs Racing in third and Keselowski in fourth with the Penske driver now into the next round.

Erik Jones finished sixth for Furniture Row Racing and Clint Bowyer got seventh for Stewart-Haas. Daniel Suarez, Ryan Blaney and Joey Logano completed the top 10.

Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing, who won the July race at this track, dropped back by pitting under green just after half distance because his right rear wheel was loose and finished 12th.

While the Toyota driver struggled, the manufacturer continued its recent dominance of Cup races, with only one lap of the race led by a non-Toyota car.

Race result

1Kyle BuschJoe Gibbs RacingToyota2h54m47.s300
2Kyle LarsonChip Ganassi RacingChevrolet2.641s300
3Matt KensethJoe Gibbs RacingToyota6.936s300
4Brad KeselowskiTeam PenskeFord7.551s300
5Martin Truex Jr.Furniture Row RacingToyota8.804s300
6Erik JonesFurniture Row RacingToyota9.357s300
7Clint BowyerStewart-Haas RacingFord10.003s300
8Daniel SuarezJoe Gibbs RacingToyota13.845s300
9Ryan BlaneyWood Brothers RacingFord14.374s300
10Joey LoganoTeam PenskeFord14.725s300
11Chase ElliottHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet15.522s300
12Denny HamlinJoe Gibbs RacingToyota15.701s300
13Ryan NewmanRichard Childress RacingChevrolet16.205s300
14Jimmie JohnsonHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet16.374s300
15Ricky Stenhouse Jr.Roush Fenway RacingFord17.203s300
16Jamie McMurrayChip Ganassi RacingChevrolet17.978s300
17A.J. AllmendingerJTG Daugherty RacingChevrolet18.385s300
18Danica PatrickStewart-Haas RacingFord18.776s300
19Austin DillonRichard Childress RacingChevrolet20.566s300
20Paul MenardRichard Childress RacingChevrolet20.985s300
21Chris BuescherJTG Daugherty RacingChevrolet1 Lap299
22Ty DillonGermain RacingChevrolet2 Laps298
23Michael McDowellLeavine Family RacingChevrolet2 Laps298
24Trevor BayneRoush Fenway RacingFord2 Laps298
25Landon CassillFront Row MotorsportsFord2 Laps298
26Aric AlmirolaRichard Petty MotorsportsFord3 Laps297
27Corey LaJoieBK RacingToyota3 Laps297
28Reed SorensonPremium MotorsportsChevrolet3 Laps297
29David RaganFront Row MotorsportsFord4 Laps296
30Cole WhittTriStar MotorsportsChevrolet4 Laps296
31Matt DiBenedettoGo FAS RacingFord5 Laps295
32Brett MoffittBK RacingToyota6 Laps294
33Gray GauldingPremium MotorsportsToyota7 Laps293
34Dale Earnhardt Jr.Hendrick MotorsportsChevrolet11 Laps289
35Kasey KahneHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet11 Laps289
36Kevin HarvickStewart-Haas RacingFordAccident148
37Kurt BuschStewart-Haas RacingFordAccident148
38Jeffrey EarnhardtCircle Sport / TMGChevroletAccident143
39Cody WareRick Ware RacingChevroletRear Gear74

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