Kevin Harvick used a bump-and-run on Kyle Busch with seven laps left to win a thrilling battle of two of NASCAR’s dominant drivers Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Harvick aimed his Ford bumper at the right side of Busch’s Toyota and nudged the leader out of the way for the move of the race in another stellar showing for the leader of the Big Three.
“I felt like it was my best opportunity to do what I had to do to win,” Harvick said. “I didn’t want to wreck him. But I didn’t want to waste a bunch of time behind him.”
Added Busch: “How you race is you get raced.”
Harvick raced to his sixth victory of the season and went 1-2 in some order with Busch for the ninth time this year. Busch has five wins and Martin Truex Jr., fourth Sunday, has four.
The Big Three were threatened in a race delayed by rain for more than three hours by Aric Almirola, who replaced Danica Patrick in the No. 10 Ford, for a portion of the race. He threatened to crash the party and had his second career Cup victory in sight. He led for more than 40 laps but was derailed by a poor pit stop and spun his tires on a restart that cost him.
“You think I’d be happy,” he said.
Not in this race.
Almirola was the latest also-ran to realize drivers have to be perfect to catch either of the Big Three.
Harvick, who won his 43rd career race, was in New Hampshire.
Harvick reeled off three straight victories at Atlanta, Las Vegas and Phoenix and went back-to-back in May at Dover and Kansas. It had been seven races since he reached victory lane.
He did what he had to do again in the No. 4 Ford to celebrate there again for Stewart-Haas Racing.
Here are some items of note from a wet day in New Hampshire.