Kevin Harvick used a bump-and-run against Kyle Busch with only a few laps remaining on Sunday to earn a win at the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Kevin Harvick NASCAR New Hampshire
Kevin Harvick celebrates after winning the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday. (Image: Mary Schwalm/AP)

Harvick used the tactic to earn his sixth victory of the season, the most wins of any driver on the NASCAR Cup Series this year.

Nudge Allows Harvick to Complete Comeback

With seven laps left to go, Harvick nudged the right side of Busch’s car, sliding Busch up the track and allowing Harvick’s Ford to take the lead. He would hold on to that lead to capture his third career win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

“I felt like it was my best opportunity to do what I had to do to win,” Harvick said after the race. “I didn’t want to wreck him. But I didn’t want to waste a bunch of time behind him.”

Busch had taken the lead off a restart on Lap 263, and jumped out to an advantage of more than a second over Harvick and the rest of the field. But Harvick started to make up ground soon after, as Busch’s car wasn’t quite at its best.

“We controlled the restart, drove away by a little bit, but we weren’t the best car in the long run,” Busch said after the race. “The SHR (Stewart-Haas Racing) cars were all really good today. They were fast. It was going to be hard to hold them off.”

That proved to be true, as Harvick looked prepared to pass Busch at any time as the race entered the final 10 laps. But with time running short, Harvick chose to go for the bump before it was too late.

“I knew I was running out of laps, and I didn’t know if I was going to get to him again,” Harvick said. “I felt like I needed to get him up out of the groove, so I got him up out of the groove.”

Busch: Bump Was ‘Fair Game’

After the race, Busch was asked how he felt about Harvick’s aggressive move. And while he didn’t go so far as to say it was unfair, he made it clear that what goes around comes around.

“Harvick was using me up there for about four or five corners in a row, which is fine,” he said. “I think he could have made the move work cleaner than that, but it’s all fair game. How you race is how you get raced.”

This was the ninth time this season that Harvick and Busch have finished 1-2 in some order. Busch has five NASCAR Cup Series on the year. Aric Almirola finished third, with Martin Truex Jr. and Chase Elliot rounding out of the top five.

Busch continues to lead in the driver standings, with Harvick sitting in second place, 53 points back. Truex, who has won four races this season, sits in third place.

With those three drivers not only guaranteed to make the playoffs, but having won the vast majority of the races this season, it makes sense that they are nearly co-favorites to win the series championship. Ladbrokes has both Harvick and Truex as 11/4 favorites, with Busch (3/1) only marginally behind them.

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