Kasey Kahne and his team kept their cool, had some great pit strategy and held on to win the NASCAR Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The race began with pole sitter Kyle Busch seemingly running away from the field until the first set of green flag it stops where he was caught speeding on pit road. Kyle Busch was never able to get his track position back and his car was never the same running back in the pack. He finished the race 16th.
Denny Hamlin got the lead after the first set of green flag pit stops and Kyle’s speeding penalty. He proceeded to dominate the race from then on until the final set of pit stops. Denny led the most laps in the race of 150 and got the bonus point for leading the most laps. Denny Hamlin and his crew chief Darian Grub had a miscommunication and got four tires when the rest of the field only got two.
Denny Hamlin said “I’ve been through this long enough now that your chances of winning, you’re going to have plenty more chances in the future, especially the way we’re running. As hard as it is to keep your emotions in check, you have to take it in stride and realize, after you pull out on pit road, go out on the racetrack, there’s nothing you can do about it. All you can do from that point forward is figure out how to get the best finish you can that day. If you harp and moan on it, you’re just going to go backward”
He ended up 13th at the restart. Kasey Kahne took the lead on the restart and never looked back. Denny Hamlin made a valiant effort and drove through the field to second place getting to within two car lengths of Kasey until his tires gave up on the last lap. Kasey Kahne led the last 66 laps of the race.
After the race Kasey Kahne said “It was a good race. Started out fast right at the start just racing with Kyle and Denny. Track position was pretty big. Denny was really tough throughout the whole race. When we got two tires there at the end, put us first, I was feeling really good about where we were at. I slid around for the first 10 laps, then I knew I needed to get as big of a lead as I could because I knew Denny would be coming at some point. I tried to get away. We ended up winning. It was great.”
Kasey Kahne had a real tough time at the start of the year and at one point it looked like they had no chance to make the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. “I felt like we’ve had speed since the drop of the first green flag. I made mistakes and we’ve had some issues on some of those DNF’s. Other than that we’ve been fast all year. It’s nice we’ve been able to put 10 or 11 top 10s, 13 or 14 weeks together, something like that, since kind of that horrible start.” Kasey said.
Kasey has two wins this season and has the top position to get into the Chase by the wild card. He has the most wins of the drivers 11th through 20th. Kasey said. “Myself, I thought when we won Charlotte, that really boosted our team a lot. We ran really well there for about eight or nine weeks. Went to Pocono, had as good a car as anybody there. Got a right front, went down at the end, made contact with another car, hit the wall, lost a lot of the points we had just gained. We lost a little bit there. Charlotte to me was a big turning point for us. I got our team really excited and going. Today is just another bonus. This should give the team some more confidence, myself some more confidence, and carry some momentum into these final how many are left.”
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